Sri Aurobindo Society has several branches and affiliated centres in India and abroad, engaged in a variety of activities, including regular meditations, talks, seminars and conferences; running of educational institutions; physical education and sports; dance, drama, and music classes; research programmes; teachers workshops and youth camps; health and medical care; handicrafts; publication of books in English and Indian languages; and more. What is important is not the activity by itself, but the spirit in which it is undertaken. All work, in this way, can be a means of self-development and an offering to the Divine. Some of the events and activities carried out in the months of December 2015 and January 2016 include talks, conferences, camps, etc., are as follows.
• On December 19, 2015, a presentation on ‘Practicing Meditation’ by Yogacharya Gopal Singh Kathayat was held. He deliberated on ‘Dhyaan’ and gave practical demonstration.
• On December 27, 2015, the 11th anniversary of Sri Aurobindo Bhavan was celebrated. Shri Arun Naik, Chairman, gave a presentation of the significant events during the last 11 years at Noida Branch which included yoga classes, talks and discourses on spirituality, stress management, youth camps, women empowerment camps, teachers training camps and various other activities directed towards integral development of individuals. On this occasion, 50 students of four schools had participated in a Painting Competition. Also, programme of Musical Offering—Bhajans by Shri Deepak Srivastava—was organized.
• On January 9, 16 and 30, 2016, Dr. Prabhjot Kulkarni, Former Principal, Maharishi Valmiki College of Education, Delhi University, delivered talks on the following topics:
1. ‘The Psychic and Its Unfolding’
2. ‘Difficulties on the Way … The Sunlit Path’
3. ‘Role of Surrender in Integral Yoga’
• On January 17, 2016, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand State Committee meeting was held. Discussions and deliberations on strengthening the activities being carried out at the centres and branches of the two states were conducted. In addition, Dr. J.P. Singh, Chairman—Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand States Committee, gave a talk on ‘Yogakshemam Vahamyaham’ which was attended by about 30 participants.
• On January 22, 2016, Shri Prashant Tiwari talked on ‘Niyatam Kuru Karma Tavam’ from Gita.
• On January 23, 2016, a presentation on ‘Five Golden Rules of Healthy Life’ by Yogacharya Gopal Singh Kathayat was held.
A seminar on ‘Personality Development for Youth’ was conducted on January 6, 2016, for first-year students of Commerce Department of DNR College in which Dr. Palla Venkateswara Rao, and Dr. M. V. Sankar, spoke on the relevance of Sri Aurobindo's teachings to the present day social scenario. More than 200 students participated. Booklets containing the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother were distributed.
Vijayawada Centre participated in the book exhibition at Vijayawada from January 1 to11, 2016. Books worth Rs.1 lakh were sold.
A three-day programme on personality development was organized from November 29, 2015 to December 1, 2015, which was attended by 12 children of the age group of 12–20 years, every day.
Commemorating the National Youth Week, a special programme was organized on January 17, 2016, on ‘Sri Aurobindo’s Message to the Youth’. The chief guest was Smt. Madhu Garg, the principal of Sri RKM Vidya Mandir, Gwalior, and was attended by about 65 youth.
Shri Pradeep Narang, Chairman, Sri Aurobindo Society, visited Shantivan on January 17, 2016, and spoke on ‘What is Spirituality’. Shantivan is a sanctuary of lush green in the heart of Mumbai celebrating the best of Nature. The landscaping, amphitheatre and waterfalls are a sight that give the garden a divine ambience, which is managed by Sri Aurobindo Society, Mumbai Branch.
Ms. Anahita Sanjana, follower of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, proponent of Integral Yoga, practitioner and trainer of Hatha Yoga and teacher at J.B. Petit School, Mumbai, read and explained some passages from Savitri (the epic poem penned by Sri Aurobindo) and answered questions from the young audience.
The Centre organized a programme on Savitri by Ms. Anahita Sanjana on January 31, 2016, and the talk was themed ‘Love and Faith’. The programme was attended by 40 people.
The Centre presented 2,400 booklets in 12 different titles and 200 booklets of Ideal Child in Kiswahili to the officials of Kenya Red Cross Society at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan. Kenya Red Cross Society is a voluntary organization with the mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering throughout Kenya and also have many educational projects for the youth of the country. These booklets will be further distributed in Nairobi and in the rural areas of Kenya in medical camps, schools, maternity hospitals, etc., and also will be presented to the staff of other non-governmental organizations. The officials were very grateful to Sri Aurobindo Society for the booklets and look forward to working long term with the SAS Nairobi Centre in future. They were also presented with copies of Towards Tomorrow and sets of other booklets.