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January 12 is observed and celebrated as National Youth Day to mark the teachings and philosophy of Swami Vivekananda.

January 12 is observed and celebrated to mark the teachings and philosophy of Swami Vivekananda. Swami Vivekananda is one of the greatest philosophers and spiritual leaders, and his ideas focus on how the young should participate in the modern world while upholding their values.

History of National Youth Day

It was decided to celebrate Swami Vivekananda’s birthday as National Youth Day in the year 1984, and it was first marked on January 12, 1985. The then government had said that the philosophy of Swami Vivekananda, and the ideals for which he lived and worked “could be a great source of inspiration” for the Indian youth.

About Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda was a Hindu monk and an Indian philosopher. He was a chief disciple of Ramakrishna, a 19th century Indian saint. Not only this, Swami Vivekananda played a significant role in the introduction of the Indian darsanas (teachings, practices) of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world. He is credited with raising interfaith awareness and highlighting the beliefs of Hinduism around the world in the late 19th century. Moreover, Swami Vivekananda played a key role in the concept of nationalism in colonial India. He is known worldwide as the founder of ‘Ramakrishna Math’ and ‘Ramakrishna Mission’. Swami Vivekananda organised hundreds of public and private lectures and classes, disseminating tenets of Hindu Philosophy in the United States, England, and Europe. Interestingly, he is best remembered for his speech delivered in the year 1893, where he talked about Hinduism to the Western world in Chicago.

Swami Vivekananda Swami Vivekananda at the World Parliament of Religions, USA in 1893. Photo by Wikimedia Common

Teachings of Swami Vivekananda

During his lifetime, Swami Vivekananda delivered beautiful golden lessons and teachings which are and will always be relevant. Here are some of the teachings of Swami Vivekananda:

1. “If you ever feel afraid of anything, always turn around and face it. Never think of running away.”

2. “Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached.”

Swami Vivekananda Subhash Chandra Bose called Swami Vivekananda as “the maker of modern India”.Photo by Pixabay

3. “In a day, when you don’t come across any problems – you can be sure that you are travelling on a wrong path.”

4. “The great secret of true success, of true happiness, is this: the man or woman who asks for no return, the perfectly unselfish person, is the most successful.”

5. “Soul has no sex, it is neither male nor female. It is only in the body that sex exists, and the man who desires to reach the spirit cannot at the same time hold sex distinctions.”

Legacy and Influence of Swami Vivekananda

It must be noted that Swami Vivekananda’s writings and teachings had a long-lasting impact on many of India’s nationalist leaders who were fighting against the colonial rule. In fact, Subhash Chandra Bose called Swami Vivekananda as “the maker of modern India”, and, Mahatma Gandhi credited Swami Vivekananda with increasing his “love for his country a thousand-fold”. Till date, the legacy of Swami Vivekananda lives on the land of India and even abroad.

On the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, let us remember the golden and valuable teachings of this great individual!

(Keywords: Swami Vivekananda, National Youth Day, Birthday, Birth Anniversary, Teachings, Values, Legacy, History, Celebration, Ramakrishna Mission)



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