Ramakrishna Mission spreading message of peace - Indian Envoy
Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Nirupama Rao said the
Ramakrishna Mission, true to the memory of Swami Vivekananda has spread
the message of peace, tolerance and brotherly feeling among all
humanity, to every corner of the world.
Addressing 75th anniversary of the Ramakrishna Mission held at the
Ramakrishna Hall on October 22, Rao said that more than a century ago,
the Ramakrishna Mission was founded by Swami Vivekananda, one of modern
India's greatest minds.
She said:"The late, revered Swami Ranganathandaji, whom I had the
good fortune of meeting, when I was a young twenty two year old
beginning my career in the Indian Foreign Service said of Swami
Vivekananda that he wanted very Indian to return once more to the great
heritage of Bhagawan Buddha and the immortal Adi Sankara.
The Ramakrishna Mission, true to the memory of Swami Vivekananda, has
spread the message of peace, tolerance and brotherly feeling among all
humanity, to every corner of the world. It stands for selfless service,
irrespective of caste or creed or language. John Ruskin, the well-known
English writer once said, "an idea is more powerful than an army". This
saying is more than proved by the work of the Ramakrishna Mission. The
strength of the Mission lies in the ideas it represents - and the impact
of these ideas on the minds of the people who come into contact with it.
The Ramakrishna Mission is well known and well established in Sri
Lanka. It has stood for pease, ethnic harmony and tolerance in many
difficult times. I was myself a witness to this in Colombo more than
twenty two years ago in 1983. The mission was a haven for many persons
in need. It is also an institution that expresses Sri Lanka's close and
very special relationship with India, with Indian culture and tradition,
"When I visited the Ramakrishna Mission building here, a few weeks
ago, I was struck by the calm and tranquillity that surrounded me, even
though you are surrounded by the busy streets and thoroughfares of
Colombo. The environment created here is full of peace and purity.
Indian my country, is proud of the great spiritual legacy of its
great sons like Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Vivekananda. Swami
Vivekananda impressed audiences across the World with his eloquence and
spiritual knowledge, so much so that he was called the "cyclonic Hindu"!
His patriotic attachment to, India was always present in his thoughts
and words. His love of his motherland was strong and deep.
It is the power of the teaching of the great saints like these that
provide us with light and inspiration in our lives. We need to rise
above our narrow definitions of language or religion and embrace the
universal message of love, tolerance and compassion that is enshrined in
the teachings of these immortal men. And, to this I would add that the
blessings of the Holy Mother, Sri Saradadevi, Provides us with strength
and courage to face difficulties and to rise above petty differences.
Mahatma Gandhiji said in a tribute to Sri Ramakrishna: "The story of
Sri Ramakrishna's life is a story of religion in practice. His life
enables us to see God face to face. Sri Ramakrishna was a living image
of Godliness. His sayings are not those of a mere learned man but they
are pages taken from the book of life."
It is fitting that the Gandhi Peace Prize was awarded to the
Ramakrishna Mission in 1999 in recognition of the Gandhian spirit of
selfless and active social action that the Mission exemplifies. In
addition, the award recognized the Mission's contribution to communal
harmony, relief and rehabilitation of natural disaster victims,
education and healthcare, and women's empowerment.
It was Arnold Toynbee who said in 1969, "At this supremely dangerous
moment in human history, the only salvation for mankind is an Indian
The Emperor Ashoka's and the Mahatma Gandhi's principle of
non-violence and Sri Ramakrishna's testimony to the harmony of
religions: here we have the attitude and the spirit that can make it
possible for the human race to grow together into a single family."