Vivekananda House Chennai

By Sanjeev Nayyar esamskriti@suryaconsulting.net | 2016

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"Vivekananda Illam or Vivekananda House, earlier known as Ice House or Castle Kernan at Chennai, India is an important place for the Ramakrishna Movement in South India. " Swami Vivekananda lived here for nine days. A section has pictures of Swamiji''s life. It made me understand phases in Swamiji''s life and is located on Marina Beach. U see building with beach on right of pic and image of Swamiji in front. To read about Vivekananda House Click here

View from other side. Right of pic is a recently opened Vivekananda Cultural Centre. "The Centre shall promote study, research and practice of Indian cultural values in the light of Swami Vivekananda and provide training in achieving excellence in every sphere of Indian life.'' The Centre runs courses on Graphic design, Yoga, Tanjavur Painting, free tuition classes for poor students and Meditation etc. To read more Click here

At entrance to House. Excerpts ''Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this divinity by controlling nature, external and internal. Do this by work or worship or psychic control,or philosophy - by one or more of all of these and be free". Read last para in pic.

First branch of Ramakrishna Math in the South was established here in 1897. Sister Subalaxmi started pioneering work of women education here. In 1963 the house was named as Vivekananda Illam or House. In 1997 it was leased by the Tamil Nadu government to the Ramakrishna Math for holding a permanent exhibition on Swami Vivekananda and Indian Cultural Heritage.

In February 1897 whilst climbing down these steps Swamiji said, I shall send you one who is more orthodox than most orthodox Brahmins of South India and who at the same time is incomparable in performing worship, scriptural knowledge and meditation on God. Later Swamiji sent Shashi Maharaj. This is excerpts from the fine print on the board.

Humble beginnings. Swamji renounced the world and became an inmate of the Baranagore Math in 1887. One night Swamiji mother Bhuvaneshwari had a dream saw vividly the Vireshwar Shiva of Kashi rising himself from mediation and taking the form of a child to be her son. Left lower pic is group photo at Baranagore Math in 1887. Top centre left is a group photo before Sri Ramakrishna body was taken to the cremation ground.

Pic no 7 is the original rock at Kanyakumari where Swamiji meditated from 25-27th December 1892. Below are Personalities who helped and supported Swamiji to attend the Parliament of Religions.. Close up in next pic.

Left to right Raja Sri Bhaskara of Ramnad, Maharaja Sri Chamarajendra Wodeyar of Mysore, Maharaja Ajit Singh of Khetri, Sri Alasinga Perumal a prominent disciple of Madras.

The Parliament of Religions 1893. To read Swamiji''s speech Click here

The Parliament of Religions.

After the great success at Chicago, Swamiji had lecture tours all over America. He spoke about Vedanta, the universal philosophy and religion of the Upanishads. Pic 1 on top extreme right is the scene at The Parliament of Religions on last day. Pic 3 Swamiji''s personality raised his inner serenity.

Self explainatory.

Extreme right meditative pose taken in London 1896. Pics 1 and 2 were taken in Shillong, Meghalya. He addressed gathering there. In hall where he addressed stands a Cultural Centre there today. To see pics Click here

Pic 1 is reception at Calcutta. Pic no 2 at photo studio after he arrived. Right lower pic was taken in 1897. Pic no 3 is recent pic of Parthasarathi Temple that Swamiji visited many times.

Left pic no 1 Swamiji with admirers and fellow travellers in 1897 in Madras. Right pics of Swamiji in Colombo where Swamiji gave talks in January 1897. He returned by boat to Rameshwaram.

Swamiji visited Srinagar and Amarnath. Group pics are Swamiji with disciples.

Left pics Swamiji with admirers in Kashmir. Right Swamiji and others in Calcutta.

Group photo taken at Belur Math. Swamiji left for the West again in June 1899. He was accompanied by Sister Nivedita, Swami Turiyananda and Swami Sarananda''s brother.

In San Francisco.

Left of pic Swamiji lectured many times at the Home of Truth in Los Angeles.

Walk up a few steps to the room where Swami Vivekananda actually stayed. It is a Meditation Room now. Spent a few minutes there. Felt energised and blessed.

Outside room is open area. This pic on the one of the walls there.

Next visited the Ramakrishna Mission at Mylapore to offer pranams to Shashi Maharaj. Board says it all.

Mandapam with bronze image of Shashi Maharaj, founder of the Ramakrishna Math in Mylapore, Chennai.

Old temple at Math Mylapore.

New temple at Math Mylapore. Web site of the Chennai Math Click here

Prayer hall inside temple. Site of Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama T Nagar, Chennai Click here

Side view of temple. RKM have their own style - looks imposing. To support education of Ramakrishna Mission Students Home, Mylapore Chennai Click here

Sri Ramakrishna. To visit Mayavati Ashram in Kumaon where Swamiji stayed Click here

Swami Tattwamayananda talking to devotees about the Message of Shanti Ashrama California in April 2015. This retreat was started at Swamiji''s behest. To see pics of Shanti Ashrama Click here