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Sunday, 19 May 2013





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An unusual program in song, word and dance

The Hindu Women's Society commemorated Swami Vivekananda's 150th birth anniversary with a Presentation in song, word and dance on The spirit of Swami Vivekananda on May 4 at the Ramakrishna Hall.

President Mrs.S.Duraiswmay’s Welcome Speech.

We were at the Ramakrishna Hall on the 4th of May this year. The hall was full and around 6.10 in the evening, Aarathi was taken by two danseuse for Swami Vivekananda while a third was ringing the temple bell softly as the audience stood up in silence paying homage to the great Swami whose 150th birth anniversary, the Kalagam was celebrating All was still and the curtain gently opened depicting the emerging dawn at Kanya Kumari - the tip of South India where a young man in sannyasin's garb was sitting in deep meditation.

The breeze of early dawn was felt, the twitter of birds was heard and a group of ashram students were performing the Surya Namaskaram to the singing of the sloka Om Suryaya Namaha. A danseuse came from amongst the ashram students and danced to the words of the Mantram Guru Brahma! Guru Vishnu! Guru Devo Maheswara: ....

The setting was beautiful - ideal for the spirit of Swami Vivekanaanda.

The compere's words, "Born on January 12, 1863, Naren who later became Swami Vivekananda strode like a colossus on the Indian and international scene. He introduced Hinduism to the west and reawakened the Hindus of India from their slumber and servitude. He was born at a time when his country was under British rule and his people were politically suppressed, economically impoverished and socially divided. He carried the message of the oneness of humanity and Hinduism's acceptance of all religions as true," introduced the story of the Swamiji.

The story goes back to the time when together with his peers he received the Sannyasin's orange robes being initiated into Sannyasam by Sri Ramakrishna himself. It was sacrosanct to us in the audience to see the six novitiates bowing low, touching the feet of their Guru and receiving the orange garb - the ochre colour reminding each of the vows they were taking representing the mental flame in which all desires are extinguished. This physical symbol offers a protection to the young monks as each pursues his life of spirituality and service.

Soon after the ordination, Naren, had a calling to live for a time as a wandering monk. The urge to travel the length and breadth of India and see for himself the plight of his country and his country-men started him off on this wandering mission.

He left Kolkata and travelled far and wide and finally swam across deeply agitated in mind and sat on the rock in the southern tip of India that today bears his name.

Vote of thanks by Mrs.Indra Raj, acting secretary

Mathaji's benediction speech

It was here that he received a vision of the future of one India and realised, that even though as a nation, India may have lost its individuality yet there was hope for his country and his fellow Hindus to arise and awake in keeping with Hindu spiritual traditions. He realised that religion was still very important in the peoples' life and that this could be harnessed for spiritual and cultural renovations of the people.

And the compere's voice tells us that it was then that Swamiji resolved, "to dedicate himself to the service of India and to spread the message of the Vedanta. This could be made possible through the training of the young minds and the uplift of women and the masses."

He is seen invoking Mother India saying; "Arise O Mother and change this sad scenario!" and a bevy of young dancers come dancing in invoking Mother India asking, "Is this the great land where we were born into? - the land that is now in this miserable state forgetting the beautiful and great past? Where is that land? Arise! O Mother! and bring back this land to its ancient glory!"

Swamiji was invited to participate in the World's Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893 and the words of the compere comes saying, "Sri Ramakrishna appears walking across the water directing him to accept the invitation to go abroad.

And with the blessings of Shri Saradha Devi, he sets sail to America as the Hindu representative.

The day he stood before the audience in Chicago at the Parliament of Religions unfurling the Hindu Dharma flag saying, "Sisters and Brothers of America," he emanated a magnifying power that mesmerised the audience into pin-drop silence, only to rise to give him a standing ovation. The significance of the opening words was certainly not lost on his audience. The words reverberated with the exquisite beauty of the spiritual message of the Atman resounding with the all embracing call to kinship, unity and love for all as we listened mesmerised so many many years later seeing the young Swami addressing the American audience..

He said, "I bring greetings to the youngest of the nations on behalf of the most ancient order of monks in the world, the Vedic order of Sannyasins, a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance.

"We accept all religions as true," he says quoting the Vedic sloka.

He infused this spirit of tolerance and acceptance and its sense of universality into Parliament as he received the resounding applause.

Several girls came dancing, beating the drum singing, Kottu murase! Arise! Awake... One danseuse depicted the Hindu prayer followed by the inspiring words, Buddham saranam gachchaami! Dharmam saranam gachchaami! Sangam saranam gachchaami. And the remaining dancers brought out the prayers of Islam and Christianity, as the Compere's words,

"As the different streams having their sources in different places all mingle their water in the sea so, O Lord, the different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee!" floated through the air.

Swamiji's Vision of the future of India

This is followed by the touching scene of Sri Saradha Devi in discussion with Swamiji and his colleagues. "Mother Saradhai! We are here to humbly do your bidding; and give us your blessings," said the young monk. Remember that service to mankind is indeed service to God, she said blessing their endeavours.

And in came a bevy of young dancers dancing and asking questions about the work that Swamiji and his colleagues are doing. "Can a bird fly on one wing only," they danced and sang seeking equal opportunities for women to receive education as men, considering a woman as mother and respecting her always.While they discussed in song and dance the work the Ramakrishna Mission was doing, the dancers danced saying that several mission have been founded all over the world spreading spirituality and serving to uplift the poor people And the Compere's words came floating through the air -

"No peace and harmony could be brought about and no improvements could be effected in any society until and unless the women and the masses who form a greater part of the population are educated. If women, who according to Swamiji are the embodiments of the Divine Mother, are elevated then culture, freedom, peace and harmony will spread not only in the homes but also amongst humanity."

The finale to the presentation was the singing of the Mangalam, a benediction itself where the senior dancers came dancing-in singing, Mangalam! to the worthy son of Bharata Mata! The son who realised the importance of uplifting the woman and the masses through education - Mangalam! mangalam!

The participants of the presentation carrying the lamp lit from Swami Vivekananda's lamp came dancing to answer the curtain call and the grand programme came to an end as the curtain came down.

Swami Vivekananda was the giant who in a span of thirty nine years lived a life of five thousand years of spiritual and national attainment.

He strode like a colossus in the national and international scenes carrying the universal message of the Oneness of humanity and harmony of religions advocating a new social order based on Hindu spirituality and the scientific advancement of the west - a happy blend of religion and science, moral excellence and material prosperity.



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