On National Youth Day Swami Sarvalokananda invokes the youth to nation building – as was the clarion call of Swami Vivekananda.
I welcome everyone present here on behalf of Ramakrishna Math and Mission.
We all know why we have gathered here today. My heart is full of joy to see so many young people amidst us today. Vivekananda wanted that the youth should come forward and dedicate themselves to the progress of the country. When I see all of you here today, it appears that Swamiji’s wishes are coming true.
Swami Vivekananda reposed great faith and confidence in the youth for the regeneration of India. That is why he said again and again – My faith is in the younger generation, in the modern generation. Out of them my workers will come and will work like lions for the regeneration of India.
All of you are the future of this country. On your shoulders lies the progress of this nation. Only youth power can take the country forward. That is why Swamiji wanted that youth power be fully utilized so that our country becomes strong and vibrant.
How can we make India strong and vibrant? We want a ‘Swaccha (clean) Bharat’ – Swaccha governance. This is possible only when the youth are ‘Swaccha’, strong and diligent. Only then will it be possible. That is why Swami Vivekananda called out to the youth again and again – to move forward themselves, and take the country with them.
In the freedom struggle we saw the youth of the country came forward and secure freedom for our country. That is why Swami Vivekananda was keen that youth power is fully utilized.
One thing which is needed in our country and in the world is character. No country can become great without character. It is a very important human quality. That is why Swami Vivekananda emphasized on character development. He would say again and again that there should be individual character, social character, and national character. We can bring a transformation in the country on the strength of character, and make it great and strong.
The glory of India’s past
If we read India’s culture and civilization, we see how great India was. One week back the Science Congress had been organized in Mumbai. Many scientists had come from all over the world. The Indian scientists were discussing how strong India was in the field of science and technology. I will refer to one area –the invention of the aeroplane!
It is known that the aeroplane was invented by the Wright brothers in America. However this is not the truth. We didn’t know the truth for so long. The aeroplane was not invented by the Wright brothers, but by our Indian ancestors. If you read you will come to know that 4000 years back, Bharadwaj Muni invented the aero plane. His book had 7 chapters and 3000 slokas and 50 manufacturing processes of making an aeroplane.
100 years back, a Maharashtrian Scientist – Shivkar Bapuji Talpade– saw the texts and design made by Bharadwaj Muni. Out of these he created a model for an aeroplane and also made it fly to a height of 2000 feet.
However, he didn’t have the money to build a full-fledged aircraft. Rallis Brothers – a British company took away that design and gave it to the Wright Brother’s of America. And since then we know the invention of the airplane as an invention of the Wright Brothers. But the truth is that our Munis invented it.
Invention of the digit
Again, the digit was invented not in Germany or the US. But in India. The number 0 was also invented by India’s mathematician – Aryabhatta.
We have forgotten all this glory and think of ourselves weak and we will not be able to achieve anything. America and Europe have overtaken us. It is true that they have moved forward, but we can also move forward. If we see India’s history, we can also grow – even in the fields of science and technology.
Swamiji’s invocation to you to build character
Character is the strength through which we can resolve all challenges. That is why he emphasized on character.
Swami Vivekananda went to America to participate in the Parliament of Religions, and he became hero overnight by his wonderful speech in the opening session of the Parliament of Religions at Chicago. After that he stayed nearly four years in America. One day he was walking on the street of America in traditional saffron dress and turban, seeing him, some Americans felt this man with peculiar dress and approached him. They asked Swamiji which uncivilized country he was from.
He told them he was an Indian from India. Swamiji always felt proud to call himself an Indian unfortunately many youth of India are apologetic to be Indians!
He also gave them a befitting response. He said I know that in your country, clothes and tailor make a man great and civilized. In my country, clothes and tailor don’t make a man great but only character makes a man great and civilized.
This is why Swamiji always said – character, character, we want Men with character through which a new India can be emerged.
Swamiji also believed in the youth and said that it is the youth who will take the country forward. I would again like to say that my heart is filled with joy to see so many youth come together in the name of Swami Vivekananda. If he was here and saw so many youth together, he would have been so thrilled himself!
Swamiji said you are the ones who can take India forward, make it stronger, and great. He said that India again will emerge as a strongest, vibrant nation. It may be after 2020/ 2030. But India will surely rise and create a great space for itself in the map of the world. There is no doubt about this because Swamiji was a Rishi, and a Rishis words are never untrue.
Therefore, the responsibility that Swamiji has given, do take up that responsibility, and make India great once again.