Tag Archives: Swami Vivekananda

Promise at 9

When I was told the story of the amazing speech by Swami Vivekananda at Chicago Conference of 1893, I had wanted to visit that hall, feel that moment. I have heard that speech but the wish to visit the hall was buried somewhere deep in my heart. Finally it was time to fulfil that wish. I went to The Art Institute of Chicago. Its a huge museum. I was unable to control my excitement. While booking ticket at the reception, I mentioned the Chicago Conference of 1893. The person at the counter realized my excitement and immediately mentioned Swami Vivekananda. He gave me directions to the hall. It is called the Fullerton hall. The hall was at the opposite end of the museum from the entrance I was at. I walked quickly at the other end. A huge image of Swami Vivekananda is placed there along with the immortal address of ‘Sisters and brothers of America’. One can enter the hall if it is not booked. I requested the museum person to let me enter the hall, as it was not booked that day. She accompanied me inside the hall. Once I entered, I was the 9 year old girl. My heart was beating so fast, I could imagine the sound of the applause in that hall. The museum person understood my condition, smiled and suggested I can walk the steps till the stage.

The Hall

The drive named after Swami Vivekananda

The museum has many beautiful artifacts from different parts of the world. Everyone in the museum knew about that conference. When I came out of the entrance near the hall, the street is named after Swami Vivekananda. It felt so great to see Swamiji has the same admiration here as in India. When we are kids, the heart makes certain wishes, which may not be fulfilled at that time. As we grow up, those wishes get buried somewhere underneath the daily grind. I just came to know, one of the ways to revive the child within is to fulfil those wishes. When one does that, one feels the happiness filled with innocence that the heart of child has. Let us look back into our childhood, find those wishes, fulfill them and revive the child within ourselves.

A spiritual exploration

Last week a colleague of mine suggested that I should visit the Washington Kali Temple. I immidiately contacted my friend asking them if they are ready to visit that temple over the weekend. They agreed and so on Saturday morning, we all got ready by 10:00 am. The sun shone brightly and there was a cool breeze. It almost seemed as if the weather itself is taking us towards the temple. After a drive of 40 minutes we reached our destination.

The Washington Kali Temple

The Washington Kali Temple

Apple trees around the temple

Apple trees around the temple

Surrounding Greenery

Surrounding Greenery

As we reached there, we were greeted by beautiful apple trees. The temple stood amidst large green trees. It was so peaceful that one can meditate. As we entered the temple, we were greeted by this beautiful quote by Swami Vivekananda. This reminded me about the story of the Chicago Conference attended by Swami Vivekananda.

Beautiful words by Swami Vivekananda

Beautiful words by Swami Vivekananda

A part of temple was dedicated to Lord Shiva, another to Navagraha and the rest was to Goddess Kali and Goddess Durga. We refer to our Goddesses as Ma(mother). We even saw a mongoose eating peacefully in the temple compound and realized that everyone is welcome at the doors of the Ma. The photos of Ramakrishna Paramhans dev reminded me of my home. The compound had beautiful flowers. After a long time I had come across such a beautiful representation of co-existence of humans, animals and trees. It was so serene that we forgot all our worries and started praying.

A beautiful sight

A beautiful sight

Beautiful flowers around temple

Beautiful flowers around temple

We were told by the priest that its an auspicious day and there will be a small ceremony. We attended the ceremony and offered our prayers. Then we had the bhog. I almost felt at home, as if my mom had prepared lunch for me since I had returned after a long time. The peace and tranquillity of the temple continued with us all throughout the weekend. Thanks to my friends Ravi and Saritha for this trip. In our fast paced lives, we often forget the importance of small things like spending some time with ourselves, praying and appreciating everything around us. But once we do these, life becomes so much more beautiful. Don’t you think so?