Photos: Recently, the Kottam school in Jaffna celebrated the Teachers’ Day. The children garlanded the teachers and thanked them for their service. Also, the children gave speeches honoring their teachers, and read poems.
This year our Sri Subramuniya Kottam celebrated its 30th anniversary. As you know, the Kottam School offers an After-School program with tuition-free classes for underprivileged children. We teach traditional school subjects as well as music, pannisai and computer classes.
Children who attend the Kottam School also learn about religion and celebrate the holy days. Currently the school has four teachers, not including my mother, who — for many years — has single-handedly ran the School.
Also, the Kottam offers scholarships to the most needy children. Currently we are providing monthly financial aid to ten students effected by the war. Starting in January, we are planning to add eight more students to that scholarship program.
Personally, I always believed that this kind of school in every single village, educating the needy children, will make a difference. I am happy to tell you that recently a retired elder from Toronto, Canada, returned to Jaffna; right now he is renovating the war-torn home in his village in Jaffna. He told me he want to create a free school modelled after our Kottam School, and he is going to offer tuition-free classes to the needy children.
I hope and pray more and more elders will return to Sri Lanka and provide these grass-route services in their own villages. By educating the younger generations, we can build a brighter future for our community.
The letter "Ya" in the Panchakshara Mantra, Namasivaya, stands for the soul. Bodhinatha uses the Panchakshara Mantra to show how the soul is initially drawn by Siva's veiling grace, which leads the soul to maturity through experience in the world. Then comes Siva's revealing grace. When we've had enough of the world, Siva's grace pulls us toward God. The mantra also has the simple, two-syllable form. Si- Reflecting on God the Transcendent Absolute, Va-God as the All Pervading Consciousness