Friday 24 May 2024

A Vision Of Our Youth To Materialize

 – P. Parameswaran JI (Yuva Bharati, 50th Year Special Commemorative Volume, Jan. 2003)

Before his Mahasamadhi on 4th July 1902, Swami Vivekananda said that he is leaving for the future generation a mission for five hundred years. At one time, he had stated that he will go on working till the whole Universe realized that it was one with the God. It has also been recorded that after leaving his physical body, he would still be working from outside its limitations. This has been actually proved by the fact that Sri Aurobindo while he was imprisoned in the Alipore Jail used to receive spiritual guidance everyday from Swami Vivekananda at a certain phase of his sadhana. One hundred years had passed since the Swamiji had entered Mahasamadhi. There is no doubt that his dynamic spirit continues to work, inspiring hundreds and thousands of people in every walk of life, inspiring each one of them, individually and collectively, to translate the great Master's vision into concrete reality. Though Sri Ramakrishna Mutt and Mission which was directly founded by the Swamiji himself is the recognized order to propagate and practice Swamiji's ideas and ideals, there are innumerable others, both in Bharat and outside, who have also taken up various activities which they consider as Swamiji's own. All these together constitute a mammoth effort to lift humanity to what Swamiji called the "realization of the Divine in this human existence."

Vivekananda Kendra, while being one among the many brought into existence by deriving inspiration from Swami Vivekananda, is playing a unique role with the motto "Man-making and Nation-building". While Swami Vivekananda never lost sight of the universality of the Vedantic message, he was very particular that Bharat is the home of the Vedanta, otherwise known as Sanathana Dharma, and that unless it is deeply rooted and continuously protected, preserved and promoted in its native soil: it cannot successfully play its universal role. With all his love and sympathy for humanity at large, Swamiji was an Indian a Hindu to the core. He was known all over the world as a 'Hindu monk' or a 'Patriotic monk'. As a sanyasin, he spread his wings across the horizon and carried the message to all nations and peoples, his heart and soul were always identified with the greatness and glory of his motherland. These were things on which he could never compromise.

He was born when India was under the British rule. All through the short span of less than forty years of his wonderful life, the country was under the thraldom of colonialism. The Britishers, shrewd and unscrupulous as they were, tried to enslave not only the body but also the mind and soul of this great country. Most of the English educated men and women were fascinated by the glamour of British Civilization. For a time it looked as though this ancient land would lose its identity and get submerged in the sweeping current of Christianity and the western materialism. But it was not to be. Indian destiny was defined otherwise. The soul of India had taken birth in the form of a virtually uneducated Brahmin priest.-Sri Ramakrishna who literally challenged the mighty western imperial power on the strength of Hindu spirituality. It was from this blazing fire that Swami Vivekananda derived the strength as well as the insight to understand the heritage of India and spread it across the world to mould humanity's future. But Swamiji knew very well that no one would take seriously the cultural heritage of a nation which could not protect its freedom and which is dominated by foreign masters. He realized very well that unless India became free and stood erect on her own inherent strength, nobody will respect her. The message of Sanatana Dharma, however loudly proclaimed, would go largely unheeded. Bharat must become free and that would be possible only when she deserved it. Deserving freedom means that the people should demand it from a position of strength and self-respect. Most part of Indian population had lost these qualities due to centuries of slavery. These had to be won back.

Without that all talk of freedom was unrealistic and meaningless. Swami Swaroopananda, one of the prominent disciples of Swami Vivekananda, has described the plight of the Hindu Society of those days in a thought provoking article in the Prabuddha Bharatha in December 1902. "How painfully true is this case of modern India! A people sunk into the grossest unspirituality claiming to be spiritual! A people without self- respect can hardly deserve to be called by that name. And as we have said in the beginning of the paper, it is only possible for human beings to be spiritual in the true sense of the word. And we have said too that a human being without his due proportion of self-respect is a myth, a monster."

"Let us look at facts squarely in the face while there is yet time and hope, as a people we have to re-learn self-respect. We have to learn to be men by training ourselves to put up with inconvenience and perhaps loss if necessary, for the sake of seeing that an unjust social act is not perpetrated, that we are not made a party to a dishonest or unfair transaction, that we are not high-handedly deprived of a right, that the traditions and the beliefs that we hold dear are not trampled by arrogant feet under our eyes.

"There was a time when the epithet 'mild Hindu' implied the self-controlled Hindu. But we have gone on self- controlling to such an extent that it now means the Hindu without self-respect, the Hindu without moral courage! What is milder than a corpse?" It was under such disappointingly frustrating circumstances that Swami Vivekananda appeared on the scene with his life mission clearly cut out for him. He had first-hand experience of the complex problems that the country, particularly the Hindu society faced, while, as a wandering monk he visited every nook and corner of the country and also came across the life conditions of the entire cross sections of the people of this country. A lesser man would have felt unequal to such a stupendous task. But, as we all know, sitting at the feet of Bharat Mata at Kanyakumari he meditated upon the mission for which, he was born and for which Sri Ramakrishna, his Master had groomed him in every way. Before embarking upon the great task, he had also the good fortune to closely observe the conditions prevailing in western hemisphere which at that time constituted the most advanced nations. He could see for himself the sharp contrast between the two hemispheres. That not only sharpened his intellect but also strengthened his vision. The glamour of the materialistic Western civilization convinced him that the East, especially Bharat had to provide the spiritual sustenance for the world to progress towards a complete human civilization. Coming back to India where he was received as a hero and a world conqueror he spelt out in clear details his plan of work for India and also for the World. The most important components of his plan were lucidly explained by him during the course of his triumphant lecture tour from Colombo to Almora. Some of the most prominent among them are as follows:

(1)   Swamiji wanted the people of this country to love Bharat, their Motherland with all their heart and soul. Bharat according to him, is not just a geographical piece of land but a living Deity, a veritable Goddess to be worshipped in the true sense of the term. She is the embodiment of the Divine Mother, every particle of sand and every drop of water was sacred. This is the land to which every soul wending its way towards God has to come in its last birth before it could be qualified for merging with the Supreme. In one of his emotion-packed addresses in Madras he had declared, "for the coming fifty years let this alone be the object of your worship, this Motherland of ours. Let all other vain gods disappear." This was the kind of patriotism which Swamiji wanted to instill in his countrymen. This concept was at the heart of the "Spiritual Nationalism" which Swamiji wanted us to cultivate, not the narrow political nationalism promoted by western political thinkers'.


Swamiji's nationalism was based on the Vedic concept of the 'Earth as our Mother', which is inclusive and could develop into the vision of "Vasudaiva kutumbakam".

(2)   Swamiji wanted Hindus to be proud of their cultural heritage. He never agreed with those who propagated that the word Hindu had any narrow connotations. According to him, that was the most blessed word because it was only the Hindu who never went out to conquer other people or to plunder other countries even at the height of their power. He exhorted every Hindu to look as far back into the past as he could and derive inspiration from the unique achievements of his forefathers, not to live amidst the past glory, which is anyway impossible, but to build a great and glorious future based on the eternal foundations of India's past. He also wanted that all Hindus to whatever sect or region he belonged should understand the common bases of Hinduism and work together, without giving undue importance to points of differences but by gathering together the "scattered spiritual forces".

(3)   Swamiji never agreed with those who blamed Hinduism for the decline and downfall of Bharat. On the other hand, he said, it was only through Hinduism India had attained her greatness and again it is only through Hinduism the country could lift itself upto its supreme height. Those who blamed Hinduism never understood it in its true sense. According to him, it's the 'Mother of all religions', it is tolerant, it is based on direct experience of Truth, and it is the only religion which is compatible with the scientific discoveries as well as scientific methodology. He firmly believed and publicly advocated that it's only Hinduism whose essence is Vedanta alone can be the Universal religion of the future. What was wanted and what the Swamiji actually did was to make a restatement of the fundamental principles of Hinduism to suit the requirements of modern times, bereft of all superstitious beliefs and ritualistic encrustations that besmirched it during centuries of foreign domination.

(4)   Swamiji emphasized that one of the basic reasons for India's downfall was the neglect of the masses and also discriminatory treatment of the women which had no Vedic sanction. He bemoaned the rule of the priestly hierarchy which monopolized all the sacred scriptures and even the Sanskrit language and kept the masses of people out of bounds from the two precious possessions of Hinduism. It was this neglect of the masses and women that finally led to the country's decline and slavery. It was also the main reason for large masses of people thus alienated from the mainstream of Hindu religion to get converted into religions that came from abroad. It was a great sin, both national and spiritual to have ill-treated our own Hindu brethren and thus pushed them into alien faith.

(5)   According to Swamiji, the solution for all problems lies in education. He defined education in a unique manner. 'Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man'. It is not just accumulation of vast amounts of information or knowledge. It is assimilation of man-making, character building, positive ideas which have to be practised in everyday life. He had no sympathy for the education introduced by the foreign rulers. It made us only ashamed of our past and hence negative in our thinking. He wanted us to evolve a truly national education which combined both spiritual and secular dimensions. Swamiji wanted us to have complete hold on the nation's education. According to him, such an education alone can provide solution for all the ills the country is suffering from. He was a great advocate of female education. He believed that ultimately it is women who will solve their own problems in the strength of the right kind of education they received.


Swamiji believed that if the nation took care of the above mentioned aspects and worked vigorously and systematically to implement them, the country will not only become free but will also be in a position to lead the entire world. But he realized that this was not an easy job. It is a sacred task which required the services and sacrifices of millions of committed young men and women. The fulfilment of this Himalayan task depended upon men, more than anything else. Swamiji was never bothered about money, but he was always concerned about the availability of young men, who are sincere to the backbone. "We want fiery young men - intelligent and brave who dare to go to the jaws of Death, and are ready to swim the ocean across. We want hundreds like that, both men and women ", said Swamiji in one of his speeches. It is a task worth living for, and if need be worth dying for. It is in this context that Swamiji gave the rousing call "a hundred thousand men and women, fired with the zeal of holiness, fortified with eternal faith in the Lord, and nerved to lion's courage by their sympathy for the poor and the fallen and the downtrodden, will go over the length and breadth of the land, preaching the gospel of salvation, the gospel of help, the gospel of social raising-up the gospel of equality." But Swamiji was equally concerned about one of the debilitating weakness of our people namely, incapacity to organize. "Three men cannot act in concert together in India for five minutes. Each one struggles for power and in the long run the whole organization come to grief." In such a nation, Swamiji wanted to create "an organization of men who are tied and bound together with a most undying Love for each other" and above all for the cause of the country. Such an organization was the panacea for all the problems of the country - an organization of "men with capital 'M'. They should work with a spirit of humility like the squirrel which played its part in building Rama's bridge to Lanka.


The question before every one of us at this crucial moment in the history of our country as well that of the world is, whether the youth of the country are paying heed to the clarion call given by the Swamiji a century ago or whether they are straying away from the path marked out by him in their petty selfishness and narrow personnel career and to create comforts. Let the Youth in all earnestness turn the search light on themselves and ask the Question "am I one among the hundred thousand" whom Swamiji so clearly referred to? Upon the answer of this question will depend, not only our individual future but also the future of the country and the world. This is the Moment of Truth. As Sri Aurobindo put it, this is the "Hour of the Gods". Let us make a decisive choice at this juncture and never look back again, till the goal is reached and our Motherland is once again seated on her eternal throne the throne of Jagat Guru. In dreaming, visualizing and materializing it, lies the success of our life.

कथा : विवेकानन्द केन्द्र { Katha : Vivekananda Kendra }
Vivekananda Rock Memorial & Vivekananda Kendra :
Read n Get Articles, Magazines, Books @

Let's work on "Swamiji's Vision - Eknathji's Mission"

Follow Vivekananda Kendra on   blog   twitter   g+   facebook   rss   delicious   youtube   Donate Online

मुक्तसंग्ङोऽनहंवादी धृत्युत्साहसमन्वित:।
सिद्ध‌‌यसिद्धयोर्निर्विकार: कर्ता सात्त्विक उच्यते ॥१८.२६॥

Freed from attachment, non-egoistic, endowed with courage and enthusiasm and unperturbed by success or failure, the worker is known as a pure (Sattvika) one. Four outstanding and essential qualities of a worker. - Bhagwad Gita : XVIII-26

No comments:

Post a Comment