While inaugurating a seminar organized by ICCR (Indian Council for Cultural Relations) to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 7th march 2013, our honouarable President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee pointed out the fact that Swami Ji’s teachings have great relevance even today in the modern world and should be the guiding light in our progress to the future. Though we have made progress, there are a lot of issues that confirm the fact that much is to be done regarding ethics and morality, the lack of which is the root cause of all woes and miseries in the world and particularly in our country.
Swami ji believed it was only through proper education and guidance that socioeconomic change could be brought about and advised against any abrupt change in society. Swami ji gave emphasis upon two kinds of education:
1) Secular education
2) Spiritual education
Swami ji, so long ago, felt the need and advised us to undertake and propagate secular education that would impart knowledge about modern and innovative techniques in agriculture and village industries, which in turn would strengthen our economy and emancipate the country men economically. He said that secular education should go hand in hand with spiritual education that would help our countrymen to a great extent in reviving their inner strength, self-belief and worth and provide them the impetus to work for a better future selflessly with utmost conviction.
Today the entire world is witnessing the adverse effects of religious fanaticism. Unfortunately our country is one of the worst affected countries in the world. One of the major concerns and major issues today is “terrorism.” This global problem cropped up due to ignorance of other people’s beliefs and views. Swami ji like his illustrious preceptor “Sri Ramkrishna Paramhansa” said, “No religion is superior or inferior.” As rivers originating from different places covering thousands of miles, witnessing many ups and downs ultimately reach the sea, similarly people following different religions and having different views and beliefs reach the same God at the end of their journey.
Swami ji’s life was full of challenges. He led his life like a true monk. He was a true torch bearer and dedicated his life to serve the poor and the downtrodden.
It was on 11th September 1893, while addressing the “World Religious brotherhood”, at Chicago Swami Vivekananda gave the call for “Universal brotherhood”. In that historical speech Swami Vivekananda had expressed apprehensions that the world would witness much bloodshed due to religious fanaticism in the years ahead. Almost 120 years after the great man’s historical speech, we find that his words and teachings are even more relevant today.
It is high time, the ignorant youths of the world and particularly that of India should be made aware of the teachings of “Nishkam Karma Yoga” to enable them to come forward with unbiased and emancipated hearts to help the downtrodden and the needy, irrespective of caste, creed and religion. It is a matter of grave concern that the parents being ignorant themselves are failing to infuse the moral values and the teachings of Swamy Vivekananda in their children.
Today when the world and particularly India is celebrating the great soul’s 150th birth anniversary, let us pledge to comprehend and spread his teachings with a a new zeal to make this world a better place to live in. Let us focus on ‘nation building’ and ‘man making’ as shown and taught by the great soul with renewed vigor and enthusiasm because that and only that will be our true “Tribute” to Swami Vivekananda.