The birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, which falls on the 12th of January, is celebrated as Swami Vivekananda Jayanti. From 1985 onward’s, the government of India renamed this day as National Youth Day and from then onward’s, to commemorate the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda has been celebrated in this name.
Swami Vivekananda was born on 12th of January in the year 1863. His birthplace was Calcutta and his original name at the time of his birth was Narendra Nath Datta. Swami Vivekananda was a highly renowned saint of India who became famous worldwide for his epitome of knowledge.
His philosophical knowledge and his preaching took him to far off places and he urged the people of our country to become contributors to society. He encouraged people to work for the society, to improve the society by offering selfless service and was a great inspiration for the youth.
He believed in equality of men and women. He was a religious leader and a great saint of India who inspired many people from his teachings, teachings that became world famous and had philosophical bents that turned around many a lives and brought awakening within them.
Life of Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda’s parents were Biswanatha Datta and Bhubaneshwari Devi. He was born in a very aristocratic society set up and did not have any space for open and liberal thinking. His father was one of the noted advocates of Kolkata and his mother was a homemaker, but was spiritually connected to religious beliefs and God.
His father was a very tough man. He was very strict in his belief systems and the same influence cast on Swami Vivekananda as well. Mr. Biswanatha Datta had a very strict value and belief system and young Narendra followed in his father’s footsteps.
His father wanted him to do more, to put in more efforts, to go beyond one’s efforts, so quite naturally young Narendra had a very active childhood. He engaged himself in studies, sports, and exercises and spared some time for music as well.
At school, he was much disciplined towards his studies though he was liked by all teachers as very naughty boy in class. In the 1879, he cleared his tenth standard board exams and joined Presidency College to continue his studies.
Importance of the day
It was only in 1984 that the government of India pounced upon the idea to recognize Swami Vivekananda’s philosophies towards life and declared that his birth anniversary be celebrated as National Youth Day. The idea of celebrating the day was to recognize the message and teachings of Swami Vivekananda and make it known to the youth of India.
His ideologies were world famous and there was a need for carrying the message to the next generations. The future generations had to be inspired by his thoughts and words and hence a special day had to be chosen to commemorate the significance of the legend.
This could be done only by marking the day in his name and choosing a special way to celebrate the personality and his achievements.
Swami Vivekananda’s messages form main part of all the activities and events that take place on the day. Many youth organizations, charitable sectors, religious associations, educational institutions and other trusts conduct special activities to mark the special occasion.
A host of events and activities including discourses, lectures, spreading messages of the saint, distributing books written by Swami Vivekananda, talks on his philosophies, etc are conducted across the country by various organizations.
Little children are given a chance to participate in many events and competitions including essay writing, drawing and painting competitions, paragraph writing etc and are given many resources to utilize and become aware of the great saint’s teachings.
The youth of today are misguided by various factors. The dawn of technology has brought with it, various factors that have taken them away from thinking of the welfare of the nation and the countrymen at large. Everyone is bothered about their own individual purposes and the future generations are also inheriting the same qualities, which can be very detrimental for the country’s progress.
Swami Vivekananda had a very broad vision for the nation and the countrymen. They always encouraged people to think in a liberal manner. They achieved fame and recognition for their way of life, their words and philosophies.
Swami Vivekananda’s teacher and mentor in life, Sri. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was the main personality who built his character and moulded him into a great human being. Swami Vivekananda was a great disciple of his teachings and he naturally followed in his footsteps and worked for the welfare of the society.
He founded the Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math and Ramakrishna Math in the name of his teacher and dedicated these institutions to his great teacher cum mentor. Swami Vivekananda Jayanthi is organized with much fanfare here at the Ramakrishna Math, at Kolkata and other centers throughout the country.
The day is celebrated with musical evenings, recitations by people studying his philosophies, presentations on the life and work of Swami Vivekananda, the essence of his Chicago address that made Swami Vivekananda a world famous personality and many more activities.
The renowned saint and his message to the world are spread from one corner of the world to the other and this forms a part of the social cause that the Maths are working for.
The day marks the birth anniversary of a legend that was known not only for his personality, but the essence of his social commitment towards society. At some places, many religious rituals and holy chants are conducted along with recitals.
Devotion is something that can be seen in all participants of the events and the spirit of his words can be felt at such meetings. The youth of today should carry the responsibility on their shoulders to strive hard to achieve something that brings them both personal happiness and in return gives back to the society as well.
Very important and highlighted words of Swami Vivekananda include arise, awake and never to stop till the goal is reached. There should be an inner urge to move forward towards our goals.
An awakening to change our mindsets, the need to use our inner potentials to the maximum and strive hard to reach our goals. A very important task before everything is to set goals for ourselves. Only if we have goals in life, can we work towards reaching them.
Message to the Youth
Swami Vivekananda stressed in the importance of working hard to reach the set goals. If we have goals but do not work effectively towards reaching them, then the goal becomes just a thing on paper. It becomes of no use if there are no steps, in other words, efforts drawn and strategies made to reach them.
The youth of the nation are citizens of tomorrow. The country’s future also depends on these capable youths. To make them capable, to make them responsible, such events are necessary to bring about and create awareness. Hence, Swami Vivekananda Jayanthi is a right step in achieving Swami Vivekananda’s dream of making our country a liberated nation.
If all of us start adopting at least one principle of what he has preached, each of us can become selfless and responsible and work for the welfare of the nation. Service towards the nation does not need any extraordinary talent in us. It is not something that is god gifted. It should come to us by choice.
If we want to keep our surroundings clean and make our nation proud, then we have to be careful when we dispose wastes in our surroundings. We can take simple initiatives to educate the people of our locality for proper disposal of wastes. If few of them start adopting the right steps, then a few more will join in and slowly we can see the whole locality walking in the same footsteps.
Cleanliness is one of the main issues we face in our county and it can be achieved only if each one of us start thinking about it. Likewise, there are so many other issues bothering our society for which, we as citizens can take simple steps to achieve a better society.
Morals and values form an important part of a person’s life and a person without principles is considered equivalent to a nullified soul. Let us all remember Swami Vivekananda’s words to achieve a better nation and practically implement his teachings and philosophies for the welfare of our own countrymen.