Vivekananda Navaratri Celebrations – February 6-14, 2013

Written by Web Admin. Posted in Explore, Vivekananda, Vivekananda House

Swami Vivekananda saved Hinduism and India by his inspiring speeches in the Parliament of Religions at Chicago in September 1893 and started several Vedanta Centres in America and Europe. His return to India saw unprecedented response from all sections of society throughout the country. The people of Tamil Nadu rose as one people to welcome their beloved leader and moved by their love and sincere appreciation, Swamiji stayed at ‘Castle Kernen(Ice House) on the famous Marina Beach in Chennai for nine days (6th to 14th February 1897). This landmark is now known as Vivekanandar Illam (or Vivekananda House).

The Ice House was converted into a ‘mart of joy’. People flocked to see and hear the Swami and he never ceased to inspire people wherever he went. To see him was worship and to hear him was religion. His personality drew crowds and the Swami was eager to get his message across. A public welcome was accorded to him at the Victoria Hall on 8th February 1897 at 4.30 p.m. and Swamiji spoke a few words to the ten thousand large audience.

His famous lectures, ‘The Work Before Us‘ and ‘My Plan of Campaign‘ were delivered in Chennai on 9th Feb. The lectures ‘The Sages of India‘ and ‘Vedanta in its application to Indian Life‘ were also delivered in Chennai on 11th and 13th February respectively.

It is befitting that these nine days are celebrated as ‘Vivekananda Navaratri’ and special programmes have been arranged at Vivekanandar Illam from 6th to 14th of Feb 2013.



Vivekananda Navaratri – 9 Days Program Highlights:

Note: All speeches, discourses will be in Tamil unless otherwise mentioned.

Day 1 – Feb 6th:

1. Arati by  Swami Gautamanandaji Maharaj & Lighting the lamp by  Sri. Nalli Kuppuswamy Chetty

2. Welcome Address by Swami Asutoshananda,

3. Special Address by Dr. Sri. Nalli Kuppuswamy

4. Vivekananda’s Humanism, Upanyasam  by Kalaimamani Sri Nagai Mukundan

5. Devotional Music by Smt. Vishnu Priya, Chennai

6. Benedictory Address and Presentation of Mementoes by Srimat Swami Gautamanandaji Maharaj


Day 2 – Feb 7th:

1. Vivekananda’s Contribution to India’s Renaissance by Swami Atmaghanananda

2. Influence of Vivekananda on Indian Nationalists by Prof. V.V.Subramaniam

3. Cultural Programme by the Students of Ramakrishna Centenary Primary School, Mylapore, Chennai

4. Mallar Kambam (Wrestler’s Pole) Display by Tamil Nadu Federation


Day 3 – Feb 8th:

1. Historical importance of Chicago Speech by Sri K.Vaidyanathan, Editor, Dinamani

2. Vivekananda: Shows the way for Youth by Swami Yatatmananda

3. Villupattu – Vivekananda’s Bravery by Kalaimamani Sri Subbu Arumugam

4. Devotional Music by the Girls of Vivekananda Centenary Higher Secondary School, Mint, Chennai


Day 4 – Feb 9th:

1. Swami Vivekananda and National Integration by Ms. Prema Pandurangan (in English)

2. Vivekananda’s Marvellous Student Sri Alasinga Perumal by Swami Vimurtananda, Editor, Sri Ramakrishna Vijayam

3. Namasankirtan by Kumari B. Suchitra, Chennai

4. Devotional Music by the Boys and Girls of the Ramakrishna Math National School, Mint, Chennai


Day 5 – Feb 10th:

1. Vivekananda’s Thoughts on Education by Swami Kamalatmananda

2. Brave Vivekananda by Sri. Malan Narayanan, Editor, Putiya Talaimurai

3. Veena Concert by Smt. Jayanti Kumaresh, Chennai

4. Bhajans by the Girls of Ramakrishna Mission Sarada Vidyalaya Higher Secondary School, Chennai


Day 6 – Feb 11th:

1. Vivekananda’s Place in Tamil Nadu History by Sri. Krishnamurty, Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari

2. Significance of Vivekananda Navaratri by Swami Apavargananda

3. Key Board by Sri. A.S.Ram, Chennai

4. Bhajans by the Girls of Ramakrishna Mission Sarada Vidyalaya Model Higher Secondary School, Chennai


Day 7 – Feb 12th:

1. Classical Music by Kalaimamani Sri Unnikrishnan, Chennai

2. Vivekanandar Illam & Swami Vivekananda by Swami Atmashraddhananda (in English), Editor, The Vedanta Kesari

3. The Large Heart of Swami Vivekananda by Poet Jnani

4. Bhajans by the Boys of Ramakrishna Mission, T.Nagar, Chennai


Day 8 – Feb 13th:

1. Lecture: Swami Vivekananda & Religious Tolerance by Swami Tygarajananda

2. Drama: Title: ‘Narendra’ by Prayatna Producer: Vivek Shankar, Chennai


Day 9 – Feb 14th:

1. Cultural Programme: Shiva-Parvati Dance by Vipanchi group, Chennai

2. Lecture: Vivekananda: In the tradition of Acharyas by Swami Buddhidananda


Download the Invitation and Program schedule (pdf)

Download from here:

National Youth Day Celebrations – 12th Jan 2013

Written by Web Admin. Posted in 150th Birth Anniversary Celebrations, Explore, Media Gallery, Vivekananda, Vivekananda House

12th January is the birthday of Swami Vivekananda as per the English calendar. This day is being observed as National Youth Day throughout India.

The year January 2013 to January 2014 is a historic year as the 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda falls during the period.

This year, 2013, National Youth Day (Jan 12th) was celebrated at Vivekanandar Illam, in a way, heralding the year long celebrations of 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.

The Day started early in the morning with Puja to Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi, Swami Vivekananda, Swami Ramakrishnananda, etc., followed by Sri Ramakrishna Homa on the new ground leased recently to Vivekananda House by the Tamilnandu Government.

After the Homa Monks, devotees and admirers offered pushpanjali to Swami Vivekananda’s statue, situated at the entrance of the Vivekanandar Illam and then Arati was performed to Swamiji. Next Swami Tyagananda Maharaj, head of the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society in Boston, and Swami Vimurtananda Maharaj, Editor of Sri Ramakrishna Vijayam Tamil Monthly, addressed the gathering of students, admirers and devotees. In the end Swami Gautamananda Maharaj, President of Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai delivered the benedictory address. Afterwards prasad was served.

In the Evening (5 PM) devotional Bhajans were rendered by the Students of GK Shetty Vivekananda Vidyalaya, Ambattur, Chennai. Next was Silambattam (Traditional Acrobat performances) by the Students of  Tamilnadu Mallakhamb Federation. Next was Villipattu by the Students of Jaigopal Garodia Vivekananda Vidyalaya, Kolathur.

Towards the end Swami Gautamananda Maharaj presented the performers with mementos and then Prasad was served to all.

Some of the pictures from the Day are published here:

A Majestic Architecture

Written by Web Admin. Posted in Architectural Heritage, Explore, Vivekananda House

Spherical in shape and rising to three-storeys,Vivekananda House stands majestically on the busy Kamarajar Salai and it’s a well-known landmark in modern dayChennai. It finds a mention in Madras, The Architectural Heritage, an INTACH [Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage] Guide for the architecturally important buildings in Chennai.

The Vivekananda House structure is distinctive and has several unique features. Though it has undergone several changes over the course of time in terms of spatial functionality, styles and the materials used, it stands out as an importantmonument connecting contemporary times to the days when it was built. This is reflected clearly in its distinct architectural features such as the circular core, the semicircular corridors, the hemispherical dome and the square plan.

Vivekananda’s Nine Day Stay at Castle Kernan

Written by Web Admin. Posted in Explore, History and Inspiration, Vivekananda House

Swami Vivekananda stayed at Castle Kernan (later Vivekananda House) and asked the Reception Committee to arrange the program and inform him of the subjects he was supposed to speak on.

It was planned that his first appearance would be in order to reply to the main address of welcome, that of the Vivekananda Reception Committee presented on behalf of the people of Madras. Afterwards there were to be four public lectures devoted to his message to the world and to India, and to the means of building up a national spiritual life in India suited to altered conditions. The following subjects were chosen:
(1) ‘My Plan of Campaign’
(2) ‘The Sages of India’
(3) ‘Vedanta in its Application to Indian Life’
(4) ‘The Future of India’
At Alasinga’s request, the Swami also consented to deliver a lecture at the Triplicane Literary Society2 on ‘The Work Before Us’; and there were to be two morning sessions at the Castle when people could put questions to him.
The Raja of Khetri, devoted disciple of Swamiji, sent his Private Secretary, Munshi Jagmohanlal, all the way to Madras to present an address of welcome on his behalf. From the first day to the last of his visit he was besieged at all hours by visitors of all classes and of both sexes. There were crowds constantly waiting in front of the Castle at all hours of the day and even after dusk.