DOWN MEMORY LANE
Yuva Bharati|April 2020
DOWN MEMORY LANE
THE REPORT GIVEN BY SHRI EKNATH RANADE, THE ORGANISING SECRETARY OF THE COMMITTEE ON 2 SEP 1970
Today is, indeed, a great day. A part of the dream is realized. The Shikharam or the domes of the Vivekananda Mandapam that you see today, we used to see when the Rock was bare and was devoid of any structures on it. But those towering Shikharams were merely ideas- lofty ideas- which some people considered as nothing but fancies. Those very fancies have today taken a concrete shape-rather a granite shape.

This memorial to Swami Vivekananda is not just one more addition to the existing memorials raised in his memory in the country. In the Kanyakumari township itself, there are already two memorials dedicated to his memoryone of those is just standing before us in this very ground – a small elegant shrine of Swamiji. Another is a library, by name Swami Vivekananda library, dedicated to his memory, on the Sanniddhi Street. What was then the necessity or propriety of putting up a third memorial just three furlongs away? It is necessary, I feel, to grasp the special significance of this memorial and its uniqueness.

This Rock is associated with the Swamiji’s Life almost in the same manner as the Bodhi tree in Gaya is associated with the life of Gautam Buddha. It was just an ordinary tree as any other tree. But, on account of the fact that Gautam Buddha, meditating under this tree received , divine illumination, the tree and the entire surroundings have become a place of pilgrimage and a source of inspiration to millions of people all over the world.

Similarly, this Rock which now bears the name of Swami Vivekananda, has a special significance in his life.

As his biographers tell us, the Swamiji had been only a simple wandering monk till he sojourned on this Rock to do mediation and Sadhana in search of an answer to numerous queries in his mind. It was here that he, in his deep meditation, got a vision, urging him to go abroad to give India’s message of Universal Religion to the world as also to work for the regeneration and rebuilding of India so that she might become a fit and effective instrument to play the role ordained for her by the Divine. That vision transformed him into a great reformer, a master organizer and a mighty world teacher. It is to commemorate this event in the Swamiji’s Life that this edifice has been built inspite of the hazards of construction at that difficult spot and the high cost it involved.

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April 2020