India celebrates National Youth Day today, to honor the life and teachings of one of the greatest philosophers, Swami Vivekananda. The day celebrates Vivekananda’s “inspiring” ideas and how young people will benefit from them. A primary disciple of the 19th century mystic Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Vivekananda introduced the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the world. On January 12, 1863, Vivekananda was born as Narendranath Datta into an aristocratic family in North Calcutta. He is considered a major force behind the revival of Hinduism in India and is also credited with creating interfaith consciousness. Vivekananda, who founded the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission, is also credited with instilling a sense of nationalism in the people of colonial India. These two centers have become important centers for teaching the philosophy and principles associated with Vedanta. Vivekananda wrote four classics – Jnana-Yoga, Bhakti-Yoga, Karma-Yoga and Raja-Yoga – which are his treatises on Hindu philosophy and Vedanta teachings. Moreover, his ideas and his philosophy shine through in the many lectures he gave, the letters he wrote to friends and disciples, and the poems and songs he composed. Vivekananda is best known for his famous 1893 speech where he introduced Hinduism to the Western world in Chicago. He had also warned of the dangers of bigotry and bigotry. Here is an excerpt from the same: Bigotry, bigotry and its horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful land. They filled the earth with violence, flooded it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilization and sent entire nations to despair. Without these horrible demons, human society would be far more advanced than it is now. His followers believe the break was due to the fact that the brahmarandhra (an opening in the crown of his head) was pierced when he attained mahasamādhi.