Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA) Greater Chicago Chapter along with more than 35 temples and organizations of Chicago land organized “World without Borders 2013” program on Sept 27 and 28, 2013 to commemorate Swami Vivekananda on his 150th birth anniversary.
More than 1500 people attended the cultural gala event on 28th September. Prominent Hindu personalities like Yog guru swami Baba Ramdevji, Swami Chidanandaji , Swami Varadanandji of Vedanta Society, Dr. Omkar Patidarji from all world Gayatri Pariwar, Swami Sharanananda Ji of Chinmaya Mission, Jain Muni Dr. Lokesh Muniji, sadhvi Bhagvati ji, Dr Ramkamal Das ji Vedanti, Dr Binny Sareen of Brahma Kumari, American Hindu scholar Stephen Knapp, Canadian Hindu proponent Jeffrey Armstrong, Native American Hindu Dennis Hawk, former Ambassador Dr. Bhisma Agnihotri ji, VHPA founder Dr. Mahesh Mehtaji, Dr. Subramanian Swami, Hindu scholar Rajiv Malhotra and many others participated in the event.
The president of VHPA Shri Jyotish Parekh welcomed more than 500 people at the banquet on Friday September 27th evening. Speakers delivered their messages highlighting glories of Sanatan Dharma and Hindu culture while remembering Swami Vivekananda. Stephen Knapp (Srinandan Das) of ISKON, Detroit said, “I am proud to be a Hindu and a follower of Sanatan dharma. We do not convert but convince people. Like Swami Vivekananda we need to be convinced what our culture can offer to the world.”
On Saturday Sept. 28th ‘World without Borders 2013’ delegates conducted a march for Swami Vivekananda from Madison Street to Adams Street on Michigan Avenue and walked inside the Arts Institute of Chicago where Swami Vivekananda delivered his historic message 120 years ago. The march for Swami Vivekananda was led by Yog guru swami Baba Ramdevji and other dignitaries. Swami Vivekananda’s 150th Birth Anniversary was celebrated at Fullerton hall where Yog guru Baba Ramdevji delivered a speech reinstating Swami Vivekananda-ji’s message of World without Borders to the world and the urgency of following that in today’s time. State of Illinois proclaimed this day (September 28th) a Swami Vivekananda day. Representative from Governor Office read the message from Governor of IL. The yoga guru swami Ramdevji reiterated Swami Vivekananda’s message of peace and tolerance toward all religions. Swami Ramdevji said, “We bow to the efforts of America, but at the same time we bow to the ancient culture of India. We are the children of God before we are Hindu, Christian, Sikh or Muslim. We need to live the message of Swami Vivekananda. Swami Vivekananda said god does not live in places of worship but he lives in humans. We should have Darshan of Brahman (God) in entire Bhrahmand (universe).”
More than 1500 people attended cultural gala event on 28th celebration at Jain Mandir (temple) hall in Barttlet, IL. Children from Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS ) enthused audience by singing songs about Vivekananda. Local artists paid tribute by dances and by singing Bhajans. Dr. Omkar Patidarji and Shantilal Patel from all world gayatri pariwar charged up the audience with patriotic songs. Jain Muni Dr. Lokesh muniji remembered contribution of Swami Vivekananda and congratulated VHPA and participating temples and organizations of Chicago land for coming together and bringing all dharmagurus and organizations on one platform. Dr Swami Ramkamal Das ji Vedanti Spoke about message of Swami Vivekananda to the world Humanity should be the religion of world. Dr. Binny Sareen of Brahma Kumari institute talked about her study and Phd on the teachings of Swamiji. Dr Subramanian Swamy praised Vivekananda an ideal of Modern Hindu society. Rajiv Malhotra emphasized upon scholarly study about Hindu Dharma and removed misconception set by Western academics. Jeffrey Armstrong talked about Vedic philosophy and need to organized different sects and temples into strong and alert Hindu society. Stephen Knapp reminded contribution of Vedic thought in World Civilization and appealed people to be proud Hindu. Key note speaker yog guru swami Ramdevji delivered inspiring speech. Yog guru swami Ramdevji said,” Vivekananda’s speech beginning with “Sisters and Brothers of America” has the whole message of Indian culture — because husband, wife, father come later; but brother, sister come first, This is an important bond between brother and sister. We are children of God. Earth has been filled with communal violence. It will destroy all countries. Only the bond of brotherly love between humans can save us from this destruction.”
Yog guru swami Ramdevji commented that,” The world’s biggest problem is how to transform ordinary people into better persons. Vivekananda said humanity is the message. We are not concentrating on conversions or how to increase the people belonging to our religion. Swami Vivekananda did not convert, nor did rishi munis or any Hindu personalities. Lack of knowledge coupled with power to convert people’s religion will not let us achieve anything but another religious war will start. We embrace such a religion that gave moral values to the world. We believe and respect all other religions. We are proud of such a country that has given refuge to persecuted people of all kinds of religions. Only India can do it.” Yog guru swami Ramdevji said “We salute America for her material progress. We respect Christianity, Islam and we also salute 5000+ year-old Indian culture. Like 1.25 billion Indians respect other religions, everyone should also respect Indian culture and Hindu religion. We are God’s children first and then we are Christians, Sikh, Muslims or Hindu. This message of unity is important.” While congratulating VHPA along with temples and organizations of Chicago land for its work to unite NRI Hindus, bringing Dharma gurus together on one platform for social reforms and promoting Swami Vivekananda philosophy of world without borders , Yog guru swami Ramdevji announced that “in 2014 India will write new history. We will have to make new glorious chapter in India in 2014.”
Vandana Jhingan (TV ASIA Midwest Bureau) tvasiausa.com ( NFIA Task Force Women Chair) nfia.net GIEO GITA (North America Coordinator) 5150 Anniversary of Gita (Dec 15th 2013 Kurushetra Haryana Bharat Chalo) Cell: 847-867-1880 Fax: 847-483-1751
Vijay Narang – Director, Media Relations;
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