“Arise! Awake! And stop not until the goal is reached.”
The enlightened one played an important role in the spiritual enlightenment of the Indian masses.
Swami Vivekananda, born Narendranath Datta in Kolkata, was an Indian Hindu monk, a chief disciple of the 19th-century Indian mystic Ramakrishna.
It was in 1887 that he along with other disciples of Ramakrishna Paramhansa took formal vows of sannyasa and renounced the worldly pleasures.
He is also responsible for spreading Vedanta philosophy in the West and establishing the Ramakrishna Mission for service of the poor
Although he was born into an affluent family, Swamiji was always intrigued by spirituality and philosophy.
Enter the mystic Ramakrishna
When he reached the threshold of youth, Swamiji passed through a period of spiritual crisis when he was troubled by doubts about the existence of God.
At this time, he met his then guru and mentor Sri Ramakrishna, and straightaway asked him a question that no one had been able to answer for him till then: “Sir, have you seen God?” Without a moment’s hesitation, Sri Ramakrishna replied, “Yes, I have. I see Him as clearly as I see you, only in a much intense sense.”
After removing several doubts from Swamiji’s mind, Sri Ramakrishna won him over and thus began their guru-disciple relationship.
After his guru’s death, Vivekananda became the chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and became the founder of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission.
The leader of the masses
Not only this, Swamiji dedicated his life to the country and longed for the progress of the poor, the helpless and the underprivileged.
With a special interest in Western philosophy and history, he was often assailed by doubts about the existence of God.
Through his speeches and lectures, Vivekananda tried to awaken the religious consciousness among people and also tried to uplift the downtrodden using the principles of practical Vedanta.
To take his message to a wider audience, Vivekananda also attended the World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893. His iconic speech there that touched topics like universal acceptance, tolerance and religion, got him a standing ovation at the parliament.
He showed a beacon of light to a nation that had lost faith in its ability under the British rule and instilled self-confidence among Indians, who he believed were are second to none.
He was the first religious leader in India to understand and openly declare that the real cause of India’s downfall was the neglect of the masses.
Following are some famous quotes on national youth day by the Swami Vivekananda:
- “Who is helping you, don’t forget them. Who is loving you, don’t hate them. Who is believing you, don’t cheat them.”
- “Anything that makes you weak physically, intellectually and spiritually, reject as poison.”
- “Relationships are more important than life, but it is important for those relationships to have life in them.”
- “Like me or hate me, both are in my favor. If you like me I am in your heart, if you hate me I am in your mind.”
- “Fill the brain with high thoughts, highest ideals, place them day and night before you, and out of that will come great work.”
- “He who sees Shiva in the poor, in the weak, and in the diseased, really worships Shiva”.
- “Struggle hard to get money, but don’t get attached to it”.
- “Your country requires heroes; be heroes; your duty is to go on working, and then everything will follow of itself”.
- “Choose the highest ideal and live your life upto that. Look at the “ocean” and not at the wave”.
- “A few heart-whole, sincere, and energetic men and women can do more in a year than a mob in a century”.
- “Religion is the manifestation of the Divinity already in man”.
- “Each soul is potentially divine”.
- “Talk to yourself once in a day…Otherwise you may miss meeting an EXCELLENT person in this World”.
- “Arise! Awake! and stop not until the goal is reached”.
- “You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself”.