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Vivekananda’s 150th Birth Anniversary Celebrated
The 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda was celebrated here on Saturday through an inter – school competition organised by the Jagannath Textile Company at the Suburban Higher Secondary School.
School students took part in a project display under the theme ‘Swami Vivekananda at Kanyakumari,’ besides skits on the topic –‘If Swami Vivekananda and Swami Ramakrishna Paramhamsa meet in the current scenario’, essay writing on the topic –‘Swami Vivekananda’s vision of New India’, elocution competition on ‘Your view of Swami Vivekananda – A Spiritual Leader or A Patriotic Leader’ and poetry writing on ‘Swami Vivekananda’s – Wisdom, Courage, Pride and Noble Ideas.’
According to a press note, a total of 325 schoolchildren from 27 schools in the city took part. The winners would be given prizes during a function to be held on January 12. The birth anniversary of Vivekananda, born on 12th January, 1863, is celebrated as ‘National Youth Day.’
Foreword by President, PM
A glimpse into the book, which has a foreword by the President of India, the Prime Minister, and the President of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, reveals a rich trove of thoughts from scholars across the world, as well as monks and nuns of the order. The book will be formally released in mid – January. It includes a poem, titled ‘Hold on yet a while braveheart,’ written by Swami Vivekananda.
Several sections of the book, which deals with the monk’s teachings and sayings, show how prescient he was. An article on him and the ideal woman of the future refers to the portion where an observation made by Vivekananda over 100 years ago is to the fore again now. “In India there are two great evils — trampling on women and grinding of the poor… There is no hope for the rise of that family or nation where there is no estimation of women or where they live in sadness,” he wrote.
One of the most endearing parts of the 645 – page book would perhaps be the letters of J.J. Goodwin, Swami Vivekananda’s stenographer, which gives an idea of the man.
Rousing reception in Jaffna
A letter written by Goodwin to Sara Bull in January 1987 narrates how Vivekananda received a rousing reception in Colombo and at Jaffna, where there was a procession of about 20,000 people. Goodwin says that his work in the West had caused a tremendous spiritual revival. Visits were also made to Anuradhapuram. According to eyewitnesses, the Swami enjoyed a following wherever he went within the country and outside.
While the book is divided into five sections, the ones on his personality and his teachings may just as well turn out to be the most avidly read. The book published by the Advaita Ashrama will be available from all outlets of the Ramakrishna Mission at a discount.