-: Introducing the Book :Vivekananda His Gospel of Man-making With a Garland of Tributes & A Chronicle of His Life & Times With Pictures 988 pages Multi-colour jacket 80 B & W photos ISBN 81-85304-66-1 LCCN 93-900986
CONTENTS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
Prologue – 2 What is ‘Man-making’? – 3 Overview of the Book: A Guide to the Contents – 5 Synopsis of the Contents – 6 Review Excerpts – 7 Milestones in the Publication –11 Author –12 His other Works –13 Swami Vivekananda: The Great Hindu Monk of India, & His Lasting Spiritual Legacy to Humanity
(A Presentation) – 14 10. ‘HPI’ on the Presentation – 29 12. Presentations made in the U.S. – 30 11. ‘Success’ Story of a Humble Monk – 31 -1-
PROLOGUE The main concern of the world today is peace and harmony. The path that the world has until now traversed in pursuit of technological mastery has imperiled peace. If peace and harmony are to rise and rein in the hearts and minds of people, they should have an opportunity to be exposed to the revealing insights of spirituality, which Swami Vivekananda has bequeathed to humanity. Hence, the propagation of his spiritual teachings is the most important means of serving that divine mission. The more the life and teachings of the great Swamiji are made known, the more will the spiritual perspective of humanity be widened, thereby paving the way for enduring world peace everyone is hankering for. Vivekananda – a bridge between the East and West, and a Harbinger of Peace Swami Vivekananda is a bridge between the East and the West. He is in fact a dynamic spiritual force to shape the future of humanity. His teachings have set in motion a spiritual force, which can eventually bring into Western civilization much needed qualitative change. Indeed, Vivekananda is a harbinger of peace unto the woebegone humanity. Mystics on the Emergence of a New World “The mystics have seen that not till we master the know-how of transforming our human impulses and reactions can we hope to redeem the pitiful state of the world. This pitiful state of our world is but a projection of a dreadful inner disharmony. The New World must come from within and not from without – so the best way is not to be too much preoccupied with the lamentable things that are happening outside, but to grow within so that one may be ready for the New World whatever form it may take”. Vivekananda’s Dynamic Influence on Societies and Individuals Swami Vivekananda's influence on societies and individuals can be classified into: his impact as a teacher of Vedanta; his stress on the practice of religion of service, based on equality and tyaga; his role as an awakener, builder and organizer of modern India with its patriotic, spiritual and service movements;
his contribution as a cultural and spiritual emissary of India to the West; his work as an interpreter of Indian values in the universal language of science, and his influence in taming and unifying science itself. His Contributions to Humanity This volume comprising four parts is a humble attempt to acquaint the reader with some of these contributions of Swamiji to humanity. Besides, it presents a diary of significant events in his life and times, a glimpse of his scintillating divine personality, a taste of his powerful and clear language of electrifying impact, and a rare example of his utter humility when he traces all that is good in him and all that he could accomplish in a too-short a span of time to the grace of his Great Master, Sri Ramakrishna, in whose hallowed name he set in motion a mighty Movement for the well-being and spiritual enlightenment of the mankind. Finally, the book enables the reader to see Swamiji visually through pictures. It presents a selection of eighty photographs projecting a tapestry-like a visual review of the evolution of Naren into Vivekananda the prophet of „Awakened India‟. An exhaustive list of over two hundred books by and on Swami Vivekananda is appended to the book for reference and further study. His Lasting Gift to the World Humanity has not yet opened fully the gift it has received from Sri Ramakrishna, the gift of the advent and work of Swami Vivekananda. We can only envy the future world, which will be delighted and blessed with this gift which it has been ready to receive but slow to uncover.
WHAT IS 'MAN-MAKING'? (Excerpts from the book) Swami Vivekananda said: “Man-making is my mission of life. I am not a politician, nor am I a social reformer. It is my job to fashion man…I care only for the spirit: when that is right, everything will be righted by itself.” „Man-making‟! This Swamiji spoke as his „new Gospel‟, applying it not only to sannyasins, not only to Indians, but in its most profound sense, to men and women everywhere. Indeed, to make men and to teach the highest truth constituted in
Swamiji‟s language one and the same mission – and this mission, to his mind, formed the central task of his life on earth. Manliness! Swamiji meant a great deal by that term. Manliness, in his view, emanated from the Atman, permeating the whole empirical man – body, senses, mind, heart and will. To have the quality of manliness was to be established in the Self, to rejoice in the Self, to want nothing, to fear nothing, to dislike nothing, to serve all Only spiritually free and strong men and women, taking their stand on the Self – the Atman – can truly deify this world, can truly revere it and work in it tirelessly, without desire or fear, motivated by love alone. And, only such men and women can meet the unprecedentedly terrible challenge of this age. „Man-making‟: This really means rousing the purblind race to an awareness of its innate spiritual strength and essential divine nature. Human beings are by no means inheritors of any original „sin‟, but, truly „amrtasya putrah‟, children of immortality. Such is Vedanta's Magna Carta for humanity. „Man-making‟ was his main pre-occupation, for he believed in such a free, fearless man of character, enlightenment and love lay the hope of the world. Transformation of man is the only solution for all the ills that are found in the society. 'Man-making‟ indeed constitutes the purport and aim of all his utterances. „Man-making‟ meant for Vivekananda rousing man to an awareness of his essential divine nature, making him rely always on his innate spiritual strength. Let man/woman remember his/her true nature – Divinity. Let it become a living realization and everything else will follow – power, strength, manhood / womanhood. Swami Vivekananda‟s message of the essential Divinity of the human spirit as the main radiating source of all spiritual values, is the one teaching that can purge religions of exclusiveness and fanaticism, and thereby re-fit them to fulfill their spiritual mission. All theologies, rituals and dogmas have nothing sacrosanct in themselves, but are to be valued to the extent they can help man realize and manifest the Divinity latent in him. Harmony and mutual goodwill in the context of religious plurality is possible only in the light of such a universal philosophy that Swami Vivekananda preached."
OVERVIEW of the Book:
A GUIDE TO THE CONTENTS Benediction – Swami Ranganathananda Publisher's Note Foreword – Swami Tapasyananda Prolegomenon – Dr. M. Lakshmi Kumari “A Book to be Treasured...” – M. V. Kamath “Homage with a Difference” – Prof. K. R. Srinivasa Iyengar Editor’s Note Introduction
Part One: Section One Vivekananda: His Gospel of Man-Making Part One: Section Two Vivekananda on Education and Religion – Interpretations and Allied Thoughts Part One: Section Three Vivekananda – The Man and His Mission (Tributes from Abroad, Monks, Savants & Saints, Statesman & Politicians)
Part Two A Chronicle of Important Events in the Life and Times of Vivekananda (1863-1902)
Part Three Vivekananda – A Voice From Across the Century Part Four Vivekananda in Pictures List of Pictures
Appendix i) Vivekananda and His New Gospel – A Recapitulation ii) Homage to Swami Vivekananda Glossary Bibliography (Chronicle) Vivekananda Literature – Books by and on Vivekananda Brief Introduction to the Authors General Index (Chronicle) Subject Index (Chronicle)
SYNOPSIS OF THE CONTENTS Introduction The introduction to the book brings out the universal and unifying aspects of Indian spiritual and cultural heritage and shows how the great genius of Swami Vivekananda tried to establish not only its practicality and relevance in the present-day world but also reiterated the urgent need to follow its tenets for the onward progress of mankind – the development and enlightenment of the individual and for peace and harmony in society. Vivekananda – His Gospel of Man-making Vivekananda's thoughts on the art of moulding people, combining scientific temper with a spiritual basis, are enshrined in this section. Transforming individuals was his main pre-occupation, for he believed that in such free, fearless persons of character, enlightenment and love lay the hope of the world. Transformation of persons is the only solution for all the ills that are found in the society. Swamiji has provided the best of remedies for today‟s social and global illness. Vivekananda on Education and Religion – Interpretations and Allied Thoughts
This section highlighting not only the importance of Swami Vivekananda‟s life and teachings but also the impact it has produced on the world citizens from various walks of life brings together the vast collection of observations on him. The multifaceted personality of the great Swami, seen, known, adored and worshipped by many contemporaries, his and ours, get painted on the canvas of the last one century of Indian cultural history. Vivekananda – The Man and his Mission: Tributes Swamiji's ideas springing forth from the fountainhead of his realization that each soul is potentially divine get amplified and reinforced in this section through several scholarly voices. This innate divinity of mankind was what Swamiji emphasized all the time, as he was fully convinced through his own life and of his Great Master that on this foundation alone can be built the beautiful edifice of human life grounded on character, dignity and integrity, not only of the individual but also of the nation.
A Chronicle of Important Events in the Life and Times of Vivekananda This part aims at presenting Swamiji's historic image in the context of the contemporary movements – political, social, cultural, etc. This is useful for a proper understanding of Swamiji‟s mission in world perspective. Besides the principal event in the life of the Swami, the Chronicle thus covers significant landmarks in various spheres of human activity in India and abroad during the years 1863-1902. Vivekananda – A Voice from Across the Century In the context of the centenary of Swamiji's appearance in the World's Parliament of Religions held at Chicago on September 11, 1893, this part highlights his visit to and the impact on the West, and his historic Chicago Address. Portraying him as a bridge between the East and the West, it shows how Vivekananda is a dynamic spiritual force to shape the future of the humanity. Vivekananda in Pictures This part enables the readers to see Swamiji visually through illustrations. It contains a selection of eighty photographs projecting tapestry-like a visual review of the evolution of Naren into Vivekananda the prophet of „Awakened India‟, of man‟s awakening into his true Self, and of the efflorescence of the Divine in everyday human life. Vivekananda Literature – Books by and on Vivekananda An exhaustive list of over 200 books by and on Swami Vivekananda is appended to the book for reference and further study.
REVIEW EXCERPTS I have gone through the book by Swami Jyotirmayananda: “Vivekananda: His Gospel of Man-making, with a Garland of Tributes, and a Chronicle of His Life and Times, with Pictures.” It is a unique book with rich reading material, which instructs and inspires the reader. It should find a place in all our libraries of educational institutions and all our public libraries as well. – SWAMI RANGANATHANANDA in his Benediction The popularization of the life and message of such a versatile personality as Swami Vivekananda is a necessity of our times.
To fulfill this there are already in existence his Complete Works in eight volumes and several biographical writings on him by men of great eminence. In the midst of all this what special significance this compilation by Swami Jyotirmayananda has got – is a question that will come to the mind of a reader. It has got significance which none of the other existing works on the Swami serves. It can be called a comprehensive study of Swami Vivekananda. Not only does it give an account of his life and a selected body of his lectures; it gives a variety of essays and utterances by eminent thinkers, a collection of which one can get nowhere except in this book. Besides, it gives also a bird's eye view of the history of the times in which Swamiji appeared. Every great man is a product of his times, and is in turn a maker of the future. For a comprehensive study this historical background is a great advantage. These three features of Swami Jyotirmayananda‟s compilation make this book very valuable. It is hoped that the book will have a wide circulation among serious readers who love India and its culture. – SWAMI TAPASYANANDA in his Foreword The serious student of Vivekananda has a generous choice of reading ranging from the Complete Works in 8 volumes to the biographical, estimative and interpretative studies by Romain Rolland, Swami Nikhilananda, Sister Nivedita, Swami Avyaktananda, S. N. Dhar, Swami Tapasyananda, R. C. Majumdar and a host of others. Swami Jyotirmayananda‟s present massive compilation, however, is homage with a difference. While in its weight and varied richness of content it is clearly „encyclopedic‟ in scope, it nevertheless avoids uniform alphabetization and is actually a cross between a Vivekananda Handbook and a Chronicle of His Life and Times. The Editor‟s admirable 17-page introduction sets the tone to the whole endeavor, and is followed by copious extracts judiciously chosen, captioned and arranged – some exhortative, others instructive – from Vivekananda‟s speeches and writings that cumulatively set forth his „Gospel of Manmaking‟. This really means rousing the purblind human race to an awareness of its innate spiritual strength and essential divine nature. Human beings are by no means inheritors of any original „sin‟, but truly „amrtasya putrah‟, children of immortality. Such is Vedanta's Magna Carta for humanity. The volume also -8-
includes a selection of 80 photographs projecting tapestry-like a visual review of the evolution of Naren into Vivekananda the Prophet of Prabuddha Bharata, of man‟s awakening into his true self, and of the efflorescence of the Divine in everyday human life. The Gargantuan editorial work has doubtless been a labor of love and devotion, of total commitment too. This is a book for all libraries, personal and public alike. – PROF. K.R. SRINIVASA IYENGAR in his Review This book is significant in that two objectives are beautifully achieved: Nearly 200 pages of tributes to Swami Vivekananda and a 300-page Chronicle of his Life and Times. Also included is a bouquet of sublime and soul-stirring thoughts of Swamiji, a significant selection from his highly inspiring speeches and writings. The tribute section is certainly most extensive to be found.... This book is a remarkable compilation of information.... Because of the Chronicle one can easily perceive the diverse energies at play in the rampant growth of the industrial revolution and modern science, and the social changes.... Perusing the Chronicle, one appreciates the importance of the editor's intent: “To provide a vista of the principal events in the life of Swami Vivekananda and aid the reader in understanding Swamiji‟s historic environs and the forces which were moulding human consciousness during the period”. – “HINDUISM TODAY” in its Review Swami Jyotirmayananda's work on Swami Vivekananda is unique in many respects. Apart from the Swami‟s writings and speeches relating to his favorite theme of „Man-making‟, there are other interesting features viz. Essays and interpretations by competent persons on the approach of Vivekananda to Religion and Education, a whole section of tributes to this Lion of Vedanta by his contemporaries and later men from different walks of life; a Chronicle of events of importance in the world when he lived and events in his own life alongside; eighty pictures of Vivekananda at different stages in his career. There are several interesting anecdotes related by writers in course of their tributes. In the Chronicle flit Huxley, Darwin, Karl Marx, Edison, Wimbledon with dates and mention of their achievements. A fascinating work, complete with indices and bibliography. – M. P. PANDIT in his Review -9-
This is a unique book set in a unique format and withal, most relevant to our times. There are several excellent to good biographies of Swami Vivekananda. This book is not a biography in the accepted sense of the term. But it places Vivekananda in the context of his times as no other book has so far done. What is most fascinating about this book is the Chronicle of important events in the life and times of Swami Vivekananda, for it brings to the reader in vivid terms the atmosphere of the times in which Vivekananda lived. It tells us a great deal about the events that took place during forty years of the Swami's life. It has been rightly said that the significance of a man's life and activities is best understood in the context of the times in which he lived. Newspaper accounts make fascinating reading. And the compiler has provided us long quotes from a variety of sources, both Indian and Foreign. They paint between them such a vivid picture of Vivekananda that he comes through in all his vibrancy. There has never been a book like this before and it is unlikely that there will be another like this again. It brings us Vivekananda in all his magnificence and glory. It recreates for us another time and era. This is a book to be treasured for its own sake and for the sake of Vivekananda. – M. V. KAMATH in his Review Swami Jyotirmayananda, himself a light of the Ramakrishna lineage, and thus a spiritual heir to Vivekananda, is said to have worked day and night for five years to bring together this amazing testament. „Vivekananda, the great teacher, philosopher and mystic whose mission was to rouse, in all people, awareness of the focus of human dignity – the Atman – and help them manifest that glory in every movement of their life.‟ One can hardly glance at any of its thousand pages without being immediately captured by the charm, the wit, the awesome power of this most powerful of Hindus of the last century, the Lion of Vedanta of Chicago-Parliament-ofReligions fame. Contains over 80 photographs and countless witness accounts of Swami Vivekananda. – HIMALAYAN ACADEMY, Kapaa, HI
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MILESTONES IN THE PUBLICATION 1985: A happy coincidence, the editing of the book (Vivekananda – His Gospel of Man-making, with a Garland of Tributes, and a Chronicle of His Life and Times, with Pictures) commenced five years ago (in 1979), was completed in the 'International Youth Year‟, when the Government of India thoughtfully declared the birthday of Swami Vivekananda as the „National Youth Day‟, recognizing the fact that „his philosophy and the ideals for which he had lived and worked could be an abiding source of inspiration for the youth.‟ 1986: The First Edition of the book was released on the birthday of Swami Vivekananda, during the celebration at the Vivekananda College, Mylapore, and Madras. The book was released by the then Governor of Madras, and Swami Ranganathanandaji received the first copy of the book. In his Benediction to the book, Swami Ranganathanandaji wrote: “I have gone through the book…. It is a unique book with rich reading material, which instructs and inspires the reader. It should find a place in all our libraries of educational institutions and all our public libraries as well.” 1988: The Second Edition coincided with the 125th birthanniversary of Swami Vivekananda. 1992: The Third Edition was brought out in the context of the centenary of Swami Vivekananda's Bharat Parikrama, the 100th year of his peregrinations all over India, as a wandering monk, prior to his departure to the West, to participate in the World's Parliament of Religions at Chicago in 1893. 1993: The Fourth Edition was brought out in the context of the centenary of Swami Vivekananda's historic Chicago Address in 1893. In his Benediction to this edition, Swami Ranganathanandaji wrote: “have gone through the First Edition (Oct. 1986)…. I have also received a copy of the Second Edition (Aug. 1988). It is a well brought out book, and there is much appreciation from persons and reviewers. Now I am happy to know that an International Edition of this book under the new title “Vivekananda - A Comprehensive Study”, with an additional part entitled “Vivekananda – A Voice from Across the Century”, is being brought out in the context of Swami Vivekananda's appearance at the World‟s Parliament of
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Religions at Chicago (1893). I wish this valuable compendium on the spiritual ministry of Swami Vivekananda a wide circulation in America and in the rest of the Western world." In this context, the Editor of the volume had the privilege of attending the „Global Vision 2000‟ Program at Washington, and the „Parliament of Religions‟ at Chicago (Aug.-Sept. 1993). The International edition of the book was introduced in both the programs, held in commemoration of the centenary of Swamiji‟s appearance at the World‟s Parliament of Religions at Chicago. It was well received and widely welcomed as a reference work on Swami Vivekananda. 2000: The Fifth Edition (revised and enlarged) coincided with the UN Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders (Aug. 28-31, 2000), at New York, and was released during the program in which the author participated. 2002: During the centenary of Swami Vivekananda's Mahaasamaadhi, it was offered as an e-book, with an audiovisual Presentation on Swamiji.
AUTHOR Swami Jyotirmayananda hails from South Kanara in Karnataka state of India. He had his schooling and college studies at the Mangalore Ramakrishna Mission Students Home. He got the mantra diksha in 1966 while serving in a firm in Madras, from Swami Vireswarananda, the Tenth President of the Ramakrishna Order. He joined the Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari, in 1973, and after tenure of service, took to monastic life independently in 1976. He edited a voluminous book on Swami Vivekananda titled “Vivekananda – His Gospel of Man-Making” (www.vivekananda gospel.org) which chronicles the important events in the life and times of Swami Vivekananda, and highlights his mission and the message to the world. The first edition of this unique book (988 pp) with rich reading material which instructs and inspires the reader, was published in 1986, and the fifth edition was released at New York, in the context of the UN Millennium World Peace Summit 2000. Later, it was also made available as an e-book, with an audio-visual presentation on Swamiji, in the context of the 100th year of his Mahaasamaadhi (2002).
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“India‟s Gift to the World is the Light Spiritual – Understanding India, Its Culture and Sanatana Dharma” (344 pp.), is a collection of his papers and articles. The papers were presented at various indological conferences in the U.S.A., and the articles published in the brochures released at different programs in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The book also contains his article published in India Tribune, Chicago, and another article compiled from the writings of Swami Vivekananda. His other works/translation include “Hanuman Chalisa and Ashtaka” (with 'Glory of Sri Hanuman, the Glory of Hanuman Chalisa and the Glory of Ramanam.'); “Beloved Mother Amritanandamayi – A Sketch”; and “A Pilgrim Guide to Some Holy Places of Dakshina Kannada and Around.” He has been visiting the U.S. regularly and participating in various conferences and forums, since 1993, when the centenary of Parliament of World Religions was held in Chicago, and the „Global Vision 2000‟, Washington (1993); later „UN Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders‟, New York (2000); „Vedanta in the Third Millennium‟ Conference, Vivekananda Vedanta Society, Chicago (2001); the „Vishwa Dharma Prasaar Yaatra‟ (2001), Chicago. In early July 2004, he also participated in the „Konkani Sammelan‟ at Los Angeles. He was one of the Program Coordinators of the „Dharma Summit‟ convened by Swami Dayananda Saraswati and held at the Rutgers University, New Jersey (Aug. 13-15, 2005); and a Coordination Committee Member, Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha Second Convention, Mumbai (October16, 17 & 18, 2005). His web page www.vivekanandagospel.org mainly deals with his publication and other activities, while the blog spot (www.vivekajyoti.blogspot.com) is a resource on various issues concerning the Hindu Dharma and the Samaj. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
His Other Works: 1. India’s Gift to the World is the Light Spiritual – Understanding India, Its Culture and Sanatana Dharma (comprising papers presented in various Indological conferences in the U.S., from 2002-2008)
2. Hanuman Chalisa and Ashtaka (Original text with transliteration and Hindi and English Translations); Also the Glory of Sri Hanuman, the Glory of Hanuman Chalisa and the Glory of Ramanam 3. Beloved Mother Amritanandamayi – A Sketch
4. A Pilgrim Guide to Some Holy Places in Dakshina Kannada and Around
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SWAMI VIVEKANANDA â€“ The Great Hindu Monk of India, & His Lasting Spiritual Legacy to Humanity (A Presentation made at some Universities, Colleges, Vedanta Centers and Temples in the U.S., in the context of the 100th year of his mahaasamaadhi)
OVERVIEW What is this Presentation? Why This Presentation? Prologue to the Presentation
-1Swami Vivekananda: 100 Years Later -2Glowing Tributes -3Homage -4An Estimate -5Prophetic Voice -6Divine Sparks -7'Be and Make'
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Scheme & Purpose of the Presentation:
What is this presentation? In the context of the 100th year of Swami Vivekananda‟s mahaasamaadhi (July 4, 2002), the day Swamiji consciously left his body, this Audio-Visual Presentation highlights the relevance of his mission and message to the present-day world in ushering peace and harmony. Based on the book: “Vivekananda - His Gospel of Manmaking with a Garland of Tributes and a Chronicle of His Life and Times with Pictures”, this Presentation was made at some of the universities, colleges, Vedanta Centers and temples in the U.S. (Oct. 12 to March 3, 2003). In this Presentation (which is a recorded speech with the background of some illustrations), there are 32 slides altogether, each displaying a picture of Swami Vivekananda on the designed background along with the relevant points/lines/quotations (from the recorded speech on the subject matter), to synchronize with the voice in the background, which conveys the ideas on the subject matter. The total duration of the Presentation is 55 minutes. While the main section is of 19 minutes duration, the other six sections are of 2 to 4 minutes. The Homage to Swami Vivekananda which is in the form of a Sanskrit composition, however, takes 15 minutes, because before singing the composition, the original Sanskrit text was read out, followed by the English rendering of it. The Sanskrit poem was recorded in 1993 at Chicago, where the author had the privilege to sing it at the Art Institute, during a Program conducted by the Vedanta Society of Chicago, in the context of the centenary of Swamiji's historic address at the same venue. Why this presentation? Today's world is torn by fundamentalist aggression and peacelessness arising out of a sensate culture. The world is looking for a way to create a new era with stability and peace. There is an urgent need for service and spirituality, respect for all religious traditions and devotion to the One Supreme Power with a variety of names and patterns, with a view to creating
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peace in the world community. Weary of strife and turmoil, humanity is in search of peace, amity among religions and individual freedom. The world therefore needs leaders who are universal in approach, all embracing in religious outlook, rational and humanistic in thinking and above all spiritual in vision. India's universal and rationalistic Sanatana Dharma has given us spiritual and epochal heroes like Swami Vivekananda. Swamiji was a manifold personality – a spiritual giant who strove for the good of all. He was a creator of worldwide spiritual civilization. He was an inspired seer born with a manmaking mission. He did everything for the removal of misery from the world and for kindling the spark of divinity in every human being. His message was therefore meant for all times and for all countries. In a short span of 39 years, Swami Vivekananda vigorously disseminated the message of Sanatana Dharma, the eternal message of peace, harmony and universal well-being, and proclaimed throughout the world the Vedic truth “ekam sat” (The Truth is One without a second – advaya), and that the whole world is one family. We need this message everywhere. We need the vision of Vivekananda who declared: “Where seekest thou, friend, God, leaving aside those before you in myriad forms? He indeed serves God who loves God in all beings.” The message of Swami Vivekananda is very relevant today. His spirit is still working. In Swami Vivekananda we have a dependable guide and mentor who can give us a better direction at this crucial juncture of history. This Presentation therefore highlights his unique contributions, lasting spiritual legacy and inspiring message. As aptly pointed out by a savant, “Swami Vivekananda's special contribution to the present age is the deliverance of a universal message conducive to man's moral and spiritual upliftment throughout the world and to the harmonious living of all human beings irrespective of differences of color, creed, sex, age, social rank, cultural standard, political outlook, and so forth.” “The Swami‟s personal experience of East and West, his penetrating insight, his erudition, his boundless compassion,
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his immaculate life, and above all, his realization of the Ultimate One, the Truth of truths beyond all diversities, made him specially qualified for the Divine Commission – the reconstruction of humanity on the spiritual foundation. No doubt, there will be warm response from all who are ready for the message”. Prologue to the presentation Swami Vivekananda is verily a powerful and pointed presentation of the Divinity that is unconditioned and immortal, in this mortal world conditioned by the triune of time, space and causality. This Presentation seeks to place before you a few glimpses of that wonderful manifestation of Divinity which, exactly a century ago (on July 4, 1902) merged back into its Divine Source, after accomplishing its divinely ordained mission, a great feat in too short a span of time. Here is an overview of the presentation in the context of the 100th year of his exit from this mortal world. There are, altogether, seven brief Sections in this Presentation, which, I hope, will be informative and inspiring. The initial Section: “Swami Vivekananda – 100 Years Later” highlights Swami Vivekananda's short but intense and utterly dedicated life and his immense contributions to humanity, and points out the relevance of and the need for his Gospel of Vedanta to usher in Peace and Harmony in today's war-weary and disturbed world. The next Section presents a glowing tribute by Swami Ranganathanandaji, the 13th President of the Ramakrishna Order, whose glorification of Swamiji as “The Great Emissary of India to the West” is highly significant. The Third Section, Homage, is a Sanskrit Composition, depicting Swami Vivekananda – The Man and His Mission. The Fourth Section estimates Swami Vivekananda, the inestimable, through a selected few utterances of World Thinkers and eminent persons. In the Fifth Section, we have a couple of prophetic utterances of Swami Vivekananda, which we will do well to note and remember in the present context.
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Some of the Divine Sparks that emanated from the spiritually illumined Swami are contained in the Sixth Section. And, the Final Section visually depicts Swamiji‟s integral Gospel of Vedanta in the modern context, epitomized by him in bare three words: “Be and Make.” 1. Swami Vivekananda 100 years later This is the centenary year of the mahaasamaadhi of Swami Vivekananda, the patriot-saint and the intrepid Hindu Monk of India who dazzled the West by his fascinating personality, scintillating intellect and powerful oratory. One hundred years ago, on July 4, 1902, completing his divinely ordained mission, the great Swami left his mortal coil and returned to the Divine Source. In the words of his illustrious disciple, Sister Nivedita, “…. on the wings of meditation, his spirit soared whence there could be no return, and the body was left, like a folded vesture, on the earth…. And the day he chose of all others was the Fourth of July – the American Independence Day.” His was a rare personality, a dynamic and dedicated life in a short span. His multi-faceted life and work, and the inspiring message were for the spiritual regeneration of India and the world. “Man-making is my mission in life,” he declared. “The older I grow the more everything seems to me to lie in manliness. This is my New Gospel.... My ideal indeed can be put into a few words, and that is: to preach unto mankind their divinity and how to make it manifest in every movement of life.” “Having given his ideal a firm practical shape, having inspired millions of people with the noble ideals of „Renunciation and Service‟, having made India conscious of her glorious past, and having awakened her to future tasks, Vivekananda wound up his earthly career at the age of thirtynine years, five months and twenty-two days, thus fulfilling his own prophecy: „I will not live to be forty years old.‟ ” In a short span, his achievements and contributions to humanity were stupendous. As he put it, “I have given humanity enough for the next fifteen hundred years.” At the height of his glory and renown, how unassuming and ego-less he was! Here is the testimony: “If there has ever been a word of truth, a word of spirituality, that I have spoken anywhere in the world, I owe it to my Master; only mistakes are - 18 -
mine… They call me the „cyclonic Hindu‟. Remember, it is His will – I am a voice without a form.” This is also a testimony to his fidelity to his Great Master – Sri Ramakrishna. And, as to his spiritual depth and universality of outlook, mark his words: “What is India or England or America to us? We are the servants of that God who by the ignorant is called man.” Renunciation, service and sacrifice were his watchwords. And, an embodiment of renunciation that he was, he wore himself out in the service of „God in man‟. Here is his testament: “When will that blessed day dawn when my life will be a sacrifice at the altar of humanity? …Let the body, since perish it must, wear out in action and not rust in inaction… It is better to wear out than to rust out.” In working for his divinely ordained mission, rest and respite were alien to him, so much so he declared that even after his final exit from this mortal world, he would not cease to work, and that he would inspire one and all until the whole world realized its spiritual oneness. Whoever heard of such a forthright statement made by any Mahatma in the hagiographic history of the world! Time has proved the truth of the words Swami Vivekananda uttered before his death: “It may be that I shall find it good to get outside my body – to cast it off like a worn out garment. But I shall not cease to work. I shall inspire men everywhere until the world shall know that it is one with God.” “Work unto death, I am with you, and when I am gone, my spirit will work with you.” Swami Vivekananda‟s influence on societies and individuals can be classified into: his impact as a teacher of the message of Eternal India, which is in fact the spiritual message of Sanatana Dharma, popularly known as Hinduism, or the rational and universal gospel of the Vedanta; his stress on the practice of religion of service, based on equality and tyaga; his role as an awakener, builder and organizer of modern India with its patriotic, spiritual and service movements; his contribution as a cultural and spiritual emissary of India to the West; his work as an interpreter of Indian values in the universal language of science and, his influence in taming and unifying science itself.
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Elsewhere we have made an attempt to acquaint the reader with some of these contributions of Swamiji to humanity. We have also presented a diary of significant events in his life and times, a glimpse of his scintillating divine personality, a taste of his powerful and clear language of electrifying impact, and a rare example of his utter humility when he traces all that is good in him and all that he could accomplish in too short a span of time to the grace of his Great Master Sri Ramakrishna, in whose hallowed name he set in motion a mighty Movement, the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission, for the well-being and the spiritual enlightenment of the humanity. Finally, our attempt also enables the reader to see Swamiji visually through pictures. It presents a visual review of the evolution of Naren into Vivekananda the prophet of â€žAwakened Indiaâ€&#x;. An exhaustive list of over two hundred books by and on Swami Vivekananda is also provided for reference and further study. Humanity has not yet opened fully the gift it has received from Sri Ramakrishna, the gift of the advent and work of Swami Vivekananda. We can only envy the future world, which will be delighted and blessed with this gift, which it has been ready to receive but slow to uncover. Swami Vivekananda â€œburst into the world like a bomb not to lick it into destruction with tongues of fire, but to rouse men from their spiritual stupor by the boom of his powerful voice. His words seem to gain greater force as they roll down the years. Vivekananda is today a voice without form. He has transcended the limitations of human personality: he has become concretized into an impersonal institution which the world will not willingly let die: he is a system of thought: an attitude to men and things: an approach to life: a tradition which has woven itself inextricably into the world. His spirit is more alive today than his body was decades ago. It permeates a network of organizations spread over the whole world: it has expressed itself in diverse activities, which have become institutionalized. It permeates the re-awakening India. It revitalizes man. It infuses new life and strength. It is this spirit, which we should understand and catch if we want to make our lives fruitful. His message of spirituality can alone give solace and strength to the war-weary world. Acquaintance with him
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opens a new portal to life. Accepting his message and applying it in full makes one‟s life exalted.” The main concern of the world today is peace and harmony. The path that the world has until now traversed in pursuit of technological mastery has imperiled peace and environment and failed to provide prosperity and equality for all people of the world. Hosts of problems are cropping up, bringing in its train a lot tension, anxiety, worries and frustration. Beset with psychological, social, economic, ethnic, political and environmental problems, which defy solution, the people of today‟s world are ill at ease. If peace and harmony are to rise and rein in the hearts and minds of all people all over the world, they should have an opportunity to be exposed to the revealing insights of spirituality, which Swami Vivekananda has bequeathed to humanity. Hence, an earnest and vigorous propagation of his spiritual teachings is the most important means of serving that divine mission. The more the life and teachings of the great Swami are made known, the more will the spiritual perspective of humanity be widened, thereby paving the way for enduring world peace everyone is hankering for. Spiritual leaders, like Swami Vivekananda, are the salt of the earth and in their exalted life and inspiring teachings do we find a solvent for all our problems, individual, social, national and international. They are verily the harbinger of much needed peace and harmony on the earth. Swami Vivekananda is verily a bridge between the East and the West. He is a dynamic spiritual force to shape the future of humanity. His teachings have set in motion a spiritual force, which can eventually bring into the western civilization the needed qualitative change. The greatest of all benefactions, according to Swami Vivekananda, is the act of rousing man to the glory of the divinity within. The awakened man solves for himself all his problems, secular and sacred. “The solution to all human problems is in man's becoming Man (with capital „M‟) in all his dimensions, by manifesting his divinity. Problems are understandably many. But the solution is one – to become the new kind of man, who being simultaneously scientific and spiritual eventually becomes free. It is this new man, pure in
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heart, clear in brain, unselfish in motivation, who works in a balanced manner with his head, heart and hand, who has shed all his smallness and illusions, who has experienced unity of existence in his expanded consciousness – this selfless, spotless and fearless man of character, enlightenment and love, is the hope of the world. Hope is not in more machinery, wealth, politics of cleverness and power. The world is looking forward to the coming of this new man – who is aware of his own divinity and is always anxious to discover and worship the same divinity in all others – in ever increasing numbers.” What made Swami Vivekananda stand apart from others is that in his life there was made manifest a tremendous force for the moral and spiritual welfare and upliftment of humanity irrespective of caste, creed or nationality. This power of his is what characterizes Swamiji‟s work even to this day. Though his voice is without a form today, the vibrations of the same have been caught up in many a heart and have surcharged and transformed them. As we offer our homage to Swami Vivekananda in the centenary year of his mahaasamaadhi, let us meditate on his multi-faceted life and work and inspiring message for the spiritual regeneration of humanity. And, above all, let us translate his spiritual teachings into our day-to-day life and be blessed thereby. All glory to that great Hindu Monk of India! namah sriyatiraajaaya vivekaanandasooraye I sachchitsukhaswaroopaaya swaamine taapahaarine II “Salutations to that king of renouncers and controller of passion, the sage, Vivekananda, who is Satchidananda (Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute) Itself, the spiritual preceptor, the remover of distress.”
2. Glowing Tribute Swami Ranganathanandaji Maharaj (the 13th President of the Ramakrishna Order) who had the rare privilege of disseminating Swami Vivekananda's gospel of Vedanta far and wide pays a glowing tribute highlighting Swamiji as India‟s great Emissary to the West:
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“Swami Vivekananda is the one person who stands as a golden link between India and the western world, and who promises to be such a link between India and the rest of the world as well. “For the first time in our history of the past thousand years, our country produced a great teacher in Swami Vivekananda who took India out of her isolation of centuries and brought her into the mainstream of international life. This is a great work, whose beneficent results are slowly and steadily becoming evident as decades roll on. “Swami Vivekananda had a fourfold training, which equipped him for the world mission. Firstly, his education in modern western science, literature, and history; secondly, his assimilation of the positive elements in the Indian culture and traditions; thirdly, his discipleship at the feet of Sri Ramakrishna, the very personification of the Indian spiritual tradition; and fourthly, his intimate grasp of the realities of contemporary India during his life as a wandering monk for six years. And this fourfold training made Vivekananda an embodiment of the East and the West. “He passed away on 4th July 1902, at the young age of 39 years, 5 months, and 22 days. Out of the nine years of his public ministry, from the Parliament of Religions in 1893 up to his death in 1902, he gave over four most intense years to the West. The intensity of his nine years of work in the West and in India, the output of spiritual, intellectual, literary, and organizational work, besides the traveling involved during the period, is unprecedented. As a teacher of modern India and as her cultural and spiritual Emissary to the West, Vivekananda has illumined the horizon of national and international life, which has no parallel in the history. He was a man with a message and he delivered it fearlessly and intensely. He had said of himself: „Buddha had a message to the East, and I have a message to the West.‟ The West will one day learn to feel proud of this Emissary of modern India and learn from him the philosophy of comprehensive spirituality and total life-fulfillment and the way to its own redemption from a soul-killing materialism. When that response comes from the West, the tunnel connecting East and West would be complete, and a new culture, neither eastern nor western, but just human, would
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be evolved, making for the spiritual growth of man everywhere and tending to develop a „mankind-awareness‟ in all nations, and marking the fulfillment of the purposes of the advent of Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda in the modern age.” 3. Homage Here is Homage in the form of a Sanskrit composition depicting Vivekananda – the Man and His Mission: vishwahitaishi mahaamanishi, janasevaataapasi jayatu vivekananda swami, jayatu veera sannyaasi II Victory to Swami Vivekananda, the intrepid Hindu Monk of India, who was endowed with a poised mind and a scintillating intellect, who was keenly interested in the welfare of the entire humanity, and to whom the service of man was verily the tapas (spiritual practice) for God-realization. nipeeya sakalam tattwajnaanam, paanchabhautikam nava vijnaanam jagaditihaasa puraana darshanam, parameshwara darshane manaswi yo nitaraam abhilaashi, jayatu veera sannyaasi II Victory to that intrepid Hindu monk of India, who was well versed in all branches of philosophy including the metaphysics, and well acquainted with the modern material science, World History, Puranaas and Darshanaas and ever intensely aspired for God-realization. sakaladharama patha parama saadhakam, vividha dharma mata marmabodhakam bhogavaada naastikya rodhakam, jagadgurum tam pranamya sahasaa jaato dradhataapasi, jayatu veera sannyaasi II Victory to that intrepid Hindu Monk of India, who was instantly transformed and established in spiritual practice on account of his mere glance at the World Teacher, Sri Ramakrishna, the practitioner supreme of all religious paths, who preached the inner core of all religions, and who is a bulwark against atheism and hedonism.
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graame graame nagare nagare, nadi nadaanaam teere teere guha gahware vipine ghore, vilokya jana jivanam vipannam yo vivhala maanasi, jayatu veera sannyaasi II Victory to that intrepid Hindu Monk of India who, as an itinerant monk, traveled all over India â€“ visiting villages, towns and cities, river banks, caves and dense forests, and witnessing the deplorable living conditions of the poor and downtrodden, the distressed and the diseased masses, was greatly pained at heart and felt intensely compassionate for them, and was spurred on to find ways and means to mitigate their sufferings. vishwadharma sammelana pithe, vividha dharma guru garva garisthe naanaa dharma dhwaja pratishte, navayuga maanavadharma ghoshanaa jagarjayo saahasi, jayatu veera sannyasi II Victory to that intrepid Hindu monk of India, who proclaimed with a leonine roar, as it were, the dharma for the mankind of the New Age, from the platform of the World's Parliament of Religions at Chicago, whereon had assembled the religious leaders of all faiths of the world, with all their pride and privilege, and with all their banners unfurled, to proudly proclaim and establish the supremacy of their own creed. mahaavera iva parama viraagi, krista-buddhavat karuno tyaagi shankara iva digvijayi yogi, udaara charito vishwa kutumbi janagana hrdaya nivaasi, jayatu veera sannyaasi II Victory to that intrepid Hindu Monk of India, who is supremely dispassionate like Mahavira, kind, compassionate and renunciate like the Christ and the Buddha, a yogi par excellence like Adi Shankara who held sway over his opponents in all the four quarters, who was extremely generous and endowed with a noble character, to whom the whole world was one big family, and who is ever residing in the hearts of hosts of people.
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4. An estimate (of the inestimable) Surely, Vivekananda's words do not need introduction from anybody; they make their own irresistible appeal. – MAHATMA GANDHI The best introduction to Vivekananda is not to read about him but to read him. The Swami‟s personality, with all its charm and force, its courageousness, its spiritual authority, its fury and its fun, comes through to you very strongly in his writings and recorded words…. Reading his printed words, we can catch something of the tone of his voice and even feel some sense of contact with his power…. Vivekananda‟s English recreates his personality for us even now, three quarters of century later.” – CHRISTOPHER ISHERWOOD If you want to know India, study Vivekananda. In him everything is positive and nothing negative. – RABINDRANATH TAGORE Swami Vivekananda was a colossus whose footprints have left an indelible impression on the sands of Time. Many, many are those that were influenced by him; many are those that still carry the Swami's message in their heart, trying to give practical expression whenever possible; and many, not only in India but also abroad, will continue to draw inspiration from his life and message. * * *
Whether we regard Swami Vivekananda as a teacher, patriot or saint and whether we accept his teachings only partially or in their entirety, no one can deny that in his life there was made manifest a tremendous force for the moral and spiritual welfare and upliftment of humanity, irrespective of caste, creed, nationality or time. * * *
The going forth of Vivekananda marked out by the Master (Sri Ramakrishna), as the heroic soul destined to take the world between his two hands and change it, was the first sign to the world that India was awake not only to survive but also to conquer. * * *
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Vivekananda‟s name is a passport to the cultural centers of the West and his disciples and grand disciples are really cultural Ambassadors to the western world. * * *
Columbus had discovered the soil of America, but Vivekananda her soul. – BANKIM CHANDRA CHATTERJEE 5. A prophetic voice Today man requires one more adjustment on the spiritual plane; today when material ideas are at the height of their glory and power, today when man is likely to forget his divine nature, through his growing dependence on matter, and is likely to be reduced to a mere money-making machine, an adjustment is necessary. The voice has spoken, and the power is coming to drive away the clouds of gathering materialism. The power has been set in motion which, at no distant date, will bring unto mankind once more the memory of its real nature, and again the place from which this power will start will be Asia. The whole world requires Light. It is expectant! India alone has that Light, not in magic, mummeries, and charlatanism, but in the teachings of the glories of the spirit of real religion – of the highest spiritual truth. That is why the Lord has preserved the race through all its vicissitudes into the present day. Now the time has come. As I look upon the history of my country, I do not find in the world another country which has done quite so much for the improvement of the human mind and that India was the homeland of the invisible powers that ruled the destinies of men and nations and its ancient scriptures could make it the teacher of the world. – SWAMI VIVEKANANDA 6. Divine sparks Each soul is potentially divine. The goal (of life) is to manifest this Divinity within by controlling nature, external (through physical science, technology and socio-political processes), and internal (through the science of religion). Do
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this either by work or worship or psychic control or philosophy – by one or more or all of these – and Be Free. Let man remember his true nature – divinity. Let it become a living realization and everything else will follow – power, strength, manhood. He will again become a Man. Man-making is my mission in life…. The older I grow the more everything seems to me to lie in manliness. This is my New Gospel. My ideal indeed can be put into a few words, and that is: to preach unto mankind their divinity and how to make it manifest in every movement of life. All power is within you; you are the reservoir of omnipotent power… Awake from this hypnotism of weakness. None is really weak; the soul is infinite, omnipotent and omniscient. Stand up, assert yourself, proclaim the God within you… Teach yourself, teach everyone his real nature, call upon the sleeping soul and see how it awakes. Power will come, glory will come, goodness will come, purity will come and everything that is excellent will come, when the sleeping soul is roused to self-conscious activity. This infinite power of the spirit brought to bear upon matter, evolves material development, made to act upon thought, evolves intellectuality and made to act upon itself, makes man a God. First let us be Gods and then help others to be Gods. „Be and Make‟. Let this be our motto…. Say not, man is a sinner. Tell him that he is God…. Say that to the world, say it to yourselves and see what a practical result comes…. Tell that to mankind and show them their power. Then we shall learn how to apply it in our daily lives. – SWAMI VIVEKANANDA 7. 'Be and Make' In the illustration, the monosyllable (OM) superimposed on the bosom of the person symbolizes our inherent, true nature, which is awareness or consciousness. The prayer: „tamaso maa jyotirgamaya‟ – „Lead me from darkness to Light‟, quoted in the inner orb, is indicative of the human quest – an
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intense aspiration to discover, realize and manifest the true human nature which is Divine. The meditative posture, the brilliant sun, the lotus, and the waves beneath – are symbolic of mystic communion, pursuit of knowledge, devotional absorption and selfless service, respectively. The illustration thus reminds us the need to discover, realize and manifest our true nature, by cultivating an integrated life, with due emphasis on pursuit of knowledge, devotional absorption, mystic communion and selfless service. „Be and Make‟ is Swami Vivekananda‟s exhortation to us to unfold our true nature through the cultivation of an integrated life, even as we help others march towards that glorious consummation.
‘HINDU PRESS INTERNATIONAL’ ON THE PRESENTATION (http://www.hinduismtoday.com/) KERALA, INDIA, November 9, 2002: Swami Jyotirmayananda of Karnataka, an independent monk of the Ramakrishna tradition, is the author and publisher of a book on Swami Vivekananda. Swami participated in the 1993 Parliament of Religions held in Chicago, in commemoration of the centenary of the First Parliament held in 1893, and the Global Vision 2000 Program in Washington, in commemoration of the centenary of Swami Vivekananda's visit to America. In August 2000, he attended the U.N. Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders. In the context of the centenary of the Mahaasamaadhi, July 4, 2002, of Swami Vivekananda, Swami Jyotirmayananda has prepared an audiovisual presentation on Swami Vivekananda. 45 minutes in length, and titled “Swami Vivekananda – The Great Hindu Monk of India and His Lasting Spiritual Legacy to Humanity,” it is being shown to the student community in some of the educational institutions in the U.S., through the auspices of the Hindu Students Council. Swami Prabuddhananda, Head of the Vedanta Society of Northern California, San Francisco, has arranged for the presentation on Swami Vivekananda for January 1, 2003, at his center. Any institution, religious, cultural, social or educational, which would like to know more about the presentation, can contact Swami at “source” above.
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PRESENTATIONS MADE IN THE US (Oct. 12, 2002 – March 3, 2003)
October 12, 2002 In the Cross University Conference of the Hindu Students Council (DC-Maryland-Virginia) at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia October 17, 2002 To the Hindu Students Council Chapter at the Baruch College, New York December 3, 2002 To the Hindu Students Council Chapter at Rutgers – New Brunswick, the State University of New Jersey December 14, 2002 At Ved Mandir, Milltown, NJ January 18, 2003 (1 pm) At the Hindu Temple, Riverdale, Atlanta, GA January 18, 2003 (6 pm) At Shiva Mandir in Global Mall, Atlanta, GA January 25, 2003 At Vedanta Society of Northern California, San Francisco, CA February 1, 2003 At Vedanta Society of Sacramento, CA February 9, 2003 To the Hindu Students Council Chapter at the University of California, Berkeley, CA February 12, 2003 At Vedanta Society of Southern California, Hollywood, CA February 16, 2003 At Sri Mandir, San Diego, CA March 2, 2003 At The Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago, Lemont, IL March 3, 2003 At the Hindu Temple of Wisconsin, Pewaukee, WI
'SUCCESS' STORY OF A HUMBLE MONK -- Frank Parlato Jr (India Tribune Chicago January 11, 2003)
Swami Jyotirmayananda of Kerala says success is “selffulfillment.” It need not be pleasurable or materially rewarding. From Chennai, he comes, traveling the US – from New York to California – as did he in India, as a wanderer, preaching the gospel of Swami Vivekananda. - 30 -
Swami Jyotirmayananda has, literally, no home, no possessions. “The sky, thy roof, the grass, thy bed.” His is the song of the sannyasin. He has neither wealth, nor retinue, nor fame, yet dares he to say what is success? Said Yudhistira, “Follow the path the great have trodden.” Jyotirmayananda follows the monk who changed the East and West. Vivekananda, who introduced Hinduism and Yoga to America, and inspired Indians to a renewed appreciation of their spiritual heritage. Swami Jyotirmayananda‟s book, “Vivekananda – His Gospel of Man-making,” is now in its fifth edition. He has, through it, become well known – though the monk would not call that “success.” Vivekananda said: “That desire for fame is the most of all filth”. But, Jyotirmayananda‟s book is becoming famous. That is success. Born in 1945, in a purohit family, in Kerala, after his school and college studies in Mangalore, he worked at a firm in Madras, then as lay worker for the Vivekananda Kendra. In 1976, he became a monk. Three years of itinerant life led him to conceive an idea to chronicle the life and times of Vivekananda, to offer a glimpse of his personality, and his gospel of “Man-making.” But he had no practical means to start. Then, while wandering in Kerala, he met Mother Krishnabai at Anandashram. She unexpectedly offered him money. With this sum, he embarked upon a fiveyear task of writing his book, sustaining himself on 100 rupees ($2.00) a month. When finished, he went to a printing press in Madras, asking them to print his 2000-page manuscript. They said to the unknown monk, “Where's the money?” Crestfallen, he veered, made a flier about his book, then spent another year soliciting 800 pre-publication orders. His first edition was published in 1986. The Governor of Madras released it; the first copy was accepted by Swami Ranganathananda of the Ramakrishna Order. He offered a copy to the Mother, who blessed it. The book sold out. Later, when he offered her all the proceeds, Krishnabai would not accept, since it came, she said, from his dedication. He used the money for a second edition. When that too sold out, he returned with a greater sum. But Mother Krishnabai was
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no more. Jyotirmayananda donated every rupee to her ashram for the feeding of the poor. He was “joyously” among the poor. His 988-page book has been reviewed by leading writers and scholars. Prime Minister A. B. Vajpayee has it in his library. It graces some 500 university libraries in 50 US States, and 5,000 libraries in India. He attended the UN World Peace Summit (2000) as one of 100 spiritual leaders of India, has given scholarly and critical audiences, and the youth of the West. Swami Ranganathananda, president of the Ramakrishna Order, wrote his book should be “in every library”. Renowned journalist M. V. Kamath wrote: “There has never has been a book like this before, and it is unlikely that there will be another like this again”. Around the world, monks have praised it. But “success” came mainly of struggle. The vicissitudes of fortune caused him pain, as well as pleasure: the printer who failed deadlines, a Christian copy editor who deleted Vivekananda‟s criticism of missionaries, a theft, rain damage, transporting books to US at tremendous cost, and struggling to dispose them as a stranger in a strange land. Twenty-two years on one project, never accumulating, donating the proceeds again and again. Miraculously, it seemed, successive editions were brought out. His journey is measured almost by his beard grown long and white with time. In his ochre robe, he looks like a patriarch out of Levant. The fifth edition has sold out; he donated all to the poor. Now, the poverello again awaits the will of God. Dedicating his life to Vivekananda, in poverty and in chastity – he calls this success. “To succeed,” said Vivekananda, “you must have tremendous perseverance, tremendous will, „I will drink the ocean, says the persevering soul, „at my will mountain will crumble,‟ have that sort of energy, that sort of will; work hard and you will reach the goal.” By this definition, the mendicant, Jyotirmayananda has succeeded – in these cynical times – tremendously well. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Frank Parlato Jr is a syndicated journalist whose work has appeared in more than 100 publications worldwide. He writes this column exclusively for the India Tribune. He may be reached at email@example.com
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This volume comprising four parts is a humble attempt to acquaint the reader with some of the significant contributions of Swami Vivekanand...
Published on Oct 11, 2011
This volume comprising four parts is a humble attempt to acquaint the reader with some of the significant contributions of Swami Vivekanand...