First edition of Sri Ramanarpanam, a grand success

‘When our plans align with God’s, we succeed’ goes a famous saying. The first edition of ‘Sri Ramanarpanam’, competitions for children of classes 7,8,9 in schools around our ashram, turned out to be a grand success, filled with Bhagawan’s grace right from start to finish.

The event was conceived to provide a platform for children and devotees alike to present their talents, skills and service as a humble offering to Bhagawan Ramana Maharshi (Ramana-arpanam), a very important spiritual reminder that all our talents (gunam) and flaws (kurai) indeed belong to the Lord and we ought not to take ownership of either of them.

Sri Ramanarpanam 2020 included three events – school-level competitions, inter-school competitions (finals) and the Grand Finale event held on Bhagawan Ramana Maharshi’s Jayanthi day – January 11 this year.
The competitions were held in three categories – Iyal (Oratorical), Isai (Chanting) and Naadagam (Skit) –
and saw participation from over 200 students across six schools at the school-level.

The top three prize winners at the school-level were pitted against each other in the absorbing finals held at our ashram premises that saw the children raise their level from the earlier round with an eye on the grand prize up for grabs.

The Grand Finale was a highly entertaining spectacle and lived up to its billing. The event commenced on an auspicious note with chanting of Sri Arunachala Aksharamanamalai by the prize winners post which Sri. P. Manikandan, Coordinator, Sri Ramanarpanam, delivered the welcome address. This was followed by speeches by the oratorical champions who enthralled the crowd by talking about Bhagawan, Bharathiyar and Thiru Jnana Sambandar.

It was then time for some exciting skit performances, three of them in total – two by the top two teams in the competitions and a third one by the youth volunteer group, all of which highly entertained the audience.
A presentation was then made to highlight the purpose, ongoing activities and future plans of AVM to
the audience.

Delivering the Chief Guest address, Sri. L. Natarajan,Chief Education Officer, Tiruvannamalai, known for his humble and spiritual nature, heaped praise on the intention and conduct of the competitions and the Grand Finale event and assured the continued support of his office for future such endeavours and initiatives of AVM.

In his speech, Sri. D. K. S. Moorthy, AVM Trustee, expressed his appreciation for the coordination and volunteer teams for putting together a grand event and shared his good wishes to Swamiji for more such activities to take place at AVM.

Taking the podium next was Swamiji who started off his speech with a Guru bhajan that saw the entire place reverberate, thanks to nearly 350 voices signing in unison, before going on to express everything he had in mind about Sri Ramanarpanam, the present activities and future plans of AVM.

Following the speeches, it was time for the prize distribution ceremony where the children, faces lit up with bright smiles and teeth peeping out for the cameras, went on stage to collect their prizes – medals, book coupons, certificates and cash prizes. The program ended with the most valued dhaanam’s of all, annadhanam, for everyone.

Sri Ramanarpanam 2020 was a grand package – planned & executed by the Lord (through His instruments), for the Lord (participants) and offered humbly unto His feet.