December 25 observed worldwide as Christmas is not just special for one community – Christians- but it has special significance for the followers of the all- Inclusive Hindu religion which the 19th century monk Swami Vivekananda propagated across the world with unparalleled zeal. It is observed as Rock Day as the cyclonic monk meditated on the rock at Kanyakumari for three days beginning from Christmas in 1892 and sought answers from deep within the solutions to the problems which were plaguing India at the time.
The saints associated with Ramakrishna Mission Sewashram said that during his wandering years, Vivekananda had experienced the sufferings and problems his countrymen were facing.
“Poverty, lack of self-respect and lack of education caused him pain and he was resolved to restore the long lost self-respect and self-confidence of the people India. For the three days, the swami’s mind was obsessed with the need of the Indians and means to charge them up again with the fire of self-faith to look the world in the face based on the glorious history the nation had lived for millennia. This is why December 25 is observed as the Rock Day,” said Swami Dayadhipananda while speaking to The Pioneer.
“While recounting those days, Vivekananda said he had reached Kanyakumari on December 24 1892. However, his mind was still wavering over how he could help his countrymen bogged in distress. While at Kanyakumari, he swam across the ocean to reach a large mid-sea rock where he meditated on India’s past, present and future for three days from December 25 to 27. Here, the ‘vision of one India’ unfolded and he came up with a solution in the form of resolution which is popularly known as the Kanyakumari resolve of 1892,” he said.
The general secretary of Ramakrishna Mission Swami Nityashuddhananda said that Vivekananda had realised the need of food for the survival of the body. “ An empty stomach being no good for religion, the poverty-lashed Indians must be fed first. The day is thus marked with feasting with the poor in all the Sewashrams spread across the country,” he said.
He further said, “We have a long tradition of celebrating Christmas in the temple located in Sewashram premises. It started with Swami Atulananda whose pre-monastic name was Cornelius, a western devotee from Holland. He spent his last days in the mission in 1965. He inspired the ashram inmates to the tradition of celebrating Christmas. We accepted it heartily as our mentor Sri Ramakrishna embodied the principle of harmony of all religions. We have been celebrating major festivals of other religions too and of course, Christmas holds a special significance. The message of Jesus to ‘love thy neighbour as thyself’ needs to be reinstated in today’s era of religious conflicts.” Read more posts…
Wednesday, 26 December 2018 | PNS | Haridwar—
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