Vivekananda Kendra is a Hindu spiritual organisation based on the principles preached by Swami Vivekananda. It was founded on 7 January 1972 in Kanyakumari, India by Eknath Ranade, a senior pracharak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Its current president is P. Parameswaran.
Sphere of influence
The organisation is most influential in North-East India. It has over 200 full-time dedicated workers and 600 branch centres spread in more than 18 States of India. The workers are of three categories:
- Jeevanavrati (Sanskrit: जीवनव्रती) or life worker, the young men and women who join Kendra for life
- Sevavrati (Sanskrit: सेवाव्रती), who joins Kendra for specific period of time
- Vanaprasthi (Sanskrit: वानप्रस्थी), who join Kendra after their retirement
- Karyakarta (Sanskrit: कार्यकर्ता), Local workers who does the Nations work without leaving their mundane life
To mould dedicated workers, the Kendra adopts a methodology unique to it by organising 'Yoga varga' (class), 'Sanskar varga', 'Swadhyaya varga' and training camps. The training centers are located at all four sides in India. Vivekanandapuram in Kanyakumari, Vivekananda Kendra Prashikshan va Seva Prakalpa in Nashik, Vivekananda Kendra Ashram at Nagdandi in Kashmir, Vivekananda Kendra Laipuli in Tinsukia
The organisation conducts Yoga classes, seminars, and rural development activities.
Schools and foundations
- Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalayas Arunachal Pradesh Trust, running 22 Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalas (VKV's) in Arunachal Pradesh
- Vivekananda Kendra Shiksha Prasar Vibhag, running 18 Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalas (VKV's) in Assam and Nagaland. Some of its prominent schools include:
- Vivekanada Kendra Vidyalaya, Golaghat established in 1988 is a senior secondary English medium school affiliated to CBSE. The school was established at Mission Road, at the plot donated by Dr. Robin Banerjee, a philanthropist and a naturalist
- Vivekanada Kendra Vidyalaya, Dibrugarh established in the year 1981 is one of the renowned school in Dibrugarh with the aim of imparting quality education in general and to make the pupils responsible citizens in particular. Dibrugarh VKV is also affiliated to CBSE.
- Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalaya, Laipuli, Tinsukia, Assam. Set up in 1976, the first batch(Class X) rolled out in 1990. In 1995 the first batch of class XII had passed out from here. At the beginning only the science stream was available to the students of class XIth and XIIth. But at present a commerce stream is also available.
- Vivekananda Educational Society, Tamil Nadu, running 21 Vivekananda Vidyalas in and around Chennai.
- Vivekananda Kendra ArunJyoti, a social service and nation-building organisation in Arunachal Pradesh with programs:
- Anupacharik Shiksh Manch
- Svasthya Seva Manch
- Mahila Manch
- Yuva Manch
- Samskritik Manch
- Vivekananda Kendra Medical and Research Foundation
- Vivekananda Kendra Institute Of Culture, Guwahati
- Vivekananda Kendra Vedic Vision Foundation, Kodungallur, Kerala
- Vivekananda International Foundation in New Delhi, a public policy think tank with 6 Centres of study.
- Natural Resource Development Project – Nardep
- Solid waste management and bio-gas plant in Mahabalipuram
- Rural Development Programme
- Vivekananda Kendra Prakashan Trust, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
- Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalaya, Kanyakumari
- Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalaya, Umrangso
- Vivekananda Kendra Prashikshan va Seva Prakalpa, Nashik
- Yuva Bharati – English monthly
- Kendra Bharati – Hindi monthly
- Vivekananda Kendra Patrika – a thematic biannual cultural magazine in English
- Vivek Vichar – Marathi
- Jagruti – English & Assamese
- Vivek Sudha – Gujarati
- Vivek Vani – Tamil
- Quest – BiAnnually in English
- India's contribution to World Thought and Culture
- Comprehensive Biography of Swami Vivekananda : Prof. S.N. Dhar in two parts. (Latest edition has this two parts in 3 volumes)
- Rousing Call to Hindu Nation : Shri Eknath Ranade
- Sadhana of Service : A manual for Social Workers
- Story of Rock Memorial : Shri Eknath Ranade
- The Goal and the Way
- Heart Beat of Hindu Nation : Shri P. Parameswaran
- Gita for Daily Life
- VKPT (December 1991), Golden Words of Swami Vivekananda, Chennai, INDIA: Vivekananda Kendra Prakashan Trust, OL 24405837M
- VKPT (2009), Padavali ॐ, Chennai, INDIA: Vivekananda Kendra Prakashan Trust, OL 24405835M
- VKIC (January 2010), Heritage of KAMAKHYA on the Nilachala Hill, Guwahati, IN: Vivekananda Kendra Institute of Culture, OL 24405831M
- Dr. Suresh Shastri (13 October 2010), Karmayoginee Nivedita, Pune, India: Vivekananda Kendra Marathi Prakashan Vibhag, OL 24405830M
- Begi, Joram (2007). Education in Arunachal Pradesh Since 1947: Constraints, Opportunities, Initiatives and Needs. Mittal Publications. pp. 40–41.
- "History". Vivekananda Kendra Shiksha Prasar Vibhag. Retrieved 2014-10-04.
- VKV, Golaghat
- VKV, Dibrugarh under development
- VKV, Dibrugarh old web site
- VKV, Tinsukia
- "About Us". Vivakananda Kendra ArunJyoti. Retrieved 2014-10-04.
- "Power from waste: Vivekananda Kendra shows the way". The Hindu (Tamilnadu, India). 7 September 2011.
- Beckerlegge, G. (2003). "Saffron and Seva: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's Appropriation of Swami Vivekananda". In A. Copley. Hinduism in Public and Private. Oxford University Press. pp. 31–65. ISBN 0198062826.
- Beckerlegge, Gwilym (2010). "‘An ordinary organisation run by ordinary people’: A study of leadership in Vivekananda Kendra". Contemporary South Asia 18 (1): 71–88. doi:10.1080/09584930903561689.
- Pandya, Samta (2014). "Seva and Institution Building in Hindu Inspired Faith Movements". Global Journal of Human-Social Science Research 14 (3).
- Pandya, Samta P. (2014). "The Vivekananda Kendra in India: Its ideological translations and a critique of its social service". Critical Research on Religion 2 (2): 116–133. doi:10.1177/2050303214534999.