The moment you hear 9/11, what strikes your mind?
Yes, most of us, even today, vividly remember the imageries of dreadful terror attacks on America. 9/11 is symbolic to a brutal launch of terrorism on an international scale.
But today, I would like to sway your attention towards a positive global event - the introduction of Vedanta & Yoga to the world ignorant of India's heritage & spiritual prowess, i.e. the launch of Hinduism on an international level.
Interestingly, this historic day was 9/11, when the World Parliament of Religions of 1893 took off in Chicago and Swami Vivekananda, a young chap in his twenties, stepped onto the world stage and presented Hinduism, the mother of all religions with a tint of nationalist flavour & left the audience spellbound.
I wish we remember 9/11 for what Vivekananda offered to us, than what an act of terror & hatred gave us.
What is so special in a "sanyasi" who wore a saffron robe and spoke on philosophy all his life? Why he is still called the "founder" of new and young Indian thinking. The answer lies in his principles. He believed in empowerment, more in the lines of "tat tvam asi" or "aham bramhasmi". You are the creator and the master of your destiny. Your soul is divine and you should start searching for God in yourself. Every human being is a privileged soul. You should not consider yourself to be weak and feeble. He not only revived Hinduism but also "improved" it by a huge extent. As expected he disregarded the caste system, he disregarded monotheism and refuted idolatry as insignificant.
Coming to the reality, India today lacks a youth icon. We lack a firm and decisive leader who the youth can follow their steps. Narendra Modi might be an epitome of development, but he has crossed the age and the ability to claim as a youth icon. This further strengthens the position of Swami Vivekananda, however ironical, that Swami never wanted this to happen.
One of the most influential thinkers, philosopher, saint , hermit, ascetic, yogi, self realized sanyasi, guru bhakth, social reformer, scholar of all times all around the world has to be swami vivekananda, undoubtedly...... According to C Rajagopalachari, " Swami vivekananda saved hinduism and India". Hinduism is the derived sobriquet for the Sindhu River Valley civilization....given by the arabs and other imperial invaders like the britishers , real name being SAnatana Dharma. A young celibate and a devout guru bhakth , swamiji is a quintessential subject of adulation for today's youngsters who are growingly inclined towards the western materialistic upheavels and sensual pleasures. Today's young India is totally devoid of its rich heritage and the omnipresent and all pervading knowledge and rich dharma...... Apart from robbing off the great theories of sacrifice and renunciation, the western education, instigated by vested evangelical spirits is hell bent on maligning the image and the entire notion of self realization that swamiji and all other saints preached. They are unaware about their hidden potential and infinite knowledge that they possess. Even the western world was awestruck by swamiji's epoch and legendary speech at the PArliament of worlds religions at Chicago in 1893....The world was spellbound to see the suave and charisma of a simple hindu ascetic celibate.....He propogated global brotherhood. The world then learnt the hidden powers of mankind and the untapped potential in youngsters through self control /celibacy/self restraint or abstinence from indulging in sensual pleasures , through swamiji. Swamiji not only drew parallels from modern epistemological philosophies , but also drew axioms and references from modern science , logic , idealistic monotheism, non dualism, advaitam, cosmogony, experimental pragmatism etc to imbibe and inculcate the vedic teachings of our great ancestral Rishi Munis.... IT was swamiji who paved way for the youngster's elf development through the development of concentration power through spiritual sadhana or meditative practises. Apart from being a great yogi, he was also adept in swordsmanship, acrobatics, gymnastics, martial arts and displayed a rare level of human repertoire to the young generation and made them realize that it is but the spiritual inclination and selfless ssadhana and gurubhakthi that will take one to great material and spiritual heights. The youngsters were vehemently coerced through mental subversion and modification in indian Scriptures and the wrong representation of Indian Sanatana Dharma in the Evangelical convent and missionary schools, into conversions on a massive scale. sWamiji could not tolerate this and brought out the real meaning of Christ and declared apostasy as a great sin but declared Christ as a Yogi. He was of the opinion that the papal system and the missionaries were not following the true teachings of Christ like selfless service and love and brotherhood, but were hellbent on apostasy and conversions and vilification of Sanatana Dharma that was prevalent all over the world by sidelining and mocking it as a " Pagan" religion and a culture of " idol worshippers and nature worshippers". Swamiji revealed to the youngsters that this is how etymologically the word "India" , meaning a state of tribal people was conferred upon Akhand Bharath b the ruthless and cunning western invaders. He paved the way of adopting a rational and a scientifically sound temper to the modern young educated indian. He outgrew and outwitted the theories of Darwin,
edantic teachings all across the world. He carried forward the legacy of the bhakthi movement of hte medieval times and presented and preserved the sacred dharma in a modern, rational and a scientific way. He taught the importance of idol worship to youngsters by declaring it as the first step towards humility, modesty and sensory restraint and ultimately a great pathway to self realization. He was of the opinion that if we preserve the images and photos of our parents, elders and loved ones, there is nothing wrong in bowing down before the idol of a god. Thus, a great mental conversionary intoxication in the mindsets of youngsters was healed. His knowledge in comparative religion knew no bounds and taught the principle of "Aham Brahmasmi" Several hundred pages of descriptions and words of laurels are not enough to describe even an iota of what swamiji gave to the entire world and especially youngsters. A social reformation through the moulding up of Indian Youth was Swamiji's dream and we carry the moral collective responsibility of taking that dream and eternal legacy of swamiji ahead to our forthcoming generations..............
Swami Vivekananda was born as Narendranath dutta to Bhuvaneswari Devi and the affluent lawyer of Calcutta of those times , Vishwanath Dutta on January 12th 1863. But What is so special of Jan 12th?
When we digress into the details, we find that January 12th has been declared as The National Youth day by the Government of India back in 1984. Why only the 12th of January , and not any other day? It’s so because the government of India recognized our young Narendranath (swami Vivekananda) as the ideal youth who had the perfect qualities which all the youth of the nation ought to possess! There’s everything positive in Him. So, His birthday is declared and hence since then is being celebrated as National youth day.
All in all, He’s a perfect leader! He proved that a perfect leader is one who knew how to be a perfect servant. He never stood on a high pedestal and preached others. He always considered everyone as His own brother and sister! He always wished to serve his fellow brethren! This is how one can be a true leader. His excellent oratory skills and the way in which he could win hearts of the highly learned men of America stands testimony to the fact that he made the entire west spell-bound with his eloquent speech.
Swami Vivekananda’s life is a message of burning love. He had intense love for the Mankind! He is an embodiment of Empathy! He says that he’s ready to be born a thousand times to serve the only God that he would believe in that is, MAN! He did shed copious tears when he saw entire India in utter poverty, ignorance and slavery! He dedicated all his life for the good of his fellow brothers. How it is that one can have such intense love for the Humanity? This could never happen unless we would see the all-glorious omnipresent Lord in each and every man. His life is a message of the truth that “worship of men is worship of God”! If we serve those who are in distress and poverty, God would be more pleased than offering huge amount in temples and churches to buy tickets to the so-called heaven! According to Him, each soul is potentially divine, the lord in Human form.
Swami Vivekananda has given the true meaning of Education! He did shed light on the essence of Education. He says “we want that education by which character was formed , strength of mind is increased, the intellect is expanded and by which one can stand on one’s own feet.”
He gave a call for the Universal religion which has its foundation on faith, love and purity! He gave a new definition of Atheist as thus : “The old religions said that he was an atheist who does not believe in God. The new religion says that he is an atheist who doesn’t believe in himself!” There is infinite strength lurking behind this physical frame of ours. The more you believe in your Divinity, the more it gets manifested! So, this wonderful shraddha or faith is the need of the hour for the youth of our Nation!
Stand up, work, live and die in your own strength; if there’s any sin in the world, it’s weakness avoid all weakness, for weakness is sin: weakness is death- so says swami Vivekananda. He advices us not to touch anything even with our toe that would make us weak physically, intellectually, or spiritually! He says that the solution to weakness is not to brood over it , but to think of strength!
He had immense faith in the youth of the Nation! In glorious words
He said, “My faith is in the younger generation; out of them will come my workers. They will work out the whole problem like lions.”
Swami Vivekananda hated weakness and stories of frightening hobgoblins since his childhood! He gave a clarion call to the entire Nation to be absolutely Fearless! According to Him, If there is one word that we find coming out like a bomb from the Upanishads, bursting like a bombshell upon masses of ignorance, it is the word “FEARLESSNESS”!
He emphasized the necessity of strong will-power! He advised the youth to possess such a will-power that would make us think, “I shall crush the mountains with my mere will!”
We have got to learn countless lessons from every moment of Swami Vivekananda’s life! He is truly the Ideal Youth of our Nation! The list is unending. These reasons made swami Vivekananda the Role Model to every aspiring youth!
Swami Vivekananda’s teachings are applicable in all walks of life in solving the problems faced by our Country! The problems like Terrorism, Caste-issue and other paraphernalia can be tackled and healed by taking Swami Vivekananda in the right spirit!
He gives call for a practical religion which is not confined to the limits of mere theories! It’s high time swami Vivekananda’s teachings are included in the regular Academic curriculum in schools and colleges. It’s possible to bring a cultural change only in this way, at least to some extent!
Constant tagging and commenting on facebook is not what Swami Vivekananda wanted! There’s too much of theory everywhere! Alas, less men of practicality! His call is for a practical religion which would help one overcome these shackles of Bondage. Let’s march ahead, never to look back, until we reach our Goal! God is the goal, Service is our motto and Love is our path! “Arise , awake and stop not till the Goal is reached!”
Swamiji says that he may find it good to cast-off his body like a worn out garment, but that he would continue to inspire each and everyone in this world until they would realize that they are one with GOD!
He is, indeed, working, He is working through us, the modern youth and It’s high time we should stop confining ourselves to theories and start working out his Ideals. As He says “millions of teachings for an ounce of practice!" Even if we could take some five ideals and start working on them to integrate them into our lives, our lives would be blessed ! LET’S MARCH ON AND STOP NOT, TILL THE GOAL IS REACHED!!!
Glory to the Hero whose life continues to inspire everyone with his burning message of LOVE and FEARLESSNESS !!
· All power is within you..... Believe in that; do not believe that you are weak.... Stand up and express the divinity within you.
· What makes you weep, my friend? In you is all power. Summon up your all-powerful nature, O mighty one, and this whole universe will lie at your feet. It is the Self alone that predominates, and not matter.
· Despondency is not religion, whatever else it may be. By being pleasant always and smiling, it takes you nearer to God, nearer than any prayer.
· Our power, and blessedness, and wisdom, cannot but grow into the Infinite. Infinite power and existence and blessedness are ours, and we have not to acquire them; they are our own, and we have only to manifest them.
· Man has infinite power within himself, and he can realize it.... It can be done; but you do not believe it.
· You are strong, omnipotent, omniscient. No matter that you have not expressed it yet, it is in you. All knowledge is in you, all power, all purity, and all freedom – why cannot you express this knowledge? Because you do not believe in it.... Believe in it, and it must and will come out.
· If you can think that infinite power, infinite knowledge and indomitable energy lie within you, and if you can bring out that power, you also can become like me.
· Arise, awake, sleep no more; within each of you there is the power to remove all wants and all miseries. Believe this, and that power will be manifested.
· The infinite power of the spirit, brought to bear upon matter evolves material development, made to act upon thought evolves intellectuality, and made to act upon itself makes of man a god.
· I have committed many mistakes in my life; but mark you, I am sure of this that without everyone of those mistakes I should not be what I am today, and so am quite satisfied to have made them. I do not mean that you are to wilfully commit mistakes; do not misunderstand me in that way. But do not mope because of the mistakes you have committed....
· What is done is done.... Do not repent, do not brood over past deeds.... You cannot undo, the effect must come, face it, but be careful never to do the same thing again.
· Character has to be established through a thousand stumbles.
· Perseverance will finally conquer. Nothing can be done in a day.
· Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Maya. Fear not and it is banished. Crush it and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies. Be not afraid. Think not how many times you fail. Never mind.... Go forward: assert yourself again and again, and light must come.
· The more opposition there is, the better. Does a river acquire velocity unless there is resistance? The newer and better a thing is, the more opposition it will meet with at the outset. It is opposition which foretells success. Where there is no opposition there is no success either.
· Truth, purity, and unselfishness – wherever these are present, there is no power below or above the sun to crush the possessor thereof. Equipped with these, one individual is able to face the whole universe in opposition.
· So long as you have love for God and Guru, and faith in truth, nothing can hurt you, my son.
· If you are pure, if you are strong, you, one man are equal to the whole world.
· What the world wants is character. The world is in need of those whose life is one burning love, selfless. That love will make every word tell like thunderbolt.... Bold words and bolder deeds are what we want. Awake, awake, great ones!
· Men, men, these are wanted: everything else will be ready, but strong vigorous, believing young men, sincere to the backbone, are wanted. A hundred such and the world becomes revolutionised.
· Give up criticism altogether. Help all as long as you find they are doing all right, and in cases where they seem to be going wrong, show them their mistakes gently. It is criticising each other that is at the root of all mischief. That is the chief factor in breaking down organisations.
· Is there a greater strength than that of Brahmacharya – purity, my boy?
· Men, men, these are wanted: everything else will be ready, but strong, vigorous, believing young men, sincere to the backbone, are wanted. A hundred such and the world become revolutionized.
· Come out and be men! India wants the sacrifice of at least a thousand of her young men — men, mind you, and not brutes.
· Chastity is the first virtue in man or woman.
· He who has no faith in himself can never have faith in God.
· Faith, faith, faith in ourselves, faith, faith in God this is the secret of greatness.
· He is an atheist who does not believe in himself.
· Whatever you think, that you will be. If you think yourselves weak, weak you will be; if you think yourselves strong, strong you will be.
· All the strength and succor you want is within yourselves. Therefore make your own future.
· Whatever we shall be in the future will be the result of what we think and do now.
· The remedy for weakness is not brooding over weakness, but thinking of strength.
· Anything that makes you weak physically, intellectually and spiritually, reject as poison.
· It is character that cleaves its way through adamantine walls of difficulties.
· Character is repeated habits, and repeated habits alone can reform character.
· What I want is muscles of iron and nerves of steel, inside which dwells a mind of the same material as that of which the thunderbolt is made.
· Let us all work hard, my brethren, this is no time for sleep. On our work depends the coming of the India of the future.
· Utter no words of condemnation. Close your lips, and let your hearts open.
· All condemnation of others really condemns ourselves.
· Religion and religion alone is the life of India, and when that goes India will die.
· Purity in thought, speech and act is absolutely necessary for anyone to be religious.
· The Indian nation cannot be killed, so long as her people do not give up their spirituality.
· The mainspring of the strength of every race lies in its spirituality, and the death of that race begins the day that spirituality wanes and materialism gains ground.
· Purity, patience and perseverance are the three essentials of success and above all – LOVE.
· He who struggles is better than he who never attempts.
· It is a privilege to serve mankind, for this is the worship of God.
· Even thinking of the least good of others gradually instils into the heart, the strength of a lion.
· They alone live who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive.
· Arise! Awake! And Stop Not till the goal is reached.