Every center working on the lines of the Mahamandal organizes an open discussion program on the man- making and character-building ideas of Swami Vivekananda in every week, which is known as the Study Circle. The idea behind the study circle is to acquaint all who desire to work for the Mahamandal with the thoughts of Swami Vivekananda and also the ideas and methods of the Mahamandal through detailed discussions.
Usually, the discussion starts with the Mahamandal's anthem and 'Swadesh-mantra' by Swami Vivekananda. Then we read from some selected books (related to Swami Vivekananda and Mahamandal's Books, Bulletins) and discuss on that to absorb the idea behind the text. In this program, we also encourage our members to do the daily practices, which can help us in character building.
Those who wish to attend the Study Circle of any Unit should have some acquaintance with the life of Swamiji. Studying the current and old issues of Vivek-Jivan will also be helpful.
Publications such as 'Aims and Activities', 'The Idea and the Method', 'A New Youth Movement', 'The problem of the Youth :Its Solution', 'How to Build Character', 'Why and How of Mental Concentration', 'Solving Problems: The Vivekananda way', 'A Plan for Action', and if possible, 'Swami Vivekananda and the World of Youth', may be taken up for the purpose. Playing cassettes on the Aims will be very useful.
This will acquaint members sufficiently with the principal ideas of Swami Vivekananda. For his own words, the following compilations of sayings of Swami Vivekananda may also be taken up :'The Message of Vivekananda', 'Vivekananda: His call to the Nation', 'Swami Vivekananda on India and Her Prob- lems', 'Caste, Culture and Socialism', 'Rebuild India', 'To the Youth of India' and 'Teachings of Swami Vivekananda'.
It is better not to take up Swamiji's bigger volumes in the study circle, as it may be difficult for many to follow them properly. Afterwards selected portions from 'Lectures from Colombo to Almora' and 'Letters' may also be studied. Books once finished may be taken up afterwards for recapitulation, so that the contents of the prescribed books at least are thoroughly mastered. Audio cassettes of the Mahamandal may also be utilized to learn the anthem and prayer songs and to understand the ideas of the Mahamandal.
Samgacchadhwam samvadadhwam sam vo manamsi janatam
deva bhagam yatha purve sajanana upasate
samano mantrah samitih samani samanam manah sahacittamesam
samanam mantramabhimantraye vah samanena vo havisa juhomi
samani va akutih samana hrdayani vah
samanamastu vo mano yatha vah susahasati.
O India ! With this mere echoing of others, with this base imitation of others, with this dependence on others, this slavish weakness, this vile detestable cruelty -- wouldst thou, with these provisions only, scale the highest pinnacle of civilisation and greatness? Wouldst thou attain, by means of thy disgraceful cowardice, that freedom deserved only by the brave and the heroic?
O India ! Forget not that the ideal of thy womanhood is Sita, Savitri, Damayanti; forget not that the God thou worshippest is the great Ascetic of ascetics, the all- renouncing Shankara, the Lord of Uma; forget not that thy marriage, thy wealth, thy life are not for sense-pleasure, are not for thy individual personal happiness; forget not that thou art born as a sacrifice to the Mother's altar; forget not that thy social order is but the reflex of the Infinite Universal Motherhood; forget not that the lower classes, the ignorant, the poor, the illiterate, the cobbler, the sweeper, are thy flesh and blood, thy brothers.
Thou brave one, be bold, take courage, be proud that thou art an Indian, and proudly proclaim, "I am an Indian, every Indian is my brother." Say, "The ignorant Indian, the poor and destitute Indian, the Brahmin Indian, the Pariah Indian, is my brother."
Thou, too, clad with but a rag round thy loins proudly proclaim at the top of thy voice: "The Indian is my brother, the Indian is my life, India 's gods and goddesses are my God. India 's society is the cradle of my infancy, the pleasure-garden of my youth, the sacred heaven, the Varanasi of my old age."
Say, brother; "The soil of India is my highest heaven, the good of India is my good," and repeat and pray day and night, "O Thou Lord of Gauri, O Thou Mother of the Universe, vouchsafe manliness unto me! O Thou Mother of Strength, take away my weakness, take away my unmanliness, and make me a Man!"
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