History & Culture

Clarion call for youth


“Give me one hundred ‘believing’ young men… I will transform India as the number one nation in the entire world…”_so said Vivekananda, whose 150th birth anniversary was celebrated on Wednesday last. Belief, here, means belief in oneself – a concept more relevant now than ever. It is not without reason that Vivekananda’s birthday is observed as National Youth Day.

‘Be and make’ –this will sum up Vivekananda’s philosophy. Anything good must sprout from within so that the external body can visualise and reflect the beauty of it in all its splendour. He calls the process ‘spiritual civilisation’. It is foolish to have great expectations when the inner self is full of negative values, views and thoughts.

The prime disciple of Sri Ramakrishna hated fear and hypocrisy. “Fear is the greatest sin, my religion teaches me,” he said. Liberty, mukti, is all my religion and everything and anything that tries to curb it, I will avoid by fight or flight. He wanted ‘wills of iron, nerves of steel and hearts that do not know to quake…”

He urged the Indian youth to develop an inquiring mind to arrive at the truth. “Youth and beauty, life, wealth, name and fame will vanish. Even the mountains crumble to dust. Truth alone abides. Therefore, be true to yourselves, my lads!”

He goes on to give the twin motto that youth must follow in life – “strive for one’s own salvation and work for the welfare of the world.”

He exhorts them to raise themselves by their own exertions, which will result in a kindled spirit born out of limitless time to accomplish the work.

Vivekananda, the spiritual scientist argues that each nation has had a main underlying current. “In India, it is religion. Our religion envisages that each soul is potentially divine and that we are all children of Immortal Bliss ( amrutasya putraha). Therefore live not in time. Live in Eternity.”

The monk lays great stress on Love, the one factor that will unify the world and eliminate violence. “Love your fellowmen and God for love’s sake. Do not trade in love. And God does not look upon us as His publicity agents. He has neither fallen into a ditch for you and me to help Him out. None lives, my boys, but who loves.”

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2021 4:28:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/history-and-culture/Clarion-call-for-youth/article15518012.ece

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