The Power Of Youth And Vivekananda
The youth of India have great creative energy with the positive potential to take them to spiritual heights. If human creativity is a special quality, then the “Never say die!” spirit is its apex. Demographically, today’s India is at its youngest best and has the power to meet any challenge with the collective consciousness and effort of all people, especially young people.
This is the perfect time when youth is alert and aware and provoked by the environment and lack of values. India is a nation facing incredible challenges. This is evident from the utter lack of safety and security for the girl child and women anywhere in the country and the impunity with which monstrous elements like rapists heap violence on girl children and women.
On the one hand, people can see such huge wealth and on the other, more than one-third of the people go without a second meal every day. We have examples of the very affluent as well as the extremely poor. And millions of our children have no access to education, even at the primary level. And we are still grappling with the issue of child labour.
Swami Vivekananda delivered a lecture on the issue of difficulties in life. He made the plea for the need for nationwide renovation with the ideals of ‘tyaga’ or sacrifice and ‘seva,’ selfless service, the most imperative aspects of shaping the life of young people. The monk made the point that this way of life is what can be called ‘spiritual pursuit’. The brevity of human triumph and the impermanence of material wealth were of serious thought to this philosophy. What he challenged us to do was to give ourselves a noble reason to live, a lofty ideal to live for and a higher state to reach within the boundaries of human existence.
The only qualification that Swamiji looked for in youngsters was to cultivate and nurture the ability to ‘feel’. He offered his potential ‘mantra’ and desired to take solid action so that those who wanted to go beyond just feeling could do so. The most influential P’s are: Purity, Patience and Perseverance. The P’s are the great traits that the youth of today are rich in and this is evident from their keenness to be part of positive change that will have impact on entire society.
Purity is of thought and achievement. Patience is to understand the dynamic form and need to focus on the area for improvement. Today’s youth needs enormous perseverance to take part in the multifaceted challenges we face in today’s society. They need to place their efforts in the realities of livelihood, societal stages and political variety. And for these attempts to seriously address socio-political and ethical-moral issues, they need great perseverance. If not, one could easily get drained and unmotivated.
Swami Vivekananda believed that working for any social change required massive energy and spirit. Hence, he requested the youth to amplify both their mental energies and physical fitness. What Vivekananda wanted from the youth were ‘muscles of iron’ and ‘nerves of steel’. Today, the youth are exceptionally responsive and they just need to be encouraged in their quest for justice for common benefit. Swami Vivekananda was and is not only the medium; he is himself the message as well for the youth of India.
Jan 12, Swami Vivekananda’s birthday, is celebrated as National Youth Day. It is his 150th birth anniversary this year.