High School: Essay: "Indian Culture pays special importance to respect elders. Why is this important?" Speech: “Hindu Philosophy states that you are God !! If so, why do we not realize this? ” Intermediate: Essay: “Aacharya Devo Bhava – Why should you treat teachers as God?”
Speech: “Does the concept of Goddess in Hinduism enable its devotees to be more gender equal?” RULES
Please bring your own pencils, crayons, and paper. To be consistent, only crayons will be allowed for coloring competition.
If interested in entering Recitation, please download the relevant piece from our web site: www.balavikas.org. If you are encountering problems, call Mr. Srinivasan at (703) 251-0900 and the piece will be sent to you.
Drawing for the coloring competition will be given on the day of the competition, and a 60-minute time period will be allotted for coloring.
Essays for these assigned topics can be prepared and researched ahead of time, however on the day of the competition, no notes or references can be used. Essays must be written in the 60 minute time period allotted.
Speeches must be between 3-5 minutes with a 30-second grace period.
Every religious chant (regardless of language or religion) must be explained in English. These chants must be between 2 - 3 minutes with a 30-second grace period.
Stories with a clear moral and ethical message (irrespective of religious origin) will be accepted. Stories must be between 2-3 minutes with a 30-second grace period.
Your grade is the one you will be entering in the new school year.
PLEASE NOTE: All competitors will be recognized with Certificates. First three winners in each category will receive trophies.
Bala Vikas Youth Competition - 2009
High School Recitation
The World's Parliament of Religions has become an accomplished fact, and the merciful Father has helped those who laboured to bring it into existence, and crowned with success their most unselfish labour.
My thanks to those noble souls whose large hearts and love of truth first dreamed this wonderful dream and then realized it. My thanks to the shower of liberal sentiments that has overflowed this platform. My thanks to this enlightened audience for their uniform kindness to me and for their appreciation of every thought that tends to smooth the friction of religions. A few jarring notes were heard from time to time in this harmony. My special thanks to them, for they have, by their striking contrast, made general harmony the sweeter.
Much has been said of the common ground of religious unity. I am not going just now to venture my own theory. But if any one here hopes that this unity will come by the triumph of any one of the religions and the destruction of the others, to him I say, "Brother, yours is an impossible hope." Do I wish that the Christian would become Hindu? God forbid. Do I wish that the Hindu or Buddhist would become Christian? God forbid.
The seed is put in the ground, and earth and air and water are placed around it. Does the seed become the earth, or the air, or the water? No. It becomes a plant. It develops after the law of its own growth, assimilates the air, the earth, and the water, converts them into plant substance, and grows into a plant.
Similar is the case with religion. The Christian is not to become a Hindu or a Buddhist, nor a Hindu or a Buddhist to become a Christian. But each must assimilate the spirit of the others and yet preserve his individuality and grow according to his own law of growth.
If the Parliament of Religions has shown anything to the world, it is this: It has proved to the world that holiness, purity and charity are not the exclusive possessions of any church in the world, and that every system has produced men and women of the most exalted character. In the face of this evidence, if anybody dreams of the exclusive survival of his own religion and the destruction of the others, I pity him from the bottom of my heart, and point out to him that upon the banner of every religion will soon be written in spite of resistance: "Help and not fight," "Assimilation and not Destruction," "Harmony and Peace and not Dissension."
Swami Vivekananda's Speeches
The World Parliament of Religions, Chicago CONCLUDING ADDRESS - Chicago, Sept 27, 1893
Bala Vikas Youth Competition - 2009
Recitation But Hinduism is not this external show that we have learned to parade about in our daily lives. Hinduism is a science of perfection. There is in it an answer to every individual, social, national, or international problem. But, unfortunately, the religion which we have come to follow blindly, is not the grand true Hinduism. It is only the treacherous scheme thrust upon us some time in the past by the selfish, arrogant, power-mad priest class whose intention was to make us slaves of their plans and our own passions. The present day Hindu ignoramuses prove the tragic success of these religious saboteurs. With their guidance we overlook the fundamental tenets in our sacred scriptures that are the very background of Hinduism. True Hinduism is the Sanatana Dharma (Eternal Truth) of the Upanishads.
The Upanishads declare in unmistakable terms that in reality man – at the peak of his achievements – is God Himself. He is advised to live his day-to-day experiences in life in such a systematic and scientific way that hour by hour, he is consciously cleansing himself of all the encrustation of imperfections that have gathered to conceal the beauty and divinity of the true Eternal Personality in him. The methods by which an individual can consciously purify and evolve by his self - effort to regain the status of his True Nature is the content of Hinduism. Hinduism in its vast amphitheater has preserved and worshipped, under the camouflage of the heavy descriptions contained in the puranas, shastras (scriptures), and their commentaries of thousand different interpretations. This overgrowth has so effectively come to conceal the real beauty and grandeur of this tiny temple of Truth that today the college educated illiterates, in their ignorance of the language and style of the ancient Sanskrit writers, miss the temple amidst its own festoons.
LET US BE HINDUS!
First Lecture by Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda given in Dec 23rd, 1951
Bala Vikas Youth Competition - 2009 Elementary I and II Recitation: `Know him!' He cannot be `known' as you know this table or this chair or your wife or your pipe. He is not an object of the intellect. He is the VERY SUBJECT. Have you heard of the great disciple of the Kenopanishad who approached the Master and enquired :"Revered Sir, What is IT, directed by which the mind cognizes objects, the eyes see, the ears hear and so on?' The master cryptically answered :"It is the eye of the eye; the ear of the ear, the mind of the mind'. In fact It is the VERY Subject that enables the eyes to see, the ear to hear etc. It is not an object of the senses or the Mind or the Intellect. Hence, to answer your question, I have to tell you that you cannot make God an object of Knowledge.
An example will elucidate the idea. You are walking along a dark country road at night, occasionally illuminating your path with the aid of a battery torch; you want to know how the torch gives light; you unscrew the torch, you will not be able to see the battery cells, as the bulb will not emit lighty unless powered by the battery of cells. Similarly, the eyes, the ears, the mind and the intellect, all of which get their own power to function from the LIFE PRINCIPLE, cannot understand IT as an object. God is thus conceived of as the life principle, in every one."