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Home / Education / Swami Vivekananda and his message to the youth

Swami Vivekananda and his message to the youth

Born as Narendranath Dutta into an affluent Bengali family in Calcutta (now Kolkata), Vivekananda was one of the eight children of Vishwanath Dutta and Bhuvaneshwari Devi. Read on to know more...

education Updated: Jan 13, 2020 11:27 IST
Qamar Rafique
Qamar Rafique
Swami Vivekananda, wearing a turban, at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in 1893. (Wikipedia )
Swami Vivekananda, wearing a turban, at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in 1893. (Wikipedia )
         

‘Arise! Awake! And stop not till the goal is reached.’

Swami Vivekananda popularised this slogan in the late 19th century, taking inspiration from the Katha Upanishad.

This message of his was an exhortation to the world to shake off all hypnosis and sloth.

Born as Narendranath Dutta into an affluent Bengali family in Calcutta (now Kolkata), Vivekananda was one of the eight children of Vishwanath Dutta and Bhuvaneshwari Devi.

He was born on January 12, 1863, on the occasion of Makar Sankranti. His father Vishwanath was a successful attorney with considerable influence in the society. His mother was a woman endowed with a strong, God-fearing mind and had a great impact on her son.

Swami Vivekananda grew up as the symbol of youth power, who hoisted the flag of Indian culture overseas.

Those who have known him, read him and follow him will vouch for the fact that his entire life was an immense source of inspiration.

He fostered new enthusiasm for progress among the youth, so much so that the whole country celebrates his birth anniversary as ‘National Youth Day’.

A very practical man, Swami Vivekananda believed that the service to mankind should be selfless as service to mankind was service to God.

He worked tirelessly towards betterment of the society, in servitude of the poor and the needy, dedicating his all for his country.

He was responsible for the revival of Hindu spirituality and established Hinduism as a revered religion on the world stage.He has inspired countless generations of Indians since he made his famous speech on September 11, 1893 in Chicago at the Parliament of the World’s Religions.

He is credited with making the Western countries realise that India was not a country of illiterates. With his light of wisdom, he proved that India was actually a world guru.

He revealed to the western world the spiritual aspects of Indian civilisation.

Before the propagation of Hinduism in the Western countries, he toured India from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Bengal to Punjab because he used to say that “unless I myself see the people of my country, how would I tell the world about them?”

Given the current state of our country, his teachings are most relevant today. While our country witnessed immense progress after independence and became self-reliant in many areas, we are still divided in the name of caste and religions.

The youth of the country seems lost.

He is too engrossed utilising the quota of 2GB data on his cell phone, oblivious to his duties to the nation and the humanity.

Swami Vivekananda had sent a message from Osaka (Japan) to the youth of the country —let’s be human. He also dwelt on the capabilities of the youth; he wanted the youth to train itself in order to serve humanity.

What he wanted from the youth were ‘muscles of iron’ and ‘nerves of steel’. Today, the youth are exceptionally responsive and they just need to be encouraged. Swami Vivekananda was only the medium; he is himself the message as well for the youth of India. His teachings will always stay relevant.

(The writer is a Hindi/Sanskrit teacher. Views expressed here are personal)