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Posted at: Sep 24, 2015, 12:50 AM; last updated: Sep 23, 2015, 11:03 PM (IST)

Yoga expert from state relives Vivekanand’s Chicago legend

Sandeep Rawat

Tribune News Service

Haridwar, September 23

September 11 in the United States is mainly remembered for either the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre in 2001 or for the legendary speech delivered by Indian monk and philosopher Swami Vivekananda at Chicago in 1893.

Swami Vivekanand had addressed 7,000 delegates from across the world at the World Parliament of Religions casting a spell with his historic speech where he addressed the delegates as “brothers and sisters of America”.

Now, exactly 122 years later, another Indian hailing from Uttarakhand, Dr Radhika Nagrath, dwelt upon the role of spirituality in global economic development relating Swami Vivekanand on the subject at the same Fullerton hall on the same date. Dr Radhika, a yoga expert and eminent literati, told The Tribune after returning from Chicago today that it was a rare opportunity and one of her greatest achievements that she would never forget.

“I had longed to touch the ground where Swami Vivekananda, the iconic monk of the 19th century, had enamoured the world with his address at the Parliament of World Religions in 1893. I thanked the almighty for giving me the gracious opportunity to anchor the afternoon proceedings on September 11 after 122 years and then deliver the address on Swamiji’s views on global economic development,” said Radhika, who has also penned a book on Swami Vivekanand, “The Known Philosopher, The Unknown Poet”.

The conference was organised by the ISOL Foundation and the convener was an Indian, Sunita Sen Gupta from Delhi University.

Over 100 delegates from 20 countries, including the Islamic state of UAE, Nigeria, New Zealand and Indian ambassadors to the USA, High Commissioner of India, representative of the Chicago Mayor, ministers of Vedanta Society and Chairman of the World Parliament of Religions, participated in the three-day conference, which began on September 11.

Many inter-faith organisations such as SKY Meditation, Akshaya Patra Foundation and Pyramid Spiritual Societies Movement participated in the conference. It focused on spirituality as the key to solving all problems, whether inner conflict, social, political or economic turmoil.

“The role of spiritual values in organisational processes, business and governance, spiritual dimension of sustainable development and eco-system management, spirituality for social innovations and social change were discussed in depth by the delegates,” added Radhika.

She said she was a bit nervous before addressing the conference on seeing the big names and designations of the speakers as well as knowing the fact that this was the same place where Swami Vivekanand turned the whole world’s attention towards India, Indian civilization, culture and spirituality.

“It is a blessing of God as well as my research on Swami Vivekanand that set everything right. Chairing a session of the scholars at the Fullerton hall also gave me a deep insight into various world religions and inter faith,” said Radhika.

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