Chander M. Bhat 
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Swami Vivekananda and the Youth

by Chander M. Bhat

In the last century, India has produced many saints, Swami Vivekananda but very few were like Swami Vivekananda, who can rightly be called not merely a saint of India, but a saint of the whole world. His immortal address at the Parliament of Religions held at Chicago in the U.S.A. in the September 1893 is the most important event, which made him known the world over. Swami Vivekananda’s inspiring message is applicable to all the people of the world without any distinction of caste, colour, creed or country. More than what he said, he had a tremendous impact on everyone who came in touch with him. Our great national leaders found in him a perennial source of inspiration to serve the cause of the nation. What makes Vivekananda’s call to the youth so compelling? It is his infinite trust and reverence for the youth, for he believed that the future of the world depended on the youth of every generation. So he bequeathed his message and trust especially to them.Romain Rolland, the great French savant, presents a fascinating and graphic account of Swami Vivekananda’s life and message. He says: “Vivekananda’s words are great music, phrases in the style of Beethoven, stirring rhythms like the march of hundred choruses. I cannot tough these sayings of his scattered as they are through the pages of books at thirty years distance, without receiving a thrill through my body like an electric shock. And what shocks, what transports must have been produced when in burning words they issue form the lips of the here.”

Swami Vivekananda wanted the youth of India to be strong and not to remain weak. The following is a famous quotation about strength to be gained by the youth: “Make your nerves strong. What we want are muscles of iron and nerves of steel. We have wept long enough. No more weeping, but stand on your feet and be men. It is man-making theories that we want. It is man- making education all round that we want.” While making an appeal to the youth of India, Swami Vivekananda says, “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. We should first from their lives and then some real work can be expected.” Swami Vivekananda has expressed his views on strong youth in the following words: “My faith is in the younger generation, the modern generation, out of them will come my workers. They will work out the whole problem, like lions. I have formulated the idea and have given my life to them. They will spread from centre to centre, until we have covered the whole of India.” “Put yourself to work, Swami Vivekananda, says, “and you will find such tremendous power coming to you that you will feel it hard to bear. Even the least work done for others awakens the power within: even thinking the least good of others gradually installs into the heart the strength of a lion. I love you all ever so much, but I wish you all to die working for others…….. I should rather be glad to see you do that!”

After addressing the Parliament of Religions in Chicago Swami Vivekananda was attracted by the most crowded audience in the United States. At one instance addressing a group of Indians he quotes this, “Your country requires heroes, be heroes. Stand firm like a rock. Truth always triumpts. What India wants is a new electric fire that stirs up a fresh vigor in the national veins. Be brave: man dies but once. My youth must not be cowards”. “But for him,” says Shri C. Rajgopalachariya, “we would have lost our religion and would not have gained our freeded.”

Sister Christine, U.S. born Indian citizen remarks, “Blessed is the country in which Vivekananda was born, blessed are they who lived on this earth at the same, and blessed, thrice blessed are the few who sat at his feet.”

    

 

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