To the Reader
We have pleasure in presenting to you the 6th Edition of Arunodaya. It contains, along with the usual essays and speeches (English and Hindi) prized in our competitions, an account of our Jnana Yajna held at the Octave Wiehe Auditorium on 1st July together with a description of our Antavas held in November and December last. As regards the other Indian languages, we received only one essay each in Tamil and Telegu. We hope to receive more next time when we shall certainly try to publish the best ones.
As in previous years about thirty colleges took part in the competitions which as usual generated tremendous enthusiasm and stood out as an event in the educational world. The level was higher than last year as noted by the jury, the distinguished guests and all others present. Would that the accompanying pictures could translate the wonderful atmosphere prevailing in the Finals as well as the preliminaries.
The aims of the publication, given in our first Edition in 1991, can be condensed as follows:
1. Encourage and reward the winners,
2. Raise the level by providing a model,
3. Diffuse knowledge and underline the zeal of our youth to assimilate the teachings of the rishis, and
4. Share with other adults our thrill on reading and hearing the reactions of our youth on those teachings.
A glance at these pages will reveal that our youths are equal to our expectations, that the level is rising, that our 20 years of labour are bearing fruit, and a silent transformation is taking place among our students drawing even parents into the vortex. A critical observer cannot fail to note that with their mind sharpened on the anvil of Hinduism and the spirit, the flower of our youth are moving confidently and lovingly on the path chalked out by the rishis.
A special feature of this issue are our Antavas. They evoke the faded Gurukul spirit every educationist longs to revive nowadays. They reveal our youth candidly opening and discovering themselves as a great preparation for the new age rushing on them with its internet and cyberspace and globalization. Their positive response and its visible effect on their life and plastic mind is a wonder to their parents, themselves caught in the trammels of industrialization, and is an indication that the seeds of our Renaissance are cast on fertile soil and their bloom will very soon spread over our land and even beyond. It is to the credit of our teachers that they too are with their students in this noble adventure, fully realizing the weight of the trust society has placed in them.
All this is in line with the aims of the Movement given elsewhere in this issue. Their vigorous implementation indicates our constant endeavour to make Hinduism leave the rut of centuries in which it was generally entrenched and take the firm ground of self-sacrifice, adaptation, scholarship etc. as taught by our great sages and the "world-building" rishis.
We want our youths to discover and live that other, expansive, glorious side of Hinduism till lately unknown to most of them and illumined by it, gird themselves for the global challenge looming on their horizon.
The theme of the competitions was the elimination of poverty following the United Nations proclamation of 1996 as the Year of the Elimination of Poverty. In the two previous years we observed its reflection-topic on (1) the Family and (2) Tolerance after covering each of our main scriptures every year since the International Ramayana Year in 1989.
The reflection of our students on the topic is now in your hands. You will be delighted by their findings and observations based on the teachings of Hinduism and expressed with youthful sincerity. Suffice it for me to add that our dharma, the very word dharma itself contains everything to ensure universal happiness and is therefore against what we call poverty. This is enforced by our social laws regulating purusharthas and ashramas; our civil laws; the six pillars of society given in the Atharva Veda (X11.1) viz. Truth, rta or dharma, consecration, austerity, prayer and sacrifice; our precepts enjoining yajna, daan, and tapas; the task of lokasamgraha advocated by Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, and the ideal of Ramarajya lived under Rama. These are only a few examples of what our eternal dharma teaches. But the only difficulty is MAN who is so hard to change .....
We are grateful to the Minister of Education and that of Arts & Culture for their encouragement, the Deputy High Commissioner of India for his presence and appreciation, and Prof. R. R. Pandey for his loving message which to us comes as a blessing. Our heartfelt thanks to the schools for their usual cooperation and participation; congratulations to the winners, and better luck next time to the others.
We also express our gratitude to the Panel of Adjudicators (Mr G.Dhunnookchand, Dr M Chintamunee, Prof. P. Roodurmun, Dr N. K. Sharma of the Indian High Commission and Mr M. Ramnohur who was the chairman) for making service a labour of love. In the same vein we thank Messrs K. Beedasy and P. Neermul for assistance in editing the studentsí scripts; Mr V. Appadu for technical help, the Unix Printing for their patience and diligence, the Seagull Insurance and the Beechand Company for their generosity, and the College Secretarial Staff (Mrs Sangeeta Khadaroo, Mrs Amita Ghurburrun and Miss Satee Keerpah) for putting in all their love and devotion in the final production of this work.
May the light of the rishis ever shine on our youths!
Charaiveti ! Move on!
One who lies down is Kali
One who awakes is Dvapara
One who stands up becomes Treta
And one who moves on realises the Satya Yuga.
Therefore move on! Aitareya Brahmana