Port-of-Spain, Sep 16: The philosophy of Indian saint and philosopher Swami Vivekananda can assist in healing the nation of Trinidad and Tobago, according to the Caribbean nation’s newly-appointed Minister for National Diversity and Social Integration Rodger Samuel.
Launching the Swami Vivekananda Society of Trinidad and Tobago Saturday at Divali Nagar, an annual Indian cultural event, Samuel said: “As we launch the Vivekananda Society of Trinidad and Tobago, we do so with the firm belief in the teachings of universalism, spirituality, and the divinity of Swami Vivekananda.”
Making his inaugural address as the new minister, Samuel said the Vivekananda Society of Trinidad and Tobago would assist in community development, record and teach the life and work of great Indian thinkers and revolutionaries and promote healthy living through yoga.
Noting that this year commemorates the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, Samuel said that “with shared principles of harmony, inclusion, and universalism, our ministry and the Vivekananda Society can become partners in the healing of a nation”.
Subash Kak, professor at the Oklahoma State University, US, in his keynote address noted that the most remarkable issue about Swami Vivekananda was his reframing of the Vedanta in a form that the layperson could understand.
“In so doing, he was not using the authority of some long dead acharya but rather the common sense and reason within each person,” Kak said.
People of Indian origin make up around 42 percent of Trinidad & Tobago’s total population of 1.2 million.
(Paras Ramoutar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)