[GHHF] Bala Samskar Kendra Students in Assam were taught about Swami Vivekananda, his life, meeting with Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, and his visit to Chicago

14 Jan 2023 92 Views

Leo Tolstoy

    “We have become so accustomed to the religious lie that surrounds us that we do not notice the atrocity, stupidity, and cruelty with which the teaching of the Christian church is permeated.”   

Global Hindu Heritage Foundation is very proud to say that we are teaching our Bala Samskar Students about the greatness and life stories of national heroes, famous people, and great saints. This week we talked about Swami Vivekananda.

Swami Vivekanandaji's original name was Narendra Nath. He was born on 12th January 1863 at Kolkata (Swamiji's Jayanti i.e. birth anniversary is celebrated as 'International Youth Day'). Right from childhood, two aspects of his behavior could clearly be noticed. One was his devout and compassionate nature and the other was his readiness to perform any act of courage. Since his whole family was spiritually inclined, he received an appropriate religious upbringing.

Swami Vivekananda was admitted to the school founded by Mr. Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar in 1870. While in school he focused both on studies as well as bodybuilding. He had great respect for his mother tongue. One such incident was when he had an English language class in school, he said, "I shall not learn the language of the white master." At least for 7 - 8 months, he abstained from learning that language. Later he learned English owing to compulsion.  Swami Vivekananda stood first in his matriculation examination and added to the glory of his family and school. Then he joined the Presidency College in Kolkata and completed his M.A. in Philosophy.

Meeting his Guru and accepting Sanyas by Swami Vivekananda

Dr. Ramchandra Dutt, a relative of Narendra who had been raised in his house was a disciple of Shri Ramkrishna Paramhansa. He noticed that Narendra was inspired by religious feelings to such an extent that he was contemplating renunciation in his childhood itself. He once told Narendra, “Brother, if your only goal in life is to further the enhancement of our religion, then do not get involved in the Brahmo Samaj or others. You go to Dakshineshwari and meet Shri Ramkrishna.” Narendra met Shri Ramkrishna at his neighbor Surendranath’s house itself. Initially, for some days Shri Ramkrishna did not allow Narendranath to leave his side even for a moment. He made Narendra sit next to him and gave him much advice & counsel. The two of them would have great discussions when alone.

 

Shri Ramkrishna had decided to give Narendra the responsibility of carrying on his incomplete mission. One day Shri Ramkrishna wrote on a piece of paper, “Narendra will perform the task of enlightening the masses.” Somewhat hesitantly Narendranath replied, “I won’t be able to do all this.” Shri Ramkrishna immediately spoke with great resolve, “What? Won’t be able? Your bones will perform this task?” Later Shri Ramkrishna initiated Narendranath on the path of Sanyas and gave him the name Swami Vivekanand.

Establishment of Ramkrishna Mission by Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda along with Taraknath, another disciple of Ramkrishna, established the Ramkrishna Mission after the Mahasamadhi of Shri Ramkrishna Paramhansa. It began its activities from a dilapidated building at Varahnagar, near Kolkata. Earlier it was believed that this place was a haunted house. Vivekanandakept Shri Ramkrishna’s mortal ashes and some other objects used by him, at this place. Soon Shri Ramkrishna’s disciples started living there.

Importance of Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda putting a curb on conversions with his stormy propagation of ‘Vedanta’ in other countries

India was ruled by the British during the period of Swami Vivekananda. Owing to the influence of the British education system, their culture, the strategies of Christian missionaries misleading people, and their literature, the affluent class in Bharat developed an inferiority complex feeling that Hindu Dharma and culture are of very low standard, inhuman and barbarian. Many Hindus would have been baptized and adopted Christianity, but there is no doubt that it was curbed due to the fiery propagation of ‘Vedanta’ in other countries by Swami Vivekananda.

Swami Vivekananda gave the message of spiritual unison and creating new consciousness among the youth

 

Swami Vivekananda represented India and consequently, Hindu Dharma in a world conference held in Chicago for all religions in the year 1893. Swami Vivekananda gave a message of spiritual unity to the world at this conference. He also emphasized that along with spiritual progress, materialistic/worldly progress was equally important. Swami Vivekananda's guidance helped to generate new consciousness and enthusiasm amongst the youth.

Swami Vivekananda awakened patriotism and enthusiasm amongst people through spiritual discourses

Continuous invasions, immorality, looting, oppression of their women, and violence had crushed Hindus mentally. Swami Vivekananda undertook the mission of propagating the message of Ramakrishna and pulling out Hindus from the depression and defeated mentality generated amongst people. Swami Vivekananda traveled all over India for this great mission and created enthusiasm and patriotism amongst people through his spiritual discourses. Moreover, he made the whole world realize the importance of Hindu Dharma and Hindustan.       - Gurudev Kate swamiji (Saptahik Sanatan Chintan, 28th September 2006, Issue No. 37)

Swami Vivekananda shines at the World Parliament of Religions

The premonition regarding the visit to Chicago

Swami Vivekananda was half asleep one night, he saw a miraculous dream. Shri Ramkrishna’s blazing form was moving ahead over the seas and beckoning Swamiji to follow him.

Swami Vivekananda opened his eyes. His heart was filled with indescribable ecstasy. At the same time, he heard very clearly a divine voice saying, “Go”. Then he resolved to go abroad and completed all arrangements within a day or two.

Departure for the World Parliament of Religions

Swami Vivekananda left the Indian shores, aboard the ship, ‘Peninsular’ on 31st May 1893. He reached Vancouver port in Canada on 15th July. From there he traveled by train to the famous city of Chicago in America. He came to know that a World Parliament of Religions was going to be held on 11th September.

 

Swami Vivekananda did not have the Invite required to participate in this conference. Further even the date to register as a Representative had lapsed. Yet, wherever he went people were attracted to him. On the very first day, he met Prof. J.H. Wright, who was teaching Greek at Harward University. The two of them conversed for almost four hours. The professor was so impressed by Swami Vivekananda’s talent and intellect that he accepted the responsibility of giving Swamiji admittance to the World Parliament of Religions as a representative.

Swami Vivekananda participates in the Chicago Interfaith conference

Swami Vivekananda proved to be a true representative of Hinduism as he made his fervent appeal for tolerance to the whole world from the dais of the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago on 11th September 1893. It must have been a divine plan to allow this saint to introduce the world to the great Hindu Dharma. This conference was inaugurated with the Chanting of Hymns by the various religious heads. It was a melodious beginning to the conference. On the dais, at the center, was the religious head of the Roman Catholic Sect of America.

Swami Vivekananda was not the representative of any particular sect. He had arrived at the conference as the representative of the Sanatan Hindu Vaidik Dharma of all Bharatvarsha. The conference was attended by almost 6 to 7 thousand ladies and gentlemen. As per the instructions from the chairperson, each representative on the dais was reading out his pre-prepared speech.

Swami Vivekananda had not prepared any written speech. Finally, he stood up from his seat having sent a silent prayer to his Guru. He addressed the conference with the words, “Sisters and brothers of America”. These words had such miraculous strength in them that those thousands gathered stood up and there was continuous applause. The emotional appeal in those compassionate words had stirred every heart. It was the first time ever that any orator had referred to the whole of mankind as ‘Sisters and brothers’. Further, he entranced all present with his brilliant and powerful oration.

Swami Vivekananda felt that the Hindu Samaj has the potential to become the spiritual teacher to the world. After centuries someone had again shown the Hindu society its own wide horizons. Yet Swami ji did not criticize any religion. He did not degrade any religion. He only wiped the dirt that had accumulated on the Hindu Dharma owing to its ill-treatment and affronts at the hands of its invaders.

Swami Vivekananda showed Hindu Dharma its own irradiant self and placed it on the highest pedestal of the World Parliament of Religions. When speaking about Hindusthan, he says that it is a sacred land, a land with a divine purpose. Hindusthan is the abode of spirituality and introspection. Right from the ancient ages, founders of religious tenets were born here. They satiated the scorched earth with the cooling waters of the Eternal truth - Sanatan Satya. It’s the only land where one can experience not only tolerance but also affection for other religions. 

Swami Vivekananda's sermons

Swami Vivekananda returned back to Kolkata to a grand welcome after projecting Bharat in its deserved glory. ‘The Plan of my movement’, ’Vedant in everyday life of Bharat’, ‘Our duty for the day’, ‘The great sons of Bharat’, and ‘ Future of Bharat’ were some of the subjects on which he started delivering lectures. His language at all times remained resplendent throughout all his speeches. His incisive thoughts had a great impact on both Indian as well as foreign minds. He could spread the message of Vedant all around the world. Thus he won for Arya dharma, Arya people and Arya land its rightful prestigious position.

‘Real Sanyas is to sacrifice the self for the betterment of others

Swami Vivekananda held a lot of respect for the spiritual heritage of Bharat, but he did attack through his speeches its undesirable customs and the abominable caste system. Thus his speeches served as a wake-up call even to Hindu society. His ardent appeal stuck lightening in the hearts of his dormant countrymen.  His natural state of being would have been to meditate on the formless eternal entity i.e. Nirvikar Samadhi. Yet he set aside his own renunciation and thought about the mortal struggles, sorrows, and joys of common people; throughout his life, he strived for their upliftment. ‘Real Sanyas is to sacrifice the self for the betterment of others’ – he lived this axiom.

WE NEED YOUR HELP

Ghar Waapasi is going on unimpeded. We appreciate it if you can help in hiring more people who can go to these villages to do Ghar Waapasi. We have employed 20 Pracharaks working at the ground level. The more people we hire, the more villages can cover to welcome them back and also create Chaitanya (Awareness) among the students and villagers.

1) Sponsor one Bala Samskar Kendra for $1000.00

2) Sponsor one Pracharak: In order to expand our base and hire one Pracharak, it would cost approximately $3000.00 per year. We have five anonymous donors who sponsored Assistants.

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