National youth day aka Vivekananda Jayanti is celebrated on 12th jan, as a remembrance of his birth anniversary. On this joyful day let’s remember the life of Swami Vivekananda – his inspiring journey to inspire the young generation of today.
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Life of Swami Vivekananda
Narendranath Datta was born in Calcutta in the year 1863 -12 January. In college he read both the Bhagavad Gita and David Hume. He had shared schoolboy atheism; it is said that he went around asking spiritual leaders whether they’d seen God; he never got a satisfactory answer.
That was until Vivekananda met a priest named Ram Krishna, who then became his guru. When Ram Krishna died in 1886 Vivekananda took an oath of monkhood.
He followed the teachings of Vedanta – one of the six Hindu philosophies. Vedanta- Vedas the ultimate source of information, it gives importance to knowledge or Gyan as opposed to sacrifice or karm.
Vivekananda believed in inquiring about Brahma or ultimate reality, he believed in moksha or liberation. He rejected superstition, idolatry, even the rigid lifestyle of priests.
Vivekananda’s idea of Hinduism was a combination of Eastern spirituality and Western material progress.
He promoted women’s education and campaigned for equality and empowerment, fought against child marriage. All of this was happening back in 1880s, where all of these were considered as social practices. And many were not following his ideology.
Vivekananda was a social reformer, he shot to fame in 1893 that was the year of world parliament of religion aka Chicago assembly.
Swami Vivekananda was representing Hinduism. Instead of talking about prayers or rituals he spoke about tolerance , universal acceptance. He said Hinduism accepts all religions as true. He quoted Gita and recited hymns. He spoke about India’s culture and diversity and criticized sectarianism and bigotry.
Although his speech was short he kept his audience absolutely captivated.
Vivekananda continued to travel across the world promoting yoga. He argued with his followers to practice yoga. Till date he remains the face of yoga in western world.
Vivekananda believed in cultural nationalism , self-sufficiency, he believed through the muscles of iron and nerves of steel India would one day retain its lost glory and pride.
This philosophy impressed and inspired many. Mahatma Gandhi credited Vivekananda for increasing his love for the country a thousand fold. Subhash Chandra called Vivekananda as ‘The maker of modern India.’
Vivekananda’s famous thoughts:
Remember during our school days , where we could quote Vivekananda’s quotes for ‘thought for the day’ in our assembly? Let’s recollect those beautiful quotes:
- “Arise, Awake and not stop until the goal is reached.”
- “All of the power is within you; you can do anything and everything.”
- “In a conflict between heart and brain, follow your heart.”
- “Even the greatest fool can accomplish a task if it were after his or her heart. But the intelligent ones are those who can convert every work into one that suits their taste.”
National Youth Day 2024
On this day (12 January), India celebrates National Youth Day in respect of Swami Vivekananda. Aiming to encourage young adults in shaping their future. Every year this day (12 January)various events occur to encourage youth to develop themself.
This year the union ministry of youth affairs and sports organizes ‘26th national youth day’ at Hubballi, Karnataka. The theme of this year – ‘Viksit Yuva Viksit Bharat’. P M Modi to inaugurate this event and 30,000 + youth are expected to join the inauguration. As per the press release it will be healed from 12th January to 16th January.