Over the years many leaders have come and gone but there are a handful of them who have made a deep impression on the psyche of Indian youth. One among the several leaders who has inspired young Indians is undoubtedly Swami Vivekananda. He was both outspoken and inspirational. He never minced words and his criticisms were harsh to say the least. However, he also firmly believed in being connected to one’s roots and exhorted the youth to be patriotic and take pride in their roots. He was born as Narendranath and became the most cherished disciple of Swami Ramakrishna Paramahansa. He established the Ramakrishna Mission after the passing away of his Guru. It is a spiritual organisation with the aim of serving the public at large. They run schools and do a lot of charity work. The Vivekananda Rock Memorial at Kanyakumari is where Swami meditated after his long trek.
He was a patriot in the true sense of the term and lived up to the title of a Yogi. He questioned beliefs and urged the people to do so as well. His speech at Chicago Parliament of Religions is not just historic but revolutionary as well. In his short life of 39 years, he traveled all over the world and the country, in order to awaken Indians and make them aware of their true potential. Several decades after his passing away, his words remain immortal and inspirational. His quotes are relevant to this day and he is surely a role model to modern Indians, youth and aged alike.
On his 154th birthday let us take a cue from some of his quotes and implement them in our lives as much as possible. There can’t be a better tribute to the great Swami than following in his footsteps and acting on his words.
- Arise, awake, sleep no more; within each of you there is the power to remove all wants and all miseries. Believe this, and that power will be manifested
- Be strong, my young friends; that is my advice to you. You will be nearer to Heaven through football than through the study of the Gita. These are bold words; but I have to say them, for I love you. I know where the shoe pinches
- Be free; hope for nothing from anyone. I am sure if you look back upon your lives you will find that you were always vainly trying to get help from others which never came
- Do not be afraid of a small beginning. Great things come afterwards. Be courageous. Do not try to lead your brethren, but serve them. The brutal mania for leading has sunk many a great ships in the waters of life. Take care especially of that, i.e. be unselfish even unto death, and work
- I hate cowardice; I will have nothing to do with cowards or political nonsense. I do not believe in any politics. God and truth are the only politics in the world, everything else is trash
- I want each one of my children to be a hundred times greater than I could ever be. Every one of you must be a giant— must, that is my word. Obedience, readiness, and love for the cause— if you have these three, nothing can hold you back
- Know that every time you feel weak, you not only hurt yourself but also the cause. Infinite faith and strength are the only conditions of success
- Let people say whatever they like, stick to your own convictions, and rest assured, the world will be at your feet. They say, ‘Have faith in this fellow or that fellow’, but, I say, ‘Have faith in yourself first’. that’s the way
- Never mind the struggles, the mistakes. I never heard a cow tell a lie, but it is only a cow— never a man. So never mind these failures, these little backslidings; hold the ideal a thousand times, and if you fail a thousand times, make the attempt once more
- Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, and live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, that is way great spiritual giants are produced