SGS Vidyarthi Gnana Bodha Sabha 2019
4,5 & 6 May 2019
Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Vidyarthi Gnana Bodha Sabha was held in the year 2019 from May 4th to May 6th in the divine presence of Pujya Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji in Avadhoota Datta Peetham Mysore. Only students enrolled in classes 8 to 12 during the academic year 2018-2019 were considered eligible for this convention.
Vidyarthi Gnana Bodha Sabha 2019 was announced during Shivaratri celebrations in Mysore Ashrama. Registrations were open from March 15th to April 15th. By the end of May 3rd, a total of 206 students arrived and registered for VGBS in Mysore Ashrama. Students who attended belonged to the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka
On the 3rd evening, there was an informal meet for the students during which Smt. Nagamani Vasantharao, the coordinator of Vidyarthi Gnana Bodha Sabha introduced children and parents to the divine mission of Pujya Sri Swamiji and his vision for the future generations through Vidyarthi Gnana Bodha Sabha. Students were taken through the miraculous birth and happenings of Pujya Sri Swamiji in order to educate them regarding the divinity of Sri Swamiji and to inculcate not just love but devotion and reverence for Him.
On May 4th, the inaugural function of VGBS was held during with Sri Swamiji lit the lamp marking the commencement of VGBS 2019. Students sang Jaya Jaya Vidyarthi Sabha, the anthem of Vidyarthi Gnana Bodha Sabha, which was coined by Prof. Krishna Kumar in 1996.
During His benedictory address, Sri Swamiji strongly encouraged everybody to become proficient in their mother tongue. He insisted that everybody learn Kannada as it is the medium of communication in Mysore and is dear to Sri Swamiji. Sri Swamiji also urged children to be more honest with their parents and guardians, to share their daily challenges and concerns with them and help the parents protect them. During His address, Sri Swamiji also mentioned a trust fund of one crore for VGBS.
Also during the function, the annual report was presented by Smt. Nagamani Vasantharao, welcome address by Smt. Karthika Vakkalanka, the vote of thanks by Smt. Sangita Sohni and event compering was by Smt. Shreyata Sohni.
- Kumara Kriya Yoga: May 4th began with a one-hour session of Kumara Kriya Yoga at 7 am. The first day's yoga session was intended to clear the children's minds of past tension and stress, giving them a fresh mind to participate in the VGBS.
- Discourse by Pujya Sri Bala Swamiji: The first lecture was an energetic discourse by Pujya Sri Bala Swamiji about the value for josh, hosh and santosh. Sri Swamiji encouraged energy and excitement (josh) but cautioned that these must be well within limits and there must always be discretion (hosh) in one’s actions. And that happiness (Santosh) can be achieved only under these conditions.
- The communication impaired and their challenges: After the lunch break, Dr Shanta Radhakrishna conducted an interactive session about people with hearing, speaking and communication impairment. This very insightful lecture by the Principal of SGS Vagdevi Integrated School helped the students better understand the issues and difficulties faced by people with speech impairment and other similar disabilities.
- Stories from the history of Sri Swamiji’s music: The next lecture was by Ms Sanmathi Varanasi, who shared her wonderful experiences with Sri Swamiji which she believed that every Datta devotee should know. Her stories were much appreciated as every student and newcomer instantly fell in love with Sri Swamiji.
- Bhajans: Every day concluded with the practice of bhajans taught by Ms Rajeshwari.
- Visit to Shukavana: The second day commenced with an educational trip to the fantastic Shukavana along with Sri Swamiji early in the morning. Children were astonished at the wide variety of birds in myriad colours. Sri Swamiji demonstrated feeding of birds to all the children. Shukavana staff introduced the students to a large variety of birds. They were given insights into the various species of birds and specifications about caring facilities at Shukavana.
- Where happiness lies: The second lecture was by Sri Bala Swamiji regarding the valuable lessons in life. He also explained the importance of happiness that accompanies one in the mother's womb. Through this, he compared Mysore ashrama with a mother's womb where one received nothing but joy and happiness.
- Game time: Smt. Sangita Sohni made the children play "Sri Swamiji says" to test children's concentration and sharp listening and action abilities. This well-known and well-played game continues to be a hit among children.
- Surprise! Surprise! In the afternoon, Sri Swamiji paid a surprise visit and blessed every student with a pen symbolizing all the knowledge that they have been imparted during the 3-day VGBS classes.
Divya Nama Sankeertana:
Students were blessed with Pujya Sri Appaji's Divya Nama Sankeertana on 5th evening. Sri Appaji's magnetic voice draws towards him adults and children alike! Everyone enjoyed the energetic bhajan session by Sri Appaji.
- Ashram Tour: Ms Poojitha, a VGBS volunteer gave the students an early morning tour of the ashrama explaining the significance and history of each and every structure and collections in the ashrama.
- Sri Swamiji’s music: On the third day, Vidwan Sri Jaitra Varanasi treated the students to a joyous ride through the wonderful world of Sri Swamiji's music. Beginning at as fundamental a topic as the definition of music, Sri Jaitra Varanasi gave the children glimpses of the great ocean of music and finally concluded his session by engaging the children in a session of "bhajan antyakshari."
- Question & Answers: Sri Bala Swamiji, who graced the children with His presence just around that time too got a taste of the delightful game! As His third lecture, instead of giving a discourse, Sri Swamiji gave students the opportunity to ask questions. Several students presented their doubts to Sri Swamiji and Sri Swamiji's answers helped only the children but the volunteers and parents as well!
- Medical health: The final session of VGBS was a lecture by Dr Phanishree Pydimarri titled "Healthy mind in a healthy body" which discussed the psychological and physiological challenges faced by youngsters especially during adolescence. Given the topic's relevance to both students and their parents, the lecture received a tremendous response.
- Students were trained in singing bhajans through all the three days by Ms Rajeshwari which were finally offered as a performance by the students to Pujya Sri Appaji during the valedictory function. By virtue of students' enthusiasm and Ms Rajeshwari's superlative teaching skills, they were able to learn, practice and successfully perform a variety of bhajans in different languages within a short span of three days.
VGBS 2019 concluded with the valedictory function on May 6th from 4 pm. It is customary for faculty to conduct the inaugural function and children to conduct the valedictory function. Hence, compering was by Ms Sreekruthi Varanasi and Mr Datta and report was presented by Ms Ranjani Changalvala.
Several cultural programs were held during the valedictory function. The highlight, as always was the group singing of bhajans led by Ms Rajeshwari. There was a skit by a group of boys on “Paramanandayya Shishyulu,” and another motivational skit by a group of girls on SGSPOSTS. Ms Nayana Nishtala and Ms Kriti Naga Sai Vangala performed solo dances. Ms Ranjani and Ms Sreekruthi rendered Sri Swamiji’s bhajans in a Carnatic Classical music style while the Tanuku sisters sang other bhajans. A group of students expertly trained by Smt. Rashmi Sachchidananda performed a group dance to the peppy number “Allu Rama Illu Rama.”
May 5th being Mysore ashrama’s birthday, a painting competition was held to paint any visual in the ashrama. Winners were awarded prizes blessed by Sri Swamiji.
During the valedictory function, Ms Nagini briefly mentioned the alumni association of VGBS, their experience and their objective. Towards the one crore fund announced by Sri Swamiji, alumni members Dr Srikripa Devarakonda, Ms Vaidhehi Venkatram, Ms Nagini Devarakonda, Smt. Shreyata Sohni, Sri. Neelalohith Penmetsa, Ms Poojitha, Ms Aashritha Sohni and Ms Sanmathi Varanasi contributed a sum of Rs. 62000/-.
After the event, certificates were distributed to all the participants.
Under the divine guidance of Pujya Sri Swamiji, VGBS 2019 was organised and conducted by faculty members Smt. Nagamani Vasantharao, Smt. Sangeeta Sohni, Smt. Anuradha, Smt. Alivelu, Smt. Sharada, Ms Rajeshwari and Smt. Karthika. This team was assisted by Smt. Rashmi Sachchidananda and alumnus volunteers Ms Nagini Devarakonda, Ms Poojitha Murthy and Ms Sanmathi Varanasi.
Most students left 7th morning or at best by 8th, as instructed by Sri Swamiji. It is Sri Swamiji’s order to organise monthly or bi-monthly one-day VGBS sessions on a regular basis in Hyderabad. In the presence of the right kind of motivation and necessary cooperation from relevant resources, action will be taken to conduct VGBS regularly