“I am grateful that you chose this place for the book launch; we feel honored and privileged,” said Dr. Achyut Samanta, recognized by the Edge Foundation as one of the top fifteen social entrepreneurs of the world. Dr. Samanta is the founder of the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, a university that provides education to twenty thousand neglected and underprivileged tribal children. On July 5th he hosted the launch of Ghara Bahuda
(the Oriya translation of The Journey Home
) at the convention center of his Kalinga Institute in Bhuvaneshwar, Orissa.
Addressing a gathering of 800 guests, Radhanath Swami spoke of his discovery of a great wealth in India. “The treasure of integrating every aspect of our lives through yoga, dharma and spirituality has given me a whole new dimension in life.” He explained that the gift of the ability to serve, which is something that we all possess, has the potential to spiritualize everything. Radhanath Swami expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the people and culture of India, saying that The Journey Home
was his offering of love to his guru and the people of India.In addition to Dr. Samanta, the book launch was also graced by Shri Arun Kumar Sahu, minister for Energy, Information and Public Relations of Orissa, as well as Shri Sitakant Mahapatra, a noted poet and literary critic. Mahapatra appreciated Radhanath Swami’s gesture of ‘embracing the whole world’ through his memoir. “As we learn to accept the joys and sorrows, ecstasies and despairs all in our stride, we also need to pursue an inner journey,” he said, as well as confiding, “This is a great evening in my life.” Mr. Sahu also shared his realization that when we internally follow the path of sadhus
, the genuine seekers of God, a positive transformation of the society shall certainly happen.
Shri Hrishikesh A. Mafatlal, Chairman and M.D. of Mafatlal Industries, shared some thoughts on his 27 years of friendship with Radhanath Swami. “I have seen Radhanath Swami consistently practice and teach the principles of acceptance and tolerance of what is uncontrollable in life, while focusing on the positive.” He noted how the most profound lessons are often the simplest ones.
Dr. Achyut Samanta, in his address, spoke on the need to pursue spiritual interests early in life – as Radhanath Swami’s life exemplifies – and not to postpone this drive for a later age. Dr. Samanta’s simple appeal was surely touching. “I bow down to you, Radhanath Swami, and seek blessings for my own further journey in life,” he humbly requested.
The program closed with the melodious rendition of traditional Orissa songs of devotion.
[flickr album=72157634530604958 num=20 size=Square]