Second Hindu Spiritual & Service Fair, 2009 - Valedictory Address by Swami Gauthamananda
Valedictory Address to Hindu Spiritual & Service Fair, 2009
by Swami Gauthamananda Maharaj, President, Ramakrishna Mission, Chennai
I deem it a privilege to participate in this Valedictory Function of the five day HSSF, organized by the Global Foundation for Civilizational Harmony.
I am deeply influenced by the Fair which is showing the numberless social & religious services bring rendered by thousands of Hindu social & spiritual organizations.
I am glad that so many otherwise unknown or less known organizations have come and joined hands with similar other well-known and bigger organizations only to learn that united we stand in the name of this spiritual land of Bharat.
On this occasion, the mind naturally goes to the galaxy of prophets like Ramchandra, Sri Krishna, Bhagwan Buddha, Mahavira, Chaitanya, Nanak and Sri Ramakrishna, of seers like Veda Vyas, Valmiki, Shankaracharya and Vivekananda and of saints like Kabir, Mirabai, Tulsidas, Purandaradasa, Tyagaraja, Alwars and Nayanmars. It is their heartfelt love of God and His children, the common men and women and the masses whom they addressed their messages on unity, universal brotherhood and human family.
All their voices were one in stressing the spiritual unity of whole creation and of course of humanity which is a small part of it.
Thus, this spiritual unity runs through the various seemingly divided castes, creeds & sects in our country. This HSS Fair has explicitly and powerfully brought out and placed before us that. They are proving that Hindu Dharma can 'remove the orphan's cries, wipe the widow's tears and also make them feel they are 'divine' i.e. full of love, compassion, fearlessness and full of 'joy'.
Yes, our service activities are not merely 'social' but they are spiritually oriented. We consider that giver is at a lower pedestal and recipient at a higher one. He gives us an opportunity to become unselfish by renouncing some of our wealth.
By renunciation alone did many attain immortality. 'Tyago me keâ€¦â€¦ manasuh,' say our Upnishads. By serving, we serve ourselves i.e. we feel more we are divine, we are children of God.
Swami Vivekananda was a great 'achiever' (to use a business term). He attained highest Nirvikalpa Samadhi. He went to Swami Ramakrishna Paramhamsa and begged for continued state of Samadhi.
Swami Ramakrishna said, â€œthere is a higher state, that is serving God in everybody and worshipping Him through service.â€
Swami Vivekananda used to sing a Hindi song 'tujh se hamne â€¦â€¦' , 'O Lord, I started loving you, I see you everywhere'.
When he started Ramakrishna Mission, he asked the householders and also Sanyasins to serve the God in man.
He pointed out to serve 'according to need' â€“ physically, intellectually, morally and spiritually considering all as 'service to God in man'.
Man to him was God and nothing but God.
-â€œI call him God, whom the ignorant call man. Shall we not then go to temples, mosques, churches? Yes, by all means. But to see Him in all men & women is higher.â€
In Mauritius, I saw 10,000 capacity Cultural Hall called Swami Vivekananda International Centre for Cultural Conferences.
'To serve the poor & needy of all nations' and 'religions can be a universal Religion'. Let people in general & Hindus in particular practice Japa, prayer, meditation, pilgrimage etc but let them add 'serving the living God, that is man of all races, religions, castes, creeds and sex'.
This is the advice of Swami Vivekananda who as one of the seven Rishis represents the voice of our eternal religion i.e. Sanatan Dharma.
I am glad that we are awakening to our eternal religion's call. We are sure to find our strength and manifest it. Swami Vivekananda has predicted that 'India is destined to become the spiritual leader of the whole world. None can stop it'.
Once again, I refer to the glorious list of service activities by all organizations depicted in this Central Hall â€“ that is a glorious community effort.
Swami Vivekananda wanted us to come together in the name of God, in the name of religion. He uttered a Vedic mantra which says 'Walk together, speak in one voice, think harmoniously, thus did ancient gods attain glory'.
Sangachhadhwavam samvaddhwavam samvo manandhâ€¦â€¦..
Desha bhagam yaksha purve sajjajananam upasane.