Religious Classes on Sunday mornings for all age groups
Classes commence with prayers and recitation of mantras from the “ Book of Prayers.” This is followed by meditation and bhajan singing.Therafter children are divided into different levels and teachers conduct lessons and activities using our syllabus as a guideline. The emphasis throughout is on inculcation of values, character, and devotion.
Sunday Classes
Krishna Jayanti celebration in September
KOG celebrates Sri Krishna Jayanti annually with some grandeur. During the two hour programme, devotees young and old glorify the Lord and celebrate His birth with prayers, music, dance, bhajans and by enacting His Lilas.
Krishna Jayanti Krishna Jayanti
Krishna Jayanti Krishna Jayanti
Annual Thanksgiving Prayers in January
“ A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues.”----Cicero

To advocate this virtue, it has been a tradition with KOG to start the year by expressing our gratitude to God for all His grace. In the month of January devotees gather at the Sri Krishnan Temple to invoke the Lord with a special thanksgiving prayer. This is followed by chanting of Sri Vishnu Ashtotranama Stotram, bhajan singing and discourses on selected shlokas from the Bhagavad Gita.
Thanks Giving
Holiday Excursions
During the holidays either in June or December, an outing is organized for our Sunday Class students. Members, children, parents and friends are invited to join us in this outing.
Holiday Excursions Holiday Excursions
Deepavali Party for Children
This party for children is unique in the sense that besides the usual games, balloons, sweets and food, we have our very own Deepavali Thaatha dressed in the traditional ‘alzhvar’ attire. Deepavali Thaatha brings the cheer of the Festival of Lights to children by joining in the fun and distributing gifts and sweets.
Deepavali Party Deepavali Party
Deepavali Party
Community Projects
Every year, members of KOG and the older children visit the residents of M.I.N.D.S. ( Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore ) during the festive occasion of the Festival of Lights. The residents are treated to a special meal and gifts are donated to the Tampines Home which is run by M.I.N.D.S. Our ties with the Tampines Home goes as far back as the 70’s when the founder of KOG, Mr A. Suppiah initiated the rapport that we now have with the Home.

Kidsville Child Care and Student Care Centre which is managed by KOG has been carrying out social service programmes in conjunction with MCDS and CDCs. KOG grants are awarded to children from needy families by way of defraying the service fee at Kidsville. This grant is extended to all deserving children regardless of race or religion.
January
http://www.sangam.org/culture
http://www.hindunet.org/festivals
April
VCD - " Ramayana "
http://sivanandadlshq.org/religions
August
Refer to Notes
August/September
http://www.indiavisit.com
http://www.sivanandadlshq.org
October
Refer to Notes
November
http://www.sivanandadlshq.org
December
Thanksgiving is an important aspect of Tamil tradition, as in the case of many other civilizations. Most thanksgiving ceremonies are religious in nature, as people of each culture thank their chosen Deity for the favors granted to them.

The Tamil festival of Pongal is such a thanksgiving ceremony. Farmers celebrate the event to thank the spirits of nature, the Sun and the farm animals for their assistance in providing a successful harvest. The Sun is offered a “pongal” of rice and milk.

The rest of the people celebrate the festival to pay their thanks to the farmers for the production of food. Overall, it is a festival to encourage social cohesiveness and unite people by bringing them together in a common function.

Thai Pongal is celebrated on the first day of the month of Thai of the Tamil calendar. The day normally falls between 12th and 15th of the month of January.

On Thai Pongal day, the family begins the celebration early. Every member of the family gets up early in the morning, bathes, puts on new clothes and gathers together to cook the traditional pongal (rice pudding). The pongal is set up in direct view of the Sun (east). The cooking begins by putting a clay pot with water on the hearth. The pongal can be prepared in the kitchen and brought to the place exposed to the direct sunlight which is decorated with kolam drawings.

A senior member of the family will conduct the cooking and the rest of the family dutifully assists him or her or watches the event. When the water has boiled, the rice is put into the pot after a member of the family ceremoniously puts three handfuls of rice in first. The other ingredients of this special dish are brown cane sugar, milk, roasted green gram, raisins, cashew nuts and a few pods of cardamom.

The moment of climax is the spill over of the pongal during the cooking. The spill over of milk is a propitious symbol of abundance. When the mixture of rice, milk and other ingredients is well done, the pongal is then served to the friends and relatives who have got together.

In Singapore, there are no farmers nor do we conduct the whole ceremony outwards as this is not possible in our living environment. However, the Tamils here celebrate Pongal with an understanding of its significance and thank God that there is always food on the table for us, not forgetting the very sweet rice and a variety of delicious vegetarian dishes on this festive occasion.
 
Salutations to Lord Rama, an Incarnation of Lord Vishnu, who is measureless, who is of the nature of pure Consciousness and bliss, who is the consort of Sita, Master of Sri Hanuman, and the Lord of the three worlds.

Ram Navami or the birthday of Lord Rama falls on the 9th day of the bright fortnight of the month of Chaitra (March-April).

Rama was the Lord Hari Himself, incarnate on earth for the destruction of Ravana. He was well accomplished and well endowed with all the qualities of a great personality. Lord Rama, the much loved Prince and King, was the protector of His subjects and His glory and prowess were unlimited.

Ram-Nam burns ignorance, passion and sin. When the word "Rama" is pronounced the devotee is showered with His blessings. Sri Rama is Brahman who takes one across the ocean of worldly existence.

Ram Navami is one of the most important festivals of the Vaishnava sect of the Hindus. However, even those who adore Lord Shiva celebrate the occasion. Some observe a strict fast on the day. Temples are decorated and the image of Lord Rama is grandly adorned. The holy Ramayana is read in the temples. At Ayodhya, the birthplace of Sri Rama, a big fair is held on this day.
 
Bhadrapada maasa (August, September) brings the widely celebrated festival “Ganeshotsavam”. Vinayaga Chathurthi falls on the fourth day of the bright fortnight of the month. Lord Ganapati is also known as Gajaanana, Heramba, Lamba Karna, Vignaraja, Vinayaka and Vignahaari. He is one of the six major deities of Hinduism.

Lord Ganesha is depicted as short and fat with a protuberant belly, four hands, and an elephant head and dressed in a yellow robe. The elephant head is the mightiest and biggest of the animals known. An elephant is noted for its sagacity, so the giver of Gnyana is worshipped with an elephant head. His four hands stand for His immense power. The noose and the (club) goad borne in His two hands stand for His all – pervasiveness and grace. His broken tusk held in the right hand shows that He is the refuge of all. His huge belly is indicative of tolerance signifying the entire universe is contained in Him. His feet stand for the bestowal of Siddhi and Buddhi attainment of desires and knowledge. The modaka in His hand is symbolic of Gnyana conferring bliss. His mount, the shrew, represents the worldly desires which are to be overcome.

The image of Ganesha takes Him spiritually far above the legends and Puranas by the identification of His form with the “Pranava” the primordial sound “Om”. The Vedas and the Upaanishads speak profusely about the concept. The physical form of Ganapati is just the pictorial representation of the form of the sound. Not only His whole form but the elephant head in particular symbolizes the “Pranava”.

On Vinayaga Chathurthi, devotees rise early, have their bath and make preparations for worship. They collect various articles for the worship of the Lord. They worship the image of God made out of clay with various offerings including modakas (sweet balls).
Sri Krishna Jayanti marks the celebration of the birth of Bhagavan Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna was born on the 'Rohini' nakshatram (star) on Ashtami day. The festival Sri Krishna Jayanti is also known as Gokulashtami and Janmashtami. The actual day of celebration can be on two different days as the star 'Rohini' and Ashtami may not be on the same day. This occurs between August and September.

Sri Krishna is Lord Vishnu's eighth avatar (incarnation) on earth. He is considered to be the Lord's most glorious incarnations. Even saying and remembering His name brings joy because Sri Krishna himself was a manifestation of joy at all levels and in all walks of life.

The life and message of Sri Krishna is the most stirring saga of one of the greatest saviours and propounders of Dharma. Born in the dungeons of Kamsa who was out to kill him at the very moment of his birth, Sri Krishna's life is replete with many such mortal dangers which he successfully triumphs over. He was the unchallenged hero of his times both in terms of his bodily prowess and his intellectual brilliance.

Sri Krishna Jayanti, therefore, signifies not merely the birth of a Great and Divine Teacher of mankind in some distant past but the lighting of the spark of the Divine Power in every one of us, which spurs us on to play our dynamic part in this world of practical and hard realities with a sense of high spiritual purpose.

The philosophical aspects deal with the knowledge of the personality behind the festival, Sri Krishna, who is Sanatana Dharma itself. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna explains to Arjuna the meaning and purpose of life. The great Bhishma in Vishnu Sahasranama (the 1000 names of Vishnu) relates the attributes of Vishnu in front of Sri Krishna, as both Vishnu and Krishna are essentially one and the same.

Since Lord Krishna was born at midnight, symbolizing light dispelling darkness, worshipping during Janmashtami is done in the late evening hours.
 
Salutations to the Divine Mother, Durga, who exists in all beings in the form of intelligence, mercy, beauty, who is the consort of Lord Shiva, who creates, sustains and destroys the universe.

This festival is observed twice a year, once in the month of Chaitra and then in Aswayuja. It lasts for nine days in honour of the nine manifestations of Durga. During Navaratri (the word literally means "nine nights") devotees of Durga observe a fast. Brahmins are fed and prayers are offered for the protection of health and property.

Durga Puja or Navaratri commences on the first and ends on the tenth day of the bright half of Aswayuja (September-October).

Durga Puja is one of the greatest Hindu festival in which God is adored as Mother. Hinduism is the only religion in the world which has emphasised to such an extent the motherhood of God. One's relationship with one's mother is the dearest and the sweetest of all human relations. Hence, it is proper to look upon God as mother.

Let us now consider how, on the first three days, the Mother is adored as supreme power and force, as Durga the Terrible. You pray to Mother Durga to destroy all your impurities, your vices, your defects. She is to fight with and annihilate the baser animal qualities in the spiritual aspirant, the lower, diabolical nature in him. Also, She is the power that protects your spiritual practice from its many dangers and pitfalls. Thus the first three days, which mark the first stage or the destruction of impurity and determined effort and struggle to root out the evil tendencies in your mind, are set apart for the worship of the destructive aspect of the Mother.

The divine qualities that Lord Krishna enumerates in the Gita, have to be acquired. This pleasanter side of the aspirant's Sadhana is depicted by the worship of Mother Lakshmi. She bestows on Her devotees the inexhaustible divine wealth or Deivi Sampath. Lakshmi is the wealth-giving aspect of God. She is purity itself. Thus the worship of Goddess Lakshmi is performed during the second set of three days.

Once the aspirant succeeds in routing out the evil propensities, and develops Sattwic or pure, divine qualities, he becomes competent to attain wisdom. He is now ready to receive the light of supreme wisdom. He is fit to receive divine knowledge. At this stage comes the devout worship of Mother Saraswathi, who is divine knowledge personified, the embodiment of knowledge of the Absolute. Therefore, to propitiate Saraswathi, the giver of knowledge, is the third stage.

The tenth day, Vijaya Dasami, marks the triumphant ovation of the soul at having attained liberation while living in this world, through the descent of knowledge by the Grace of Goddess Saraswathi. The soul rests in his own Supreme Self or Satchidananda Brahman. This day celebrates the victory, the achievement of the goal.

Glory to the Divine Mother! Let Her take you, step by step to the top of the spiritual ladder and unite you with the Lord!
 
Deepavali or Diwali means "a row of lights". It falls on the last two days of the dark half of Kartik (October-November). For some it is a three-day festival. It commences with the Dhan-Teras, on the 13th day of the dark half of Kartik, followed the next day by the Narak Chaudas, the 14th day, and by Deepavali proper on the 15th day.

There are various alleged origins attributed to this festival. Some hold that they celebrate the marriage of Lakshmi with Lord Vishnu. In Bengal the festival is dedicated to the worship of Kali. It also commemorates that blessed day on which the triumphant Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana. On this day also Sri Krishna killed the demon Narakasura.

Everyone forgets and forgives the wrongs done by others. There is an air of freedom, festivity and friendliness everywhere. This festival brings about unity. It instils charity in the hearts of people. Everyone buys new clothes for the family.

O Ram! The light of lights, the self-luminous inner light of the Self is ever shining steadily in the chamber of your heart. Sit quietly. Close your eyes. Withdraw the senses. Fix the mind on this supreme light and enjoy the real Deepavali, by attaining illumination of the soul.
The Holy Gita Jayanti, or the birthday of the Bhagavad Gita, is celebrated throughout India by all the admirers and lovers of this most sacred scripture on the eleventh day (Ekadashi) of the bright half of the month of Margaseersha (December-January), according to the Hindu almanac. It was on this day that Sanjaya narrated to King Dhritarashtra the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, and thus made the glorious teachings of the Lord available to us, and to people of the world, for all time.

The Gita was given to us about six thousand years ago by Sri Krishna, the Lord incarnate, through His most devoted disciple, Arjuna. Its teachings are based on the sacred Upanishads, the ancient, revealed metaphysical classics of India.

Aspirants fast on the day, as it is also the Ekadashi day. Competitions are held among the little children, to develop their talents in the recitation of the Gita. In the case of the slightly older children, they are given a chance to deliver discourses. This is a wonderful way of encouraging them to study the scripture.

In the evening, a special Satsang is held at which scholars, Yogis and Sannyasins discourse upon the Gita. Leaflets, pamphlets and books containing the teachings of the Gita, as also translations of the holy scripture, are distributed.

Take a resolve on Gita Jayanti that you will read at least one discourse every day. Recite the fifteenth discourse before taking your meals.
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