Swami Vivekanandji, the revered Hindu Monk, whose teachings has laid the foundation of a country proud of its culture and adapts modernity in the same zest. His birth anniversary, which falls on 12 January every year, is commemorated as the National Youth Day. India began Youth Day in 1984 to observe his teachings.
The great philosopher is also credited with bringing Yoga and Vedanta to the West. The youth conventions, seminars, yoga, sports, and other cultural activities were held throughout the country. On the occasion, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also an ardent follower of Swami himself paid especial tribute to the great philosopher.
"On his birth anniversary, I bow to Swami Vivekananda. He is a personal inspiration, whose thoughts and ideals have influenced me deeply. Swami Vivekananda is revered as one of the most prolific thinkers and a guiding light who took India's message to the entire world," he said in his message.
"Let us pledge to leave no stone unturned to integrate our youth in India's progress and ensure youth-led development across the Nation. Share quotes of Swami Vivekananda and thoughts of Swami Vivekananda that influenced you. I will RT some of them this evening," the Prime Minister added.
In West Bengal, the state from which the great philosopher originally hails, the state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee organised a 3-day “Vivek-Chetna-Utsav” to mark the Hindu monk's birth anniversary. Several events and programs were organized by the different branches of Ramakrishna Mission, central government and different state governments of India, education institutions, youth groups, etc. to mark the event.
Born in Calcutta, Swami ji is widely remembered for his revering speech dated September 11, 1893 at Parliament of Religions held in Chicago. He had begun his speech with the popular lines, "My Sisters and brothers of America”. The opening line was greeted by a standing ovation from a crowd of approximately 7,000 attendees, which lasted for around three minutes. History was laid then, as it was for the first time that world was introduced to the Hindu religion on an international platform and showcased its culture to the west. In the year 2012, a 3-day World Congress of Religions conference was organised by the Institute of World Religions (of the Washington Kali Temple), Burtonsville, Maryland, in association with the Council for A Parliament of World Religions, Chicago, Illinois to commemorate the 150th birthday of the great philosopher.
Needless to say, his teachings will continue to inspire the youth of the nation and internationally. He is relevant even today, not only for the youth, but entire mankind as well. His legacy will also stay on after centuries as well enlightening the youth, particularly the Indian young generation to take the righteous path.
“Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached”, was his message to the youth.