Swami Vivekananda is the inspiration behind National Youth Day. In just 39 years, 14 of them in public life, he filled the country with a thought whose energy is still felt today. Generations to come will continue to feel this energy.
One of India’s most important resources is the youth. One in five young people in the world is Indian. It is thanks to this segment of the population that India’s growth rate has been the third highest among the 13 major economies over the past five years. After the COVID-19 pandemic, India has emerged as a country full of opportunities in the race for development. Those among the youth who are associated with the ideas of Swami Vivekananda are preparing India for a leadership role on the world stage.
“Get up, wake up and don’t stop until the goal is reached.” This Vivekananda mantra is as effective, relevant and inspiring today as it was during the era of colonialism. Today, India is poised to become a world leader. With the power of yoga and the energy that comes from spirituality, the country’s youth are eager to give direction to the world.
The lessons of Swami Vivekananda always inspire young people: “Set the purpose of life and integrate this idea into your life…. Think about that thought again and again. Dream it, live it… that’s the secret to success.
His mantra for young people is persistent: “Until you can trust yourself, you cannot trust Allah or God. If we are not able to see God in other humans and ourselves, then where can we go to find divinity?
Vivekananda caught the world’s attention with his ideas when he represented Sanatan Dharma in Chicago in 1893. A speech like the one he gave then could not be given today. The themes of this speech included ‘Vishwabandhutva’, tolerance, cooperation, participation, religion, culture, nation, nationalism and collective Indianness.
At the Parliament of the World’s Religions, Vivekananda said he was “from that Hindustan, which is home to persecuted people of all religions and all countries.” He also said that Sanatan Dharma is the mother of all religions. He was also proud that the land of India and the Sanatani religion had taught the world the lesson of tolerance and universal acceptance. It is the nature of Indian soil to accept all religions as true. We were the first laboratory and protector of secularism.
He addressed the Parliament of the World’s Religions saying, “American Brothers and Sisters.” The eternal message of universal brotherhood was clear in his speech. The New York Herald wrote, “To hear him (Swami Vivekananda) seems that sending a Christian missionary to a knowledgeable nation like India is foolish. Even though he just crosses the stage, the applause begins.
Swami Vivekananda continued the efforts made by other thinkers to reach the roots of Indian culture. This thought makes him acceptable worldwide and establishes him as the mouthpiece of Sanatan Dharma, a symbol of Hindustan and Hindustani culture. His inclusive thinking is reflected in the Narendra Modi government’s slogan “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas”.
Swami Vivekananda taught the world that it is our duty to encourage all who do good so that they can achieve their dreams.
His vision also gave rise to the idea of Antyodaya. Until the uplift of the last poor person in the country is secured, development is meaningless, he said.
Swami Vivekananda’s belief about God is linked to all religions. His idea of charity is the basis of Sanatan Dharma. Charity was a way of life for him. For Vivekananda, it was important to connect everyone to this way of life. He said, “The more we come to help and help others, the purer our hearts become. Such people are like God.
Swami Vivekananda combined thought from different religions, communities and traditions. His thoughts inspire liberation from inertia. This is the reason why Swami Vivekananda has no adversary in this country. Everyone bows to their ideas. In the 19th century, the spokesman of the Sanatani religion, who was called the “Hindu Cyclone” because of his views, still stands firmly on the world stage with his positive thinking. His ideas remain fresh and relevant.
This article first appeared in the print edition of January 13, 2021, under the title “A permanent inspiration”. The writer is Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism