Many view him as a scholar, many as a philosopher, many as a spiritual leader, for me, he was a guide, a guide who nobly exhibited the road to principled life, a life worthy enough for the society and the economy even. We cherish the lives of our sacred Gods and worship Him for the want of eternal fortune. Present, however, not just demands our remembrance of God, but also seeks our works devoted to the world we live in, for the progress of humans and humanity. Swami Vivekananda endorsed those elementary moralities, which if followed by every human on earth, would reverse all the evils. National Youth Day, as cherished on the 12th of every January, the birth day of Swami Ji, was declared in 1984, with the Government quoting, ‘It was felt that the philosophy of Swami Ji and the ideals for which he lived and worked could be a great source of motivation for the Indian Youth’. Three decades of this ‘Youth Day’ and abundance of literature with the ideals of Swami Ji, however, aren’t ample for the young blood of the country to live up to the path displayed by this esteemed soul; just because the passion of patriotism lacks. Not all of us are guilty; not everyone has disremembered the vitality of Karma, but in a country drowned in curses, fractional labors cannot be ample.
Motive is not to write the same words that are accessible to us all in the libraries and over the internet, the aim is to let people realize that past has done what it could have, now we have to live the present, shape a robust tomorrow. Whenever the legacy of Swami Ji is talked about, many of us affiliate him with furtherance of Hinduism, Gita, Vedanta, and Yoga. Do we remember that this person travelled thousands of kilometers and delivered hundreds of lectures emphasizing that service to God can be rendered by service to mankind? The person, who lived for just 39 years, the age when many of us are busy arranging for just our own families, was able to move the entire world with his awareness and approach towards life, towards religion and towards Karma. What if he had accepted the lucrative and honorable positions offered by the Harvard University and Columbia University? He turned down the proposals saying that his duties at the university would conflict with his obligations as a monk. His duties were to persuade the youth to work for the advancement of humankind, and the book ‘Karma Yoga’, which embraces his lectures on the significance of ‘work and duty’, tells us that this form of yoga is nothing other than dedicated mental discipline that allows us to carry out our services to the world, as a path to enlightenment.
I have much more to tell, his delivering of thoughts at the platform of the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago in 1893, his founding of the Vedanta Society of New York that promotes holiness and social service, his founding of the Ramakrishna Mission for communal welfare, and his advices to the followers to be holy, unselfish and to hold Shraddha, being some of them. On the occasion of Youth Day, however, I will confine my writing to his much-treasured work, the Karma Yoga. Youth of India has the highest sharing in the country’s population and hence bears the liability to take forward the pluses and overcome the minuses of the society. Yet again, I would synonymize country with economy; economic dexterity and equal income dispersion can turn any stressed country into a prosperous one. Shouldn’t I then also relate economy with the amount and eminence of labors done by the workforce; the same has a very deep linkage with the Karma Yoga as described by Swami Ji and holds that each one is great in his own workplace, showing us the path to attaining our goals through Karma, and advising us that non-attachment is complete self-abnegation. Swami Vivekananda’s life and works have plenteous for the youth to study and imbibe in their doings, but the real essence lies in execution, to put it right, in honest and generous execution.
There is so much to be done; so much for yourself, your family, your country, and for the entire world. For yourself, spare some time and think what are the aims that you have always dreamt of and why haven’t you attained them until now; nothing is above your approach and courage, defeat all the hindrances then. For your family, think for a while how your parents fulfilled their duties and what now their expectations from you are. For the country, think of what all are the bottlenecks, why your contribution is indispensable and how your partaking can bring a revolution. Swear not to be idle when time demands work, swear not be silent when situation demands retaliation, and swear not to be desirous when you know that resources are for all hence everyone has to be the recipient. It’s time to live up to the legacy of Swami Vivekananda, as for afterwards we would complain of old age factors affecting our throughput. Get a book of ‘Karma Yoga’ authored by Swami Ji and know the secret of work, know how we help ourselves, not the world and that the path to enlightenment is service towards the whole world. He was an influential orator, a renowned writer; his writing ‘Bartaman Bharat’, a Bengali language essay, was a simple message to all the readers to honour and treat every Indian as a brother irrespective of whether he was born poor or in lower caste.
To all my young friends and also to India’s future shoulders- The country seeks your active partaking in the path that can lead to sustainable evolution and dignified life for all. Unify all the scattered drops of energy lying within and aim for a better India, just to all and heaven on earth for all, indeed, achievable through devoted Karma.
“All power is within you; you can do anything and everything. Believe in that, do not believe that you are weak; do not believe that you are half-crazy lunatics, as most of us do nowadays. You can do anything and everything, without even the guidance of any one. Stand up and express the divinity within you.” – Swami Vivekananda