News » Cities » Chennai » Arts » History & Culture

Updated: January 10, 2013 20:37 IST

Focus on the three ‘H’s

Comment   ·   print   ·   T  T  
The statue of Swami Vivekananda silhouetted against setting sun at Unakal lake in Hubli.
The statue of Swami Vivekananda silhouetted against setting sun at Unakal lake in Hubli.

Swami Vivekananda had immense faith in the power of youth.

In a short and sweet life of 39 years, five months and 22 days he blew energy into an India which was steeped in slavery and self-loath. Vivekananda urged the youth in particular to connect to the eternal power of their soul. In order to achieve this, the young, the strong, the healthy and the ones with sharp intellect should focus their thoughts and pursuits onto a new channel. He redefined the word `atheist’ when he declared that as per the new religion, an atheist is one who does not believe in himself, not necessarily the one who does not believe in God.

Demographically, India was very young. Nearly 78 per cent of India’s population was less than 40 years old. Swami Vivekananda repeatedly asked the youth to focus their collective energies towards nation building. He indicated that he would radically change the Indian society if he could get some ten or 12 boys with the faith of Nachiketa.

On another occasion he said that if he could get one hundred ‘believing’ young men he would revolutionise the entire world.

One of his writings asks the youth to focus on the three `H’s - ‘Heart’ to feel for the poor and the marginalised, ‘Head’ to think and `Hands,’ which would convert thoughts into deeds.

He urged the youth to have a pure purpose, stick to truth, banish fear and doubt and surge ahead in life with the intensity of a forest fire.

He wants our youths to emulate an oyster. It is believed that an oyster waits for the rain that falls when the star Swati is on the ascent. When that happens it comes to the surface, receives a drop of rain and recedes to the depths to develop a pearl.

Live for others

‘They alone live who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive,’ he observed. “It is better to wear out than rust out,” he said advising the younger generation to work, work and work till the goal is reached. Swamiji was one among the early visionaries who saw an invisible bridge between Indian and Western cultures. He interpreted Hindu scriptures and philosophy to the Western people in an idiom they could easily comprehend. Thus they were at ease with science and technology on the one hand and humanism on the other and there was no quarrel between the two.

Perhaps the best tribute to the life and mission of Swami Vivekananda in one line was paid by Rabindranath Tagore. Talking to another Nobel laureate, Romain Rolland, Tagore said, “If you want to know India, study Vivekananda.”


He gave us back our dignityJanuary 10, 2013

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
The Tamil Nadu Archives and Historical Research. Photo: V. Ganesan MADRAS MISCELLANY

Missing the bus

The merger of two publishing houses – Penguin’s and Random House took us back to Pallavaram and the near brushes the two firms had with that southern suburb of Madras. » (2)
Books on display at Mohammedan Public Library. Photo: R. Ravindran

Past preserved

Started in 1850, the Mohammedan Public Library has manuscripts and books that are more than a century old » (2)

A man who dreamt big, lived bigger

Given that the landscape of Chennai symbolises the success stories of several entrepreneurs who dreamt big, I wonder why we keep reading western books on management for inspiration. Last wee... » (2)

The Parry of Parry’s Corner

Getting ready to mark next year the 225th year of the arrival of Thomas Parry in Madras, is the Company he sowed the seeds for, Parry’s, which became such a landmark institution that it gave its n... » (1)
A Taste Of History The museum at the Nullathani estate in Munnar

Total Tea Day

An unusually well-planned museum in Munnar catches our fancy »
Hoary portals Of St. Raphael’s Photo: R. Shivaji Rao

A hundred years and counting

St. Raphael’s has traversed a century offering education to students from under-privileged backgrounds »
Classy work: Rehana Begum Photo: R.Shivaji Rao

Floral fantasy

Lucknow’s Rehana Begum has honed the art of embroidery to perfection. »
The exhibition was timed for Children’s Day with an aim to revive philately — Photo: V. Ganesan

Around the world in 10,000 stamps

On a busy Wednesday afternoon, visitors at the exhibition hall of the Regional Rail Museum at Integral Coach Factory went on a journey through history. The philately exhibition which housed over 1... »
The Sree Venkateshwara Students Hostel on Triplicane High Road is a handsome building in exposed brick HIDDEN HISTORIES

A printer’s philanthropy

In order to provide a home away from home to students coming to the city, Ranganatham Chetty built the hostel » (3)
Holy Holiday Communing with the goddess

The call of Kolkata

Puja is one of the best times to be in the City of Joy and we made the most of every minute of our trip last week » (1)

Amandeep Sandhu, Manjul Bajaj, Manu Joseph and Sonora Jha read from their novels that were shortlisted for The Hindu Prize for Fiction 2013. Ziya Us Salam introduces them and moderates the session. <... »