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The Asoka Times is our Lodge's Monthly Newsletter. It is circulated as hard copy to members along with Summons for our Lodge meetings every month. The Newsletter features articles contributed by members and their family. Members are encouraged to share the Newsletter with their family and friends. If we motivate one good soul anywhere to become a Freemason because of the inspirational or fun content in our issues, we consider our efforts a GRAND SUCCESS! On this page you see the leader and other articles from our latest issue. Other content from this month's issue can be found in Happenings.

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Message from the W Master


Dear Brethren,
It seems but yesterday that I stood at the door
of the Lodge, a poor candidate in a state of
darkness. Brethren, you took me in and introduced
me to these wonderful secrets that
moulded me and made me ready for that role
which this evening you have selected me to
I now stand before you to express my sincere
gratitude for the confidence, thus reposed in
me. I also give you my solemn assurance that I
shall strive to the best of my abilities to serve
you well as the Master of this Lodge for the year 2009-2010.

Occupying the Eastern chair of a Lodge, is an undoubted
honour. It is also a serious responsibility
and commitment. Therefore, while promising you my
best efforts, I also request you to support, assist and
guide me in my work.
I wish to express my sincere appreciation and thanks
to W Bro. Dr. Jai Prakash Srinivasan for the excellent
manner in which he installed me. He has been a
pillar of strength to me during the past few months.
He has meticulously taken me through the process of
preparing myself for this role. Thank you J.P.
I also place on record my sincere thanks to
R.W.Bro.Varanasi Narasimham, P.A.G.M., R W the
Regional Grand Master of the Regional Grand
Lodge of Southern India for gracing the installation
I also thank the Assistant Regional Grand Master
W.Bro.V.Viswanath for being with us at the Installation
I take this opportunity to recognize the presence of
past and present officers of Grand Lodge of India
and Regional Grand Lodge of Southern India, ruling
masters of city Lodges and visiting brethren who
have come today and made the brethren of Lodge
Asoka No.93 and me extremely happy and grateful.
I look forward to communicating with you through this
newsletter regularly,
With fraternal regards,
W Bro S Srikanth

(This month's hard copy issue was sponsored by W Bro S Srikanth.)




Members are advised that Subscription for 2009 is due with effect from Jan 1, 2009 as under:

Resident Members (W Bro): Rs.1800; Resident Members (Bro): Rs.1700

Non-Resident Members (W Bro): Rs.1350; Non-Resident Member (Bro) Rs.1250

Kindly remit by cheque favouring “Lodge Asoka General A/c”





Your Masonic Ranks?   Past Regional Grand Master, Past Grand Director of Ceremony, Past Grand Steward Master, Past District Grand Counselor.

Number of years a Mason?  34 Years

Your field of work?    Practicing Chartered Accountant.

Where did you grow up?  Erode, where I was brought up and educated.

What attracted you to Freemasonry and what do you like most about Freemasonry? I did not know much about Freemasonry before I joined. I saw a few gentlemen gathering at the Presidency Club, well dressed and having a great time. I was curious to know more and got introduced. Apart from charity, discipline, orderliness and character building are some of the hallmarks that I consider attractive.

You’re Message for young masons? Adhere to the principles and various charges. Be bold.

Your favorite game?  Football & Tennis.  I was playing tennis regularly till my 60th year.

How do you hope to be remembered? As a pleasant man under all circumstances.

What do you like to do in your spare time? Reading and listening to music.

If you could possess one super-human power, what would it be? As Oliver Goldsmith put it “to relieve the wretched from poverty”.

Your favorite quote? “One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings” - Diogenes (4th Century B.C.)

Other than the present, which historical era would you have liked to live in? Historically nothing much is reliably recorded about our country.  Generally the Elizabethan era I would prefer.

Do you recall any interesting stories related to you by any of your elder relatives that you have never forgotten and you think are worth telling this audience? I do not recall any particular event of significance.

Is there something you wish you could do over again? Lifetime, once, is enough.

Tell us about a memorable moment in your life: a time you will never forget? That particular moment when members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, from all over India, chose me as their Vice-President.  Later on I became President.

Is there any particular lodge practice which was a trade mark of Lodge Asoka which is not in practice now? Lodge Asoka was founded under the Scottish constitution. Later, when it opted to become a founding member of the Indian constitution, certain parts of the rituals were continued as it used to be under Scottish. These portions were significant and made deep impressions on candidates.  Later still, these were directed to be given up.    

Interview by Bro John A J


Bro John Anand J has been interviewing a member of our Lodge every month so we get to know each other’s pet loves and peeves better. Interviewees are requested to send him their responses promptly so The Asoka Times is got ready in time for circulation.  -  Editor

In Tribute to Departed Merit

W Bro Seshachalam Kasturirangan, PGStwd, PARGM (25 Aug 1925—8 Feb 2008)) an amiable, popular and respected senior member of our Lodge (initiated 26/10/1963 with Regn.No.397 and W Master in 1979) was summoned to Grand Lodge Above on the morning of 8 Feb 2008 at his age of 83 following a brief period of hospitalization. Though age and physical inability had kept him from our meetings in the recent few years, W Bro Kasturirangan never once considered resigning his membership and continued a subscribing Asokan till his last.

“Sukarni” his Kottur Gardens house has been the venue of many a committee meet when his wonderfully kind wife Mrs Sudha and son Karunanidhi (Nidhi) would join him in making every brother feel totally at home with their overwhelming hospitality.  His other son Kannah is settled with his family in Manchester, UK.

Among the candidates W Bro Kasturi proposed in Lodge Asoka are W Bro Ushanath Sethurayar (Aruna), W Bro P Srinivasan (Raghu), Bro Capt V V Karunasagar and his son W Bro V K Raj Tilak - all of whom went on to do their proposer and Asoka proud.  Myself an initiate in Asoka during W Bro Kasturirangan’s term as W Master, I will never forget the impression made on me by his unhurried, measured and seemingly casual style of ritual delivery.

All those who knew Bro Kasturirangan as an active Asokan will always remember his genial, affable, equable and calm nature. I remember a Half-Yearly RGL meet we attended when our Bro Kasturi sported, for the train journey, a flashy and fancy red silk cravat (with white polka dots) around his neck, leading to his being promptly dubbed ‘Rowdy Rangan’ over a hand of cards. He good naturedly accepted and delighted in this sobriquet. And ‘Rowdy Rangan’ he remained to his many close associates in Asoka who will miss a good friend and dear brother.

Through this tribute that comes from my heart, I offer deepest sympathies on behalf of Asokans to Mrs Sudha Kasturirangan, Nidhi & Kannah.   

Raman SBS—Editor & Webmaster




Dog & Cat

After watching my grand children, I realized that while children are dogs—loyal and affectionate—teenagers are cats.

It's so easy to be a dog owner. You feed it, train it, and boss it around. It puts its head on your knee and gazes at you as if you were a movie star. It bounds indoors with enthusiasm when you call it.

Then around age 13, your adoring little puppy turns into a big old cat.

When you tell it to come inside, it looks amazed, as if wondering who made you emperor. Instead of dogging your footsteps, it disappears. You won't see it again until it gets hungry -- then it pauses on its sprint through the kitchen long enough to turn its nose up at whatever you're serving. When you  reach out to ruffle its head, in that old affectionate gesture, it twists away from you, then gives you a blank stare, as if trying to remember where it has seen you before.

You, not realizing that the dog is now a cat, think something must be desperately wrong with it. It seems so antisocial, so distant, sort of depressed. It won't go on family outings. Since you're the one who raised it, taught it to fetch and stay and sit on command, you assume that you did something wrong. Flooded with guilt and fear, you redouble your efforts to make your pet behave.

Only now you're dealing with a cat, so everything that worked before now produces the opposite of the desired result. Call it, and it runs away. Tell it to sit, and it jumps on the counter. The more you go toward it, wringing your hands, the more it moves away. Instead of continuing to act like a dog owner, you can learn to behave like a cat owner. Put a dish of food near the door, and let it come to you. But remember that a cat needs your help and your affection too. Sit still, and it will come, seeking that warm, comforting lap it has not entirely forgotten. Be there to open the door for it. One day your grown-up child will walk into the kitchen, give you a big kiss and say, "You've been on your feet all day mom. Let me get those dishes for you."

Then you'll realize your cat is a dog again.

Courtesy Bro Dr Jai Prakash Srinivasan





Old Tyler Talks

The New Brother leaned against the wall near the Old Tyler and lighted a cigar. "We would do more good in the world if we advertised ourselves more," he said.

"Why?" asked the Old Tyler.

"So that those not members of the fraternity would know more about our work."

''Why should they?"

"The more people know about us, the more regard they would have for us, more men would want to be Masons, the larger we would grow, and so the more powerful we would be!" answered the New Brother.

"You would then advertise us until all men became Masons?"

"Well – er – I don't know about all men; but certainly until most men applied."

"If all men were Masons at heart there would be no need for Masonry,'' answered the Old Tyler. "But not all who call themselves Master Masons are really  Masons. What we need to do is advertise ourselves to our brethren."

"But we know all about Masonry," protested the New Brother; "the world at large does not."

"Oh, no, we don't know all about Masonry!" cried the Old Tyler. "Even the best-informed don't know all about Masonry. The best-informed electricians do not know all about electricity; the best-informed  astronomers do not know all about astronomy; the best-informed geologists do not know all there is to know about geology. We all have much to learn. "

"But electricity, astronomy and geology are sciences. Masonry is – is – well, Masonry was made by men, and so some men must know all about it."

"Can a man make something greater than himself?" countered the Old Tyler. ''Our ears hear sounds - translate vibrations of air or other material to our brains—as noise or music. But the ear is limited; we do not hear all the sounds in nature; some animals and insects hear noises we cannot hear. We have eyes, yet these imperfect instruments turn into color and light but a tiny proportion of light waves. Scientific instruments recognize vibrations which physical senses take no account of—radio and X-ray for  instance. Yet our whole conception of the universe is founded on what we see and hear.    (Contd Page 3)

(Contd from Page 1)  “Very likely the universe is entirely different from what we think. The ant's tiny world is a hill; he has no knowledge of the size of the county in which is his home, let alone the size or shape of the world. A dog's world is the city where he lives; not for him is the ocean or the continent or the world. The stars and the moon and the sun are to him but shining points. Our own world is bigger; we see a universe through a telescope, but can but speculate as to its extent or what is beyond the narrow confines of our instruments.

"Masonry is like that. Our hearts understand a certain kind of love. Prate as we will about brotherhood of man and Fatherhood of God, we yet compare the one to the love of two blood-brothers and the second to our feeling for our children. We measure both by the measuring rods we have.

"Real brotherhood and real Fatherhood of God may be grander, broader, deeper, wider than we know. Masonry contains the thought; our brains have a limited comprehension of it. If this be so then we know little about Masonry, and what even the most learned of us think is probably far short of reality."

"All that may be so," answered the New Brother, "and it is a most interesting idea; but what has it to do with advertising to the profane?"

''Does a scientist make any progress by advertising his science?" countered the Old Tyler. "Will a geometrician discover a new principle by advertising for more students? Will the astronomer discover a new sun by running placards in the newspapers? Will a geologist discover the mystery of the earth's interior by admitting more members to the    Geological Society?

"Masonry needs no advertising to the profane, but advertising to its members. I use the word in your sense, but I do not mean publicity. Masons need to be taught to extend Masonry's influence over men's hearts and minds. We do not need more material to work with, but better work on the half-worked material we already have.

''Masonry is humble and secret; not for her the blare of trumpets and the headilnes of publicity. To make it other than what it is would rob it of its character. To study, reflect, and labor in it, is to be a scientist in Masonry, discovering constantly something new and better that it be more effective for oil those who embrace its gentle teachings and its mysterious power."

"Oh, all right!" smiled the New Brother. "Let me assure I won't put it in the paper tomorrow. Old Tyler, where did you learn so much?"

"I didn't," smiled the Old Tyler. "I know very little. But that little I learned by keeping an open mind and heart – which was taught me by -"

''By your teachers in school?"

"No, my son," answered the Old Tyler, gravely, "by Masonry."


‘Old Tyler Talks’ appeared in print in August 1921 when the first of more than one hundred articles was published in Fellowship Forum in Washington, DC. These thought-provoking essays presented in the form of exchanges a raw New Member has with a seasoned Old Tyler, are relevant even today and have not become dated.  Would brethren enjoy another short Old Tyler Talk in our next update?  The fact that I enjoy these essays does not necessarily mean you need to suffer them! — Editor & Webmaster



From: EFFICIENCY & TICKET, LTD., Management Consultants
To: Chairman, The London Symphony Orchestra
Re: Schubert's Symphony No. 8 in B minor.

After attending a rehearsal of this work we make the following observations and recommendations:

We note that the twelve first violins were playing identical notes, as were the second violins. Three violins in each section, suitably amplified, would seem to us to be adequate.

Much unnecessary labour is involved in the number of demisemiquavers in this work; we suggest that many of these could be rounded up to the nearest semiquaver thus saving practice time for the individual player and rehearsal time for the entire ensemble. The simplification would also permit more use of trainee and less-skilled players with only marginal loss of precision.

We could find no productivity value in string passages being repeated by the horns; all tutti repeats could also be eliminated without any reduction of efficiency.

In so labour-intensive an undertaking as a symphony, we regard the long oboe tacet passages to be extremely wasteful. What notes this instrument is called upon to play could, subject to a satisfactory demarcation conference with the Musician's Union, be shared out equitably amongst the other instruments.

Conclusion: if the above recommendations are implemented the piece under consideration could be played through in less than half an hour with concomitant savings in overtime, lighting and heating, wear and tear on instruments and hall rental fees. Also, had the composer been aware of modern cost-effective procedures he might well have finished this work.

***Muscles & Wheels***

Lodge Asoka's on-going charitable project Muscles & Wheels has at its object donation of wheelchairs to children who are afflicted with Muscular Dystrophy (MD), a progressive disease caused by a protein deficiency in the gene that wastes muscles away. As they grow older, these children can only be moved with the aid of wheelchairs. Children affected by Cerebral Palsy are also covered by this programme. The cost of a regular wheelchair is INR Rs.2,500/-.

The wheelchairs are presented at Freemasons’ Hall Chennai immediately before the commencement of our Lodge meetings. Even your presence and participation during the presentation will be support and encouragement to these afflicted children and their caregivers.

Please click the play button in the Photo-Link below to see slideshow of a selection of photos from our on-going Muscles & Wheels project. The captions can be hidden/shown - your call.

To better understand Muscular Dystrophy and our project Muscles & Wheels you are requested to view a video clip produced by the Muscular Dystrophy Association, India who help us in identifying candidates for wheelchairs. Thank you Bro John for posting the video on YouTube. Click the "Play" button to view the video in the same frame. Thank you for your consideration and time.

***** Shelter for the Visually Handicapped *****
Click the "Play" button in the Link below to view in the same frame, a short Video presentation on a "Shelter for the Visually Handicapped" project our Lodge is working on. Thank you Bro V Ramaswamy for posting the clip on YouTube and your generous personal contribution that kickstarted our collection drive. We have so far collected and contributed Rs.120,000 for this cause.


                         ***** Dhanya Dhaan *****


In addition to other continuing charities that include Educational Assistance and Medical Relief, Lodge Asoka has taken up our Grand Lodge project Dhanya Dhan in a serious way by members commemorating a function or event in our families with a cheque or cash donation to Lodge Asoka Charity A/c earmarked Dhanya Dhan that is ear-marked for supplying provisions on a periodic basis to deserving institutions and indigent families. W Master solicits the kind involvement of ladies and children in identifying deserving recipients and in distributing the provisions. Also, if you can source food-grains & cereals of good quality at competitive rates, do let Bro Secretary know. Masonry recognizes Charity as a virtue that blesses those who give as well as those who receive.


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