Mysore/Mysuru: Today is a red-letter day for Mysuru as the bhoomi puja (foundation stone laying ceremony) was held for the Swami Vivekananda Memorial Cultural Youth Centre – Viveka Memorial to be constructed in memory of Swami Vivekananda’s visit to Mysuru city in 1892.
The event was held on Narayana Shastry Road this morning with a host of dignitaries, Government representatives and the office-bearers and members of Sri Ramakrishna Ashram, Mysuru being present.
The bhoomi puja was performed by Suttur Seer Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra Swamiji and Adichunchanagiri Shakha Mutt Seer Sri Someshwaranatha Swamiji.
The rituals began with ‘homa’ that was performed by ascetics from the Ramakrishna Ashram. The rituals were held in the presence of Mysuru District Minister S.T. Somashekar, MP Pratap Simha, who unveiled the Viveka Memorial project model, MLA L. Nagendra, who presided over the event, MLAs G.T. Devegowda, S.A. Ramdas, In-Charge Mayor Sunanda Palanetra, former Gadag MLA B.R. Patil and Kappatagudda Shivakumara Mahaswamiji and Tumakuru Ramakrishna Ashram President Swami Veereshananda Saraswathi Swamiji.
Guiding nation’s youths
The Ramakrishna Ashram plans to build the Viveka Memorial to guide the nation’s youths on the moral and righteous path and will comprise a youth centre, Viveka Smaraka, Swami Vivekananda Museum and an amphitheatre. The estimated cost of the project will be Rs. 36 crore and once established, it will be a centre of attraction for students, youths and the general public who yearn for more knowledge and nation-building activities. Moral education will be a focal point of the Viveka Memorial and numerous activities and knowledge sessions like personality development, yoga education, art and culture education, Indian spiritual history and rural development aspects will be imparted.
Addressing the gathering, Suttur Seer Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra Swamiji said that July 6 was a historical day for Mysuru as the foundation stone was laid for Viveka Memorial in memory of Swami Vivekananda’s visit to Mysuru in 1892.
Wishing that the Viveka Memorial be a cultural, historic, lively and a memorable monument, the Swamiji said, “Let the Memorial spread its fame like the fragrance of jasmine and lead the youths on a righteous path.”
“Swami Vivekananda had a unique relationship with the Mysore Wadiyars and he decided — made a Sankalpa — to visit Chicago to represent India and Hinduism at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in 1893. The tenth Chamaraja Wadiyar offered to sponsor the Chicago journey but Swami Vivekananda politely refused and said that he decided on the journey following his mother’s command and he needs to seek his mother’s approval to accept money from the Maharaja. After some days, Swami Vivekananda returned to Mysuru and took the money for his Chicago journey,” Suttur Swamiji said.
10-year struggle recalled
President of Ramakrishna Ashram Mysuru Swami Muktidanandaji recalled the struggle to set in motion the Memorial construction. “It is a 10-year Sankalpa of Mysureans and today it has become a reality. We faced many hurdles and negativity but we stayed calm, confident that truth and the noble cause will prevail. Thousands of people cooperated with us and the place that was neglected for decades will pave way for a memorable cultural centre,” he said.
“It will be an all-inclusive centre that will achieve the objectives of Swami Vivekananda as he envisioned for the Indian youths,” he added.
MP Pratap Simha recalled the contributions of many individuals in making this event a reality. He recalled the writings and support extended by Star of Mysore and Mysuru Mithra Founder-Editor K.B. Ganapathy, who staunchly supported the Memorial.
Place of learning
MLA S.A. Ramdas said that history will be made once the Viveka Memorial comes up. “It will be a place of learning and will be in the surroundings of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Bhavan. It will also attract tourists who visit Palace,” he opined.
MLA G.T. Devegowda, who also spoke, said “The place was mired in controversy and just for a few votes, politics was done, preventing the construction of the Memorial. Some people resorted to dividing the communities for the sake of publicity. Today, all hurdles have been cleared and the Memorial would come up in Mysuru.”
MLA L. Nagendra said that the surroundings of the Memorial have many educational institutions and over 25,000 children studying there would benefit.
District Minister S.T. Somashekar said that the State and the Centre will extend all cooperation for the Memorial. “We have got orders to ensure that there are no hurdles for Viveka Memorial as this is a nation-building activity and will immensely benefit the youths. Politics has no place here,” he assured.
Writers Dr. C.P. Krishnakumar (CPK) and Dr. S.L. Bhyrappa also spoke.
Other dignitaries who were part of the event were former MLC D. Madegowda, former Vice-Chancellor of Kuvempu University Dr. Chidananda Gowda, University of Mysore Vice-Chancellor Prof. G. Hemantha Kumar, Star of Mysore and Mysuru Mithra Founder-Editor K.B. Ganapathy, former MLA Vasu, former President of Mysuru Ramakrishna Ashram Swami Atmavidanandaji, Corporator Prameela Bharat, MUDA Chairman H.V. Rajeev, MyLAC Chairman N.V. Phaneesh, Jungle Lodges and Resorts Chairman M. Appanna, Deputy Commissioner Dr. Bagadi Gautham and City Police Commissioner Dr. Chandragupta.