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  • Date: Feb 2013

On the 26th to the 27th of January, we were once again privileged to learn from Vasuvaj JI,Samskrita Bharathi at a two day Sanskrit camp. Melbourne VHP/ BSK Teacher Mrs Prem Ji and Brisbane VHP BSK teachers Dr Mano and Dr Krishna are also attended the camp. The first day began at 9 o’clock. Altogether more than 60 people attended and benefitted from this programme.

We started off with a fun and short icebreaker, in which we were split into two groupsRamayana and Mahabharatha. We then had to ask the other group questions in Sanskrit about our respective epics. Points were awarded for correct answers or when the other team gave an incorrect answer. The BSK Youth Group have organised a Sanskrit Exhibition, where more than 400 objects were displayed with Sanskrit Words and English Translation. The exhibition was appreciated and enjoyed by everyone.

This was followed by the imaginational ceremony- Lighting the lamp(Deepajwaalanam) and a welcome speech by Narayan Mahodaya (Suswaagatham Bhashanam). We were then split into three groups- Vyaasaganah (Adults), Kaalidaasa Ganah (Youth) and Kishkinda Ganah (Children). Vyaasaganah had a session on ‘The Wonder That is Sanskrit’ presented by Narayan Mahodaya while Vasuvaj Ji taught Kaalidaasa Ganah Shiva Stuthi.

We very much enjoyed learning the Shiva Stuthi, which is the basis on which the beautiful language of Sanskrit was founded. The Shiva Stuthi is the sound, which the Seven Great Rishis (Saptarishis) heard emerging from Shiva’s great Dhamaru. Following the lunch break, Ramarathinam Mahodaya delivered an informative presentation on the Sydney Vedic and Cultural Centre (Greystanes), which is currently in the early building stages.

Following this was an enlightening presentation from Ravi Ji where he not only taught mathematical strategies but also revealed to us that all mathematical theories and several ingenious concepts and inventions accredited to the West had their origins in India (Bharat). After this Drama (Naatakam) practice took place. Unfortunately, due to the shortage of time, we had to use a play from the Sanskrit course. Following afternoon tea (Chaipaanam), Vasuvaj Ji led us through a couple of traditional Indian games. We played three games- Rama Krishna Parashurama, Samskritha Bhasha and Govindarama Gopalakrishna. These games definitely challenged the memory and incorporated use of the Sanskrit language. After this, we refreshed ourselves and changed. Akila Ji gave a WWW.VHP.ORG.AU presentation on importance and contribution of women in the Hindu society. Then followed Bhajan by Smt Hemalatha Ji and Aarathi. After which we ate dinner and held birthday celebrations for one of the girls in attendance. Just before bedtime, we performed our Naatakams.

The next morning, we awoke at six, got ready and did some Yoga from 7amto quarter to eight, instructed by Vasuvaj Ji. We played a game, which challenged the mind until the breakfast arrived. After eating, we had a Sloka competition (Slokasparda) in which people from the different groups (Ganahas) had to recite different amounts of Slokas, the winner being the person in each Ganaha who reached the goal with confidence and clarity. During this, Mr Alex, Education Officer from the Department of Education, arrived. When the Slokasparda finished, we had to memorise as many of the forty objects displayed outside as possible (in Sanskrit). We then had to recall and write down the objects, and the winner was the person who memorised the most objects accurately. Afterwards, each family was presented an award and a small token for having completed the Sanskrit camp by Mr Alex. Lunch followed, and then Mr Alex delivered his presentation on the use of technology and the Internet to aid teaching language. With this the camp concluded, but we all sincerely hope that we may be graced by another such opportunity. We would like to sincerely thank all the VHP Australia Volunteers, Executive Committee members, BSK/SVP Teachers who helped to make this event possible, all the speakers who ran the various workshops and of course, Vasuvaj Ji himself. We both feel that this camp was well worth the time and effort put in and that this camp has helped us become more in tune with our Indian roots. Currently we have 4 BSKs and 4 SVPs running in Sydney in various places.

For more info, Please contact Smt Akila on 8814 7016 or e mail akilaramarathinam@gmail.com

By Malavika and Vaishnavi – Students from Sydney Veda Patasala,Crestwood Branch.

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