Hindu philosopher to discuss peace, meditation and harmony

Swami Sarvapriyananda presents ‘Vedanta: The Way of Knowledge,’ all community members from different religions are welcome

NDSU will host guest speaker Swami Sarvapriyananda to present “Vedanta: The Way of Knowledge,” followed by a guided meditation session. The event will take place on April 23 at 4:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union’s Oceti Sakowin Ballroom. 

The Vedanta Study Circle of North Dakota, the Association of Students from India and the Indo-American Association of Great Plains organized this event to bring community members together from all different religions and spread the word of peace and harmony.

Sarvapriyananda, the Minister of the Vedanta Society of New York’s Minister and a monk of the Ramakrishna Mission, is one of the most influential speakers in current time. He was the Nagral Fellow at the Harvard Divinity School in 2019-2020.

His speaking background includes several prestigious platforms, such as the United Nations, World Parliament of Religion and TedX. He has also delivered lectures at Harvard University, University of Queensland, University of Sydney, University of Adelaide, Victoria University and University of North Texas.

Sarvapriyananda has spread the idea of Vedanta philosophy in premier Indian institutes, such as the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

According to vedanta.org, Vedanta is one of the “world’s most ancient spiritual philosophies and one of its broadest, based on the Vedas, the sacred scriptures of India.” It is based on the Upanishads, philosophical books that form the concluding portion of ancient Indo-Aryan scriptures. The word Vedanta means “the end (anta) of the Vedas; it also means the culmination of spiritual knowledge (Veda).”

Sarvapriyananda says, “Vedanta declares that one can realize the Truth in whatever aspect one wishes, and, further, that one can realize it directly and vividly in this life, in this world. Such realization constitutes spiritual freedom and contains in an infinite measure the fulfillment of humankind’s ideals and aspirations; it is indeed the true purpose of human life.”

Event organizer Indranil SenGupta, associate professor of mathematics and graduate recruitment chair, says it is becoming increasingly necessary to spread the true message of universal harmony through Vedanta philosophy because of today’s violence, intolerance and bigotry.

Hardships during the pandemic have had a major impact on people’s mental health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 40.9% of 5,470 respondents who completed surveys during June reported an adverse mental or behavioral health condition, including those who reported symptoms of anxiety disorder or depressive disorder.

“At this time, especially after the pandemic, we are seeing various mental health issues with people,” said SenGupta. “Those are primarily caused by insecurity, instability and anxiousness during an uncertain time.”

This widespread health issue has created an even greater need for Sarvapriyananda’s practices of peace, meditation and harmony.

“We suffer from a number of problems — those may be of the form of heath (physical or mental), academic, relationship problems etc.,” said SenGupta. “Swami Sarvapriyananda, the speaker of the event, will demonstrate in his lecture a way of handling all these things. His method is based on classical Hindu philosophy — the ‘Vedanta philosophy’ — that depends on logic, rationality and our daily experiences.”

For more information on Swami Sarvapriyananda’s lectures and Vedanta teachings, visit YouTube.

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