Swami Vivekananda's Birth Anniversary | Remembering the Bengali Luminary on National Youth Day
File photo of Swami Vivekananda. (Source: Wikicommons)
National Youth Day | On the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, India celebrates National Youth Day across the country. A mighty spiritual personality, Swami Vivekananda became popular in the western world after his famous speech at the World's Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893.
Born as Narendranath Datta on January 12, 1863, Swami Vivekananda’s span of earthly life, was hardly forty years. He breathed his last on July 4, 1902. Within this short period he lived an intense life.
Vivekananda was a dynamic and dedicated patriot, a devoted social reformer and above all, an “Orator by Divine right”. He also introduced the world to the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid his homage to the spiritual social reformer.
Vivekananda, who was the chief disciple of the 19th-century mystic Ramakrishna Paramhansa, was the founder of the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission at Belur in erstwhile Bengal.
Vivekananda was known to quiz prominent religious leaders with questions like “Have you seen God?’’ It used to be in vain as none was able to satisfy the seeker in him.
However, when one day he asked the same question to Ramakrishna Parmahansa, the Guru replied, “Yes, I have. I see God as clearly as I see you, only in a much deeper sense.’’ With this very core of a unique Guru-disciple relationship between Ramakrishan and Vivekananda. , which wrought a transformation in the eighteen – year old intellectual Narendranath Datta, who was destined to emerge as Swami Vivekananda.
Few of his famous quotes:
— I am a socialist not because I think it is a perfect system, but half a loaf is better than no bread. The other system has been tried and found wanting.
— No religion on earth treads upon the necks of the poor and the low in such a fashion as Hinduism.
— I am proud to belong to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth. Sectarianism, bigotry, and its horrible descendent, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful earth. They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilization and sent whole nations to despair. Had it not been for these horrible demons, human society would be far more advanced than it is now.
— If anyone dreams of the exclusive survival of his own religion and the destruction of others, I pity him from the bottom of my heart.
— The world needs a death-knell of all fanaticism and of all persecutions with the sword or with the pen.