Modern Indian History-Events and Personalities

Kanyakumari’s Vivekananda Rock


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Vivekananda Rock, Kanyakumari

Why in the News?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his plan to visit and meditate at the Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu marking the culmination of the Lok Sabha election campaign.

About Vivekananda Rock:

  • Vivekananda Rock Memorial is located in Kanyakumari’s Vavathurai beach, Tamil Nadu.
  • It is situated on a rock island at the southernmost tip of the Indian Peninsula, where the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean meet.
  • The memorial consists of two main structures: the Vivekananda Mandapam and the Shripada Mandapam.

Historic Significance of Kanyakumari:

  • Swami Vivekananda is said to have meditated on this rock for two days in December 1892, as he journeyed across India after his return from the West.
  • Eknath Ranade, the founder of the Vivekananda Rock Memorial Committee, proposed the idea of constructing a memorial on the rock.
  • The foundation stone for the memorial was laid on September 1, 1964, by then-President of India, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.
  • The memorial was inaugurated on September 2, 1970, by then-President of India, V. V. Giri.

About Swami Vivekananda

Birth and Death Narendranath Datta (1862-1902)
Message Spread Ramakrishna’s message, reconciled it with contemporary Indian society, preached neo-Hinduism
Spiritual Foundation Based on the spiritual experiences of Ramakrishna, teachings of Upanishads and Gita, examples of Buddha and Jesus
Philosophical Beliefs Subscribed to Vedanta, believed in fundamental oneness of God, advocated for blending of Hinduism and Islam
Advocacy for Social Action Emphasised social action, criticised religion’s approval of oppression of the poor, called for secular and spiritual knowledge for upliftment
Balance between Spiritualism and Materialism Advocated for a healthy balance between spiritualism and materialism, called for a blend of Western materialism and Eastern spiritualism for global happiness
Establishment of Ramakrishna Mission Founded Ramakrishna Mission in 1897, used it for humanitarian relief and social work, stands for religious and social reform, advocated service as worship, not a proselytizing body
Philosophy of Ramakrishna Mission Believes in using technology and modern science for mankind’s service, recognizes the utility of image worship, emphasizes Vedanta philosophy as a unifying force for all religions, open to all men regardless of caste or creed
Physical Establishment Acquired land at Belur in 1898, shifted Ramakrishna Math there.



What does each of the following quotations mean to you?

  1. [2021] Every work has got to pass through hundreds of difficulties before succeeding. Those that persevere will see the light, sooner or later.- Swami Vivekananda.
  2. [2020] Condemn none: if you can stretch out a helping hand, do so. If not, fold your hands, bless your brothers, and let them go their own way. – Swami Vivekananda. (2020)

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