Dr. Vandana Mahajani
“Strong vigorous believing young men are wanted. A hundred such and the world would become revolutionised,”said Swami Vivekananda. We celebrate Youth day today on his birthday. The faith he had in the power of youth is so clearly visible in his words!
We are a young nation with 65% population below 35 years of age. 139 crore is the population of India. Today this advantage must be seen by us. If we ignore it today we will miss being a chance to become a great nation once again.
Swamiji said “Look back as far as you can, and after that look forward, march forward. Make India brighter, greater and much higher than she ever was. Our ancestors were great, we must learn the elements of our being, we must have faith in our being and what it did in the past. And out of that faith and consciousness of the past greatness, we must build an India greater than what she has been”.
He urged all to ignore the period of decay and degeneration. He felt that out of it will spring the India of the future. He understood that the problem of India was more complex than that of other names. The number of castes, creeds, languages, customs and manners in our nation were manifold. However there was one common ground and that was religion.
By this he meant assimilation of all variation that existed and still offering infinite liberty to think and live our lives. Only then can we work in the line of least resistance. Isn’t the message relevant today? If the heart beat of our nation is religion than our youth must learn to respect it first. Swamiji said social and political improvements are secondary. It is high time that today’s youth understand it, for on this depends the survival of this nation.
Unfortunately what we see today is politicians and others taking advantage of ignorance and simplicity of god fearing classes of masses of our nation and turning this into a political opportunity for exploitation of nation and its people. Who will rectify this situation..? The youth of course can. They will have the strength.
It is thoughts that drive action. Where there is no thought, there is no work. Swamiji said “Fill the mind with high thoughts, highest ideals, place them day and night before you, and out of it will come great work”.
A very powerful thought given by Swamiji was we must hold on to the spiritual education of the nation. You must dream of it; You must think of it; You must work it out. Present education is not man making education.” The ass carrying its load of sandalwood knows only the weight and not the value of the sandal wood. Common grounds of all sects must be taught. Teachers for teaching religion must be trained. For this money is needed. That will come he said, but where are the men…!!
Vivekananda stressed on living a meaningful life. This he directed particularly at the youth. His four mantras for living it were explained as –
- Physical quest, meant taking care of physical and mental health. Also mitigating work towards the sufferings of the poor and the weak. He wanted youth to have muscles of iron and nerves of steel”. He said “Strength is life, weakness is death”.
- Social quest, He wanted youth to serve the God in men. This would lead to social and spiritual growth of youth. We see the education system having NSS or extra marks given to students volunteering for social causes now. He wanted men to develop the ideal of service”. A hundred such men and the world would be revolutionised”, he said.
- Intellectual quest, It is the young and the strong and the healthy, of sharp intellect that will reach God. He believed in education that was life building and character building. Education must instil human values and must empower them for the struggle of life.
- Spiritual quest, He wanted youth to have faith in our spiritual and cultural heritage. He wanted youth to aspire for higher ideals of life. He said “Take up one idea and make that idea your mission and give up your whole life for it”.
Life is a choice at every moment. Exercising of choice decides my destiny said Vivekananda “what you think you become”. If we are consistent in action towards the decision then only we can reach our goals.
We need to have tremendous willpower. Train yourself and express yourself accordingly. That’s why only some succeed. They are the ones who take society forward.
Transforming yourself is essential to bring change. “The transformation does not come by demanding the changes in others, it comes by bringing change in oneself”. Take the whole responsibility on your shoulders, be firm until slowly situation changes in your favour. One must have a purpose of life. The ultimate goal should be how your life is connected to society and world at large and my inner being.
Swamiji said – Aim of life cannot be different from the aim or purpose of nation in which you are born. Each nation has a destiny or a mission to fulfil. Destiny of our nation is to spiritualise life. This whole existence is interconnected, inter related and inter dependent. It is the law of existence. Each nation has to contribute for progress of humanity.
Romain Roland, the French writer and idealist was inspired by Swamiji he said “When I read Swamiji I still feel an electric current passing through me. Imagine the thrill people must have felt when he was speaking to them. He was energy personified.”
Imagine if all youth in our country read Vivekananda’s thoughts it would indeed lead to our nation taking a quantum jump into the nation ready to lead the world. Becoming a vishvaguru, a dream that Swamiji let for us to fulfil, lets realise it.
(Vivekananda Vichar doot, Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari)