Vimarsha: Talk by Shri Swami Avdheshanand Giri ji Maharaj, Acharya Mahamandaleshwar of the Juna Akhara on ‘Desh, Samaj aur Vyakti’
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The Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF), New Delhi, hosted its monthly event, Vimarsha, on in the commemoration of 125th years of Swami Vivekananda's Chicago Speech. The topic was ‘Desh, Samaj aur Vyakti’ and to speak on the topic, Swami Avdheshanand Giri ji Maharaj was invited who himself is a dedicated saint and philosopher. Swami ji is Acharya Mahamandaleshwar of the Juna Akhara and a guru to thousands and an inspiration to millions. He has delivered philosophical speeches worldwide and has vast knowledge of Indian scriptures and texts.

The session kicked off with Dr. Arvind Gupta, Director, VIF, expressing his grief over the demise of Admiral K.K. Nayyar, founder Chairperson of VIF, whose divine soul parted from us on 18th September 2018. Adm Nayyar had been closely associated with the growth and developments of the VIF for past 10 years. The Director stressed that his demise has been an irreparable loss to the VIF. He further requested the audience to observe two minutes’ silence to pray for the peace of his soul. In his opening remarks, Dr. Arvind Gupta praised the Chicago speech of Swami Vivekananda and mentioned its relevance in today’s world. He also expressed his gratitude towards Swami Avdheshanand Giri ji Maharaj for agreeing to speak on this day in the remembrance of 125 years of Chicago speech of Swami Vivekananda which enlightened the world about the spirituality and philosophical moorings of India.

Swami ji started his speech by expressing his deep concern over increasing materialism in today’s society which is the greatest cause for keeping people away from their culture, tradition and spirituality. He underlined the fact that the mankind today was confronted with a wide range of problems, such as fear, insecurity, extremism, cruelty, and most importantly, a growing attraction towards consumerism. We think that the material collection could get us mental peace and tranquility but it remains critical. Blind imitation of western culture has produced nothing but disappointment, even as our quest for mental stability remains as elusive as ever. Remembering Swami Vivekananda speech, he said that ignorance is the biggest challenge before mankind and self-ignorance has made us dead from inside. It has reduced the space for human values and sentiments of love, compassion, respect and brotherhood. However, Swami Vivekananda had underscored the importance of self-knowledge which is crucial for generating human values and keeping our magnificent culture and tradition on the move. He had even pronounced how we can become invincible and fearless by identifying the meaning of our existence. His speech attracted the western world towards Indian culture, tradition, as a result today Indian ‘Ayurveda’ and ‘Yoga’ are famous all over the world.

Speaking specifically on the topic of the Vimarsha, ‘Desh, Samaj, Vyakti’, Swami ji elaborated that “an individual was the basic unit of family and the family was a unit of society and societies all together constitute a nation. Society represents nation, civilisation and humanity. As Swami Vivekananda had said that an individual is a representative of God itself and one is born to follow the righteous way to attain mental peace and spirituality. All the problems surrounding mankind is due to self-ignorance which cause misery to the conscience.” Unity of God and an individual is clearly mentioned in the Geeta, which states, “Mamaivamso jiva-loke, jiva-butah sanatanah, manah-sasthanindriyane, prakrti-sthani karsati” (the living entities in their conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind)”.

In Swami Vivekananda’s words, weakness is death and potentiality is life; indolence comes from mental weakness which also creates negativity. Inadvertence of self-knowledge is death. Therefore, he hailed the shloka from Kathopanishada, stating, “Uttisthata jagrata prapya varan nibodhata (arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached)”. The primary goal of an individual is to gain knowledge and know his inner soul which exposes the reason of one’s existence and also guides him to a spiritual path. About the righteous path, he said that the way followed by our virtuous saints and great souls must be the ultimate pursue that are suggested by Vedic and Upanishad texts.

Describing religion, Swami Giri ji mentioned the Maharishi Kanada’s philosophy of Dharma that is “Yato’bhyudaya-nihshreyasa siddhih sa Dharmah”, which means, higher thoughts, emotions and goals that lead to our uplift is the ultimate Dharma. While defining the true essence of Shashtra he repeated Swami Vivekananda’s words, according to which ‘Shashtras alleviate us from depression to contentment, mortality to immortality and from incompleteness to totality’.

Swami Ji expressed his serious concern on how nations are spending more of their wealth on defence rather than on human welfare due to their pride and prejudice and also due to lack of the values of spirituality and humanity. Same had been said by Swami Vivekananda as, ‘there would be a day when this world would reach to a level of uncertainty that it would be in need of univocal unity and it would be found at the spiritualistic corridors of India’. India is the only country which talks about the ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ meaning the world is one family. Moreover, while talking about the notion of peace and humanity that India beholds, he invoked the shloka of the Brihadaaranyka Upnishad which mentions “Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah Sarve Santu Nir-Aamayaah, Sarve Bhadraanni Pashyantu Maa Kashchid-Duhkha-Bhaag-Bhavet” which means ‘May All become Happy, May All be Free from Illness, May All See what is Auspicious, May no one Suffer’.

In his concluding remarks, Swami Avdheshananda Ji requested all to recognise their inner-selves and also to work for the greater humanity by following our culture, tradition values and spiritual path. This is the ultimate solution for the present chaos in our society and also in our mind.

The speech was followed by a spirited question and answer session focusing on the theme of the Vimarsha which further enlightened the audience.

Event Date 
September 21, 2018

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