In commemoration of the 153rd birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda on January 12, the North-Eastern Hill University organised a programme at the Conference Room, Administrative Building.
The programme include speeches by chief guest on the occasion Swami Achyuteshananda Maharaj, Secretary, Ramakrishna Mission, Shillong, Prof. S, K. Srivastava, Vice-Chancellor, NEHU and professors of the Department of Philosophy, NEHU on the ideas and teachings of Swami Vivekananda as well as displaying of Swami Vivekananda’s writings related to his teachings as per the illustrative activities given by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of Higher Education, New Delhi. An announcement was also made of the establishment of a UGC sponsored Chair on Swami Vivekananda at NEHU.
In his welcome speech, Head (In-charge), Philosophy Department, NEHU said we need to celebrate past events like birth, death anniversaries because “yesterday was the birthplace of today and today is the birthplace of tomorrow.” He said that there is a need to reflect on yesterday as we are who we are today because of yesterday and so a celebration like today helps us to reflect on the great teachings of Swami Vivekananda.
After the welcome address, the Vice-Chancellor felicitated Achyuteshananda Maharaj by presenting him with a shawl.
Following this, there was a speech by Dr. L. N. Lenka, Associate Professor, Philosophy Department, NEHU on Swami Vivekananda’s practical Vedanta. Soon after, Swami Achyuteshananda Maharaj delivered his speech on why Swami Vivekananda’s birthday is celebrated as a National Youth Day and how his ideas are making a tangible change in the life of the modern youth.
He informed that Swami Vivekananda wanted the youth to take a lead in removing all social malice. Swami Achyuteshananda Maharaj said that the late spiritual leader believed that working for any social change required massive energy and spirit. Hence, he exhorted the youth to amplify both their mental energies and physical fitness, Swami Achyuteshananda Maharaj added. He also spoke on Swami Vivekananda’s Shillong connection (he visited Shillong in April 1901). “He considered this part of the country most suited to take care of his health,” Swami Achyuteshananda Maharaj said. He concluded by saying that Swami Vivekananda delivered his last public lecture in Shillong where he asked everyone to stand on their own feet. “Today is a great occasion to make a resolve, to fulfill his dream of seeing India in its highest glory”.
In his speech, Prof. Srivastava recollected Swami Vivekananda’s famous inspiring words “arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached” and said that these words are what the modern day youth need to make this country great. The Vice-Chancellor went on to quote some of the famous sayings by the spiritual leader like “Strength is life, weakness is death”, “Take risks in your life. If you win, you can lead, if you lose, you can guide” and “The more we come out and do good to others, the more our hearts will be purified, and God will be in them.”
The programme concluded with a vote of thanks by Dr. J. N. Nayak, Registrar (In-Charge).