The Cliff Of Swami Vivekananda

Kanyakumari or Cape Comorin Rock is widely known as Swami Vivekananda rock. It’s the Cliff of Swami Vivekananda. Therefore, we, the devotee of Swamiji respect this islet.

Demographically Kanyakumari is in the province of Tamil Nadu. It’s in the extreme southern part of India.

Once during my winter recess, we started to visit this historical place and after three days of the train journey, we reached Cape Coumarin. We, mean our friend and colleague, Amalda ( Prof. Of Sanskrit) along with our family members. It’s in December, a few years back.

On a rocky coast, at a spot where the waves of three seas meet, we were fortunate to visit there. So it was a splendid unforgettable spectacle. I think that it is the birth of a new day.

Swami Vivekananda is the antagonist to my subject of discussion.
The cliff of Swami Vivekananda /image: kalpatarurudra.org/jpg

MAGNIFICENT BEAUTY: THE CLIFF OF SWAMI VIVEKANANDA

The first rays of the Sun rising from the Ocean gilded the cupola-shaped Kanya Kumari Temple. It’s the columns of the three-seas temple.

Some 200 metres from the shore rose a lonely cliff. The waves noisily beat against it. This is the cliff of Swami Vivekananda. I was admiring the majestic beauty of the granite islet.

From my childhood days, I used to read and learn from the biography of Vivekananda. It’s this cliff where Swami Ji reached there not by a boat, but by swimming. Because he had no money in his pocket so that he could give fares for the boat.

However, it was on this cliff that Swami Vivekananda had spent three days before leaving India. He got divine permission for setting out for the West.

We know that it was dangerous to swim there. Because there are big sharks and big waves of the Arabian Sea. But he reached there safely. He was an expert athlete. Therefore, he didn’t afraid to swim to the islet.

There was an even platform on the top of the cliff, on which a circle floor of hard mountain. In memory of this incident, some devotees of Swamiji and built a monument and a vibrant statue of Vivekananda.

Naturally, this place is full of serene and peaceful. So, we, the visitors sat down there for some time and thought of the one who indicated to us the road to a new life.

Out of the monument, there is a big space. We stayed there and thought of this great Indian. The sea – wind was dancing on this cliff of the islet. But we have no time to wait there. The steamer was waiting for us. So we had to leave this amazing place.

The cliff of Swami Vivekananda/image:www.kalpatarurudra.org/jpg

THE VIVEKANANDA MEMORIAL ROCK: THE CLIFF OF SWAMI VIVEKANANDA

This wonderful memorial is around half a kilometre on a small island. It was the stony place. It’s away from the shore of Kanyakumari. The idea of building a memorial on this rock was proposed in 1962 on Swami Vivekanand’s birthday to honour his vision.

Therefore, Vivekananda Rock Memorial Committee constructed this beautiful monument to commemorate his visit to Sripada Parai in 1892.

Moreover, the construction of this monument spanned over six years and was finally the former President of India, V. V. Giri inaugurated on 2nd September 1970.

LEGENDS ASSOCIATED WITH THIS ROCK

There are several legends associated with the rock on which this grand structure stands at present.

However, we came to know from his biography that Swami Vivekanand reached Kanyakumari after years of wandering across the country. There he wanted to seek solutions to the miseries of Indians.

When he reached Kanyakumari, he spotted this rock and swam towards it. After reaching, he meditated here for three days.

Ultimately, he deeply contemplated on India. At the end of the third day, he achieved enlightenment about the mission of his life:

Time is ripe for you to broadcast the message of Vedanta, of ancient wisdom, to the world.”(vivekananda.net)

Thus, Swami Vivekananda – the spiritual leader, philosopher and patriotic saint of contemporary India started his journey to enlighten the world.

THE ROLE OF SHRI EKNATH RANADE AND THE CLIFF OF SWAMI VIVEKANANDA

There are some people who did a lot for the exposition of Swami Vivekananda. Mr. Eknath Ranade was one of them. The role of Shri Eknath Ranade (a renowned writer) was undoubtedly massive. He understood the depth of Swami Ji’s vision.

Therefore, he took initiative in the establishment of this sacred memorial which is quite significant. He believed that just a brick and mortar structure was not enough to honour such a great man.

So, he wanted every Indian to understand this mission of Swamiji. Therefore they should come forward to contribute in the memorial’s creation. This monument is absolutely a national treasure. Therefore, he went to different states and asked respective governments to contribute.

Read also: Swami Vivekananda’s Inspired Talks

Architecturally, the memorial mainly comprises two structures – Vivekananda Mandapam and Shripada Mandapam.

The former has a meditation hall (Dhyana Mandapam), assembly hall (Sabha Mandapam) and portico (Mukha Mandapam).

Shripada Mandapam, on the other hand, consists of sanctum sanctorum (Garbha Griha), inner parikrama and outer parikrama all around.

The cliff of Swami Vivekananda is isolated and serene no doubt. It’s covering a huge area of 16200 sq km (4 acres) which is a very solitary place.

The rock has other buildings too like a water reservoir, waiting for hall for the guest, wireless communication centre and power distribution centre, to name a few.

Not only this but there are also two helipads, one in the northwest direction and the other in the southwest.

For the convenience of visitors, ferry services are available between the mainland and the memorial.

Therefore, due to its unique location, magnificent architecture and historical significance, the Vivekananda Rock Memorial has become an important tourist attraction of Tamil Nadu.

As directed by his Guru Sri Ramakrishna ParamahamsaSwami Vivekananda came here to seek Devi’s blessing in December 1892.

However, it is in this location he decided to embark on the missionary work to a higher level of action. He didn’t stay being passive like the usual Sanyasis.

Besides, Swami Brahmananda (1863–1922) and Swami Nirmalananda (1863–1938), another two disciples of Sri Ramakrishna Parama Hamsa, also worshipped Devi Kanyakumari. So this cliff is naturally a holy place to the Ramkrishna devotees.

Thirdly, Swami Nirmalananda brought several small girls from many parts of Kerala to worship goddesses here. It was in the year 1935-36. So it’s an interesting incident.

Moreover, seven girls, later on, became members of the first batch of Nuns of the “Sarada Ashrama”.

Hence, this Hindu nunnery started later in 1948 in Ottapalam, Palakkad, Kerala by Swami Vishadananda.

Read also : Swami Vivekananda’s Inspired Talks

Finally, Swami Brahmananda (1863–1922) and Swami Nirmalananda (1863–1938), another two disciples of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, also worshipped Devi Kanyakumari.

Read more:Swami Vivekananda – Leo Tolstoy – Gandhi

Swami Vivekananda’s Mission To West