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(A brief report on the historic event organized by the Bhavan, U.S.A., in New York City on September 21, 2002, to offer Homage to the Legacy of Swami Vivekananda, the Prophet of India.)

September 14 and 21, 2002 -- these are the most important days in the 21 years' history of the Bhavan, USA. A Historic event was organized to offer "Homage to the Legacy of Swami Vivekananda" in New York City. The event almost coincided with the first anniversary of September 11, 2001 terrorist act that took away the lives of numerous people, young and old and two landmark buildings - World Trade Center in New York City and created fear in everybody's mind all over the world. The event the Bhavan organized had the aim of creating an awareness of spiritual power in the mind of common people in the midst of so many acts of terrorism that are taking place in the world today in the name of religion.
On the 14th September 2002, our Honorable Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee inaugurated this historic event in the presence of about 1000 people by lighting a lamp on the stage decorated with the life size picture of Swami Vivekananda and spoke on the contributions made by Swamiji for the welfare and peace of the world community and urged everyone to follow the path of unity and love shown by the Prophet of India. The Prime Minister also released a special commemorative publication of the Bhavan entitled "Swami Vivekananda -- The Prophet of India" and presented copies to Swami Adiswarananda and Swami Tathagatananda of Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, New York and Vedanta Society of New York respectively, Swami Jyotirmayananda of Mangalore as well as to four children. On the occasion, the messages received from Honorable President of India Shri A. P. J. Abdul Kalam and the former President of India and the President, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan International Shri R. Venkataraman were read out.
September 21, 2002: This was a unique day when a galaxy of 15 spiritual leaders (Swamis) of Sri Ramakrishna Order graced the event with their presence and inspiring speeches on different facets of Swami Vivekananda's contributions to the welfare of mankind. His clarion call "Arise, Awake And Stop Not Till The Goal Is Achieved" echoed all over the USA through the powerful presentations by the Swamis who came from all over North America (USA and Canada) and India. Swami Jitatmananda and Swami Prabhananda came all the way from India. More than 1000 people attended the whole day event, which started at 9:30 a.m. and concluded at 8 p.m. The attendees comprised of Indians and non-Indians carried with them, the message of harmony of religions and nations, assimilation, unity, love and peace given to the world community by Swami Vivekananda from the World's Parliament of Religions on September 11,1893 and thereafter
On the occasion, a beautiful Painting Exhibition of Swami Vivekananda's life, contributions and message was organized. The caption of the Exhibition was "ARISE, AWAKE". The exhibits were generously given by Sri Ramakrishna Ashrama, Yadavagiri, Mysore. All the people enthusiastically went through the exhibits; some of them took notes of the powerful quotes and write-ups from the exhibits; some people even wanted to know where could they get such exhibits. Some people wanted the Bhavan to organize this exhibition in their city, particularly in Nashville, Tennessee and Orlando, Florida. Such was the inspiration and impact created by the powerful pictorial exhibits. It was the best-planned and organized exhibition although it was arranged in a very short time. Our sincere thanks are due to Swami Atmavidanandaji Maharaj, President of Mysore Ramakrishna Ashrama for making the exhibits available to us.
Dr. P. Jayaraman,
Executive Director,
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, U.S.A., New York,
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site: www.bhavanus.com
October 14, 2002.