R Venkataramanan

R Venkataramanan

R Venkat's Blog

R Venkat's Blog
"To be an Inspiring Teacher,one should be a Disciplined Student throughout Life" - Venkataramanan Ramasethu



Saturday, October 26, 2013

Manna Dey – A Cultural Icon of International Stature – Thoughts by Venkataramanan Ramasethu

As the news started spreading that Manna Dey is no more,a deep sense of gloom and despair could be felt across Kolkata,a city which I have made my home for the past 10 years.It would not be right to say that it was only Kolkatan’s like me who could feel that,any genuine music lover with an ear for immortal melody with an authentic classical touch would have felt an era coming to an end with Manna da’s demise.A legendary icon and a musical genius on his own right who ruled the bollywood musical arena close to 40 years,at times I felt he was an unsung hero.As Lataji said in an interview recently,Manna da might have received innumerable awards in his long and illustrious career,but the true worth of this musical genius would be realized only after his life time.Ironically how true were those golden words,though he received Dada Saheb Phalke award much later in his career,he would have easily qualified for Bharat Ratna.

I have always had a special love for his Bengali renditions ranging from Light Classical,Private Albums,Pujor Gaan,Rabindo Sangeet and Bengali Folk Songs.I vividly remember watching some memorable musical interviews in DD Bangla with Manna da,the most notable being the one with the famous writer Pulak Banerjee and another with the famous actor Anil Chatterjee.

His ancestral house at Girish Park is still a source of solace and inspiration to innumerable music lovers and aspiring artists not just in Bengal but across the globe.The noted Rabindo Sangeet singer Srikanto Acharya recalled an event in the past, where he had been to Durgapur with the legend for a concert and the organizer had informed that Manna da would be starting his routine riyaz at 4am in the morning and if he was interested he could partcipate.But the singer felt, it might not be the case and the practice session might start a little late.But the next day sharp at 4am the melodius voice could be heard from the hotel room in full flow.Now that’s called discipline,dedication and passion towards ones art,it’s not surprising that even at the age of 94 Manna da had the same depth and melody in his voice.As Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty said it so beautifully,instead of mourning Manna da’s demise we should rather think that it is only his body that has passed away,but his immortal music is bound to stay eternally.

As in one of his own song, “Jodi kagoje lekho naam, kagoj cchire jabe pathore lekho naam, pathor khoye jabe hridoye lekho naam, se naam roye jabe”,so let’s imprint Manna da’s name in our hearts and make his music immortal.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sankara Nethralaya Promulgates Its Mission on World Sight Day

In its indomitable spirit both in word and action, Sankara Nethralaya commemorated “World Sight day” jointly with “Scope International” on Thursday, the 10th October 2013 at the Standard Chartered Bank – Scope International premises, to draw global attention on awareness of blindness and vision debilitation.

Emphasizing the objective of understanding blindness and vision impairment as a major international public health issue, to educate target audience about blindness prevention and to influence corporate and government bodies to take part and designate funds for national blindness prevention programs. The Sankara Nethralaya team, headed by Dr.Sheila John, Head, Tele Ophthalmology and Multimedia along with Sri SVG Subramanian, Deputy Manager, CU Shah Eye Bank, Smt. Rajni Madhavan, Manager Optometry had put up stalls to demonstrate and educate on Low Vision, Computer vision syndrome, Lasik, Opticals, Eye bank and Contact Lens and to spread the message of Banishing blindness.

Scope International subtly extended support to Sankara Nethralaya’s mission by their thoughtful and simple games such as “shooting balloons”, “pinning the donkey’s tail”, “blind man’s bluff”, “blind fold drawing” and “strike and write”, all being played blind folded.

Sankara Nethralaya’s teams were seen busy with a good footfall of people querying on contact lens practice, Lasik and eye donation, while Scope members entertained the audience through their games. The day came to an end with a clear message to “Allay blindness from the face of the earth”.

Sankara Nethralaya Academy conducts a niche seminar touching on the legal aspects of healthcare delivery

With the rapid emergence of corporatisation of health care sector, extremely demanding patient segment and insurance providers for health care management, it has become imperative now than ever before for those related to health, medicine, hospitals and hospital administrators, NGOs, Trust operating hospitals to adhere and execute appropriate policy matters with respect to medical care.

To precisely meet this objective of issues relating to legal aspects, medical negligence, consumer protection, Sankara Nethralaya Academy, the education and training arm of Medical Research Foundation conducted a two day seminar on “Legal Issues relating to Hospital Administration” on 11th and 12th October 2013.

Addressing the gathering, Smt. Akila Ganesan, Registrar, The Sankara Nethralaya Academy observed that the seminar was intended to focus on challenges and issues in Health care sector and their related legal management for effective and smooth functioning of the institution.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr.Samuel Abraham, Senior Law Officer, Christian Medical College, Vellore said it was critical for any hospital management to be equipped with expertise on laws governing medical practice, particularly to handle medico legal cases.

The power packed sessions included topics on “Medical Negligence and its consequences on the reputation of hospital”, “Informed Consent and its role in consumer cases”, “Application of Consumer Protection Act to Hospitals”, “Importance of Medical records”, “Medico legal cases and role of Medical profession”, “HR issues in Hospital Administration” handled by veterans Mr. D. Samuel Abraham, Senior Law Officer, CMC Vellore, Ms.Hannah Paul, Personnel Manager, CMC Vellore and Mr. M.R. Ravishankar, advocate, Ramana Associates, Vellore, who not only offered their rich knowledge and expertise with ease to the avid listeners, but also encouraged and welcomed interactive participation.

The two day seminar included senior Administrative officers and Medical professionals from prestigious institutions like Apollo group of Hospitals, Ashwini Eye care, MS Ramaiah College, Bangalore, Gopi Hospitals, Salem, Sankara Nethralaya and SRM University.

The utterly satisfied participants remarked that the sessions enabled better understanding of the nuances on the subject to handle subtle issues with real time scenarios from the experts, who delivered maximum content on the topics within short span of time.

The seminar concluded with distribution of certificates to the participants and vote of thanks by Sri.A.Mahalingam, Assistant Registrar, The Sankara Nethralaya Academy.

Lion’s Club of Central Madras and Low Vision Clinic Mark a Unique World Sight Day

In its unwavering march for betterment of the downtrodden, the Lion’s club of Central Madras had organized week long Eye camp programs in association with Elite School of Optometry, both for public and school children across various districts of Tamil Nadu, that culminated at a function organized to donate latest electronic gadgets to patients of the Low Vision Clinic at Sankara Nethralaya.

Welcoming the gathering, Lion Vijayalakshmi Thavva, President said that the Lions Club of Central Madras was happy to be associated with Sankara Nethralaya in its various projects, particularly at the Low Vision Clinic department, when the Lion’s club of Central Madras had donated sophisticated electronic gadgets over the years from 2010, to enhance sight of patients with low vision.

Ms.Sarika, Head, Low Vision Clinic thanked the Lions Club of Central Madras for their gesture in donating the latest portable NIKI CCTV to three patients, which would greatly help them in continuing education and training. She remarked that Department of Low Vision Clinic at Sankara Nethralaya was the first of its kind in Asia fully equipped with the most sophisticated and latest gadgets.

Presenting the first NIKI CCTV to Master Manesh Kumar Reddy, a standard X student from Andhra Pradesh, Dr.SS.Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, said that over the years the gadgets had become sleek with ease of use. He recalled that the veteran freedom fighter, reformer Acharya Kripalani was presented with a low vision gadget to enhance his vision. He further added that such gadgets, currently procured from China, should soon be made indigenously.

Dr.T.S.Surendran, Vice Chairman, Sankara Nethralaya, gifted the second NIKI CCTV to Master Balaji, an 8th class student of Saraswathi Kalalaya, Mylapore and remarked that the Low Vision Clinic was on par with international standards. He quoted that visionary Sri Jayaprakash Narain was a beneficiary of such a gadget and thanked his professor JM Enoch at the Berkeley University who taught him measurements of Binoculars of varying dioptres.

Lion K.Rangarajan Region Chairman presented the third NIKI CCTV to Mr Yerru Naidu, a visually impaired school teacher in A.P, collected on his behalf by Sri.Ravindran.

The Lion’s club of Central Madras, through their good offices donated a sum Rs.21000/- for the purchase of two such gadgets.

Lion Sri Hari Narayanan, Chairman – Projects and Sight First, Lion’s Club of Central Madras, in his vote of thanks, had a high word of praise for Sankara Nethralaya and also for their Past District Governor Sri.G.V.Raman for their consistent support.

Sankara Nethralaya and its founder win high praise in a review of its biography

Eminent clinical Psychologist, Management Consulant, Educator, HR Solutions provider and Founder Director of Gemba Management Consulting Pvt Ltd, Dr R.Karthikeyan is also a visiting faculty member of the Sankara Nethralaya Academy and a great admirer of Sankara Nethralaya and its founder and Chairman Emeritus Dr SS.Badrinath. A voracious reader and literary critic he has recently reviewed the biography of Sankara Nethralaya titled ‘Insight” A passion for Compassion authored by Shri VV.Ranganathan, Shri George Skarias and Srimathi Meera Prasad. The review published in the Tamil edition of ‘The Hindu” hails Dr SS.Badrinath as a great example of a ‘Social Entrepreneur”.

பார்வை ஒன்றே போதுமே!

மஹா பெரியவர் என அழைக்கப்பட்ட காஞ்சி சங்கர மட ஸ்ரீ சந்திரசேகர சுவாமிக்கு இரண்டாம் கண்ணிலும் காடராக்ட் பாதிப்பு என்று அழைப்பு வருகிறது. முதல் கண் ஏற்கனவே முற்றிலும் பார்வை இழந்திருந்த நிலையில் இந்த சிகிச்சை மிக முக்கியமானது. தலை குளிக்காமல் இருக்க வேண்டும் என்கிற மருத்துவ அறிவுரையை தன் பூசை புணசஸ்காரத்திற்காக மீறியதால் முதல் கண் பார்வை பறி போனது. மஹா பெரியவரை யார் நிர்பந்திக்க முடியும்? தவிர யார் வைத்தியம் செய்ய வேண்டும் என்பதே அவர் முடிவு செய்வதாயிற்றே!

அவர் தேர்ந்தெடுத்த கண் மருத்துவர் டாக்டர்.பத்ரிநாத்.

பரிசோதித்துப் பார்த்ததில் அறுவை சிகிச்சை அவசியம் என்று தெரிகிறது. சுவாமியும் சம்மதிக்கிறார். வரதராஜப் பெருமாள் கோயில் அருகே ஒரு மண்டபம் அவசரமாக அறுவை சிகிச்சை மையமாக மாறுகிறது.

தன் கடமையிலிருந்து சிறிதும் தவறாமல், எல்லாம் முறைப்படி செய்கிறார்.

சிகிச்சைக்கு பின்னும் தினசரி தானே நேரில் சென்று மருந்து இட்டு பார்த்துக் கொள்கிறார். எல்லாவற்றுக்கும் ஒத்துழைத்த சுவாமி சொல்கிறார்: “ என் கண் சரியானால் தான் அவர் மருத்துவத் தொழில் செழிக்கும். இல்லாவிட்டால் தேவையில்லாத அவப்பெயர் வரும். அதனால் தான் பூரணமாக ஒத்துழைத்தேன்!”

“அந்த பூரண ஒத்துழைப்பு மட்டுமல்ல, அன்பும் ஆசீர்வாதமும் தான் “சங்கர நேத்ராலயா” துவங்க வைத்தது. இன்று தழைக்க வைத்துள்ளது” என்கிறார் டாக்டர் பத்ரிநாத்.

வி.வி.ரங்கனாதன், ஜார்ஜ் ஸ்காரியா மற்றும் மீரா பிரசாத் எழுதியுள்ள “ In- Sight: Sankara Nethralaya’s Passion for Compassion” என்கிற இந்த புத்தகம் சங்கர நேத்ராலயாவின் சரித்திரத்தை சொல்லும் முயற்சி.

“என் சரிதை எழுதுவதாக இருந்தால் புத்தகமே வேண்டாம்” என்று தீவிரமாக இருந்தவர் நேத்ராலயா பற்றிய புத்தகம் மட்டும் என்றபோது தான் சம்மதிக்கிறார். அதுவும் அனைவரையும் பேட்டியெடுத்து போடச்சொன்னார்.

என் பார்வையில் இது ஒரு நிர்வாகப் புத்தகம்.

ஒரு சமூக நோக்கமுள்ள நிறுவனம் எப்படி வெற்றிகரமாக செயல்பட வேண்டும் என்பற்கான ஆவணம்.

இன்று Social Entrepreneurship என்பது உலகம் முழுவதும் பேசப்படும் ஒரு நிறுவன வகை. தொண்டு நிறுவனங்கள் வியாபார நிறுவனங்களைப் போல திறமையாக செயல்படுதல் இதன் சிறப்பு.

சங்கர நேத்ராலயா இந்த வகையை சேர்ந்த நிறுவனம் என்பதால் இந்த புத்தகத்தை ஆய்வு செய்தல் அவசியம்.

1978ல் துவங்கிய நிறுவனம் இன்று ஆலமரமாய் வளர்ந்து மருத்துவ சிகிச்சை, ஆராய்ச்சி, கல்வி, தொழில் நுட்பம், சமூகப்பணி என இன்று ஒரு பெரும் மக்கள் நல இயக்கமாக வளர்ந்துள்ளது.

எப்படி வந்த்து இந்த வளர்ச்சி?

பல்கிவாலாவின் வார்த்தைகளில் சொல்வதானால் “சங்கர நேத்ராலயாதான் நான் பார்த்ததிலேயே மிக சிறப்பாக இயங்கும் மிக சுத்தமாகவும் உள்ள மருத்துவமனை!” தன் சொத்தில் இவர் இரண்டு கோடி எழுதி வைத்ததற்கும், டாடா குழுமத்திற்கு நன்கொடை அளிக்க பரிந்துரைத்தற்கும் நேத்ராலயாவின் கடமை மற்றும் அர்ப்பணிப்பு உணர்வு தான் காரணம்.

ஒரு வெற்றி பெற்ற நிறுவனத்திற்கு தேவையான அனைத்தும் நேத்ராலயாவில் உள்ளது புத்தகம் படிக்கையில் தெரிகிறது.

சரியான தலைமை, தலைவரின் தெளிவான பார்வை, மக்களை “முன் மாதிரி”யாக வழி நட்த்தல், தொழில் திறன், சந்தை பற்றிய அறிவு, மாற்றங்களை சுலபமாக ஏற்றுக்கொள்ளுதல், சமரசம் செய்து கொள்ளாத அடிப்படை விழுமியங்கள், ஒளிவு மறைவு இல்லாத வழிமுறைகள்...இப்படி அடுக்கிக் கொண்டே போகலாம்.

சில எண்ணங்களும் செயல்பாடுகளும் குறிப்பிடத்தகுந்தது.

மிக ஆரம்ப காலத்திலேயே தனியுரிமை தவிர்த்து, டிரஸ்ட், சொசைட்டி என பிறர் கண்காணிப்பில், ஆதரவில் மருத்துவ மனையை வளர்க்க நினைத்தார் டாக்டர். பத்ரிநாத். அதே போல் மற்ற கண் மருத்துவமனைகளை போட்டியாளர்களாகப் பார்க்காமல் எல்லாருடனும் கூட்டு செயல்பாடுகளை ஊக்குவிக்கிறார். அணுகுமுறையில் நேர் எதிரான அப்போலோ மருத்துவ மனை அதிபர் டாக்டர் பிரதாப் ரெட்டி இவருக்கு சிறந்த நண்பர்.

இந்த மருத்துவமனயில் சிகிச்சை பெற்றவர்களில் பிரபலங்கள் பட்டியல் ரொம்ப நீளம். எம். எஸ். சுப்புலட்சுமி நிதி திரட்டுவதற்காக பாடியிருக்கிறார். உலகப் புகழ் நிர்வாக மேதை சி.கே.பிரகலாத் நேத்ராலயாவிற்கு நிதி திரட்ட அமெரிக்காவில் உரை நிகழ்த்தினார். ரஜினிகாந்த் நடிக்க இயக்குனர் எஸ்.பி. முத்துராமன் படம் எடுத்து கொடுத்துள்ளார்.

புத்தகத்தின் ஒவ்வொரு அத்தியாயத்திலும் டாஃபே மல்லிகா ஸ்ரீனிவாசன், எல் & டி நாயக், ஹெச்.எஃப்.டி.சி. தீபக் பரேக், தி இந்து முரளி, பார்த்தி மிட்டல், அப்போலோ பிரதாப் ரெட்டி என கனமான மனிதர்களின் கனமான பங்களிப்பு. ஹார்வர்ட் பிசினெஸ் ரெவ்யூ படிக்கிற உணர்வு.

உலகின் தலை சிறந்த நிறுவனங்கள் மற்றும் மனிதர்களின் தொடர்போடும் ஆதரவோடும் ஏழை இந்தியாவின் பார்வை ஒன்று மட்டுமே தங்கள் இலக்கு என தொண்டு புரிகிறது நேத்ராலயா.

வருங்கால சவால்களையும் அலசுகிறது புத்தகம். தொழில் நுட்பமோ, நிதியோ, சேவை முறைகளோ நிஜமான சவால்கள் அல்ல. மனித வளம் தான் வருங்கால சவால் என்கிறது.

டேவிட் போர்ன்ஸ்டென் “சமூகத் தொழிலதிபர்கள் (social entrepreneurs) ” பற்றி கூறுகையில் அவர்களுக்கு 6 குணங்களை ஆதாரமாக்க் கூறுகிறார்:

தன்னை திருத்திக் கொள்ள/மாற்றிக் கொள்ள எப்பொழுதும் தயாராக இருத்தல்

வருவதை பங்கிடத் தயாராக இருத்தல்

பழைய நிறுவன கட்டமைப்புகளிலிருந்து விடுபடுதல்

மற்ற துறையினருடன் உறவாட தயாராக இருத்தல்

அமைதியாக ஆராவாரம் இல்லாமல் பணியாற்றல்

அப்பழுக்கில்லாத ஒழுக்கம் காத்தல்

இவை அனைத்தும் சங்கர நேத்ராலயாவிற்கும் டாக்டர் பத்ரி நாத்திற்கும் பொருந்தும்.

ஒவ்வொரு சமூக பணியாளரும் தொழில் முனைவரும் அவசியம் படிக்க வேண்டிய நூல்.

சமூகத்திற்கு உதவும் பிசினஸ் ஐடியா உள்ளதா? ஒரு முறை சங்கரா சங்கரா என்று நேத்ராலயாவை சுற்றிப் பாருங்கள்.அல்லது இந்த புத்தகத்தை படியுங்கள்!

டாக்டர். ஆர்.கார்த்திகேயன் - gemba.karthikeyan@gmail.com

Health Care Supply Chain Course

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Article written by Dr R Karthikeyan,Management Consultant in "THE HINDU" Tamil edition

HH Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Swamiji

“A Visual Rhapsody”

An exhaustive pictorial essay providing rare glimpses into the memorable moments and major events in the life of His Holiness Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal, aptly titled as “A Visual Rhapsody” has been brought out by the Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal Platinum Jubilee Charitable Trust, Bangalore.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Communicate well,Celebrate well !!

Sometimes our Communication KILLS because we were not taught Communication SKILLS !

Communication is one distinct quality that distinguishes human beings from all the rest.

Communication is the life-blood of all relationships – personal, inter-personal and professional. Ineffective communication can contribute to the equivalent of Cardio-vascular problems.

All the successful leaders, all over the world, irrespective of their field of activity, were excellent in communication skills.

Abraham Lincoln, John F Kennedy, Marin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Mujibur Rahman, Benazir Bhutto were all too powerful Communicators.

Given a million people and an hour to talk to them, these Leaders can change the mind-set of every single one of them.

But, please note: They were all shot dead – because no one in the world could control them.

Negative Inference:
If you are good at Communication, you will get killed.

Positive inference:
Communication is one of THE MOST POWERFUL TOOLS !

Conclusion : One need not be too very good, but one definitely needs to be real good in Communication to come up in life, to get and stay connected to others and also to contribute to the society at large !

Communication can be broadly classified into two main areas – Verbal language and non-verbal language ( or body language ).

Body Language is a new Language – an International Language !

‘More human communications take place by means of Postures, Gestures, Eyes and distances, than through any other means of communication’, says Dr. Birdwhistell

It is only through our senses that we get to connect to the world and hence paying more attention to and being sharp in making use of our senses – consciously and sub-consciously – all of us can stand to benefit a lot.

Communicate well, Celebrate well !

Scientific Journal of Medical & Vision Research Foundation on your Mobile,ipad & Tablet

Happy "Eid al Fitr 2013"

Wishing a very Happy "Eid al Fitr 2013" to one and all.

May ALLAH protect us,bless us and bring success in all our endeavours to serve mankind and humanity.May the provision of TAQWA assist us in life.

Venkataramanan Ramasethu

Monday, October 14, 2013

Abhirami Andadi Recitation @ VED BHAVAN Kolkata

na hi jnanena sadrsam pavitram iha vidyate |

न हि ज्ञानेना सदृशम पवित्रमिह विद्यते |
Gita Ch. 4, Sloka No. 38
Certainly, there is no purifier in this world like knowledge.

Dear Devotees,



Vijaya Varsha Varshika Sarada Navarathri went on well with the Blessings of Goddess Kamakshi and Acharyals.

We like to inform you that Abhirami Andadi Recitation which was held during Navarathri period and will be continued on every Pournami day starting from Friday, 18th October, 2013 (Lakshmi Pooja Day)

16.10.2013 4.30 P M - Pradosam Pooja


18.10.2013 MORNING 9.30 A M - Devi Mahatmya Parayanam

18.10.2013 EVENING 4.00 P M - Abhirami Andadi Recitation

All are requested to participate in the above programme.


“Ved Bhavan”
50, Lake Avenue,
Kolkata – 700 026.
* vedbhavankolkata@gmail.com
( +91 33 2463 9049
È +91 98309 69488

Bangalee chokhe jol keno....

Subho Bjoyar preeti,subhhechha o bhalobasha janai....

Mon matano charte din
Dashami te holo molin;
Bishorjoner korun sur
Asche bochhor onek dur;
Notun ashay buk bhore tai
Esho MAA ke biday janai....
Subho Bjoyar preeti,subhhechha o
bhalobasha janai.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Behavioral vision care has grown well beyond the Black Book Analytical


Over the years, SECI has become an institution that is known for affordable, super-specialty eye care, while firmly believing that increased accessibility to such services is the key to eliminating needless blindness in India. The vision of Sankara was born from the need to provide quality eye care to everyone, regardless of socio-economic, religious, linguistic and geographical backgrounds. Sankara is an academic oriented teaching institute imparting training for ophthalmology, Optometry and other programs. To take the educational initiative forward SECI has tied up with OEPF (optometric extension program foundation, USA) to provide education to optometrists and vision therapists in the field of behavioral therapy.

There are a number of patients with behavioral problems like Dyslexia, Autism, ADD, ADHD etc who can be helped with vision therapy, vision training and behavioral therapies. We have only a handful of optometrists and therapists who are trained to handle these issues. It is an earnest step forward on the part of SECI, to invite stalwarts in this field to train our professionals.

Course Description

Dates: 29th Nov 2013 – 3rd Dec 2013

The Behavioral Vision Care (BVC) course has been the entry point into behavioral vision care for many optometrists worldwide. Vision is the dominant process in humans and the BVC course is built upon this. The attendees learn the core philosophy and how to put it into action. This includes understanding an expanded definition of “vision” as well as “function alters structure” and “most visual problems are problems of omission.” Attendees typically come away with a much broader understanding of the development of various refractive conditions and how to either prevent future negative shifts or how to guide the patient to less adapted visual conditions. Prescribing patterns are usually altered significantly so that the attendee knows how to use lenses in a much more powerful way. When can you prescribe something other than what you measure? When should you prescribe something other than what you measure? How far can you deviate from your measurements in either the amount of sphere or cylinder power or the cylinder axis or the amount of aniso? Why would you ever prescribe a lens through which a person does not see optimally sharp through? Why would some people have trouble adjusting to a prescription through which they see optimally well? What lenses optimize visual performance? Why would one ever prescribe prisms with the bases in the same direction (yoked prisms)? These questions and many more are dealt with directly in the first course of the core curriculum.

Behavioral vision care has grown well beyond the Black Book Analytical. This course provides the participants with answers to the question “Why?” while providing the scientific and neurological basis for understanding human behavior. Participants will emerge with a new respect for the power of lenses as well as understanding the process and underlying physiological changes as patients build refractive and other visual conditions. Rather than being given a cook book approach to diagnosis and treatment, the goal of this course is the nurturing of master chefs of behavioral vision care.


Dr. Paul Alan Harris

Dr. Paul Alan Harris is a 1979 Graduate of the State University of New York, State College of Optometry in practice in Baltimore, MD. His accreditations include Fellowships in the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (1984), the Australasian College of Behavioral Optometry (1993), and the American Academy of Optometry (1999). He has published two series for the Optometric Extension Program Foundation (OEPF), an organization that he currently serves as the President.

The Optometric Editor’s Council voted his series, “Unique Services and Your Success”. Dr. Harris also authored the award winning Journal of Optometric Vision Development article, “Toward a Unified Theory of Vision”. Dr. Harris is a researcher and teacher. In the late 1980’s he published, "The Prevalence of Visual Conditions in a Population of Juvenile Delinquents" in the Journal of the American Optometric Association and currently serves as the chief investigator of a program looking at vision therapy in the Baltimore City Public Schools. In 1991 Dr. Harris founded the Baltimore Academy for Behavioral Optometry (BABO) to help expand the quantity and quality of behavioral optometric care available to the public. These courses are now part of the clinical offerings of the Optometric Extension Program Foundation (OEPF) and are known as the OEPF Clinical Curriculum. These courses provide hands-on small-group post-graduate clinical education in the field of behavioral vision care. Over 750 optometrists in the US and abroad have taken part in one or more of these course offerings. Currently he is the chair of pediatric and vision therapy department at Southern college of optometry, Memphis.

All the inquiries may be directed to


Senior Healthcare professionals find The SN Academy Hospital Financial Management Course Outstanding

The Sankara Nethralaya Academy, the academic arm of Sankara Nethralaya which has carved a niche for itself among Health care and Hospital Management professionals with its trailblazing courses in these subjects like MBA in Hospital & Healthcare Management, Certificate Course in Hospital Management and Post Graduate program in Optical Retail Management, launched the ‘Certificate Course in Hospital Financial Management (CCHFM)’ a highly specialized course to enable finance personnel, administrators and planners of healthcare institutions to better analyze financial data and understand the implications of financial performance of their institutions, the nuances of financial management, ranging from Accounting and Finance to planning and budget reviews and reporting financial outcomes, on the 6th of July 2013

Hospital Financial Management assumes vital importance in the field of healthcare as it decides the cost of Medicare to the patients and the bottom line to the hospital which delivers it.

The program conducted on a weekend pattern on Saturdays between 3:00pm to 6:00pm for duration of 12 weeks was well received with senior management personnel like Senior Director and Senior Manager from reputed healthcare institutions in the city enrolling in it.

This course was handled by Shri PR. Ravindran, ACA, CWA, Management Consultant and former Chief General Manager, Sankara Nethralaya, a highly experienced and seasoned financial professional with long years of experience in diverse areas of financial management in the manufacturing, service and health care sectors.

Participants at the course were highly appreciative of the modules of financial management that were carefully chosen and presented with ease of understanding. “Earlier, we had no idea about finance management, though we’ve been in the hospital sector for 17 years”, said Sri George Cherian, Director – Admin, Madras Medical Mission. “The “costing” modules were highly informative”, quoted Sri. Margabandu, Administrator, Ashwini Eye Care, and preferred to have more schedules covering modules such as operation theatre aseptics and patient management. Ms Sharadha Narendran, Admin Officer, The B A S E – Hospital, added the course knowledge supplemented her to effectively plan costing and capital expenditure. Dr. Jeyaraju, Medical Superintendent, Madras Medical Mission, one of the key participants, humoursly added that their co-student Margabandhu was their ‘leader’ who did all the homework while all others got their doubts cleared with him. Sri. Rajesh, Senior Manager, Be Well Hospital quoted that the course was well integrated and informative, while Mr. KPT Kannan of the tele ophthalmology department was particular about MIS reporting. Dr. Sheila John, HOD, Tele Ophthalmology Department thanked Sri. PR Ravindran, former CGM and faculty for the course, for the valuable training imparted that helped her in formulating Funding proposals for projects, Mrs. Shyamala Selvaraj, DGM – Quality Management, Sankara Nethralaya observed that Financial management was both complex and strange to her till she attended the class and appreciated that “it was down to earth”.

The unique program spanning over 12 sessions successfully ended on 28.09.2013 with the awarding of certificates to the participants by Sri. P.R.Ravindran after which he was honoured by Dr Sheila John, HOD, Tele Ophthalmology, Sankara Nethralaya for his able and professional manner of conducting the course and Vote of Thanks by the Program coordinator and Assistant Registrar Shri A. Mahalingam, who utilized the opportunity to announce other important health care management courses conducted by the Sankara Nethralaya Academy, like Certified course in Healthcare in Supply Chain Management, etc.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Reducing Dropouts & Making a Profitable Practice

The Ophthalmic forum of the Indian Society of Anesthesiologists conducts its 2nd Conference

The 2nd conference of the ophthalmic forum of Indian Society of Anesthesiologists (OFISACON) was held at Cochin, Kerala on the 14th&15th of September 2013. The niche and high level event drew a good number of national and international participants, comprising both anesthesiologists and ophthalmologists. Sankara Nethralaya which played a major role in the forming of this critical interdisciplinary body was represented by Dr Jagadeesh V, Dr. Jaichandran V.V, Dr. S. Lakshmi Prasanna Dr. Pramod Bhende and Dr. Saurabh Mistry doing his (1st year PG) who presented a free paper titled “A rare cause of orbital inflammation after peribulbaranaesthesia: Unraveling the Gordian’s knot”.

The conference brought together anesthesiologists and ophthalmologists into one forum to enable a high level interaction and to discuss the latest developments in both fields, paving the way for better co-ordination among these professionals, which would lead to safer surgeries and better patient comfort

It was a great learning experience for the participants touching upon new aspects of ophthalmic anesthesia and a wonderful platform to meet participants from across the world and exchange ideas with them, the workshop also provided hands-on training on various regional block techniques on goat’s eyes.

The 1st prize in the free paper session was won by Dr.Jaichandran V.V (Peribulbaranaesthesia: A prospective analysis of the efficacy of lignocaine/bupivacaine mixture for vitreoretinal surgery) the 2nd prize in the Quiz competition based on topics comprising anaesthesia, ophthalmology and general knowledge was bagged by Dr.Saurabh Mistry. The high level learning and real time understanding of both anesthesiology and ophthalmology enabled by the meet would add great value to both professionals. In conclusion it could be said that the 2nd OFISACON was a grand success and a truly enriching experience to all the participants.

Seminar on Legal Issues Relating to Hospital Administration on 11 and 12th October 2013 (Friday & Saturday) from The Sankara Nethralaya Academy, Chennai

Greetings from The Sankara Nethralaya Academy, Chennai!

We are sure you would agree with us that a well conducted seminar is a great way to enhance the understanding and scope of any subject or field of activity among both the target audience and the general public. Seminars provide the ideal platform for a vibrant exchange of ideas, experiences and expertise and the much needed real time learning from a cross section of people.

The overwhelming response that we received for the recent seminars conducted in the critical areas of Healthcare Management like HR in Healthcare, Customer Care in Hospitals and Materials Management for Hospitals, topical seminar in Hospital Management and the resultant learning have come as a major boost and encouragement to us to conduct this highly topical and relevant seminar on Legal Issues Relating to Hospital Administration on 11 and 12th October 2013(Friday & Saturday)

This highly interactive seminar would also witness in-depth presentations on the topics by experts and respective industry leaders.It would be of great value to have you and few of your interested colleagues in this seminar.

Seminar details and Registration details will be available soon at our website: http://www.thesnacademy.ac.in and To know more and registration for this unique seminar please write to: mahali@snmail.org / contact: 97104 85295.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Why do we do aarati?

Towards the end of every ritualistic worship (pooja or bhajan) of the Lord or to welcome an honored guest or saint, we perform the aarati. This is always accompanied by the ringing of the bell and sometimes by singing, playing of musical instruments and clapping.

It is one of the sixteen steps (shodasha upachaara) of the pooja ritual. It is referred to as the lighted lamp in the right hand, which we wave in a clockwise circling movement to light the entire form of the Lord.

Each part is revealed individually and also the entire form of the Lord. As the light is waved we either do mental or loud chanting of prayers or simply behold the beautiful form of the Lord, illumined by the lamp. At the end of the aarati we place our hands over the flame and then gently touch our eyes and the top of the head.

We have seen and participated in this ritual from our childhood. Let us find out why we do the aarati?

Having worshipped the Lord of love - performing abhisheka, decorating the image and offering fruits and delicacies, we see the beauty of the Lord in all His glory. Our minds are focused on each limb of the Lord as the lamp lights it up. It is akin to silent open-eyed meditation on His beauty. The singing, clapping, ringing of the bell etc. denote the joy and auspiciousness, which accompanies the vision of the Lord.

Aarati is often performed with camphor. This holds a telling spiritual significance. Camphor when lit, burns itself out completely without leaving a trace of it. It represents our inherent tendencies (vaasanas). When lit by the fire of knowledge which illumines the Lord (Truth), our vaasanas thereafter burn themselves out completely, not leaving a trace of ego which creates in us a sense of individuality that keeps us separate from the Lord.

Also while camphor burns to reveal the glory of Lord, it emits a pleasant perfume even while it sacrifices itself. In our spiritual progress, even as we serve the guru and society, we should willingly sacrifice ourselves and all we have, to spread the "perfume" of love to all. We often wait a long while to see the illumined Lord but when the aarati is actually performed, our eyes close automatically as if to look within. This is to signify that each of us is a temple of the Lord.

Just as the priest reveals the form of the Lord clearly with the aarati flame, so too the guru reveals to us the divinity within each of us with the help of the "flame" of knowledge (or the light of spiritual knowledge). At the end of the aarati, we place our hands over the flame and then touch our eyes and the top of the head. It means - may the light that illuminated the Lord light up my vision; may my vision be divine and my thoughts noble and beautiful.

The philosophical meaning of aarati extends further. The sun, moon, stars, lightning and fire are the natural sources of light. The Lord is the source of this wonderous phenomenon of the universe. It is due to Him alone that all else exist and shine. As we light up the Lord with the flame of the aarati, we turn our attention to the very source of all light, which symbolizes knowledge and life.

Also the sun is the presiding deity of the intellect, the moon, that of the mind, and fire, that of speech. The Lord is the supreme consciousness that illuminates all of them. Without Him, the intellect cannot think, nor can the mind feel nor the tongue speaks. The Lord is beyond the mind, intellect and speech. How can this finite equipment illuminate the Lord? Therefore, as we perform the aarati we chant;

Na tatra suryo bhaati na chandra taarakam Nemaa vidyuto bhaanti kutoyamagnib Tameva bhaantam anubhaati sarvam Tasya bhasa sarvam idam vibhaati

He is there where the sun does not shine, Nor the moon, stars and lightning. then what to talk of this small flame (in my hand), Everything (in the universe) shines only after the Lord, And by His light alone are we all illumined.

Why do we chant Om?

Om is one of the most chanted sound symbols in India. It has a profound effect on the body and mind of the one who chants and also on the surroundings. Most mantras and vedic prayers start with Om.

All auspicious actions begin with Om. It is even used as a greeting - Om, Hari Om etc. It is repeated as a mantra or meditated upon. Its form is worshipped, contemplated upon or used as an auspicious sign.

Om is the universal name of the Lord. It is made up of the letters A (phonetically as in "around"), U (phonetically as in "put") and M (phonetically as in "mum"). The sound emerging from the vocal chords starts from the base of the throat as "A". With the coming together of the lips, "U" is formed and when the lips are closed, all sounds end in "M".

The three letters symbolize the three states (waking, dream and deep sleep), the three deities (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva), the three Vedas (Rig, Yajur and Sama) the three worlds (Bhuh, Bhuvah, Suvah) etc. The Lord is all these and beyond.

The formless, attributeless Lord (Brahman) is represented by the silence between two Om Chants. Om is also called pranava that means, "that (symbol or sound) by which the Lord is praised". The entire essence of the Vedas is enshrined in the word Om. It is said that the Lord started creating the world after chanting Om and atha. Hence its sound is considered to create an auspicious beginning for any task that we undertake. The Om chant should have the resounding sound of a bell (aaooommm).

Om is written in different ways in different places. The most common form symbolizes Lord Ganesha’s. The upper curve is the head; the lower large one, the stomach; the side one, the trunk; and the semi-circular mark with the dot, the sweetmeat ball (modaka) in Lord Ganesha's hand. Thus Om symbolizes everything - the means and the goal of life, the world and the Truth behind it, the material and the Sacred, all form and the Formless.

Why do we offer coconut?

In India one of the most common offerings in a temple is a coconut. It is also offered on occasions like weddings, festivals, the use of a new vehicle, bridge, house etc. It is offered in the sacrificial fire whilst performing homa. The coconut is broken and placed before the Lord. It is later distributed as prasaada.

The fibre covering of the dried coconut is removed except for a tuft on the top. The marks on the coconut make it look like the head of a human being. The coconut is broken, symbolising the breaking of the ego. The juice within, representing the inner tendencies (vaasanas) is offered along with the white kernel - the mind, to the Lord.

A mind thus purified by the touch of the Lord is used as prasaada ( a holy gift). In the traditional abhishekha ritual done in all temples and many homes, several materials are poured over the deity like milk, curd, honey, tender coconut water, sandal paste, holy ash etc. Each material has a specific significance of bestowing certain benefits on worshippers. Tender coconut water is used in abhisheka rituals since it is believed to bestow spiritual growth on the seeker.

The coconut also symbolises selfless service. Every part of the tree -the trunk, leaves, fruit, coir etc. Is used in innumerable ways like thatches, mats, tasty dishes, oil, soap etc. It takes in even salty water from the earth and converts it into sweet nutritive water that is especially beneficial to sick people. It is used in the preparation of many ayurvedic medicines and in other alternative medicinal systems.

The marks on the coconut are even thought to represent the three-eyed Lord Shiva and therefore it is considered to be a means to fulfill our desires.

Why do we say shaanti thrice?

Shaanti, meaning "peace", is a natural state of being. Disturbances are created either by others or us. For example, peace already exists in a place until someone makes noise.

Therefore, peace underlies all our agitations. When agitations end, peace is naturally experienced since it was already there. Where there is peace, there is happiness. Therefore, every one without exception desires peace in his/her life.

However, peace within or without seems very hard to attain because it is covered by our own agitations. A rare few manage to remain peaceful within even in the midst of external agitation and troubles. To invoke peace, we chant prayers. By chanting prayers, troubles end and peace is experienced internally, irrespective of the external disturbances. All such prayers end by chanting shaanti thrice.

It is believed that trivaram satyam - that which is said thrice comes true. For emphasizing a point we repeat a thing thrice. In the court of law also, one who takes the witness stands says, "I shall speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth".
We chant shaanti thrice to emphasise our intense desire for peace. All obstacles, problems and sorrows originate from three sources.
Aadhidaivika : The unseen divine forces over which we have little or no control like earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions etc.
Aadhibhautika: The known factors around us like accidents, human contacts, pollution, crime etc.

Aadhyaatmika : We sincerely pray to the Lord that at least while we undertake special tasks or even in our daily lives, there are no problems or that, problems are minimised from the three sources written about above.

May peace alone prevail. Hence shaanti is chanted thrice.

It is chanted aloud the first time, addressing the unseen forces. It is chanted softer the second time, directed to our immediate surroundings and those around, and softest the last time as it is addressed to oneself.

Why do we blow the conch?

When the conch is blown, the primordial sound of Om emanates. Om is an auspicious sound that was chanted by the Lord before creating the world. It represents the world and the Truth behind it.

As the story goes, the demon Shankhaasura defeated devas, the Vedas and went to the bottom of the ocean. The devas appealed to Lord Vishnu for help. He incarnated as Matsya Avataara - the "fish incarnation" and killed Shankhaasura. The Lord blew the conch-shaped bone of his ear and head. The Om sound emanated, from which emerged the Vedas.

All knowledge enshrined in the Vedas is an elaboration of Om. The conch therefore is known as shankha after Shankaasua. The conch blown by the Lord is called Paanchajanya. He carries it at all times in one of His four hands.
It represents dharma or righteousness that is one of the four goals (purushaarthas) of life. The sound of the conch is thus also the victory call of good over evil.

Another well-known purpose of blowing the conch and the instruments, known traditionally to produce auspicious sounds is to drown or mask negative comments or noises that may disturb or upset the atmosphere or the minds of worshippers.

Ancient India lived in her villages. Each village was presided over by a primary temple and several small ones. During the aarati performed after all-important poojas and on sacred occasions, the conch used to be blown. Since villages were generally small, the sound of the conch would be heard all over the village. People who could not make it to the temple were reminded to stop whatever they were doing, at least for a few seconds, and mentally bow to the Lord. The conch sound served to briefly elevate people's minds to a prayerful attitude even in the middle of their busy daily routine.

The conch is placed at the altar in temples and homes next to the Lord as a symbol of Naada Brahma (Truth), the Vedas, Om, dharma, victory and auspiciousness. It is often used to offer devotees thirtha (sanctified water) to raise their minds to the highest Truth. It is worshipped with the following verse.

Twam puraa saagarot pannaha Vishnunaa vidhrutahakare Devaischa poojitha sarvahi Panchjanya namostu te

Salutations to Panchajanya the conch born of the ocean Held in the hand of Lord Vishnu and worshipped by all devaas

Why do we worship tulasi?

In Sanskrit, tulanaa naasti athaiva tulasi - that which is incomparable (in its qualities) is the tulasi
For Indians it is one of the most sacred plants. In fact it is known to be the only thing used in worship, which, once used, can be washed and reused in pooja - as it is regarded so self-purifying.

As one story goes, Tulasi was the devoted wife of Shankhachuda, a celestial being. She believed that Lord Krishna tricked her into sinning. So she cursed Him to become a stone (shaaligraama). Seeing her devotion and adhered to righteousness, the Lord blessed her saying that she would become the worshipped plant, tulasi that would adorn His head.

Also that all offerings would be incomplete without the tulasi leaf - hence the worship of tulasi.

She also symbolises Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Lord Vishnu. Those who wish to be righteous and have a happy family life worship the tulasi.

Tulasi is married to the Lord with all pomp and show as in any wedding.

This is because according to another legend, the Lord blessed her to be His consort. Satyabhama once weighed Lord Krishna against all her legendary wealth. The scales did not balance till a single tulasi leaf was placed along with the wealth on the scale by Rukmini with devotion.

Thus the tulasi played the vital role of demonstrating to the world that even a small object offered with devotion means more to the Lord than all the wealth in the world.

The tulasi leaf has great medicinal value and is used to cure various ailments, including the common cold.

Yanmule sarvatirhaani Yannagre sarvadevataa Yanmadhye sarvavedaascha Tulasi taam namaamyaham

I bow down to the tulasi, At whose base are all the holy places, At whose top reside all the deities and In whose middle are all the Vedas.

Why do we consider the lotus as special?

The lotus is the symbol of truth, auspiciousness and beauty (satyam, shivam, sundaram). The Lord is also that nature and therefore, His various aspects are compared to a lotus (i.e. lotus-eyes, lotus feet, lotus hands, the lotus of the heart etc.).
The lotus blooms with the rising sun and close at night. Similarly, our minds open up and expand with the light of knowledge. The lotus grows even in slushy areas. It remains beautiful and untainted despite its surroundings, reminding us that we too can and should strive to remain pure and beautiful within, under all circumstances.

The lotus leaf never gets wet even though it is always in water. It symbolizes the man of wisdom (gyaani) who remains ever joyous, unaffected by the world of sorrow and change. This is revealed in a shloka from the Bhagwad-Geeta:

Brahmanyaadhaaya karmaani Sangam tyaktvaa karoti yaha Lipyate na sa paapena Padma patram ivaambhasaa

He who does actions, offering them to Brahman (the Supreme), abandoning attachment, is not tainted by sin, just as a lotus leaf remains unaffected by the water on it.

From this, we learn that what is natural to the man of wisdom becomes a discipline to be practiced by all saadhakas or spiritual seekers and devotees. Our bodies have certain energy centers described in the Yoga Shaastras as chakras.

Each one is associated with lotus that has a certain number of petals. For example, a lotus with a thousand petals represents the Sahasra chakra at the top of the head, which opens when the yogi attains Godhood or Realisation. Also, the lotus posture (padmaasana) is recommended when one sits for meditation. A lotus emerged from the navel of Lord Vishnu. Lord Brahma originated from it to create the world. Hence, the lotus symbolizes the link between the creator and the supreme Cause.

It also symbolizes Brahmaloka, the abode of Lord Brahma. The auspicious sign of the swastika is said to have evolved from the lotus.

Why do we worship the kalasha?

First of all what is a kalasha? A brass, mud or copper pot is filled with water. Mango leaves are placed in the mouth of the pot and a coconut is placed over it. A red or white thread is tied around its neck or sometimes all around it in a intricate diamond-shaped pattern. The pot may be decorated wit designs. Such a pot is known as a kalasha.

When the pot is filled with water or rice, it is known as purnakumbha representing the inert body which when filled with the divine life force gains the power to do all the wonderful things that makes life what it is.

A kalasha is placed with due rituals on all-important occasions like the traditional house warming (grihapravesa), wedding, daily worship etc. It is placed near the entrance as a sign of welcome. It is also used in a traditional manner while receiving holy personages. Why do we worship the kalasha? Before the creation came into being, Lord Vishnu was reclining on His snake-bed in the milky ocean. From His navel emerged a lotus from which appeared Lord Brahma, the creator, who thereafter created this world.
The water in the kalasha symbolizes the primordial water from which the entire creation emerged. It is the giver of life to all and has the potential of creating innumerable names and forms, the inert objects and the sentient beings and all that is auspicious in the world from the energy behind the universe. The leaves and coconut represent creation.

The thread represents the love that "binds" all in creation. The kalasha is therefore considered auspicious and worshipped. The waters from all the holy rivers, the knowledge of all the Vedas and the blessings of all the deities are invoked in the kalasha and its water is thereafter used for all the rituals, including the abhisheka.

The consecration (kumbhaabhisheka) of a temple is done in a grand manner with elaborate rituals including the pouring of one or more kalashas of holy water on the top of the temple. When the asuras and devas churned the milky ocean, the Lord appeared bearing the pot of nectar, which blessed one with everlasting life.

Thus the kalasha also symbolizes immortality. Men of wisdom are full and complete as they identify with the infinite Truth (poornatvam). They brim with joy and love and respect all that is auspicious. We greet them with a purnakumbha ("full pot") acknowledging their greatness and as a sign of respectful and reverential welcome, with a "full heart".

Why do we ring the bell in a temple?

Is it to wake up the Lord? But the Lord never sleeps. Is it to let the Lord know we have come? He does not need to be told, as He is all knowing. Is it a form of seeking permission to enter His precinct? It is a homecoming and therefore entry needs no permission. The Lord welcomes us at all times. Then why do we ring the bell?

The ringing of the bell produces what is regarded as an auspicious sound. It produces the sound Om, the universal name of the Lord. There should be auspiciousness within and without, to gain the vision of the Lord who is all-auspiciousness.

Even while doing the ritualistic aarati, we ring the bell. It is sometimes accompanied by the auspicious sounds of the conch and other musical instruments. An added significance of ringing the bell, conch and other instruments is that they help drowned any inauspicious or irrelevant noises and comments that might disturb or distract the worshippers in their devotional ardour, concentration and inner peace.

As we start the daily ritualistic worship (pooja) we ring the bell, chanting:

Aagamaarthamtu devaanaam gamanaarthamtu rakshasaam Kurve ghantaaravam tatra devataahvaahna lakshanam

I ring this bell indicating the invocation of divinity, So that virtuous and noble forces enter (my home and heart); and the demonic and evil forces from within and without, depart.

Why do we regard trees and plants as sacred?

The Lord, the life in us, pervades all living beings, be they plants or animals. Hence, they are all regarded as sacred. Human life on earth depends on plants and trees. They give us the vital factors that make life possible on earth: food, oxygen, clothing, shelter, medicines etc.

Hence, in India, we are taught to regard trees and plants as sacred. Indians scriptures tell us to plant ten trees if, for any reason, we have to cut one. We are advised to use parts of trees and plants only as much as is needed for food, fuel, shelter etc. we are also urged to apologies to a plant or tree before cutting it to avoid incurring a specific sin named soona.

Certain trees and plants like tulasi, peepal etc., which have tremendous beneficial qualities, are worshipped till today. It is believed that divine beings manifest as trees and plants, and many people worship them to fulfill their desires or to please the Lord.

Why is pradakshina done only in a clockwise manner?

The reason is not, as a person said, to avoid a traffic jam! As we do pradakshina, the Lord is always on our right. In India the right side symbolizes auspiciousness. So as we circumambulate the sanctum sanctorum we remind ourselves to lead an auspicious life of righteousness, with the Lord who is the indispensable source of help and strength, as our guide - the "right hand".

Indian scriptures enjoin - matrudevo bhava, pitrudevo bhava, acharyadevo bhava. May you consider your parents and teachers as you would the Lord. With this in mind we also do pradakshina around our parents and divine personages.

After the completion of traditional worship (pooja), we customarily do pradakshina around ourselves. In this way we recognize and remember the supreme divinity within us, which alone is idolized in the form of the Lord that we worship outside.

Why do we do pradakshina (circumambulate)?

We cannot draw a circle without a center point. The Lord is the center, source and essence of our lives. Recognizing Him as the focal point in our lives, we go about doing our daily chores. This is the significance of pradakshina.
Also every point on the circumference of a circle is equidistant from the center. This means that wherever or whoever we may be, we are equally close to the Lord. His grace flows towards us without partiality.

Why do we fast?

Most devout Indians fast regularly or on special occasions like festivals. On such days they do not eat at all, eat once or make do with fruits or a special diet of simple food.

Fasting in Sanskrit is called upavaasa. Upa means "near" + vaasa means "to stay". Upavaasa therefore means staying near (the Lord), meaning the attainment of close mental proximity with the Lord. Then what has upavaasa to do with food?

A lot of our time and energy is spent in procuring food items, preparing, cooking, eating and digesting food. Certain food types make our minds dull and agitated. Hence on certain days man decides to save time and conserve his energy by eating either simple, light food or totally abstaining from eating so that his mind becomes alert and pure. The mind, otherwise pre-occupied by the thought of food, now entertains noble thoughts and stays with the Lord. Since it is a self-imposed form of discipline it is usually adhered to with joy

Also every system needs a break and an overhaul to work at its best. Rest and a change of diet during fasting is very good for the digestive system and the entire body.

The more you indulge the senses, the more they make their demands. Fasting helps us to cultivate control over our senses, sublimate our desires and guide our minds to be poised and at peace.

Fasting should not make us weak, irritable or create an urge to indulge later. This happens when there is no noble goal behind fasting.

The Bhagavad-Gita urges us to eat appropriately - neither too less nor too much - yukta-aahaara and to eat simple, pure and healthy food (a saatvik diet) even when not fasting.

Why do offer food to the Lord before eating it?

Indians make an offering of food to the Lord and later partake of it as prasaada - a holy gift from the Lord. In our daily ritualistic worship (pooja) too we offer naivedyam (food) to the Lord.

The Lord is omnipotent and omniscient. Man is a part, while the Lord is the totality. All that we do is by His strength and knowledge alone. Hence what we receive in life as a result of our actions is really His alone. We acknowledge this through the act of offering food to Him. This is exemplified by the Hindi words "tera tujko arpan"– I offer what is Yours to You. Thereafter it is akin to His gift to us, graced by His divine touch.

Knowing this, our entire attitude to food and the act of eating changes. The food offered will naturally be pure and the best. We share what we get with others before consuming it. We do not demand, complain or criticise the quality of the food we get. We eat it with cheerful acceptance (prasaada buddhi).

Before we partake of our daily meals we first sprinkle water around the plate as an act of purification. Five morsels of food are placed on the side of the plate acknowledging the debt owed by us to the Divine forces (devta runa) for their benign grace and protection, our ancestors (pitru runa) for giving us their lineage and a family culture, the sages (rishi runa) as our religion and culture have been "realised", aintained and handed down to us by them, our fellow beings (manushya runa) who constitute society without the support of which we could not live as we do and other living beings (bhuta runa) for serving us selflessly.

Thereafter the Lord, the life force, who is also within us as the five life-giving physiological functions, is offered the food.

This is done with the chant

praanaaya swaahaa, apaanaaya swaahaa, vyaanaaya swaahaa,

udaanaaya swaahaa, samaanaaya swaahaa, brahmane swaahaa

After offering the food thus, it is eaten as prasaada - blessed food.

Why do we apply the holy ash?

The ash of any burnt object is not regarded as holy ash. Bhasma (the holy ash) is the ash from the homa (sacrificial fire) where special wood along with ghee and other herbs is offered as worship of the Lord. Or the deity is worshipped by pouring ash as abhisheka and is then distributed as bhasma.

Bhasma is generally applied on the forehead. Some apply it on certain parts of the body like the upper arms, chest etc. Some ascetics rub it all over the body. Many consume a pinch of it each time they receive it.

The word bhasma means, "that by which our sins are destroyed and the Lord is remembered.” Bha implied bhartsanam ("to destroy") and sma implies smaranam ("to remember"). The application of bhasma therefore signifies destruction of the evil and remembrance of the divine. Bhasma is called vibhuti (which means "glory") as it gives glory to one who applies it and raksha (which means a source of protection) as it protects the wearer from ill health and evil, by purifying him or her.

Homa (offering of oblations into the fire with sacred chants) signifies the offering or surrender of the ego and egocentric desires into the flame of knowledge or a noble and selfless cause. The consequent ash signifies the purity of the mind, which results from such actions.

Also the fire of knowledge burns the oblation and wood signifying ignorance and inertia respectively. The ash we apply indicates that we should burn false identification with the body and become free of the limitations of birth and death. This is not to be misconstrued as a morose reminder of death but as a powerful pointer towards the fact that time and tide wait for none.

Bhasma is specially associated with Lord Shiva who applies it all over His body. Shiva devotes apply bhasma as a tripundra. When applied with a red spot at the center, the mark symbolizes Shiva-Shakti (the unity of energy and matter that creates the entire seen and unseen universe).

Tryambakam yajaamahe Sugandhim pushtivardhanam Urvaa rukamiva bhandhanaan Mrytyor muksheeyamaa amrutaat

"We worship the three-eyed Lord Shiva who nourishes and spread fragrance in our lives. May He free us from the shackles of sorrow, change and death – effortlessly, like the fall of a rip brinjal from its stem."

To touch another with the feet is considered an act of misdemeanor. Why is this so?

Man is regarded as the most beautiful, living breathing temple of the Lord! Therefore touching another with the feet is akin to disrespecting the divinity within him or her. This calls for an immediate apology, which is offered with reverence and humility.

Why do we not touch papers, books and people with the feet?

To Indians, knowledge is sacred and divine. So it must be given respect at all times. Nowadays we separate subjects as sacred and secular. But in ancient India every subject - academic or spiritual - was considered divine and taught by the guru in the gurukula.
The custom of not stepping on educational tools is a frequent reminder of the high position accorded to knowledge in Indian culture. From an early age, this wisdom fosters in us a deep reverence for books and education. This is also the reason why we worship books, vehicles and instruments once a year on Saraswathi Pooja or Ayudha Pooja day, dedicated to the Goddess of Learning. In fact, each day before starting our studies, we pray:

Saraswati namasthubhyam Varade kaama roopini Vidyaarambham karishyaami Sidhirbhavatu me sadaa

O Goddess Saraswati, the giver of Boons and fulfiller of wishes, I prostrate to You before starting my studies. May you always fulfill me

Why do we wear marks (tilak, pottu and the like) on the forehead?

The tilak or pottu invokes a feeling of sanctity in the wearer and others. It is recognized as a religious mark. Its form and colour vary according to one’s caste, religious sect or the form of the Lord worshipped.

In earlier times, the four castes (based on varna or colour) - Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Sudra - applied marks differently. The brahmin applied a white chandan mark signifying purity, as his profession was of a priestly or academic nature. The kshatriya applied a red kumkum mark signifying valour as he belonged to warrior races. The vaishya wore a yellow kesar or turmeric mark signifying prosperity as he was a businessman or trader devoted to creation of wealth. The sudra applied a black bhasma, kasturi or charcoal mark signifying service as he supported the work of the other three divisions.

Also Vishnu worshippers apply a chandan tilak of the shape of "U,” Shiva worshippers a tripundra of bhasma, Devi worshippers a red dot of kumkum and so on).

The tilak cover the spot between the eyebrows, which is the seat of memory and thinking. It is known as the Aajna Chakra in the language of Yoga. The tilak is applied with the prayer - "May I remember the Lord. May this pious feeling pervade all my activities. May I be righteous in my deeds.” Even when we temporarily forget this prayerful attitude the mark on another reminds us of our resolve. The tilak is thus a blessing of the Lord and a protection against wrong tendencies and forces.

The entire body emanates energy in the form of electromagnetic waves - the forehead and the subtle spot between the eyebrows especially so. That is why worry generates heat and causes a headache. The tilak and pottu cools the forehead, protects us and prevents energy loss. Sometimes the entire forehead is covered with chandan or bhasma. Using plastic reusable "stick bindis" is not very beneficial, even though it serves the purpose of decoration.

Why do we prostrate before parents and elders?

Indians prostrate before their parents, elders, teachers and noble souls by touching their feet. The elder in turn blesses us by placing his or her hand on or over our heads. Prostration is done daily, when we meet elders and particularly on important occasions like the beginning of a new task, birthdays, festivals etc. In certain traditional circles, prostration is accompanied by abhivaadana, which serves to introduce one-self, announce one’s family and social stature.

Man stands on his feet. Touching the feet in prostration is a sign of respect for the age, maturity, nobility and divinity that our elders personify. It symbolizes our recognition of their selfless love for us and the sacrifices they have done for our welfare. It is a way of humbly acknowledging the greatness of another. This tradition reflects the strong family ties, which has been one of India’s enduring strengths.

The good wishes (Sankalpa) and blessings (aashirvaada) of elders are highly valued in India. We prostrate to seek them. Good thoughts create positive vibrations. Good wishes springing from a heart full of love, divinity and nobility have a tremendous strength. When we prostrate with humility and respect, we invoke the good wishes and blessings of elders, which flow in the form of positive energy to envelop us. This is why the posture assumed whether it is in the standing or prone position, enables the entire body to receive the energy thus received.

The different forms of showing respect are :

Rising to welcome a person.

Paying homage in the form of namaste

Touching the feet of elders or teachers.

Prostrating fully with the feet, knees, stomach, chest, forehead and arms touching the ground in front of the elder.

Returning a greeting.

Rules are prescribed in our scriptures as to who should prostrate to whom. Wealth, family name, age, moral strength and spiritual knowledge in ascending order of importance qualified men to receive respect. This is why a king though the ruler of the land, would prostrate before a spiritual master. Epics like the Ramayana and Mahabharata have many stories highlighting this aspect.

Why do we do Namaste?

Indians greet each other with namaste. The two palms are placed together in front of the chest and the head bows whilst saying the word namaste. This greeting is for all - people younger than us, of our own age, those older than friends, even strangers and us.
There are five forms of formal traditional greeting enjoined in the shaastras of which namaskaram is one. This is understood as prostration but it actually refers to paying homage as we do today when we greet each other with a namaste.

Namaste could be just a casual or formal greeting, a cultural convention or an act of worship. However there is much more to it than meets the eye. In Sanskrit namah + te = namaste. It means - I bow to you - my greetings, salutations or prostration to you. Namaha can also be literally interpreted as "na ma" (not mine). It has a spiritual significance of negating or reducing one’s ego in the presence of another.

The real meeting between people is the meeting of their minds. When we greet another, we do so with namaste, which means, "may our minds meet," indicated by the folded palms placed before the chest. The bowing down of the head is a gracious form of extending friendship in love and humility

The spiritual meaning is even deeper. The life force, the divinity, the Self or the Lord in me is the same in all. Recognizing this oneness with the meeting of the palms, we salute with head bowed the Divinity in the person we meet. That is why sometimes, we close our eyes as we do namaste to a revered person or the Lord – as if to look within. The gesture is often accompanied by words like "Ram Ram,” "Jai Shri Krishna", "Namo Narayana", "Jai Siya Ram", "Om Shanti" etc - indicating the recognition of this divinity.
When we know this significance, our greeting does not remain just a superficial gesture or word but paves the way for a deeper communion with another in an atmosphere of love and respect.

Why do we have a prayer room?

Most Indian homes have a prayer room or altar. A lamp is lit and the Lord worshipped each day. Other spiritual practices like japa - repetition of the Lord’s name, meditation, paaraayana - reading of the scriptures, prayers, and devotional singing etc are also done here. Special worship is done on auspicious occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, festivals and the like. Each member of the family - young or old - communes with and worships the Divine here.

The Lord is the entire creation. He is therefore the true owner of the house we live in too. The prayer room is the Master room of the house. We are the earthly occupants of His property. This notion rids us of false pride and possessiveness.
The ideal attitude to take is to regard the Lord as the true owner of our homes and us as caretakers of His home. But if that is rather difficult, we could at least think of Him as a very welcome guest. Just as we would house an important guest in the best comfort, so too we felicitate the Lord’s presence in our homes by having a prayer room or altar, which is, at all times, kept clean and well-decorated.

Also the Lord is all pervading. To remind us that He resides in our homes with us, we have prayer rooms. Without the grace of the Lord, no task can be successfully or easily accomplished. We invoke His grace by communing with Him in the prayer room each day and on special occasions.

Each room in a house is dedicated to a specific function like the bedroom for resting, the drawing room to receive guests, the kitchen for cooking etc. The furniture, decor and the atmosphere of each room are made conducive to the purpose it serves. So too for the purpose of meditation, worship and prayer, we should have a conducive atmosphere - hence the need for a prayer room.
Sacred thoughts and sound vibrations pervade the place and influence the minds of those who spend time there. Spiritual thoughts and vibrations accumulated through regular meditation, worship and chanting done there pervade the prayer room. Even when we are tired or agitated, by just sitting in the prayer room for a while, we feel calm, rejuvenated and spiritually uplifted.

Why do we light a lamp?

In almost every Indian home a lamp is lit daily before the altar of the Lord. In some houses it is lit at dawn, in some, twice a day – at dawn and dusk – and in a few it is maintained continuously - Akhanda Deepa. All auspicious functions commence with the lighting of the lamp, which is often maintained right through the occasion.

Light symbolizes knowledge, and darkness - ignorance. The Lord is the "Knowledge Principle" (Chaitanya) who is the source, the enlivener and the illuminator of all knowledge. Hence light is worshiped as the Lord himself.

Knowledge removes ignorance just as light removes darkness. Also knowledge is a lasting inner wealth by which all outer achievement can be accomplished. Hence we light the lamp to bow down to knowledge as the greatest of all forms of wealth.

Why not light a bulb or tube light? That too would remove darkness. But the traditional oil lamp has a further spiritual significance. The oil or ghee in the lamp symbolizes our vaasanas or negative tendencies and the wick, the ego. When lit by spiritual knowledge, the vaasanas get slowly exhausted and the ego too finally perishes. The flame of a lamp always burns upwards. Similarly we should acquire such knowledge as to take us towards higher ideals.

Whilst lighting the lamp we thus pray:

Deepajyothi parabrahma
Deepa sarva tamopahaha
Deepena saadhyate saram
Sandhyaa deepo namostute

I prostrate to the dawn/dusk lamp; whose light is the Knowledge Principle (the Supreme Lord), which removes the darkness of ignorance and by which all can be achieved in life.

Hinduism is not a religion but a way of life

Hinduism is not a religion but a way of life. Unlike other religions, Hindu dharma has many specialties. This is not known as a religion, it is known as the dharma; Sanaathana Dharma. Sanaathana means, according to Bhagavath Geetha, which cannot be destroyed by fire, weapons, water, air, and which is present in all living and non living being. Dharma means, the way of life which is the ‘total of all aachaaraas or customs and rituals’.

Sanaathana Dharma has its foundation on scientific spirituality. In the entire ancient Hindu literature we can see that science and spirituality are integrated. It is mentioned in the 40th chapter of the Yajurveda known as Eesaavaasya Upanishad that use scientific knowledge for solving problems in our life and use the spiritual knowledge for attaining immortality through philosophical outlook.

Remember that in each and every aachaaraa there will be a component of spirituality in it. Without spirituality, nothing exists in Sanaathana dharma. Generally everyone bear a wrong impression that this spirituality is religion. Spirituality is different in Hindu dharma. Here the question of religion does not exist at all, because Hindu dharma was not created by an individual, prophet or an incarnation. Spirituality is a part of every Hindu custom in the normal life of a Hindu.

Aachaaraas are to be followed based on their merits available from the self experience; you need not blindly follow a teacher or someone who gives advice without reasoning. All these aachaaraas are mentioned for the prosperity of the human beings and it should be the prime focus for practicing the Hindu aachaaraas.

Achaaryaath paadam aadatthe
paadam sishya swamedhayaa
paadam sa brahmachaaribhya
sesham kaala kramena cha

This is an important advice given in smruthies. It means a person can get only one quarter of knowledge from Achaarya - the teacher, another quarter by analyzing self, one quarter by discussing with others and the last quarter during the process of living by method addition, deletion, correction, and modification of already known aachaaraas or new aachaaraas.

Aachaaraath labhathe hi ayu:
aachaaraath dhanamakshayam
aachaaraath labhathe suprajaa:
aachaaro ahanthya lakshanam

Aachaaraas are followed for the psychological and physiological health and long life; Aachaaraas are followed for prosperity and wealth; Aachaaraas are followed for strong family and social bondage and following the Aachaaraas give a fine personality, dharmic outlook and vision, says our dharmasaastra.

In India everyone followed Aachaaraas for the above mentioned psychological, physiological, family relation, social benefits and national integration based benefits. It is your right and duty to understand scientifically, rationally and logically the meaning of each and every Aachaaraas and follow the same in your life systematically.

Ved Bhavan Celebrates Vijaya Varsha - Varshika Sarada Navarathi from 05.10.2013 till 13.10.2013

na hi jnanena sadrsam pavitram iha vidyate |

न हि ज्ञानेना सदृशम पवित्रमिह विद्यते |
Gita Ch. 4, Sloka No. 38
Certainly, there is no purifier in this world like knowledge.
Dear Devotees,

Ved Bhavan Celebrates Vijaya Varsha - Varshika Sarada Navarathi from 05.10.2013 till 13.10.2013. Programme notice is attached herewith.
Kindly inform your Relative and Friends to attend and get the Blessings of Goddess Kamakshi & Acharyals

Ram Ram
“Ved Bhavan”
50, Lake Avenue,
Kolkata – 700 026.
* vedbhavankolkata@gmail.com
( +91 33 2463 9049
È +91 98309 69488

Pradosha Pooja will be performed today - 2nd October 2013 from 04.30.PM onwards at Ved Bhavan

na hi jnanena sadrsam pavitram iha vidyate |

न हि ज्ञानेना सदृशम पवित्रमिह विद्यते |
Gita Ch. 4, Sloka No. 38
Certainly, there is no purifier in this world like knowledge.

​Dear Devotees,

Pradosha Pooja will be performed today - 2nd October 2013 from 04.30.PM onwards at Ved Bhavan.

Abhishegams for Lord Shiva with Veda Mantra Chanting followed by Archana. Devotees will chant the Slokas - Siva Puranam, Kolaru Thirupathigam (in Tamil)Shivanandha Lahari etc etc.

We request the devotees desirous of performing pooja during the Pradosha Kalamcan book in advance with their Name, Nakshatram, Gothram etc. during the following Timings:

Morning: 06.00 A.M to 10.00 A.M
Evening: 05.00 P.M to 09.00 P.M

All are requested to participate in large numbers and receive the blessings of Lord Shiva.


“Ved Bhavan”
50, Lake Avenue,
Kolkata – 700 026.
* vedbhavankolkata@gmail.com
( +91 33 2463 9049
È +91 98309 69488

"MAHAPERIYAVA PUJA" performed regularly @ Sankara Nethralaya,Kolkata on every Saturday

PROSE Practice at Sankara Nethralaya

PROSE Practice at Sankara Nethralaya

We are happy to inform you that we have started Boston Scleral device practice at our hospital. This device can be used for the following indications based on the consultant’s opinion.

Ocular Surface Disease

Chronic ocular graft versus host disease (GVHD) Sjögren’s syndrome History of LASIK or other refractive surgery, Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS)/ toxic epidermal necrolysis syndrome (TENS) Aniridia Cicatricial conjunctivitis/ocular cicatricial pemphigoid Chemical/thermal injury, Post-surgical Corneal Exposure / Lagophthalmos Anatomic Paralytic • Acoustic neuromaDry Eye Syndrome

Corneal Ectasia/Irregular Astigmatism

Keratoconus, Keratoglobus, Pellucid marginal degeneration, Terrien’s marginal degeneration, Salzmann’s nodular degeneration, Meesmann’s corneal dystrophy, Post Operative Astigmatism, Cornea transplant (penetrating keratoplasty or PK, PKP) Radial keratotomy (RK), Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), Phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK), Epikeratophakia, LASIK, Open globe injury, Corneal Scarring After trauma After infection. Corneal Degenerations and Dystrophies,

The charges for BOS-P:

Item code New charges
Boston PROSE device charges
Rs.60,000 per eye
The BOS-P (Boston PROSE device treatment) is currently practiced at SN main contact lens clinic.

For appointments and details contact:
Ms.Juliet or Ms.Rathi
SN main Contact lens clinic
Phone: 9383571539, 044-42271930. Intercom - 1241.
Email: cl@snmail.org.
Note: I request you to contact clinic for appointments and not to fix in regular contact lens appointments for Boston device.

About the BOS-P PROSE treatment process:
Steps in the Treatment Process

• Referral from consultant, medical doctor or cornea specialist (from Sankara Nethralaya or outside clinics and hospitals)
• Initial consultation visit – to review the suitability of the device.
• PROSE treatment (10-15 day-long visits) or set of 2-4 days visit with intervals.
• Periodic follow-up visits as required during first 6 months.
• Annual medical evaluation of PROSE treatment.

The same device can be used as long as the device is in good quality and as long as the eye parameters are remaining the same.

For further details visit the website:


We will shortly be giving brochures about the same and also have information on our website.