'To be good and to do good'
"Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached."
My dear brothers and sisters , give me an opportunity to take you back to 1893 at World Columbian Exposition in Chicago. It was a bright day. Scores of people occupied their seats to hear what every religion speaks. Everyone were keenly listening to the lectures by the eminent religious scholars. And there was one person sitting in a perfect posture with head held high and eagerly awaiting his chance. Draped in ochre coloured gown and turban, this person was youngest of all present over there.
This young man finally got a chance and there were few seconds of silence as Hindu monk walked up to the podium. He didn't have a prepared speech like other delegates and his throats went dry. He gathered the courage and started....With a pleasing voice, he uttered “Sisters and brothers of America.” And there was a tremendous applause, which lasted for a couple of minutes. That was Swami Vivekananda, the Hindu monk of India, who got officially introduced to the world and his speech is remembered till date by people across the globe.
Swami Vivekananda went to say the greatness of Hinduism. He said India was a sacred country and was gradually waking up. He said he was proud to belong to a nation, which has sheltered the persecuted and refugees of all religions and all nations of the world. He even said a few verses from Gita. Swami Vivekananda has said that no religion is superior nor inferior and stressed that how all rivers join the sea, people from all religions reach the only God.
After spreading the greatness of the religion he practiced, Swami Vivekananda gave his final session on 27 September 1893 stating that if the Parliament of Religions has shown anything to the world it is this: It has proved to the world that holiness, purity and charity are not the exclusive possessions of any church in the world and that every system has produced men and women of the most exalted character.
Swami Vivekananda, who was born on 12 January 1863 as Narendra Nath Dutta became Swamy Vivekananda after he found his guru (teacher) Rama Krishan Paramhamsa (who is considered as the father of tantra). He was the person who revived Hinduism in India and established charties--Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission. Narendra Nath Dutta as a young boy born in a low middle class Bengali family in Calcutta.
Narendra Nath never believed in superstitions and apparently asked for proofs for whatever he heard and refused to accept anything without logic. He one day happened to meet Rama Krishna in 1881 and asked him whether he believed in God. Ramakrishna replied yes and Vivekananda asked him to prove the same. Rama Krishna's answer impressed Vivekananda as he said he had seen God just like how he saw Vivekananda. Thereafter, Narendranath frequently visited Rama Krishna and finally surrendered himself to Rama Krishna after five years of his first meeting with the latter. Swami Vivekananda learned Advaita Vedanta (one of the schools of vedanta, which was as old as vedas and was practiced by Adi Shankaracharya). Swami Vivekananda found Ramakrishna after the demise of his guru. Swami travelled length and breadth of the country mainly living on alms (bikshas) to acquaint himself with diverse religious traditions. After traveling across the world, Swami passed away at Belur Math on July 4, 1902 while he was meditating at the age of 40. The Government of India celebrates the birthday of Swami Vivekananda as the National Youth Day.
Message to youth:
Swami Vivekananda didn't ask youth to give up their activities and take up renunciation. He appealed to the youngsters to be bold and strong. He said neither money pays, nor name nor fame but character, which can cleave through adamantine walls of difficulties. He said each soul is potentially divine. He even mentioned that there's God in every jiva (person) and those who serves jiva indeed serves God. Strength is life and weakness is death, he said.
When you take just a day's time to look into the works and teachings of Swami Vivekananda, let me tell you that your life would be transformed for sure. You would no more feel the necessity to beat the stress by partying on weekends. All that you will adopt unknowingly is the right attitude towards life, a sense of brotherhood—to be good and to do good.
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