“You will be nearer to Heaven through football than through study of Gita.”
Only a true saint could have uttered these words, a saint who as much a believer of the God as he was an atheist. This is the reason why Swami Vivekananda is relevant yet today, at times when it feuds based on religion are no surprise and yet intolerance is a myth in that Utopian world.
Born on 12th January, 1863 in a wealthy home in Kolkata, Narendra Nath Datta took the initial steps towards becoming Swami Vivekananda through his meeting with Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, his guru in later life who answered to his queries on the existence of God and bringing him out from spiritual crisis to enlightenment.
He is most remembered for his speech at World’s Parliament of Religions held in September 1893, presenting to them a India less known. Gaining the recognition as the ‘orator by divine right’ and as a ‘Messenger of Indian wisdom to the Western world’, Swami Vivekananda spent nearly three and a half years in USA and also in London spreading Vedanta.
On his 154th birth anniversary, we celebrate his vigour to uplift the Indian poor, financially and spiritually. His work, promotion of a brotherhood feeling and educating the educated about the philosophies of life makes his legacy perennial, accomplishing more in his life short lived.
The irony is that all will unanimously accept that Vivekananda inspired the youth, but how is a question seldom answered or bothered about.
In the memory of the great leader, and owing to the positive influence on the youth that he and his teachings can have, India observes National Youth Day on his birth anniversary.
Promoting his methods and ideas of walking the path called life and realising the true happiness all that while is what the youth suffering through the crisis and tensions of adulthood needs. Different states observed the National Youth Day in their own way. Haryana and Punjab, the states with the poor rapport of having its youth drowning into the milieu of drugs, alcohol and un-productiveness, celebrated the positivism of sports and how it could help in bringing the generation out from the darkness.
A day dedicated to this celebration of youth and to reflect on the problems of the generation is needed to tell that the ones who will be carrying the torch in the future surely have a support of those who have passed on this torch. The youth who are suffering in the times between teenage and youth will get a direction to head to through the teachings and ideologies of Swami Vivekananda.