Daijiworld Media Network - Bantwal (DV)
Bantwal, Apr 17: Sri Sri Sri Swami Vivekachaithanyananda of Ramakrishna Tapovan, Polali, is well-known for his gesture of treating everyone equally irrespective of their caste, community and religion. Armed with degrees in chartered accountant (FCA), company secretary (FCS), Law (LLB) and masters in arts (MA Philosophy), Swamiji has also a PhD in Philosophy from Mysore University on the topic ‘Sri Ramakrishna - The Modern Prophet of Universal Religion’.
Ramakrishna Tapovan is involved in social service to the society like providing education, scholarships, books and uniforms to the children in villages. His ashram also emphasis on the programmes for the empowerment of rural women.
Swami Vivekachaithanyananda, in an in-depth interview with Daijiworld editor-in-chief, Walter Nandalike on Daijiworld 24x7 channel's 'Yatishreshtaru' programme, speaks about his life and motive of his ashram.
DW: Swamiji, can you tell to us about Ramakrishna Tapovan?
Swamiji: Everyone is aware of Polali Rajarajeshwari Temple. It is a historic temple. This temple has a history of 2,000 years. In ‘Markandeya Purana’, it is mentioned about the deity Rajarajeshwari. This place is a 'Tapobhoomi'. The blessings of the deity Rajarajeshwari is the main inspiration to me. That is the main reason to start Ramakrishna Tapovan here.
DW: When did you start this Ashram?
Swamiji: Ramakrishna Tapovan was started in the year 2002. In the year 2004, the construction of the buildings took place. Mainly, Ramakrishna's Vishwa Bhavaykya Mandir, is not only for Hindus, but for the people belonging to other faiths who come here. It took us five years to complete the construction work. We provide various types of education to economically backward children. There is a hostel for children which can accommodate 65 children. The ashram holds various types of pro-social activities. Our service is as per the principles of Swami Vivekananda who said ‘Along with self-development, there is necessary of development of the world’. Providing education, medical camps, empowerment of women in the villages, Swachh Bharat and construction of toilets is being done through the ashram.
DW: Who inspired you to become a 'Sanyasi'?
Swamiji: No one inspired me to become Sanyasi. My own inner spirit inspired me, but, I term it as Sri Ramakrishna. Christians call that spirit as Jesus Christ, Muslims call it as Allah, and Buddhists call it as Buddha.
DW: How was your life during childhood?
Swamiji: Even in my childhood, I was like Sanyasi.
DW: How was the atmosphere at your home?
Swamiji: My father had left home to become a Sanyasi. Later, he was forcefully brought back home and family members got him married.
DW: Please tell us about your place of birth?
Swamiji: I am from Permanki, Ullaibettu village. From childhood, I used to worship 'Devi'. When I used to visit this place, I thought that if a spiritual center comes up here, it would be so good. The dream has been realised now.
DW: Swamiji, can you tell us about your education?
Swamiji: Till fifth standard, I pursued my education at my native. It was a thatched hut school. During monsoon, it was horrible as water used to leak from the roof. I then shifted to Gurupura school. Later, I went to Mangaluru along with my elder sister who got married in Mangaluru. For ten years, I studied in St Aloysius Institution. It was a well-disciplined place to learn. I completed my graduation there. Later, I did chartered accountancy (FCA), then pursued company secretary (FCS), Law (LLB) and masters in arts(MA Philosophy) and PhD in Philosophy from Mysore University on the topic ‘Sri Ramakrishna-The Modern Prophet of Universal Religion’. Though Swami Ramakrishna was born as a Hindu, he imbibed the principles of Christianity and Islam. The form of worshiping God is different, but the goal is one. Sanyasa means total sublimation.
DW: You are well qualified by completing various degrees and doctorate. When was the turning point in your life that you decided to become a sage?
Swamiji: There was no turning point in my life. Since my childhood, I was the same.
DW: Who is your guru and who gave you 'Deeksha'?
Swamiji: This is a very difficult question to answer. When you continue your spiritual achievement, have unflinching faith and unconditionally surrender to your guru, everything happens. The relation of a guru and his disciple can only be experienced but cannot be explained.
DW: What was your name in Purvashrama?
Swamiji: My name in Pruvashrama was Balakrishna.
DW: What are the daily activities in Tapovan?
Swamiji: Once every year we distribute notebooks, uniforms to the schools in villages. We are distributing scholarships to 200 to 300 students. We providing training in music, skating, martial arts like Kung Fu, Karate, archery, and Yakshagana. We also conduct classes on personality development in various places, training in tailoring, medical camps. One of our programmes is the empowerment of rural women. We conduct computer classes and yoga classes.
DW: To run these many activities, you need funds. How do you manage it? Is there any support from the government?
Swamiji: There is no support from the government. My donors are the clients in Puruvashrama which consist 100% people from Bengaluru. They sport my cause. On average, we have expenses of Rs 5 to Rs 6 lac every month.
DW: How is your campaign under the Swachh Bharat mission?
Swamiji: Three to four years ago, we had planned to make Keriyangala village, a clean village. I made a sincere effort. If the people of the nation, really love their country, within a fraction of time, the country can be made clean. But, people in the country do not have such mindset. People's mindset should change, if not, ashramas and organizations will continue the campaign, but cannot bring a change. If the mindset of all the 135 crore population changes, then the Swachh Bharat mission will be successful. It is a very good programme and everyone should take part in it irrespective of caste and religion.
DW: How is your routine?
Swamiji: I wake up at 2.45 am. Later, yoga, exercise, and meditation. At 5.30, I offer prayers.
DW: Swamiji, can you share with us, the extremely happy and painful experience in your life?
Swamiji: Sages do not have happiness or sadness. If there is good, there will be bad. As there is day and night. Going beyond, this is spirituality. Whoever treats everyone and everything equally, is a saint.
DW: How many languages do you know?
Swamiji: I know Tulu, Kannada and English and I learnt Konkani when I was in St Aloysius, but I cannot speak it fluently now.
DW: What is your message to our viewers?
Swamiji: As a message, I would like to share Swami Vivekananda's message that Purity, Perseverance, Patience are three essential things for success above love. There is no love in this world. If there was love, there would be no fight on the basis of caste, community and religion. People would have led life peacefully. God is one, but the names are different. Land, water, air and sky do not discriminate us over caste or religion. Why cannot we lead our life in love and harmony? Once we do that then the world becomes 'Ramrajya'.
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