Swami Vivekananda in Tamil Nadu

Ramakrishna, the spiritual teacher of Vivekananda, desired to see his disciple dedicate his life for the welfare of the society. After the death of Ramakrishna in 1886, NarendranathDatta (pre-monastic name of Swami Vivekananda) and other disciples founded their first monastery at Baranagar.

In 1888, NarendranathDatta left the monastery as a parivrajaka (“wandering monk”). Between 1888 and 1893 he travelled extensively in several states of India. During his years of wandering Vivekananda had experienced the sufferings and problems faced by common people. He was eager to deliver his people from the shackles of suffering.

In 1892, he went to South India. He visited Ramanathapuram and then Rameswaram to offer worship at the temple. He finally reached Kanyakumari on Christmas Eve, 24 December 1892 prior to his Chicago visit.

In Kanyakumari, standing on the sea shore, he spotted a large mid-sea rock. He asked the fishermen to take him to the rock. They asked him for money. The Wandering monk did not have any money with him and so he tied the turban around his waist and swam across the ocean and reached the rock. He did not mind the shouting and screaming of the boatmen.

The Holy man sat on the rock and started meditating on India’s past, present and future. His meditation on the “last bit of Indian rock” (later known as the Vivekananda Rock Memorial) continued for three days from 25 to 27 December. Here he had a “vision of one India” and came up with a solution in the form of resolution, which is popularly known as the “Kanyakumari resolve of 1892″…”. The purpose of the ‘resolve’ was also to organize sannyasins for the welfare and upliftment of common masses of India.

Of all the services that the royal family of Sethupathis, the dynasty of Ramanathapuram, has done to India, the most historical one was that of financing the visit of Swami Vivekananda in 1893 to Chicago, to address the Parliament of World Religions.

It was BhaskaraSetupati as the Raja of Ramnad, who had earlier decided to go to US to attend the Parliament of Religions as the representative of Hinduism; but after meeting with Swami Vivekananda, he decided that Swamiji was the right person to attend the conference. Swami graciously accepted the Raja’s offer. It was as if divine dispensation that the monk would declare to the world the worthiness of the East.

When Swami Vivekananda returned from USA after his grand success, as he was about to land at Rameshwaram, the overjoyed Raja was waiting with his entourage to give him a royal welcome at Pamban; preparations had been made at the landing wharf with a pandal decorated with great taste.

Because of the achievement of Swamiji and as well as the regard, the Raja had for him, he bowed his head and offered his shoulders as steps for Swami Vivekananda to get down from the boat.

But, Swamiji tactfully avoided this offer, by jumping from the boat to the land. Then the Raja unyoked the bullocks from Swamiji’s ceremonial chariot and pulled the conveyance himself manually with his entourage, till it reached his palace.

The spirituality of the monk and the humility of the king are outstanding and exemplary. Swami’s life teaches us that God is our light and strength. There is nothing to fear when God is with us. Godliness and Humility are the hallmarks of true discipleship.

Swamiji’s favorite message to the youth of India was: “Arise, awake and do not stop until the goal is reached. You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul. You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself.”

Swamiji advised his followers that the moment we realize God is sitting in the temple of every human being, the moment we stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him or her – that moment we are free from bondage, everything that binds us vanishes, and we are totally free.

The Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari is a sacred monument built in 1970 in honour of Swamiji on a 4-acre rock half a kilometer in the sea where the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal merge with the great Indian Ocean. The 133-feet statue of the renowned Tamil Poet, Thiruvalluvar is placed in front of the Vivekananda Rock. Vivekananda dedicated most of his life trying to awaken the inner soul of man.

Swami Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Mission, a Hindu religious and spiritual organization in May 1897, which forms the core of a worldwide spiritual movement known as the Ramakrishna Movement or the Vedanta Movement.

Source: Waves – Story Bank

By Goethals Library

The Goethals Indian Library and Research Society has a three fold function.

A Library
A Research Centre
A Minor Archives division on St. Xavier's College (Autonomous), Kolkata and the Jesuits and Christian mission in India, particularly West Bengal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *