Thursday, January 12, 2023

The world celebrates the birthday of Swami Vivekananda, the all-time great youth icon of the world, on 12th January with great sense of reverence and gratitude. “Vivekananda harmonized the east and the west, religion and science, past and present. And that is why he is great. Our countrymen have gained unprecedented self-respect, self-reliance and self-assertion from his teachings.” – said Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, another great son of Mother India. 


India has the largest population of young people in the world. The country’s future depends on the future of youths. Acknowledging the power and role of youths in nation building, Vivekananada asserted that out of the transformation of her youth would India regain her lost character, dignity and grandeur. As such, the life and teachings of Swami Vivekananda bears immense relevance particularly when the country is celebrating the 75th year of its independence. Obviously, the youth of today and tomorrow need to adopt the following qualities and manifest them in practice as underlined by Swamiji time and again during his short but extremely eventful life span of 39 years, so that they (youths) can prove their worth in a befitting manner to achieve success in life and contribute for the good of all, particularly the disadvantaged section of society.


1. Thought Management: We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far. It is the thought which is the propelling force in us. Fill the mind with the highest and noblest thoughts, hear them day after day, and think them month after month. Vivekananda further says, “In a day, when you don’t come across any problem, you can be very sure that you are travelling in the wrong path. So, never mind problems and failures, they are quite natural.


2. Confidence: “All power is within you. You can do anything and everything. Believe in that; don’t believe that you are weak; stand up and express the divinity within you” – Vivekananda used to say. So, have confidence and love yourself both in prosperity as well as in adversity. Don’t have self-pity. You have immense potential. Have strong will power to practice “I can and I will” principle sincerely and regularly. And don’t forget to talk to yourself once a day; otherwise you may miss meeting a unique person in this world.”


3. Character: It is said that if a character is gone, everything is gone. Swamiji stressed this point very strongly when he said, the youth is the backbone of any progressive society and hence must always put in use the life shaping and improving qualities such as truthfulness, fairness, trustworthiness, diligence, sincerity, integrity etc.


4. Education: Undoubtedly, the life is very precious, beautiful and equally challenging.  As such, the youth of today need to understand and appreciate that the real education is that which enables them to stand on their legs. They must learn the life-building, man-making and problem-solving skills so as to equip themselves to face the challenges and struggles of life.


5. Concentration: When the past and present come and stand in one, the mind is said to be concentrated. In fact, there is no limit to the power of the human mind. The more concentrated it is, the more power is brought to bear on one point; that is the secret of success. All great achievers world over mastered the art of concentration to make their journey of success easier.


6. Courage: Without courage, nobody can do any great work. So, have the courage to embrace all good things and stand up for all good causes. The courage to face the odds in life, say a spade a spade, fight against the lie, the evils, the wrongdoings, and to protect the interest of the country in all possible ways are very necessary.


7. Commitment: Whatever be your commitment, give your 100% to fulfil that. Swami Vivekananda asserts, “Take up one idea, make that one idea your life, dream of it, think of it, and live on that idea. Let your brain, body, muscles, nerves and every part of your body be full of that idea. Just leave other things aside.” To say, you must be fully committed to that goal. In fact, this is the way to success in life.


8. Co-operation: In this interdependent world, no individual, society or country can grow well and fast without mutual cooperation. There is no denying the fact that the more we come out and help others, the more our hearts will be purified, and God will be in them. Collective efforts and sincere cooperation of all participants in any field of activity guarantee greater progress and magical achievements.


9. Learning Appetite: Vivekananda used to quote his guru Sri Ramkrishna Paramhans who said, “As long as I live, so long do I learn. That man or that society which has nothing to learn is already in the jaws of death.” The stronger the learning appetite, the greater is the knowledge base and the power of analysing and understanding any challenge and problem in life.


10. Strength: Both physical and mental strength are necessary for leading a purposeful life. In Swamiji’s words, Strength is life; weakness is death. Strength is felicity, life eternal, and immortal. On the contrary, weakness is constant strain and misery. The world is the great gymnasium where we come to make ourselves strong. Anything that makes you weak – physically, mentally and spiritually, reject it as poison. Yes, regular practice of Yoga and Meditation are very effective for maintaining a balanced and healthy life.

As always, I'm keen to know what you think on this subject. Hence, request you to post comments to share your views and experiences.   

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