Heartfulness proposes meditation on the heart with an aim of attaining subtler levels of consciousness. The heart is not merely a pump for blood circulation – its role goes far beyond that. References in ancient Indian literature on Yoga, especially that from Sages like Patanjali,…
Swami Vivekananda has said that even after he laid down his body, he would continue to work and inspire generations to come to carry on his unfinished work. The magnificent Vivekananda Rock Memorial at Kanyakumari is one such undying source of inspiration. It was on this Rock, Swami Vivekananda meditated on 25th, 26th and 27th Dec. 1892.
The Vivekananda Memorial, as it stands today, is a memorial to Swamiji as to Shri Ekanthji Ranade whose devotion to the work he had undertaken was inspired not by mere faith but by intellectual conviction.
At Kanyakumari – a unique symbol of unity and purity – is the Memorial of Swami Vivekananda, another symbol of the united aspiration of Nation. In the Memorial, there is a happy and harmonious blend of all the architectural beauty of the country. It is a symbol of unity because the whole nation wished, worked and contributed for it. Person from all states participated in its inauguration. It is also a Memorial, conceived and laboured for mainly by RSS Swayamsevaks, blessed by Ramakrishna Mission, designed by Paramacharya, Mahaswami Sri Chandrashekharendra Saraswati of Kachi Kamakoti Peetham, and for which Swami Chinmayananda of Chinmaya Mission gave the first donation.All the spiritual,culture and national organisations supported it.It is also a Memorial for which all State Governments and Central Government contributed. Thus, the memorial became a focal point just as Kanyakumari is a meeting point for three seas.
The Rock Memorial was inaugurated on September 2, 1970, the then President of India Shri V.V. Giri. Sri Eknathji Ranade the moving spirit behind the construction of the Rock Memorial, was the founder of the living memorial Vivekananda Kendra, as a sequel and second phase of the Rock Memorial. Mananeeya Sri Eknathji, gave series of inspiring speeches on Vivekananda Rock Memorial to the first batch of Workers of Vivekananda Kendra which helped to clear idea behind VRM (Vivekananda Rock Memorial) and VK (Vivekananda Kendra). Those series of speeches also available in different Indian languages.
Vivekananda Kendra :
An aggregate or a congregation of men does not make a nation, nor do the geographical area and duration of time qualify a society to be known as a nation. A government formed on such a basis can be called a state, but not a nation. It is common goal or mission that makes a nation. All the constituents strive collectively for something noble. Service with spiritual orientation results in man-making which invariably and inseparably connected with nation building. – Sri Eknathji Ranade
Second Phase of Vivekananda Rock Memorial was parallel when Rock Memorial was taking shape. As Eknathji used to say “To put up a Cement and Concrete structure is not the work for which I am born, I am to erect a living and dynamic monument which will be worthy of Swami Vivekananda and which will be capable of bringing into fruition his grand vision of future India.”
So, Vivekananda Kendra – An Extraordinary Organisation with Ordinary Men came to existence. Mananeeya Eknathji Ranade, the Man behind the Memorial started Vivekananda Kendra a spiritually oriented service mission in 1972 as the living memorial to Swami Vivekananda comprising of a cadre of dedicated Jivanvratis, Sevavratis, Vanaprasthi and Local Karyakartas (in all, around 4700), as well as lakhs of patrons, well wishers and subscribers to our various publications.
Vivekananda Kendra is a Spiritually Oriented Service Mission with Man Making and Nation Building as the ideals through the national ideals Renunciation and Service.
For actualising vision of Swami Vivekananda , the Kendra has more than 950 branch and activity centres spread over India to work for all stratas(phases) of the society to rebuild the nation. To achieve this Vivekananda Kendra carries out various service activities through Yoga, Swadhyay Varga(Study Circle), Samskar Varga, Rural Development, Education, Development of Natural Resources, Organising Youth and Women and Publications based on the life and message of Swami Vivekananda, Indian Culture, Vedic studies. The Kendra urges all to join this task of national regeneration.
Service Activities of Vivekananda Kendra
VRMVK is a Spiritually Oriented Service Mission Vivekananda Kendra activities are spread in 24 states and 2 union teritories. The regular organisational work is being carried out through Samskara varg, Yoga varg, Swadhyaya varg and Kendra vargs in which 26,000 persons participated in these 1233 vargs. The highlights of various major activities during 2019-2020 in brief are as given below:
Educational activities : There are 79 Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalayas in which 34,000 students study under 1650 teachers. These Vidyalayas cater to 5767 villages and 49 Janjatis. Kendra also has one B.ED. training and a Nursing school. Yoga is part of all these vidyalayas, in which value education is imparted with various aspects and dimensions of Yoga.
Medical and Health services : VK has 3 Hospitals, 2 OPD clinics and 5 health programmes under Swasthya Sewa. 3,216 indoor patients and 1,59,664 outdoor platients from 110 villages benefitted.
Rural and tribal Services: In Arunachal Pradesh 243 villages are covered benefitting 40,000 persons under 334 medical and 38 eye-camps. Under Aunjyoti programme in Arunachal Pradesh 20,119 persons benefitted with various welfare activities. In Odisha, Tamilnadu, and Maharashtra one LAKH rural population benefitted under various Rural Welfare activities.
Publications : VK has 642 books in 17 languages and has 7 periodicals with 32,000 subscribers. These publications are managed in 10 centers.
Vivekananda Kendra’s – Institutes and Foundations:
- Vivekananda Kendra Institute of Culture, Guwahati
- Vivekananda International Foundation, New Delhi
- Vivekananda Kendra Training Institute for Excellence, solapur
- Vivekananda Kendra Kaushalam, Hyderabad
- Vivekananda Kendra Academy for Indian Culture,
Yoga and Management, Bhubaneswar.
- Sri Ramakrishna Mahasammelan Ashram, Nagdandi, Kashmir 7. VK Vedic Vision Foundation, Kodungallur, Kerala
Yoga the core of Vivekananda Kendra
Yoga, the science of human personality development in all its planes of existence is adopted in VK as a tool to contact, train and inspire people to dedicate and devote their time and energies for
strengthening the National fibre in all its dimensions. Yoga is to keep oneself fit, balanced and healthy to work for the protection and preservation of Sanatana Dharma. The social evils are addressed by the values of Yoga philosophy which alone can eradicate the imbalances and restore the Dharma, a harmonious development of the society – Samagra Vikas.
Vivekananda Kendra organises various Yoga courses, residential and non-residential at various branch centres. These courses range from a week to a month. Among them, Yoga Shiksha Shibirs and Yoga Certificate Courses well known. Yoga is practised and taught as a tool to strengthen one’s body, mind, intellect and emotions. Being a fit instrument to carry on the various service activities of VK, kwith a spirit of Karma Yoga. ‘Karma Yogaika Nishtha’ is the undercurrent of all Yoga activities in VK. Yoga therapy is discouraged in VK.
In the field of Yoga VK created Guinness Record twice.
VK has developed 5 Yoga Pratimans – Yoga Modules. 1. Swananda – for Professionals 2. Pariksha De Hastey Hastey for students 3. Samarth for Teachers 4. SahYoga – for newly married couples and wrking couples. 5. Garud for Sales representatives. All these Pratimans are held in as in-house and open modules. Thourgh out India well trained yoga instructors carry out various yoga related activities of Vivekananda Kendra. VK’s Matrutva Yoga for pregnant women caters the needs of many, especially in and around Solapur, Maharashtra,
VK has two meditation techniques : OMKAR Dhyana and Aavarti Dhyana – Cyclic Meditation.
In the recent past 2018, 2019 and 2020, VK has organised three Yoga Sastra Sangamams at Kanyakumari. These conferences are a three day National Conference exclusively devoted to Yoga Texts.
On 21st June 2020, International Day of Yoga was celebrated offline, in 5 states at 88 places in which 2,673 participated maintaining social distancing norms. Similarly online celebrations were held in 8 states at 74 places in which 15,044 participated.
During COVID19, online Yoga activities were organised as below. The major Highlights are:
Videos of Yoga Protocol was prepared in local dialects of Arunachal Pradesh in the languages of Galo, Nyishi, Apatani, Jugli, Tutsa and Muglom.
In Assam 40 online Yoga sessions were held for 570 participants. Six programs were held in Bengal and 629 participated. In Odisha, two Webinars were and a 10 day Yoga course, in which 70 participated. In Gujarat, 32,919 Surya Namaskars were done by 1411 persons in a span of 5 days.
Vivekanandapuram, Kanyakumari, the head quarters, is situated in an area of 90 acres filled with lush greenery and spiritual environment. Residential facilities are available for general tourists and also Yoga seekers. A separate Training center is located for various yoga and spiritual camps.
The Legacy Series articles are contributed by institutional members of IYA and are published as provided by them; we encourage all Member Institutions of the Association to send a six page article with some photos about their organisations