GHHF Celebrates Swami Vivekananda Birthday on January 12 in Different Locations by our Pracharaks and Bala Samskar Teachers.

12 Jan 2022 68 Views

Swami Vivekananda

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life - think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.”

Global Hindu Heritage Foundation is very happy to announce that many of our Pracharaks in six different locations – Anantapur, Tirupati, Madanapalli, Hyderabad, Kakinada, Chittoor, and Visakhapatnam - celebrated the Birthday of Swami Vivekananda.  They spoke about the greatness of Swami Vivekananda, his meeting with Sri Ramakrishna Parama Hamsa, his travel to America to attend Parliament of Religions, his stirring speech, reactions of newspapers, his clarion call for Hindus to learn about the richness of Hindu culture, admonishing the Hindus to take pride in their religion, and relevance of his teachings to the modern society. Our Pracharaks talked about the relevance of his message to Bharat and how to protect Hindu Dharma from Islamic terrorism and Christian aggression.

Swami Vivekananda participates at the Chicago Interfaith conference 

It must have been the divine plan to allow this saint to introduce the world to the great Hindu Dharma. 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 at Chicago on 11th September 1893. He said that “I do not come to convert you to a new belief. I want you to keep your own belief; I want to make the Methodist a better Methodist; the Presbyterian a better Presbyterian; the Unitarian a better Unitarian. I want to teach you to live the truth, to reveal the light within your own soul."

News Papers Parliament President John Henry Barrows said, "India, the Mother of religions was represented by Swami Vivekananda, the Orange-monk who exercised the most wonderful influence over his auditors". Vivekananda attracted widespread attention in the press, which called him the "cyclonic monk from India". The New York Critique wrote, "He is an orator by divine right, and his strong, intelligent face in its picturesque setting of yellow and orange was hardly less interesting than those earnest words, and the rich, rhythmical utterance he gave them". The New York Herald noted, "Vivekananda is undoubtedly the greatest figure in the Parliament of Religions. After hearing him we feel how foolish it is to send missionaries to this learned nation". American newspapers reported Vivekananda as "the greatest figure in the parliament of religions" and "the most popular and influential man in the parliament". The Boston Evening Transcript reported that Vivekananda was "a great favorite at the parliament... if he merely crosses the platform, he is applauded". He spoke several more times at the Parliament on topics related to Hinduism, Buddhism, and harmony among religions until the parliament ended on 27 September 1893. Vivekananda's speeches at the Parliament had the common theme of universality, emphasizing religious tolerance. He soon became known as a "handsome oriental" and made a huge impression as an orator.

Importance of Idol Worship
 
In the beginning of 1891 (most probably February 1891) Vivekananda reached Alwar (currently a district in Rajasthan) where he met the king of the state Maharaja Mangal Singh Bahadur or Mangal Singh. The meeting between Swami Vivekananda and Mangal Singh and the conversation between them has historical significance and has been discussed and analyzed by various scholars and biographers. In this post, we'll talk about that meeting between Mangal Singh and Vivekananda.

Mangal Singh Bahadur, the king of Alwar was Westernized in his outlook and had no respect for Indian and especially Hindu culture and traditions, and used to feel proud for his attitude. He used to spend all his time in the company of Westerners, in hunting and other luxuries.
 
Mangal Singh smiled and replied— "The idols you worship are nothing but pieces of clay, stones, or metals. I find this idol-worship "meaningless".

It was a direct attack on Hindu belief and Vivekananda had to give a strong reply to it. He started explaining to the king that Hindus worship God alone, using the idol as a symbol. But his reply failed to convince Singh. Thereupon, Vivekananda saw a portrait hanging in the wall of the court. Vivekananda approached the painting, looked at it, and asked the dewan of the court to take it down from the wall. It was a painting of Singh's deceased father. When the dewan took the picture down from the wall, Vivekananda asked him to spit on it. All were taken back, The dewan was horrified. The king was furious, "How dare you ask him to spit on my father?", he cried, in a tone of demanding an explanation.

Vivekananda saw the king was gripped. He smiled and quietly replied, "Your father, where is he?  It is just a painting— a piece of paper, not your father."

Vivekananda's reply followed the logic of the king's previous comment on Hindu idols. So, he was perplexed and speechless and did not know what to say.

Vivekananda once again started explaining to him, "Look Maharaja, this is a painting of you father, but when you look at it, it reminds you about him, here the painting is a "symbol". Similarly when a Hindu worshipper worships an idol, the idol reminds him about his beloved deity and he feels the presence of the deity in the idol. Here too it is a "symbol". Maharaja, it is all about anubhuti (feelings and realization).

Now Mangal Singh quickly realized the real meaning of idol worship. He apologized to Vivekananda for his frivolity and rudeness and thanked him for giving him the lesson. He also requested Vivekananda to stay at his palace for a few days.
 
Inspiring Quotes by Swami Vivekananda

The Vedanta recognizes no sin it only recognizes error. And the greatest error, says the Vedanta is to say that you are weak, that you are a sinner, a miserable creature, and that you have no power, and you cannot do this and that.

“Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this Divinity within by controlling nature, external and internal. Do this either by work, or worship, or mental discipline, or philosophy—by one, or more, or all of these—and be free. This is the whole of religion. Doctrines, or dogmas, or rituals, or books, or temples, or forms, are but secondary details.”

The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.

Never think there is anything impossible for the soul. It is the greatest heresy to think so. If there is sin, this is the only sin; to say that you are weak, or others are weak.

“The great secret of true success, of true happiness, is this: the man or woman who asks for no return, the perfectly unselfish person, is the most successful.”

“All power is within you; you can do anything and everything. Believe in that, do not believe that you are weak; do not believe that you are half-crazy lunatics, as most of us do nowadays. You can do anything and everything, without even the guidance of anyone. Stand up and express the divinity within you.”

“All love is expansion; all selfishness is contraction. Love is therefore the only law of life. He who loves lives, he who is selfish is dying. Therefore, love for love's sake, because it is the only law of life, just as you breathe to live.”

“We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. If what we are now has been the result of our own past actions, it certainly follows that whatever we wish to be in the future can be produced by our present actions; so we have to know how to act.”

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