Tuesday, January 31st, 2023 17:03:52

Swami Vivekanand: a model that young people should emulate

By Pankaj Jagannath Jayswal
Updated: January 16, 2023 10:31 am

Swami Vivekanand, the great soul, spiritual master, philosopher, and youth icon, wanted youths to focus on Dharma (righteous duty) rather than animalistic life and leave the world with a strong positive impression on society, nation, and environment, which will further help future generations to come, and the basic foundation is Sanatan Dharma principles.

आहारनिद्राभयमैथुनं च

समानमेतत् पशुभिर्नराणाम् ।

धर्मो हि तेषामधिको विशेषो,

धर्मेण हीना: पशुभि: समाना:।।

Eating, sleeping, fearing someone, and sexual desire are all common human and animal behaviours. It is only “dharma” that distinguishes between men and animals. As a result, dharma (righteous duty) must be practised in order to fulfil the obligations bestowed by God on all human beings.

But how can youth recognise Swami Vivekananda’s relevance in these exciting and challenging times, when on the one hand people and nation are engaged in the noble task of developing the personality and leadership qualities of the youth through various nation-building activities and through new education policy, and on the other hand there are challenges of poverty, unemployment, corruption, terrorism, religious conversion, lack of entrepreneurship and drug abuse.

Swami Vivekananda advocated education as the primary means of empowering the people among the various ways he proposed to rebuild Indian society. “Is education worth the name if it does not help the common mass of people equip themselves for the struggle for life, if it does not bring out strength of character, philanthropy, and the courage of a lion?” he once said. True education is the ability to stand on one’s own two feet.” For him, education meant learning through Smruti and Shruti that shaped students’ personalities and instilled human values in them. The same concept and philosophy are being considered in the new education policy being developed by ex-ISRO chief K.Kasturirangan and his team of experts. The real challenge is the implementation part, which many political parties and universities are opposing, forgetting that it is purely based on Swami Vivekananda’s vision of building a great nation through the development of youths in all aspects of life.

Swami Vivekananda believed strongly in the power of youth to change the world. He urged Indian youth to educate themselves and emphasised the importance of service in their lives. “It is a privilege to serve mankind, for this is God’s worship,” he once said. God exists in all of these human souls. “He is man’s soul.” He suggested that while youth could learn a lot from the West, they should also have faith in their own spiritual heritage. Today, when our youth are gripped by increasing isolation, purposelessness, depression, and mental fatigue, despite material success, they must embark on a spiritual journey to achieve greater goals. Swami Vivekanand encouraged young people to participate in social activities not only for the benefit of society, but also for their own personal evolution and growth.

“It is the young, the strong, and the healthy, with a sharp intellect, who will reach the Lord,” he said.He was an advocate for intellectual pursuit, such as running schools, colleges, and awareness and empowerment programmes. The goal is to raise one’s intellectual level, gain knowledge, and spread and share it with society.

Swami Vivekanand is still relevant today because of the ideals and goals he devised for youth. He was a keen observer of the human mind and society in general. As a result, he proposed a scientific method for achieving these goals through these quests.

Youth can choose from one of four options (physical, social, intellectual and spiritual). The freedom to choose, regardless of gender, birth, caste, or other identifiers, is what makes this path so appealing today. Each individual can begin by preparing himself for the larger cause.

Swami Vivekanand once said about caste discrimination “The solution to India’s caste problem is not to degrade the higher castes, but to raise the lower up to the level of the higher.” Understanding Swami Vivekananda and his message and communicating it to our youth may be the simplest way to address many of India’s current problems. It is the right time for the youth to rise up, face their fears, and take up the mantle of shaping Bharat.

By Pankaj Jagannath Jayswal

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