As Charles Dickens once said, “There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast”. Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth (CVV) is one such light which has been shining for four years now. The fifth University Day celebrations were held on 16 January 2021 in dual mode. The dignitaries, along with a few faculty, staff and students were present at the Chidvilas auditorium on campus while many attendees joined the function via Zoom, due to the pandemic.
The celebrations began with the ‘poorna kumbha’ offered to Swami Viviktananda, Regional Head of Chinmaya Mission, Kerala, welcoming him to the dais, by the Dean of Faculty, Prof. Gauri Mahulikar, and Vice Chancellor Prof. Nagraj Neerchal, both of whom also joined him on the stage. The function was hosted by Dr. Kavita R. Shanmughan, Assistant Professor of the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Heritage.
Dr. Kavita started the session by giving a warm welcome to everyone attending the session offline and online. After a brief introduction to the event, the lighting of the lamp took place. The lamp which signifies the dispelling of darkness and marks an auspicious beginning was lit by Swami Viviktananda, Prof. Gauri Mahulikar, Prof. Nagaraj Neerchal, and Prof. Sreevalsa Kumar (Assistant Professor and Head, School of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Heritage). This was followed by a melodious rendition of the Kulageetam (University Anthem) by Sreenidhi S., a third-year student of the B.A. Applied Psychology programme.
The Vice Chancellor was then invited to present the University Report. Prof. Neerchal began his report by thanking all the trustees, donors, teaching and non-teaching staff, current students, and alumni for their support and contribution to Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth. Through a few questions and examples of last year’s activities, he elaborated upon how CVV managed to stay on its feet and continues to strive forward despite the pandemic.
After the VC’s report, the audience had the honour of listening to the beloved and distinguished Chief Guest, Her Highness Princess Aswathi Thirunal Gouri Lakshmi Bayi who joined the gathering via Zoom. In her speech, she emphasized the significance of the Indian civilization which she called the mighty Indian experience. She also spoke on aspects of education under this culture, explaining the four categories that fall under the term—Education, Knowledge, Wisdom and Enlightenment. She stated that unless one is very gifted and exceptional, one needs the guidance of a Guru and their blessings to progress from mere education and to achieve knowledge, wisdom and enlightenment. She ended her charming talk by graciously releasing the latest issue of Chinmayaśrī, the bi-annual newsletter of CVV. The chief guest was then honoured at her residence with a token of our affection by the Registrar-in-charge, Dr. Soumya S.
Swami Viviktananda took the stage next, to deliver a benedictory address. Chuckling at the fact that he was also a student of the University through one of its online certificate courses, he spoke about how CVV has been working on giving its students a holistic education and helping them absorb and assimilate the values of life. He shared his firm belief that when life lessons are taught, the dimension of life changes altogether. Remembering Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda’s words of advice to face the challenges of life squarely, he expressed his hopes that Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth will lead its family on the path to wisdom and enlightenment.
The celebration was graced with the presence of the Chancellor of Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth and the Global Head of Chinmaya Mission Worldwide, Swami Swaroopananda, who joined the event online. Drawing attention to the significance of the date being Tapovan Aradhana Day, Swami ji graced everyone present with his blessings and spoke a few words reminding them how fortunate they are to be a part of this great seva, this great endeavour.
The next section of the event celebrated the happenings and achievements of the CVV family. The Dean of Faculty, Prof. Gauri Mahulikar declared the Dean’s Merit List of students along with her congratulations. She also felicitated a few of the faculty for their achievements during the last year; those who were at the venue were presented with tokens of appreciation.
The vote of thanks was proposed by the Registrar I/C Dr. Soumya S. This was followed by the recitation of Chinmaya Mission Pledge by Br. Ved Chaitanya and Sreenidhi S., students of CVV. The programme drew to a close with a glorious singing of the National Anthem.
Read the report in Sanskrit here.