JUNE 2015
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida

Florida News


Swami Tadrupanand The Ashtavakra Gita, like the popular Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, is an outstanding dialogue in the classic epic, the Mahabharata, between two highly evolved and illustrious figures. Muni Ashtavakra is the preceptor and Emperor Janak is the disciple. In the vision of Muni Ashtavakra, nothing was born, no creation had ever existed, exists or shall ever exist. There is therefore only one standpoint, which is of Absolute Reality. Relativity and duality have no place in the realm of the Nondual, Absolute truth.

Ashtavakra Gita directs its teachings to seekers of a high caliber of mental purity and tranquility. Its verses have simplicity of diction and clarity of expression besides retaining the forcefulness of language.

Param Pujya Swami Tadrupanand Saraswati, an eminent and scholarly teacher of Vedanta, will unfold the esoteric essence of the Ashtavakra Gita and bless the seekers of knowledge through a weeklong lecture series. The talks in Gujarati are free and open to all.

The retreat will be from June 19-26 at India Cultural Center’s Lotus Hall, 5511 Lynn Road, Tampa. For more information, call Kaushik Joshi at (813) 298-5037.



NeutronicsA group of Tampa Bay area students won the FTC Robotics World Championship held in St. Louis. Their FTC team # 6433, The Neutrinos, is a community team founded by students from Tampa Bay and Lakeland and supported by corporate sponsors and parents.   

FTC stands for FIRST Tech Challenge: FTC is designed for students in grades 7-12 to compete head to head, using a sports model. Teams are responsible for designing, building and programming their robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year and is programmed using a variety of languages. Teams, including coaches, mentors and volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. Awards are given for the competition as well as for community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments.

FTC has more than 4,500 teams from all over the world comprising of over 18,000 students. The Neutrinos had a clean sweep this year, winning the State Championship, South Regional Championship in San Antonio in March and finally the World Championship in St. Louis in April that had 128 teams from 20 countries.

Tampa Bay Neutrinos student members are Shrey Agarwal, Shashank Mahesh, Tushar Mahesh, Meghana Chapalamadugu and Kanad Sarkar. Lakeland student members are Jay Khatri, Aneesha Khatri, Rohan Nakka, Arjun Venigalla and Austin Vaughn. Coach is Dr. Paul Bresnan of Lakeland and team parent mentor is Arun Khatri of Lakeland.


Films, Workshops Lining up for India International Film Festival Aug 28-30 in Tampa

IIFFOrganizers in Tampa are gearing up for 5th season of India International Film Festival (IIFF). The event is scheduled to open with a red-carpet reception on Friday Aug. 28, at Carmike Cinemas Centro Ybor (Muvico) in Tampa. List of films, guests and other events will be announced in the coming months. Stay tuned to Khaas Baat or to the film festival and social media pages for more information.

IIFF showcases independent films that deal with the Indian diaspora around the world. More than 130 films have been submitted to this year’s festival and the selection process is underway. Organizers welcome dedicated people with an appreciation for independent films and the Indian culture to join the team and help with planning the event. For sponsorship and volunteering opportunities, email Sonia@IIFFTampa.com or francis@IIFFTampa.com or visit www.IIFFTampa.com

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