An ardent adherent of a potent faith choosing to make a cultural contact a similar person professing an alien faith goes a long way in building the much desired universal brotherhood of Mankind.
Sri T.Ramachandran, an elderly Hindu gentleman of Bangalore who is in close touch with a few Catholic Monasteries in Italy wrote to Sri Ramakrishna Tapovanam at Tirupparaithurai in Tiruchy District in October 1978 about the intention of a few Catholic Monks of that country to pay a cultural visit to India. In response to his letter an invitation was extended to the foreign Monks stating that all cordial reception with necessary facilities awaited them. If they came to the Tapovanam.
On 12th December 1978, Rev. Nicola Manca of Italy wrote to the Tapovanam the following:
"Sri Swami Chidbhavananda,
As you can see from the programme enclosed in this latter, we had to make few more changes in our visit to India. We are a group of Ten (10). If everything is right in Shantivanam, on January 25th we shall be very happy if you are in your ashram, to come and visit you in Tapovanam.
Sri Ramachandra, who for your kind interest in our programme."
The appointed day dawned, Thought was bestowed on the sort of menu to be got up for the lunch. Food habits vary from country to country. Individual tasted also differ. The question of non-vegetarian dishes does not arise in a Hindu monastery. Tamarind and chillies which are the indispensable ingredients of the Tamilian food have to be necessarily eschewed on this occasion. The dishes that are likely to be relished by the foreigners were hit upon. According to the engagement already fixed, about a dozen Monks interstrewed with a handful of brown faces arrived at the Tapovanam at 9-20 a.m. They were all escorted to the office of Swami Chidbhavananda, the head of the Tapovanam. A cordial reception took place and the visitors were individually introduced. Faces were indicative of diverse dispositions. Expectation and inquisitiveness earnestness and awe, eagerness and surprise seemed to be some of the various reactions taking place in the minds of the visitors.
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