Vivekananda Cultural Centre, to be housed adjacent Vivekanandar Illam, or Ice House, in Triplicane, is to be inaugurated in a month.
The centre, devoted to the development of human excellence, will be spread over 10,000 sq. ft. Some of the activities at the cultural centre will include courses in mediation and yoga, Vedanta, Hinduism and on Swami Vivekananda’s teachings, soft skill workshops for students and employed youth and free tuition on computer courses for the underprivileged.
Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had laid the foundation stone for the cultural centre in February.
Announcing the inauguration of the centre at a function on Sunday, Ramakrishna Math manager Swami Austoshananda said the State government had sanctioned Rs. 2 crore for the proposed centre. The Union government too is providing assistance for the project.
The function was held to mark the arrival of Swami Vivekananda ratham as part of 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Swami Vivekananda. Participating in the function, Swami Padmasthananda, organiser of the rath yatra in Chennai, said, since April, the ratham had traversed over 18,000 km in the State.
It would be stationed in Chennai for 10 days, after which it would leave for Coimbatore, the point of origin. The valedictory of the year-long celebration will take place in Coimbatore on January 12.
Till now, the ratha yatra had created an awakening among 20 lakh persons, who pledged to follow the ideals of Swami Vivekananda, said Swami Padmasthananda.Two school boys, aged about 10 years, dressed up as Swami Ramakrishnananda, a direct disciple of Swami Ramakrishna, and Alasingha Perumal, a supporter, greeted the ratham along with monks and the public.
Swami Gautamananda, president (adhyaksha), Sri Ramakrishna Math, handed over the ‘Vivekananda Award’ to 10 persons for their contribution. They were given Rs. 50,000 each.
Referring to the country’s contribution in the field of spiritualism, he said, “In India, there is no conflict between science and religion and they co-exist in harmony. While accepting science and technology and techniques of modern era, we have to protect our culture and heritage.”