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Vivekananda Study Circle IIT - Madras An Overview of its Activities zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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Vivekananda Study Circle (VSC)is dedicated to v Character Building among the youth v Awakening the young minds to the glory that is India v Inner development through self-culture

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v Youth is the time for amazing possibilities. v Youth is a time which makes or mars one’s whole life. v Youth also epitomizes human possibilities— for good as well as for bad. The Backdrop

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Unfortunately, however, we now live in a complex world of speed, technology and increasing cruelty and dishonesty in various spheres of life. This leaves most youth confused and troubled about certain basic issues of life.

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Youth worship idols. Youth is a born idealist—seeking to express the best that is in him, in his own possibilities and in the world in which he lives. Young people admire the popular youth icons but when they face the life, or try to live their life according to these media-icons, they are often found awfully lacking.

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No wonder, we have rising cases of depression and violence among the youth. As someone has rightly put it: ‘The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider roads, but narrower viewpoints. We have more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.’

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Is there a way out of this mess? Any lasting solution? Yes! And the solution lies not in meaningless slogan shouting or careless criticism or in thoughtless violence. It rather lies in under-standing and practicing higher values, in building one’s personality on solid ground of honesty, hard work, discipline and genuine love. As Swami Vivekananda observed: ‘It is the patient up-building of character, the intense struggle to realize the truth, which alone will tell in the future of humanity.’

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But is it possible to practise these values in today’s complex world? Are they still relevant today, in a world of speed, competition and success at any cost? Can one find lasting, reliable guidance in actualizing this idea of personal development? ?

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With this in mind, the Vivekananda Study Circle (VSC) was started in 1997 by a group of highly motivated and committed students of IIT Madras. The VSC celebrated its 10th year anniversary in 2006.   The VSC tries to focus on how to build our inner personality through a earnest study of Swami Vivekananda’s life and teachings.   Our activities are:

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Our Activities at a Glance: 1. SUNDAY CLASSES These are held on most Sundays from 9:30 to 11:00 A.M, in a room in the Humanities and Sciences Block (HSB). The Sunday classes consist of: a Vedic Prayers a Group Meditation a Reading from Swami Vivekananda’s teachings a A 30 to 40 minutes’ talk on an aspect of self-development/ Indian culture in a contemporary context. a Question-Answers These sessions are conducted by a monk from the Ramakrishna Math.

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Information posters are put up in all hostels in advance, announcing the topic of discussion for the Sunday class

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Some of our last year’s topics of discussion were v Mind and its control v The Art of Meditation v Time Management v The Secret of Right Activity v The Importance of Good Company v Every Action Matters

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2. Friday Discussions Besides this Sunday class, we hold a students’ discussion on every Friday evening. As part of it we read from Swami Vivekananda’s books and discuss them from various angles. These discussions are held in a room in Brahmaputra hostel.

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3. Organizing Special Lectures/ Workshop Occasionally we also organize special lectures on the themes relevant to the youth. Eminent persons are invited for delivering these lectures. Some of the past lectures Modern Management Lessons from Bhagavad Gita by Dr. Mahadevan of IIM Bangalore Swami Vivekananda --- The Awakener of Modern India By Dr.N.V.C.Swamy, former Director of the IIT, Madras. Workshop on Positive Thinking for Effective Leadership By Swami Bodhamayanandaji, a monk of Sri Ramakrishna Order.

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4. VSC Library We have a collection of over 600 books, 100 audiocassettes and 50 CDs, on spiritual, cultural and national aspects. These are maintained in a room in the Brahmaputra hostel (below room no.148). These can be borrowed free of cost for a period of two weeks.

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5. National Youth Day Celebrations Swami Vivekananda’s birthday which is on 12th January, is celebrated as National Youth Day every year. As part of the celebrations, we organize a special lecture, an exhibition on Swamiji’s teachings and sale of books on personality development, concentration, meditation, and other related subjects. On this occasion, a visit to Vivekananda Illam at the Marina Beach is also organized. ‘Appreciation or no appreciation, I am born to organize these young men; nay, hundreds more in every city are ready to join me…’ —Swami Vivekananda

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6. We also organize spoken Sanskrit camp periodically.

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7. Service to the poor: We have been conducting coaching classes for the poor students at Velachery and Taramani, located close to IIT gate. Volunteers from NSS also help us in conducting these classes.

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We publish a Vivekananda Calendar every year—which is given free to all interested.

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Website and E-Group Our website, www.vsc.iitm.ac.in contains all the information about the upcoming activities of VSC. You can also download some of our previous lectures from our website. We also maintain an e-group that promotes in-depth discussion on issues of philosophical and national importance. Visit: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vsc_iit_m/ to join the group. For further queries, mail us at vsc@smail.iitm.ac.in

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All are welcome to join our activities. There is no fee charged and nor is any membership required to attend our events and activities.

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Swami Vivekananda’s Inspiring Words The remedy for weakness is not brooding over weakness, but thinking of strength. Teach men of the strength that is already within them. What is education? Is it book learning? No. Is it diverse knowledge? Not even that. The training by which the current and expression of will are brought under control and become fruitful is called education. This world is a great gymnasium where we come to make ourselves strong. . . .Thanks . . .

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