Vivekananda 150 - Celebration Report

Vivekananda 150

Various organizations in the SF Bay area celebrated Swami Vivekananda’s 150th Birth Anniversary on Jan 12th, 2013 and Yoga Bharati was proud to support them. Yoga Bharati children performed a short skit in Samskritam to showcase a few turning points in Swami Vivekananda’s life such as the vision he got while meditating on the Kanyakumari Rock which led him to undertake his journey to the West to deliver his epoch-making speech at Parliament of World religions. The skit was first performed in HSS Cupertino Shakha on the morning of Saturday, January 12th.

In the evening it was performed at the First Unitarian Church of Oakland. It was in this church that Swami Vivekananda delivered his first lecture in the Bay area in 1900. The event was organized by Swami Vivekananda Celebratory Organization under the leadership of Swami Prasannatmananda of Vedanta Society, Berkeley. More than 20 children participated in the two skits with 8 of them dressed up as Vivekananda on stage speaking in fluent Samskritam interspersed by English translation. For all the Yoga Bharati parents, volunteers and children, it was a historic event in a historic place on a historic day for a legendary Hero ! The little Ranganayakis (girls with classical dance mudras) performed symbolic dances to show the action on the stage. At the end of the program, little children of ages 3 to 6 years old came on the stage waving the flags of various countries around the globe with a loud and clear message “Uttishtata, Jagrata, Prapya Varaan Nibodhata! – Arise, Awake, Stop not till the goal is reached”!

Swami Vivekananda is India’s spiritual ambassador to the West. He enriched the religious consciousness of Americans through his teachings of the Vedanta philosophy. In India Vivekananda is regarded as a patriot saint of modern India and his birthday is celebrated as National Youth Day. His mission of East meeting the West is coming to fruition as evidenced by the new wave of yoga and the rapid adoption and application of yogic science in healthcare systems in America today.

Yoga Bharati has been a part of this wonderful movement and recently organized the International Conference Yoga Sangam to commemorate Swamiji’s 150th Birth Anniversary. Yoga Bharati encourages the volunteers of Yoga Bharati to attend and support all the activities related to Swamiji’s 150th birth centenary throughout the year culminating on Sep 11th 2013. That was the day, 120 years ago, Swamiji delivered his historic speech in the Parliament of World religions to a stunning applause. A speech that began with the simple words “Sisters and Brothers of America….”.

We will continue to support various events on Swami Vivekananda through out this year. Below are some of the events we highly recommend everyone to participate and support: