August 8, 2013
Visit to “Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Memorial, Vadodara”
as a Vivekananda Vidyapith Group
Revered Swami Nikhileswaranandaji had invited all the Vivekananda Vidyapith people who had come for the International Youth Convention to the ashram at 10:00 a.m. We all gathered at the ashram arond 10:00 a.m. We felt very fortunate to have come to the building that had been sanctified by Swami Vivekananda. He had stayed here in 1892. Great personalities leave their positive vibrations in the places they stay. If we tune our minds to these personalities, then we can feel these vibrations and uplift ourselves. Thinking about Swami Vivekananda, we went to the prayer room. We offered our salutations and sat down to do japa. Then, we went to a room in which there was an exhibition of Swami Vivekananda’s pictures. After seeing the exhibition, we all went to the bookstore. People bought books and CDs.
Then we went to Swami Nikhileswaranandaji’s office. He cordially invited us into his office. We filled his office; people sat on chairs, sofas, and on the floor. He was extremely busy with work–the convention was starting after a day. But, in between work, he talked to us with full attention. We had some laughs and talks.
Around 11:45 a.m. he invited us to go for lunch. Since we were so many people, he had made a special arrangement for our lunch in the seminar room. As we walked into the room, we saw that tables had been set and food had already been served on the plates. Swamiji had special items made for us that are not usually part of the regular lunch. Throughout our lunch he stood at the end of the tables and made sure that we ate well. He himself did not eat. He was attending important phone calls, but he gave his loving attention towards our lunch. After lunch, we talked about a few instructions relating to the International Youth Convention. We were amazed to see how he could keep his calm in the midst of important activities. He asked all of us to come back on August 12th, the day after the convention, if we were around. We had a very good morning. What a great way to begin the second half of our trip.
At night, we called all the Vidyapith delegates for a meeting at the Royal Orchid Central Hotel. Swami Nikhileswaranandaji had asked that the delegates compile a list of questions they had for Dr. Abdul Kalam, Shri Sam Pitroda, and all the Swamis. We were to send him a typed list of these questions, indicating exactly which questions were for whom. From 9:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. all the delegates brainstormed questions to ask. Even though it was late, it was exciting to see the young minds at work. They were engaged and thoughtful. Vidyapith’s students came up with very good questions. Ronak typed these questions on his laptop, and we e-mailed the list to Swamiji.
“Real activity, which is the goal of Vedanta, is combined with eternal calmness, the calmness which cannot be ruffled, the balance of mind which is never disturbed, whatever happens. And we all know from our experience in life that that is the best attitude for work.” (Practical Vedanta, p-3) – Swami Vivekananda