Youth, Social Development And Spirituality
Youth of present time is a restless lot. In an environment of information explosion, abundance of career opportunities and ever-growing support for the desired education, youth of today is more equipped to explore wide and deeply in different areas of science, education and applications. One such applied area for knowledge exploration could be application of spirituality for different walks of life. It was this restlessness of young Narendra (Vivekanand) for the search of God and his sincere concern for social transformation of Indian society, which drove him to master yogi and accomplished seer, Ramkrishna Paramhans. This phenomenon can be replicated today also.
Cut-throat competition in every walk of life, demands, better and better winning capabilities for the struggling youth of today. Focused professional coaching/counselling for any vocation/competition, provides them limited competitive competencies. Even after qualifying competency barrier, there are challenges regarding the integration of given job with the ever-changing work culture, assimilation with the peer group, professional satisfaction, self-confidence for outstanding performance, value addition to the profession and above all usefulness of the professional life for the society and the nation, as a whole. Available personality development programmes and management training modules help only to a limited extent, in exploring the full potential of any young individual.
It is on account of this desired comprehensive and over-all development of youth, that “spiritual outlook and spiritual way of life” has a major role to play. ‘Self’ is the seat of every expression of life, but it remains
un-attended/neglected, in this ever-expanding race for career building and professional development. “Knowledge and realisation of self” is as structured, focused and systematic a programme, as for any other vocation or walk of life. It is an integral part of personal and professional excellence, but has yet to find its right mix with current professional training programmes.
Journey for the search and realisation of self is the true spiritual pathway. It demands answers to a few age-old basic questions e.g., For instance who am I? From where the human life comes? What is the goal/purpose of life? Is there life before and after this life? If it is so, what impact it has on our present life? How can one realise the “self”? Is there any interconnectedness of human existence with all other forms of creation? A search into these
issues can “enlighten” anyone. Self-empowerment, personal and professional productivity, harmony in family, work place and society; optimum utilisation of natural resources on account of eco-friendly attitude, kindness to all human and animal beings, helping nature and social service are the natural by-products of such spiritual pursuits.
Therefore, adoption of spiritual approach to any professional training or walk of life will definitely compliment its final outcome. It will provide much-needed comprehensive and purposeful shape to all types of vocational/professional trainings and ventures. This much sought value system comes from within and not from outside. It is earnestly earned by every individual seeker and is therefore likely to be observed with full conviction and consciousness. It is a powerful tool for transforming personal, professional and social outlook of individuals, societies and nations. It is an approach beyond caste, creed, sex, age, race, colour, religious beliefs and nationality of the seekers. It could be a panacea for various personal, professional, social, ecological and international understandings, which are attempted in isolation.
Spiritual approach is an integrated approach for the life and is therefore also the natural approach for personal development. “Individual” is the ultimate unit of every worldly creation and structure. Therefore “self-realisation” is the key to much-coveted goal of personal development and social transformation. It is an “inside-out” approach rather than “outside-in”, which is currently practised. If this approach is vigorously sought by the simmering youth of today, it will revolutionise and transform the human society everywhere. It will go much beyond the isolated efforts instituted for the social, professional, educational and international understanding and harmony. Real challenge lies in appreciating the power of self-realisation, which is the ultimate seat and tool for personal and social transformation. It positively influences all vocations and all the walks of life.
Like any other scientific approach, self-realisation is also a very structured and systematic approach of the life. It starts from the intense desire to know about the “Self” within. When this desire is intense and deep; it enables the seeker to know and learn various ways and techniques, which help in developing desired strength and capabilities. Meeting of an accomplished guide or guru is incidental, and helps in speedy completion of this journey. Therefore, every sincere seeker should try to find his way himself. An earnest desire for spiritual unfoldment will open unexpected gates to pursue this divine path. It does not necessitate to follow some sect, established code of conduct or some well-pronounced yoga doctrine. It is also not a part-time or pastime intellectual recreation in air-conditioned surroundings. It only requires intense desire and consistent, systemic, focussed efforts in this direction, while performing routine professional and worldly pursuits.
An accomplished seeker is “self-empowered” in real sense, and becomes tool for social and professional empowerment. He realises connectedness and oneness, with the world around, and therefore develops selfless love and mutual concern for entire humanity as well as environment. This leads to an integrated approach for all the issues resulting into a peaceful, purposeful, happy and mutually complimentary social life. Exploration of this wonderful dimension of life is the silent cry of the hour and challenge to the youth of today.
By Dr Dipak Shukla