Everybody accepts that the total development of man should cover all the four dimensions, viz., Sharira, Mana, Buddhi, and Atma. The westerners and materialists also accept this. But then where is the difference in our acceptance and theirs?
When we consider body is to be developed, it is not merely physically but also mentally and intellectually. We should not think, “Why should I care for the body? Caring for it is materialistic. There are many who starve or mortify themselves beyond limits in the name of vratas. This is not a correct attitude. It is counter-productive.
The Role of Vivekananda Kendra International
Vivekananda Kendra International is the third step in the growth and evolution of the great mission initiated by Mananeeya Eknathji Ranade . The first was the Vivekananda Rock Memorial at Kanyakumari. The second was the work of Vivekananda Kendra at the National level. Today we are celebrating the fruition and fulfilment of the third step -- Vivekananda Kendra International. These remind us of the three long strides taken by Vishnu, 'the Trivikrama', in his Vamana Avatara. The parallel is highly significant.
Utsavas – festivals are for continuation of tradition, for expressing the joy of life, strengthening the collectives like family, community, society, nation and for expressing the gratitude towards the creation. India is full of various festivals. The characteristic of our festivals is that no festival is without pooja. No festival is just for merry-making though in every festival we do enjoy. The festivals are to make us relevant in time as well as to continue our tradition. That is what made Hindu dharma and our nation as Nitya Nootan Chira Pooratan – that is ‘ever new and most ancient’.
This month brings the solemn Utsava of Gurupoornima. Traditionally Ashadhi Poornima is celebrated as Gurupoornima because Sri Veda Vyasa was born on this day. It was Veda Vyasa who by establishing the Guru - Parampara protected the Vedic knowledge. Sanatana Dharma based on the Vedic vision is the life center of Bharat. Thus, this work of Veda Vyasa was a great work in the protection of the nation and its ethos. This is the day when we worship our Guru, offer ourselves for the work of Guru, to lead life in the direction shown by the Guru, perpetuating the Guru-Parampara.
India is a land of rich diversity. It has diverse communities, ways of worship, festivals, foods, languages, etc. Let anything in human life be named, and India has it in as many diverse ways as one could think of. Even the beginning of the year, that is, the New Year, is diverse. Different regions, communities, have different day as the New Year.