As a fitting and living tribute to Swami Vivekananda in this year of national celebrations of his 150th birth anniversary, Vivekananda Kendra-nardep inaugurated the renovation and revival of selected Teerthams of the holy island of Rameshwaram on January 27th 2013. It was the day of arrival of Swami Vivekananda to Rameshwaram in 1897, after his triumphant visit to the West.
Hanuman Kundam is the first teertham where the renovation work is to be carried out. The Puja was performed at the teertham between 8:00 to 8:45 am. The Puja was attended by the head monks of Sri Ramakrishna movement, District collector, officials of the Rameshwaram temple, Vice-President of Vivekananda Kendra and a large number of public.
Then the public function was held at Sri Ramakrishna Tapovanam, Rameshwaram. The public programme started at 9:00 a.m. with the lighting of the traditional lamp by the dignitaries and a prayer. Swami Divyananda the secretary of Sri Ramakrishna Tapovanam presided over the function.
Sri. N. Krishnamurthi, senior Kendra worker, gave the welcome address and explained the importance of the Teerthams – the sacred water bodies. He enunciated the importance of water, its sanctity as recorded in our ancient literature and scriptures. He pointed out how water scarcity is becoming a global issue and can trigger many wars if we continue to neglect and abuse this important natural resource.
Sri. A.Balakrishnan, Vice-President of Vivekananda Kendra gave a talk on the importance of Swami Vivekananda’s 150th birth anniversary celebrations. He pointed out that the sacred water body renovation is not a singular event to be done and forgotten but it should be a continuous process to be taken up in a sustained manner.
Sri.K.Selvaraj led an inspiring song on Swami Vivekananda – giving the essence of Swamiji’s mission and message.
The benedictory speech was given by Swami Kamalathmananda, the Head of Sri Ramakrishna Mission, Madurai. He declared that we should work in such a way to make the difference Swami Vivekananda made to the history of our nation, to be felt globally. The global face of India should be identified with the dynamic message and figure of Swami Vivekananda.
The key note address was delivered by Sri.K.Nandakumar IAS, the collector of Ramnad district. He described the importance of water in the protection of the environment. He wanted eco-friendly practices to become part of the daily life culture. A Valedictory speech was made by Sri. Selvaraj, executive officer of Rameshwaram temple. He pointed out how maintaining the sacred water body is very part of our temple culture and should be venerated as sacredly as the temple and God.
Swami Divyananda gave the presiding benedictory address. He appreciated the Kendra taking up such a mass-oriented environment conscious activity as a fitting memorial to Swami Vivekananda on his 150th anniversary.