“The more we come out and do good to others, the more our hearts will be purified and God will be in them.” These inspiring words of Swami Vivekananda are instilled in the hearts of young men who nurture the spirit of renunciation and brotherly compassion towards their fellow beings. Known as Narendra Nath Dutta in his pre-monastic life, Swami Vivekananda hailed from an affluent family. Born to Vishwanath Datta and Bhuvaneswari Devi, Narendra showed inclination towards God realization at a very young age.
His association with Sri Ramakrishna in 1881 helped him to shun all thoughts of God’s Non-existence and tread the path of pure, unparalleled devotion. Sri Ramakrishna became his spiritual guide and philosopher. Ramakrishna preached ‘ADVAITA VEDANTA’ (non-dualism); all religions are true and service to man is service to God. Being the chief disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda became the founder of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission.
After Ramakrishna’s Demise Vivekananda started touring the Indian subcontinent. As a wandering monk, Swami Vivekananda was deeply moved on seeing a poverty stricken India. It was then that Swami Vivekananda resolved to strive for the upliftment of the masses and thereby the nation.
At a later stage, Swami Vivekananda travelled to Chicago representing India as a delegate in the 1893 Parliament of World Religions. When the Parliament of religions opened, Vivekananda began his speech with “Sisters and Brothers of America!” that received a standing ovation, from a crowd of seven thousand, lasting for two whole minutes. His speech that included a wonderful doctrine from Gita says “Whosoever comes to me, through whatsoever form, I reach him; all men are struggling through paths which in the end lead to me”, very well summarized the essence of Vedanta.
His speech created massive impact not only on the people of America but also worldwide. Swami Vivekananda delivered hundreds of lectures and speeches with an intention of arousing spirituality within oneself. The ultimate goal of life is self realization which is what Swami Vivekananda stressed upon in his teachings.
Swami Vivekananda is still an inspiration to the present day youth. National Youth Day in India is observed on his birthday, the 12th of January. “YUVA- YOUTH AWAKENING FESTIVAL 2012″ is held every year on these lines that brings together talent from all over, on a common platform, in the presence of illustrious dignitaries. Held at Pantnagar (India) for a period of 6 days; YUVA believes in diverting positive energy of the youth, in a constructive way, to deal with national and international issues. Events like National Debate Competition, National Youth Symposium, Zonal Level oratory and written quiz are a part of this festival.
Swami Vivekananda is said to be the ‘maker of modern India’. YUVA is step towards giving life to the exemplary vision of Swami Vivekananda. His constant emphasis has been on the need for education that elevates not only the mind and but also the soul. Imbibing these immortal teachings in the youth will drive the nation towards prosperity.Let us all be a part of this enlightening mission.