April 4, 2011
Once upon a time, in a certain kingdom, there lived a king, who was very fond of poetry. He chose an accomplished poet to be his minister; such was his desire to listen to good poetry. Sadly though, the new minister was not a capable administrator. He had a soft heart, and other people soon started taking advantage of him.
The court’s Vidhushaka decided to help the foolish king understand his dharma. He employed a carpenter as the palace cook. The new cook cut vegetables as if they were pieces of wood; the curries he made were quite tasteless. When the king enquired, the Vidhushaka drew a parallel between the situation in the country and that in the king’s kitchen.
First-year engineering students brought this ancient Sanskrit drama to life, as they enacted various scenes of Yatha Raja, Tatha Praja in front of an audience that comprised not only of faculty and students from all Schools at the Amritapuri campus, but also Sampoojya Swami Purnamritananda Puri, who came especially from Kochi to attend.
It has become something of an annual tradition now. Samavarnam, denoting the sameness of different colors, is rooted in India’s ancient cultural traditions. It vividly brings home to the first-year students the significance and importance of these age-old traditions, and their relevance to the modern day world.
This year was no different. After Swamiji lit the lamp to inaugurate Samavarnam 2011, Vedic Mantras reverberated in the auditorium, spreading positive vibrations everywhere. Matruvandanam followed, wherein students offered pranams to their beloved Amma.
“We don’t really own anything,” Swamiji reminded the gathering. “However, God has given us everything so that we may share with others.”
Referring to the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Swamiji spoke about the limitations of technology and human intelligence and the importance of grace. “Grace is possible by purity alone, which can be attained only through prayers, good actions and love,” he emphasized. Read More »
Swamiji shared the story of the ancient king Bhartrihari, who was not only a truthful and responsible ruler but also an accomplished poet.
After an uplifting talk, Swamiji honored students who had excelled in Cultural Education. He also handed over Certificates of Appreciation to those faculty members who had worked hard to make Serve an Hour a success this past semester. As part of this program, first-year students had contributed an hour every week, either towards cleaning activities of Amala Bharatam or making handicraft items from waste products for sale, or gardening.
“This is where students learned to do something for society,” stated Reshmi R., MCA faculty member, who was among those who received the Certificate of Appreciation from Swamiji.
Ranga Pooja by ASA and ASE students followed, wherein the audience was treated to a stunning display of the rich cultural colors of India. Biotech and Ayurveda students also put forth a visual treat that stole the hearts of the hundreds of viewers.
Mono act performances, mini screen plays, a quiz program and a magical music fusion, added a dash of different colors …
“It was something very divine, very spiritual,” noted first-year B.Tech. student of Computer Science and Engineering, Pallavi Kumari Jha. “Samavarnam reflected the Amrita values. It will only be these values that will help us attain our goals.”