Viveka Vahini

CARRYING THE MESSAGE OF SWAMI VIVEKANANDA

“If the mountain does not come to Mohammad, Mohammad must go to the mountain. If the poor cannot come to education, education must reach them at the plough, in the factory, everywhere. How? You have seen my brethren. Now I can  get hundreds of such, all over India, unselfish, good and educated. Let these men go from village to village bringing not only religion to the door of everyone but also education.”–Swami Vivekananda

THE MARCHING TRUMPET OF VIVEK VAHINI

The continuous struggle for excellence

“Life is a continuous struggle, ever striving for excellence”, said Swami Vivekananda. The path to achieve any great goal, secular or spiritual, is long and arduous. An aspirant should acquire competence and qualification at the beginning. Education in its true spirit is the key word. To attain true education one has to develop a refined and trained mind that has strong abilities like concentration and character. All these are ingredients of an integrated and wholesome personality.

India’s ancient tradition

India’s ancient tradition of spirituality and its equally illustrious historical record of secular knowledge have been a great guiding force through millennia. Ancient seats of secular knowledge, like Nalanda attracted students from all over the globe. Every epoch has seen the emergence of men of spiritual wisdom, giants of personality, who have carried this tradition along and redefined them suiting to the needs of the age. However, for historical reasons this civilization underwent a progressive decay and reached its nadir in the 19th century A D after millennia of slavery and colonialism. True to the message of the Gita, whenever such a complete downfall of character occurs, an Avatara arises to redeem the human beings. This happened in the 19th century also, which saw the emergence of two mighty personalities, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa  and his chief disciple Swami Vivekananda.

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Swami Vivekananda

    Sri Ramakrishna was a mighty spiritual force that uplifted and reoriented the direction of Indian race in regression. His penetrative insight as well as exemplary life par excellence was an unending stream of spiritual practices and direct experiences of the supreme from different angles in accordance with various systems of religion. His life was an embodiment of religious harmony. He taught even the most abstract and complex ideas of our scriptures in the simplest of the languages.

Swami Vivekananda was the messiah who was born to teach the world and his master Sri Ramakrishna ordained him to do so. He intrepreted  the life and carried the message of Sri Ramakrishna to the modern world. Swami Vivekananda imbibed the quintessence knowledge of the West and the East and redefined the very meaning of religion and true education in accordance with the profound truths revealed by the Upanishads and other scriptures. He wanted the blending of Western technology and Eastern Spirituality in a harmonious manner in order to uplift the lowest of the low.

Man –Making Education –the goal of comprehensive system of Education

It is the comprehensive system of man –making education as defined by Swami Vivekananda, that forms the backbone of a major spiritual and educational movement. Ramakrishna Math (Yogodyan), Kankurgachi, a branch of Ramakrishna Math at Belur, would like to launch “VIVEK-VAHINI”. The noble ideas of Man-making Education, Integral Personality and Spirituality that uplifts every individual will be spread everywhere through this innovative movement. There is a wide gulf of opportunities and level of education between the urban and rural masses of India. The urban population has opportunities to fulfill their needs of knowledge and progress. Are rural folk fortunate enough to get such opportunities? If not, should they be deprived ? When we ponder over these questions, we get the answer to our question from Swami Vivekananda’s clarion call “If the poor cannot come to education, education must reach them at the plough, in the factory, everywhere ….. We must take these life-giving ideas to the very doors of the remotest of the remote and the most deprived of the unprivileged” Ramakrishna Math (Yogodyan) is also committed to carrying the message of Swami Vivekananda to the very doors of our sisters and brothers in the countryside and with this very purpose in view it is going to launch  this unique project.

The practical tool :VIVEK-VAHINI

In order to achieve this, we need to devise a practical and efficient tool to reach out to people in rural areas, who are normally unreachable. Therefore, Ramakrishna Math(Yogodyan) will literally put the great education of man-making and character building as envisaged  by Swami Vivekananda. This innovative project called Vivek- Vahini would be launched very soon. The scope of this project, in simple terms, is to instill faith in one’s own self, an idea of our great heritage, sensitivity about moral values, concern for others, spirit of service and sacrifice, harmony of religion, love for nation and also need for simple and healthy life style in the minds of adults and children alike.

 The basic requirements to put these ideas in the practical field.

1) A dedicated band of volunteers to travel along with and assist a monk, who will   co-ordinate the different aspects of Vivek-Vahini.

2)  Volunteer co-ordinators located at the various parts of the state to identify the aspiring  groups, plan and organize the Vivek-Vahini  programmes in co-ordination with Ramakrishna Math (Yogodyan).

3)  Books, audio –video presentations, and film shows which are not only educative but also entertaining to the adults and children alike.

4)  Modern gadgets like DVD players, projectors , speakers, and the electric power  (solar)to activate them.

Vivek-Vahini will have them all  except for a more number of local co-ordinators who will have to come forward to conduct the programme in their locality. We have a plan to design an exclusive and completely self-reliant vehicle with solar power panels well- equipped with all the materials and gadgets needed for the campaign. This vehicle will be fitted with Swami Vivekananda’s life size idol made of fibreglass that may be fixed on its front.

Special instructions will be issued in advance to the organizers about the prior and ready arrangements required to run every programme efficiently and as per a definite schedule. They will also be informed to seek the co-operation and active participation of all locally important persons.

The Planned Vivek-Vahini Programme

      We would like to begin our journey from one village to another recalling Swamiji’s “The Song of the Sannyasin”, entreating a sannyasin to move on, regardless of all adversities.
Few only know the truth. The rest will hate
And laugh at thee, great one; but pay no heed.
Go thou, the free, from place to place, and help
Them out of darkness, Maya’s veil. Without
The fear of pain or search for pleasure, go
Beyond them both, Sannyasin bold ! Say—
“Om Tat Sat, Om!”

The procession

As the Vivek-Vahini vehicle arrives at the village right on time as scheduled, the local volunteers and coordinators accord a warm welcome to the team by garlanding the image of Swami Vivekananda. The procession will start with villagers including schoolchildren participating in it with band etc.

Orientation in personality development

The next item after the procession would be a session on ‘Orientation in personality development’ for students. We are aware that in this age of utilitarian and materialistic ideas and its unmitigated impact on cultural values, there is a trend of value erosion especially among the youth. The Vivek-Vahini team has already prepared the course of the daily programme; the students, in batches, will receive this orientation and training. The objective behind this training-programme is to instill in the mind of every child the idea that a concentrated mind with perfect character is the key to success and when it is accomplished, one attains self- confidence. For such a person, success is certain. The entire scope of this programme is to introduce children to this great idea and by doing this, also introduce them to our great culture and its heritage. The measure of our success in this programme is to see the glow of happiness and satisfaction with which children emerge after every session.

 

The Evening Programme

The Vivek-Vahini programme would also include a public meeting in the evenings at a convenient place of the village and include a short speech on the life and messages of the holy trio, messages on the cultivation of positive and healthy mental attitudes and good human relationship. These evening meetings will conclude with a film show depicting various aspects of the holy trio.

The Ramakrishna –Vivekananda Vedanta literature

In the training of the mind, especially that of the youth and children, the inculcation of a healthy reading habit occupies a very important place, which has to be introduced right from their childhood. It is important to convince them that besides curricular subjects they should also gradually cultivate the habit of reading ennobling, enriching and life giving literature, such as lives of great souls, stories from epics, simple illustrations of our great heritage etc, that will introduce them to wonderful value systems. However the choice of the reading matter is extremely important. There is so much of diversity in available literature that it is important for parents and guardians to guide their children to select and read good literature. Secondly, the choice of literature depends on the age and level of maturity of children.
The Ramakrishna –Vivekananda Vedanta literature has earned a unique place in the world of noble and distinguished texts.
The Vivek-Vahini medium plans to serve a unique role in rendering easy access to such literature readily at the doorstep of villagers. Every visit of the Vivek-Vahini to a village or a town will be accompanied with a wide selection of such literature carried by the Vivek- Vahini vehicle. These books will be displayed at the venue so that everyone can see, choose and buy their choice. The most important fact is that a large selection of wonderful literature especially prepared for children and youth would be available at a very low price, so that they are easily affordable to one and all.

 

 

 

An Appeal :

Dear friends / devotees / admirers,
We hope you are aware that Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission centres are engaged in various charitable activities in the field of education, medical, relief and publication etc. To the present day strifetorn society, the life and teachings of Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother Sri Saradadevi and Swami Vivekananda are like a beacon light.
Therefore, we would like to start work on the above project which would cost around Rupees Thirty Lakh. This will cover the cost of the statue of Swami Vivekananda, vehicle and its refurbishment, solar panels, projector and its accessories, DVD player, tax and insurance, generator set, exhibition stand, books display set, musical instruments, public address system, mike system and horn and other necessary items, including general maintenance.
We would like to make a special appeal to donate generously and magnanimously towards  this project.
Please send your Money order ,Cheques or Demand draft made payable to “Ramakrishna Math (Yogodyan)”.With a covering letter mentioning  that this fund is for “Vivek Vahini”. Donations to Ramakrishna Math are exempted from Income-Tax under section 80 G of the Income- Tax act, 1961.

Conclusion :Our plan is to complete the first round covering all the districts of the state before the 150th Birth Anniversary (1863 -2013) of Swami Vivekananda.
Your donations in the form of money, necessary equipments and voluntary service are highly solicited.

Your’s in the service of Lord
Swami Gitananda
President
Ramakrishna Math(Yogodyan)
Vice-President
Ramakrishna Math & Ramakrishna Mission
Belur Math.

“Let New India arise out of the peasants’ cottage, grasping the plough ; out of the huts of the fisherman, the cobbler, and the sweeper. Let her spring from the grocer’s shop, from beside the oven of the fritter seller. Let her emanate from the factory, from marts, and from markets. Let her emerge from groves and forests, from hills and mountains.”
–Swami Vivekananda
For detailed information please contact us during the office hours (10 a.m. To 12 noon & 4 p.m  To  6 p.m)
Ramakrishna Math (Yogodyan)
7,Yogodyan Lane, Kankurgachi
Kolkata -700 054 (W.B.) India
Tel :  033-2334-6000 / 033-2320-2927 /Fax : 033-2334-6000
E-mail :
yogodyan@cal.vsnl.net.in
Website :www.yogodyan.org