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Lord Ram gets to Chinmaya stage for a cause

Venkat Raman – 

venkat@indiannewslink.co.nz

Lord Ram gets- Swami Chinmayananda WebOne of the foremost religious and community welfare organisations is preparing to present Indian epic ‘Ramayan’ as a part of its construction project.

Chinmaya Mission New Zealand hopes to raise a handsome amount through three-day performance of ‘Ramayan-The Legend Relived’ at Bruce Ritchie Performing Arts Centre located at 274 Don Buck Road, Massey West, Auckland from September 30 to October 2, 2016.

A notification promised that the two-hour programme will “be a unique, breathtaking stage production… of courage, devotion, compassion, love and anger.”

Interest revived

Lord Ram gets-Ramayan- The Legend Relived Poster WebPublic interest, especially of the younger members of our communities has been rekindled by the massive reproduction of ‘Mahabharat’ and ‘Ramayan’ on a number of Indian television channels over the past few years.

The ongoing ‘Siya Ke Ram’ on Star Plus (available through Sky Channels) brings the grand epic from a slightly different perceptive, questioned by many but followed by many more in New Zealand and other countries.

The Auckland Mission

‘Ramayan-The Legend Relived’ should help Chinmaya Mission in New Zealand to augment infrastructure and facilities at its Ashram called, ‘Chinmaya Nikunj,’ located at 63, McKenzie Road, Mangere Bridge, Auckland.

The Ashram sits on a 5554 Sq m of land, the first phase of which, completed in April 2009, accounted for an Administration Block, a temporary books-stall, four temporary classrooms for children, a Main Hall for classes for adults and meetings, accommodation for a resident teacher and visiting teachers.

Activity Centre

The Mission has now undertaken the next phase of construction which will include an Activity Centre, a Hall to accommodate up to 250 persons, a Dining Hall for 100 people, five classrooms with all related facilities, a permanent Book Store and Library, an Exhibition of the life and work of Poojya Swami Chinmayananda and Car Park for 72 vehicles.

‘Chinmaya Mission New Zealand’ website appealed to communities for support.

“Over the last seven years, our Centre has served the community well in its current limited capacity. Due to an increase in activities and people participation, the current capacity has been fully utilised. It is now time to move ahead with Phase Two to provide for additional capacity,” a notification said.

Budget & Funds

The Centre has prepared a three-year funding plan, including donations and loans.

The total cost of the project, estimated at $2.5 million includes Building and Car Park ($2.1 million), Kitchen Equipment and Dining Hall Furniture ($ 70,000), Stage Lighting, Audio Visual & Fit outs ($100,000), Landscaping ($ 30,000), Furniture & Fittings ($100,000), Heating & Ventilation ($100,000).

The Centre hopes to raise $1.4 million as bank loan (conditional approval obtained) and $1.1 million as donations from the community.

“We propose to raise $1.1 Million in the first year to complete the project. We will raise $700,000 each in the second and third years to repay the bank loan and become debt free,” the website notification said.

It is understood that donors can claim 33.33% rebate on donations from Inland Revenue, exercising a number of options to donate. These include sponsorship of the Main Hall for $600,000 by six donors, each providing $100,000. The total cost of $400,000 for the Dining Hall could be by four donors, each offering $100,000, while the four classrooms, Meditation Room, Library and Office could be funded by seven donors, each providing $75,000 (to meet the total cost of $525,000).”

About Swami Chinmayananda 

This Reporter has had the privilege of listening to the discourses of Swami Chinmayananda during his scholastic years in Bangalore, India and later meeting him for interviews, discussions and at home visits in India and Bahrain.

In many ways, Swami Chinmayananda was a source of inspiration. He always entertained lively conversation with a touch of humour and kindness. His teachings were simple and down-to-earth, as Chakravarthy Rajagopalachari (Rajaji), Independent India’s first and last Governor General “Very relevant to all people of all times all over the world.”

Chinmayananda, named Balakrishna Menon at birth in Ernakulam, Kerala on May 8, 1916. This is thus his Centenary Year and we plan to run a series of articles as a tribute to one of the greatest spiritual leaders of the past Millennium.

We welcome readers to share their experience either as direct disciples or as those inspired by his teachings.

Please write with details and photographs to editor@indiannewslink.co.nz

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Photo Caption:

Chinmaya Mission Auckland (Phase Two Perspective)

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