The Hindu newspaper recently published an article about India’s Masonic heritage. From the article:
Under the Regional Grand Master of Southern India for Freemasons, R.Sushil Raj, the organisation is going to hold its first ever public event.
MADURAI, June 27, 2013 –
Freemasons has been a society shrouded in mystery. For long, there had been many speculations of its history, members and their practices. But some of the world’s well-known personalities have also been freemasons.
An interesting revelation is that Swami Vivekananda was also a Freemason. He is said to have joined Masonry during his early life, as a youth. Though the fact is not a new discovery, it has not been much talked about either. However, an interesting event two months from now is going to celebrate for the first time the Swami’s connection with Freemasonry.
Sharing this information with the Metro Plus, R. Sushil Raj, Regional Grand Master of Southern India for Freemasons, says, “a world-renowned spiritual leader associated with our society is a matter of great pride for all Freemasons.”
“Though this aspect is not much publicised, during the Swami’s stay in Chicago, it was the freemasons there who helped him and sponsored his trip,” he adds.
It is believed masonry played a vital role in shaping Swami Vivekananda apart from his own principles. “Probably the act of addressing the all-religion conference as ‘brothers and sisters’ stems from the concept of universal brotherhood that we practice,” points out Sushil Raj.
To commemorate Swami Vivekananda’s stint with Freemasonry, the organization has planned to install a life size sculpture inside the Vivekananda Kendra at Kanyakumari on August 31. “This will be the first ever public event of Masons in India and will also coincide with the 150 birth anniversary of the Swami,” says Sushil Raj. The installation is a six-feet stone cube with a four-feet etching of Swami Vivekananda’s image.
“We have tried to give an idea of how Narendranath Datta would have looked as a Freemason. We have given him a masonic adornment. The sides of the cube with details of the Swami’s masonry connection, will be kept open to public.” It has been designed by Natarajan, a 93-year-old sculptor from Vivekananda Kendra.
As now, it was in vogue for men to join the Masonry even in the past. Whether it’s simply because of the pride and status it fetches or out of a genuine thought to do good for the society, remains a question. But Sushil Raj counters that it’s a pre-requisite for every mason to have noble intentions and willingness to donate for good causes. “Masonry is all about spreading light,” he says. “Upholding values and ideals is the foremost duty of Freemasons.” According to him, though it may sound highly philosophical, the Freemasons have put their beliefs into practice ever since the organization’s start.
You can read the complete article HERE.
You can find out more about Freemasonry in India HERE.