CHENNAI: It’s a hectic week filled with competitions — devotional, art and culture, personality development and games — for students, thematic seminars, medical camps, blood donation drive and dance drama at the Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair that was inaugurated by Kanchi seer Sri Jayendra Saraswati here on Tuesday. The fair is showcasing the extensive service activities of over 260 Hindu organisations, which have put up stalls on the Sri Ramachandra Medical University Grounds here.
“There is a need to project our greatness. We represent a culture that is thousands of years old. What we got from the rishis is still continuing,” eminent danseuse Padma Subramaniam pointed out at the inaugural. The highlight of the week-long exercise is the participation of thousands of students from different schools in the city in the rallies and competitions conducted by the Hindu Spiritual and Service Foundation, which has organised the fair, she said.
And echoing her was Buddhist monk Geshe Dorji Damdul, director of Tibet House, New Delhi, who stressed that Asian youth, who blindly ape the West, must be made aware of the spiritual and cultural greatness of their countries.
According to noted columnist S Gurumurthy who is a patron of the forum, the fair is a demonstration that Hindu spiritualism and lifestyle preserves ecology, conserves forest and wildlife, sustains environment, inculcates family and human values, fosters women’s honour and promotes patriotism.
Hence, the competitions too have been based on these themes. On Wednesday, the theme of the painting, story-telling, recitation of Vinayagar agavals, Devaram and Divyaprabhandam and games was ‘Preserves ecology’. The fair is also hosting seminars where experts will debate on important topics. On Thursday, the seminar, chaired by Gurumurthy, will be on ‘Rejuvenation of rivers’, with the participants speaking on topics such as ‘Srirangam and Cauvery,’ ‘Ganga — from ancient times to our times,’ and ‘Rejuvenation of Ganga’. On Friday, it is ‘Indian Womanhood’. Besides, visitors can also make a tour of the stalls, where representatives of Hindu organisations will explain their activities, motivation behind their service and offer any other data.
For instance, A Kalyanaraman (37) of Sirkazhi is displaying rare herbs used by ancient Siddhars in the treatment of various ailments and rudrakshas at his Siva Mooligai Trust stall.
Also on display for the first time are four ‘sanjeevi’ leaves: Amirtha, Raja, Narayana and Mridanga. While ‘Raja sanjeevi’ can cure cancer, ‘Narayana’ is effective in the treatment of heart conditions, he said. “We collect the herbs from Podhigai, Chandragiri and Kolli hills.” (The fair is open from 9.30 am to 8 pm till July 14)