Swami Vivekananda and His Universal Ideas

Swami Vivekananda and His Universal Ideas’- a book with ISBN, published by the College was released on 09th December, 2016 by Swami Suvirananda, Asst. General Secretary, Ramakrishna Math & Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math.

sv-u-book cover

Publishers Note

Swami Vivekananda, writes in one of his letters to Swami Ramakrishnananda, in 1894 from Chicago : ‘…see that universality be not hampered in the least. Everything must be sacrificed, if necessary, for that one sentiment, universality. Whether I live or die, whether I go back to India or not, remember this specially, that universality -- perfect acceptance, not tolerance only -- we preach and perform’. Such strong was his emphasis on universality. Charged with his inspiration the Ramakrishna Mission has tried its level best to render physical, intellectual and spiritual service to mankind irrespective of caste, creed or nationality with a vision of seeing oneself equally in all. With this legacy of universal love poured out in service at the background the Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Centenary College, Rahara is publishing ‘Swami Vivekananda and his Universal Ideas’ –a book to promote, analyse and apply the universal message of Swami Vivekananda along multifarious channels.

A portion of this book consists of contributions from eminent thinkers on Swami Vivekananda, who spoke at an International Seminar on ‘Swami Vivekananda & his Universal Ideas’ organized in the College on 12th January, 2016. This garland of articles include deliberations by Revered Swami Ishatmananda, President, Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chicago, USA, Dr. J.L. Shaw, Dept. of Philosophy, Victoria University, New Zealand, Dr. Santi Nath Chattopadhyay, President & Executive Director, International Society for Inter-cultural Studies and Research, India. We are highly grateful to Revered Swami Bhajanananda, Assistant Secretary Ramakrishna Math & Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math, Revered Swami Suvirananda, Assistant Secretary Ramakrishna Math & Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math, Prof. Basab Chaudhuri, Vice Chancellor, West Bengal State University, Barasat, Dr. Ratnabali Banerjee, Former Joint Secretary, University Grants Commission for enriching the content of the book with their pearls of wisdom. These pearls have been strung into one string in this book. The varied backgrounds from which the contributors have hailed is itself an evidence of the universal appeal of Swami Vivekananda’s ideas.

We are thankful to Shri Manas Moulic, Asst. Professor in English of our college for helping us in giving shape to this book.

Today we stand amidst a peculiar situation where the towers of material prosperity are rising to the skies and yet the questions like divisiveness based on religion and nationality, power and money remain unsolved. By universality we still mean squeezing all into a single path. We are yet to realize that there can be a single goal which encourages plurality in approach. At this point Swami Vivekananda becomes relevant to redefine universality where the secular and sacred can become one, where individuality should flourish to bring home universality only if everything is subdued to sacrifice and service. This book has dealt with this issue of universality as envisioned by Swami Vivekananda looked from different corners, be it in harmonizing work and worship, be it in inter-religious exchange and admiration, be it in striking a balance amidst the opposing features of the human personality, or be it in ecological balance.

Swami Vivekananda has said ‘One-sidedness is the bane of the world. The more sides you can develop the more souls you have, and you can see the universe through all souls’. Thus if we desire to be a friend of all then we have to reach the universal core from which can admire and inspire all around us of any social identity, of any mental make-up, of any school of thought. We pray to Shri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother Shri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda to inspire us through this book to reach this true state of universality where we can relish the bliss of universal love and radiate universal service from ourselves.

Rahara, Kolkata

28th October, 2016

150th Birth Anniversary of Sister Nivedita