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T&T marks swami’s anniversary
An exhibition of books, photos and posters is now available to all academic, social, cultural, religious institutions on request. The exhibition was launched at the Divali Nagar in Chaguanas last Thursday to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, the late Indian spiritual leader who is credited to taking Hinduism to the United States in 1893.
Celebrations in T&T formed part of a global programme to mark his contribution to the world. The exhibition which is now being taken to various parts of T&T is being held in collaboration with the Vedanta Society of T&T. One of the highlights of the celebration was the staging of sitting of the Parliament of Religions which was held in Chicago at which the chief guest was Swami Ishtananda of Florida. Representatives of Hinduism, Christianity and Islam were also listed to speak on the agenda.
There was also a programme in which several communities and groups were presented with food hampers and gifts, especially to children. And in a message, to mark the occasion, President George Maxwell Richards termed Swami Vivekananda as “a spiritual ambassador who was credited with raising interfaith awareness and providing exposition and interpretation of the Hindu scriptures, spiritual culture and heritage.”
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar noted that Swami Vivekananda revitalised Hinduism within and outside India and was the principal reason behind the enthusiastic reception of yoga, transcendental meditation, and other forms of Indian spiritual self-improvement in the west. Through his teachings and message Swami Vivekananda was also said to inspire, motivate and guide millions of youth to achieve their full potential.
Indian High Commissioner in T&T Shri Malay Mishra said that Swami Vivekananda’s biggest contribution to world traditions was “applying the theory of a universal religion to the universal man, thus bringing down religion to serve the basic needs of the common man, linking all through the common strain of divinity.”
Mishra said that Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi were all powerful souls who weaved magic into Indian imagination when fortitude was at its lowest and the proverbial soul force was still to emerge. “Tagore was the cultural emissary, Gandhi was the political visionary and Swami Vivekananda was the prophet of the new age,” he said.
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