National Youth Day is celebrated on 12 January being the birthday of Swami Vivekananda. In 1984 the Government of India declared this day as National Youth Day. The philosophy of Swami Vivekananda and the ideals for which he lived and worked is a great source of inspiration for all of us.
About Swami ji
Swami Vivekananda, known in his pre-monastic life as Narendra Nath Datta, was born in an affluent family in Kolkata on 12 January 1863. He was so much inclined toward Spirituality from childhood that he used to mediate before the images of Lord Shiva, Rama and Hanuman. He was also interested in western knowledge and by the time he completed his graduation he had vast knowledge of spirituality, western world, and nationalism.
Swami Vivekananda first meet Ramakrishna at Kali Temple recommended by one of his teacher in college. The first question he asked, “Sir, have you seen God?” and within second without hesitation Ramakrishna responded, “Yes, I have. I see Him as clearly as I see you, only in a much intenser sense.” With this deep meaning reply, Swami ji became disciple of later, and their guru-master relationship begun which is quite unique in history.
During his travels all over India, Swami Vivekananda was deeply moved to see the appalling poverty and backwardness of the masses. He was the first religious leader in India to understand and openly declare that the real cause of India’s downfall was the neglect of the masses.One thing became clear to Swamiji: to carry out his plans for the spread of education and for the uplift of the poor masses, and also of women, an efficient organization of dedicated people was needed. As he said later on, he wanted “to set in motion a machinery which will bring noblest ideas to the doorstep of even the poorest and the meanest.” It was to serve as this ‘machinery’ that Swamiji founded the Ramakrishna Mission a few years later.
His speeches at the World’s Parliament of Religions held in September 1893 made him famous as an ‘orator by divine right’ and as a ‘Messenger of Indian wisdom to the Western world’.
Through these inspiring and profoundly significant lectures Swamiji attempted to do the following:
- to rouse the religious consciousness of the people and create in them pride in their cultural heritage;
- to bring about unification of Hinduism by pointing out the common bases of its sects;
- to focus the attention of educated people on the plight of the downtrodden masses, and to expound his plan for their uplift by the application of the principles of Practical Vedanta.
- The greatest sin is to think that you are weak.
- Take risks in your life, If you win, you can lead! If you lose, you can guide!
- Neither money pays, nor name, nor fame, nor learning; it is Character that cleave through adamant walls of difficulties
- Do not hate anybody, because that hatred which comes out from you must, in the long run, come back to you, if you love, that love will come back to you, completing the circle.
- Arise awake and stop not until the goal is achieved.
- All love is expansion, all selfishness is contraction. Love is therefore the only law of life.