It is indeed hard to believe that this towering spiritualist and patriotic saint, an embodiment of courage, a spiritual genius of commanding intellect and power left this world more than a century ago, nothing to this day motivates, invigorates and fills one with a drive and passion for service and sacrifice for the nation and countrymen than the powerful words and example of this spirited monk who left an indelible impact, not only in his motherland but in distant America too. The occasion was the celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda and the Ramakrishna Mission and Ramakrishna Vivekananda Bhava Prachar Parishad, Coimbatore were observing it as an ‘Awakening of India’ festival. Two ornate and massive Rathams with towering statues of Swami Vivekananda with his Spiritual guide and guru Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Divine Mother Sharada Devi left Coimbatore on April 3rd, 2013 to tour the entire State and spread his teachings to mark the occasion. The Ratham with the Master’s powerful appeal to young Indians to conquer the West with their spirituality and to awake, arise and rest not until the goal is reached, displayed prominently arrived at the Sankara Nethralaya main campus on 4th January 2014. It was accorded a warm and rousing reception by Dr SS.Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Dr.Vasanthi Badrinath, Director, Clinical Services, Sankara Nethralaya, SWAN volunteers and employees of Sankara Nethralaya gathered in large numbers. The monks from the Ramakrishna Mission who had accompanied the Ratham gave a spirited multilingual talk on the life, philosophy and goals of the great master and the objective of the celebration. They drew a parallel to his strong conviction of serving God by serving mankind and the service being rendered by Sankara Nethralaya founded by Dr SS.Badrinath an Alumnus of the Ramakrishna School where the early seeds for his life of service were sown.
The imposing image of the Saint was garlanded by Dr.Vasanthi Badrinath, Director Medical Services, Sankara Nethralaya, Shri Narayanan, Manager, Kamalnayan Bajaj Institute for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and Lion SN.Harinarayanan on behalf of the institution. The Ratham departed on the next lag of its journey after the distribution of prasadam and literature on the life of the Saint to the full throated cry ‘Swami Vivekananda Maharaj Ki Jai’ by the members of the Sankara Nethralaya family.