To mark the completion of 1 year of Purna Vidya community classes, the Annual Day program was conducted on 22nd of February, 2015 at HM World City premises, JP Nagar, Bangalore.
The Purna Vidya class at Bangalore was inaugurated by Ammaji herself on 19th January 2014. In her first Purna Vidya class for the children, Ammaji taught the difference between Para and Apara Vidya and how Purna Vidya, the Complete Knowledge, falls under the category of Para Vidya.
The Annual day program on 22nd February 2015, commenced with the customary lighting of the lamp by dignitaries, followed by rendition of invocation song by the children of Purna Vidya class. Ammaji’s message for the Annual day was then read out to the audience.
An excerpt from Ammaji’s message is given here, which sums up the essence of the teaching from Ramayana: “To learn values through the life of Shri Rama, holding this great Dharma Purusha in our heart, is the biggest blessing we can give our children. One key to a life of truth is knowing that Dharma wins, when there is Kshama (accommodation) and Tyaaga (sacrifice). Kshama and Tyaaga are 2 wings of the Dharma bird and when these 2 wings are strong enough, the bird of truth will soar to great heights!”
As per Ammaji’s advice, selected stories from Panchatantra and Puranic tales were taught to children in the academic year ending March 2014. After the summer break, classes resumed in June 2014, with the introduction of Ramayana. 19 children, in the age group of 6 years to 12 years, attended these classes every week and were thrilled with the depth and style in which Ramayana was being taught using Purna Vidya books.
The dedication and interest of teachers and students was very evident from the fact that 41 classes where conducted successfully in the last 1 year! In these classes, children were taught 15 shlokas, 7 bhajans and 18 short stories from Panchatantra and Puranic tales, in addition to coverage of the entire Ramayana text.
Children were excited to hear that there will be an Annual day program for Purna Vidya as well, which gives them an opportunity to demonstrate their learnings in front of parents and other people within the community. Daily practice sessions were held for the Ramayana play for about 3 weeks, which deepened the interest and understanding of the great epic among children.
During the Annual day program, children chanted all the 15 shlokas taught to them, along with a brief mention about the intent of each shloka.
The much awaited enacting of Ramayana play followed, with the children giving their best in colourful costumes and enacting the entire Ramayana in 13 scenes. Backdrops and background music added to the intensity of the play. Children then recited the Bala Kanda of Nama Ramayanam.
In order to give the audience a flavor of how a typical Purna Vidya class is conducted, a short video of the Purna Vidya class clippings were shown. After seeing the video, many parents wanted to attend the classes themselves, to benefit from the teaching.
Another video was shown which had interviews of children who attend the Purna Vidya classes along with the interviews of Purna Vidya Teachers – Sri Subramoniam, Shri Shivkumar, Smt Jaya Balu, Smt Jeyashree Menon and Smt Kavitha Subramoniam.
As per Ammaji’s special instruction to give a gift to every student of the Purna Vidya class, a lamp and picture of Ganesha was given to the children, so that over the period of few years, they will have an entire Puja kit for themselves. 3 children were awarded special prizes for attending 90% of the classes conducted in this academic year.
Few parents came forward to give feedback and spoke highly about the importance of such an initiative within the community. As followed in every Purna Vidya class, the event was concluded with a Panchopachara Puja, followed by distribution of Prasadam to the attendees.
A common feeling among students, teachers and parents, post the conclusion of the Annual day program, was a sense of eagerness to resume the classes in the next academic year!
Om Tat Sat!