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150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda celebration

Public Lecture and Q & A


Swami Tyagananda, Swami Sridharananda, Professor Raghbendra Jha, Dr Peter Friedlander


Innovations Theatre, Building 124, Eggleston Road, ANU


Friday, 23 August, 2013 - 17:30 to 19:30

Bridging East and West – from individuals to global organisations: the teachings of Swami Vivekananda

On the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, this event brings together a group of speakers who look at aspects of Swami Vivekananda's life and teachings on core human values and ideals and their implications for both institutions and the individual today.

Participants: Swami Tyagananda, Head of Ramakrishna Vedanta Society Boston, and Hindu Chaplain at MIT and Harvard University, Boston
Swami Sridharananda, President, Vedanta Centres in Australia
Professor Raghbendra Jha, Executive Director, Australia South Asia Research Centre, College of Asia and the Pacific, ANU
Dr Peter Friedlander, School of Culture, History and Language, College of Asia and the Pacific, ANU.

Tea and coffee will be served from 5pm


Father to the liberation and rebirth of India, inspiration to Gandhi and Nehru, J N Tata and John Rockefeller, and spiritual, philosophical and psychological guide to millions of Indians for over a century, Swami Vivekananda’s teachings are as relevant today as they were in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Long before modern globalisation became a reality, Swami Vivekananda perceived a global world. His works contain ideas on universal harmony, cooperative development, and the underlying Divinity in all human beings. Today’s organisations have global reach in finance, environment, peace, security, science, education, information, and communications. Notwithstanding their far reaching effects, many institutions face crises of functionality and loss of credibility and connection to the individual.

Individuals for their part are now more than ever searching for harmony - the harmony between body and soul, and the harmony between individuals and organisations. Swami Vivekananda’s ideas are not piecemeal, but assemble into a coherent structure capable of providing a holistic, universal and humanistic foundation for 21st century organisations. They also give practical guidance for the individual in the art of managing secular and non-secular life.

Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)

Born on 12 January 1863, Swami Vivekananda was a Hindu monk, the chief disciple of the 19th-century saint Sri Ramakrishna, and the founder of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission. He was the first Hindu monk to travel to the West and a key figure in the introduction of the Indian philosophies of Vedanta to the western world. Swami Vivekananda’s teachings, as recorded in his many lectures, beautifully reconcile science and spirituality, call for the adoption of the best elements of eastern and western culture. The fundamental bases are the potential divinity of all men and women, that all religions are equally true, and that all the various paths ultimately lead to the same goal. He believed in providing an education, combining the secular and the spiritual, leading to an integrated human development for peaceful and harmonious living. His many lectures and writings can be found in The complete works of Swami Vivekananda published by the Vedanta Press and Bookshop.

Co-hosted by Australian National University and Vedanta Centre of Sydney - Canberra Chapter




Barbara Nelson

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