Swami Vivekananda was a Hindu monk and one of the most remembered religious leaders of India. Vivekanand Ji was more than just a spiritual mind; he was a productive thinker, commendable orator, and passionate patriot. He carried on the free-thinking philosophy of his guru, Ramakrishna Paramhansa forward into a new ideal. Swami Vivekanand was born on January 12, 1863, on the occasion of Makar Sankranti.
Youth is the future
According to Swami Vivekananda, “Youth is the future”.
He always supported youth. His natural hope was the youth. Once a young man came to him for gaining the knowledge of Geeta. He advised him to play football, instead and said a football field is a good place to understand Geeta. Perhaps he believed in the saying- a sound mind in a sound body. He advocated cultural nationalism.
Swami Vivekanand is the prominent youth icon produced by India and one that influenced millions of youth across the world.
He has been a perennial source of inspiration for the youth. In the 21st century, when the youth of India are facing new problems, pushing edges, and ambitions for a better future, thoughts of Swami Vivekanand have become more relevant.
Swami Vivekananda’s relevance to today’s youth
The greatest quest of the youth is for a meaningful life that inspires the heart, liberates the mind, and ignites the soul. Swami Vivekanand understood this. His ideas can be understood by these four-fold mantras to live a meaningful life which is as follows:
- PHYSICAL QUEST: By physical quest he meant, taking care of the human body and undertaking activities to mitigate physical suffering.
- SOCIAL QUEST: The social quest involves undertaking activities to mitigate physical suffering. Running hospitals, orphanages, and old-age homes qualify for this level.
- INTELLECTUAL QUEST: Swami Vivekananda advocated intellectual quest i.e Running schools, colleges, and awareness and empowerment programs. Likewise elevating one’s intellectual level, gaining knowledge, and sharing it with society is the goal. He emphasized on education for all.
- SPIRITUAL QUEST: He suggested that youth could learn many things from the West but must have faith in our own spiritual heritage. Today, when our youth find themselves affected by growing isolation, depression, and mental problems, despite the material success, they must go for a spiritual quest and achieve greater goals.
Swami Vivekanand advised these four quests as an ideal and goal for the youth. The purpose of these services was to elevate the individual and national consciousness as a whole. He trusted the civilizational value system of this land known as Bharat.
“To the Youth of India”
“To the Youth of India” is a book written by Swami Vivekananda in English having 172 pages.
Moreover, this book is a collection of some of the stirring and inspiring lectures that Swami Vivekananda delivered to vast audiences in India and Sri Lanka after his rise to fame as the patriot-saint of Modern India. The pages of this book present a representative selection of the great Swami’s message to the young sons and daughters of India.
Really, it is a must-read for youngsters who aspire to lead a spiritually and morally enlightened life.
Swami Vivekananda’s Quotes on Youth
- Youth is the best time. The way in which you utilize this period will decide the nature of the coming years that lie ahead of you.
- Brave, bold people, these are what we want. What we want is vigor in the blood, strength in the nerves, iron muscles, and nerves of steel, not softening namby-pamby ideas. Avoid all these. Avoid all mystery.
- A brave, frank, clean- hearted, courageous and aspiring youth is the only foundation on which the future nation can be built.
- Your country requires heroes; be heroes; your duty is to go on working and then everything will follow of itself.
- Youth means to place your firm confidence in yourself and exercise your hopeful determination and resolution and willing good intentions in this beautiful task of self-culture.
- It is best to work among the youth in whom lies our hope — patiently, steadily, and without noise
- “Owing to life itself being frail and uncertain, one should be devoted to religion even in one’s youth. For who knows when one’s body may fall off?
- “Youth and beauty vanish, life and wealth vanish, name and fame vanish, even the mountains crumble into dust. Friendship and love vanish. Truth alone abides.”
What makes Swami Vivekananda the ideal role model for the youth is the fact that he encouraged the youth to be strong in body, mind, and spirit. Also, he strongly advocated their role in nation-building. He visualized India as a country with energetic young people, who will shape up a modern nation based on the foundation of Vedic spiritual ideals.
Vivekanand was a great observer of the human mind and human society at large. He understood that undertaking any social change calls for enormous energy and will power. Therefore, he called upon the youth to not only boost up to their mental energies but their physical ones as well.
It is high time for the youth to come forward once again by shedding their fears, as Vivekanand said, and take up the cudgels to shape up Bharat by turning the decaying into vibrant, bringing health to the sick, making the weak strong, bringing stability where there are volatility and sowing meaning where it is lost.