Srimathe Ramanujaya Nama:
Jai Sri Ram!
A report about our recent camp from a volunteer –
Perhaps the best part of working from Srirangam is that every piece of land around, every brick, every stone, and every turn has an attachment with something historic.
Today, pracharam.in flagged off the 2019 Sri Rama Summer Camps as a follow-up to our Sri Rama Navami celebrations! Just as a reminder to our readers, in 2018, we facilitated camps in several places – Srirangam, Thirukkattupalli, Thuraiyur, Minnesota to name a few. We procured some books published by our devotee friends from Sri Vaikunta Enterprises. And shipped them to coordinators in each of these places. The coordinators then took on the responsibility of conducting classes, engaging children, narrated stories about Sri Rama, and distributed prasadam at the end of it.
Lessons learned: Rural kids need vernacular books. Books must promote active learning. More facilitators must come forward.
In 2019, we’re happy to announce that by Lord Sita Rama’s grace, we’re checking all the boxes. We have published our own set of books – in Tamil and English. Each of these can be ordered separately. Several more volunteers have come forward to help conduct classes in their locality.
Back to the main story – On Sunday (28th April 2019), we conducted a camp in Sozhanganallur. This is a few kilometers from #Srirangam, off the northern banks of Cauvery. About 60 kids gathered around a tree early in the morning. Their energy levels were so high! We began with Rama-nama chanting, and bhajans. We then moved on to story-telling, Q&A, fun, frolic, and games – All themed around Sri Rama!
We were eight volunteers who went from pracharam.in, and we were tired in a few hours. They looked like they could do a hundred more activities about Sri Rama and could go on for a few more hours!
Interestingly, Sozhanganallur, a tiny hamlet in the middle of nowhere, has a wonderful connection with Swamy Ramanuja, which we discovered in hindsight. Koyilozhugu (reference attached) records that Swamy Ramanuja established a huge pasture by acquiring five villages. He setup a wonderful goshala in this village and installed a deity of Krishna and named him “Aa Nirai Katha Peruman” (which translates to the Lord who watched over cows). Today, the village lies barren. Some agriculture goes on. The temple needs attention. The connection this lovely place has with history is lost – which is perhaps the greatest loss of them all!
All the kids prayed for “a temple” to be rebuilt
- The children participated in everything we had to offer – games, storytelling, etc with devotion like Lakshmana (who is Rama’s brother – hence Ramanuja).
- The Lord who watches over this village and all the neighboring ones is Sri Krishna, who is himself a #Ramanuja (brother of Balarama, and hence a Ramanuja).
- This historic place was first established by Yatiraja Jagatacharya Swamy Ramanuja (who is most popularly known as Ramanuja).
So it was a treat of Swamy Ramanuja’s for us.
- Kids everywhere have boundless energy!
- We need to channelize them in the right ways.
- We all need to come together as a commune to accomplish this.
- Much gratitude to the village locals, who gathered the kids and made all the other arrangements for us.
- We distributed laddoos, thanks to volunteer Sri.Kumar anna. We can do more.
Action items for you:
- Please come forward to conduct a “Sri Rama Activity”.
- We’re more than happy to facilitate in every way possible.
- Pick up your phone and WhatsApp Veeraraghavan Sampath today +91 9655219245
Thanks for including us! It will be a pleasure to participate the next time too. And every single time you conduct a camp in the future.