National Youth Day is being celebrated on January 12 to commemorate the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. In 1984, the Indian government declared Swamiji’s birth anniversary as National Youth Day and since 1985, it has been celebrated to honor and recognize Vivekananda’s teachings. This year, the National Youth Day 2023 theme is “Viksit Yuva-Viksit Bharat.”
In India, National Youth Day is celebrated to promote awareness of people’s rights and to provide information about them. Keeping the ideals of Swami Vivekananda alive and motivating young people is the main objective of the celebration. A number of programs are conducted across the nation on National Youth Day (Rashtriya Yuva Diwas), including speeches, music, youth conventions, seminars, yoga asanas, presentations, essay writing, recitation competitions, and sports competitions.
Vivekananda propounded the significance of education in nation building. He believed that education is the primary means of empowering people. He particularly emphasized education being relevant to the common masses. One of the famous proverbs of Swami Vivekananda among the youth is, “Arise! Awake! and stop not until the goal is reached.”
The Pre-monastic name of Swami Vivekananda was Narendra Nath Dutta. He was born on January 12, 1863, in Kolkata and died on July 4, 1902. His father’s name was Vishwanath Dutta and mother’s name was Bhuvaneshwari Devi. He became a disciple of Saint Ramakrishna Paramhamsa after being introduced to him by one of his English professors in 1881 at Dakshineshwar’s Kali Temple. The Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga were introduced to the Western World by him.
Vivekananda is best known for his speech at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago in 1893, when he began his speech by saying “Sisters and brothers of America…” and introduced the culture of India, its importance, Hinduism, etc.
On his birth anniversary, let us look at some of the life lessons that Swami Vivekananda has taught us:
“The more we come out and do good to others, the more our hearts will be purified.”
Swami Vivekananda believed that the path to self-purification is through helping others. He encouraged people to engage in selfless service and to work towards the betterment of society. He taught that the more we serve others, the more we will be able to purify our hearts and minds.
“Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached.”
He taught us that we should never give up on our goals and aspirations. He urged people to be determined and persistent in their efforts to achieve their goals. He believed that by being steadfast and persistent, we can achieve anything that we set our minds to.
“Be true to yourself, and you will be true to the world. “
Swami Vivekananda believed that being true to oneself is the key to being true to the world. He encouraged people to be authentic and not compromise their values for the sake of fitting in with others. He believed that by staying true to oneself, one will be able to positively impact the world.
“Be a hero. Always say, I have no fear.”
He encouraged people to be courageous and not let fear hold them back from achieving their goals. He believed that by facing our fears, we can become true heroes in our own lives.
“The greatest sin is to think yourself weak.”
He believed that the greatest sin one can commit is to think that they are weak. He believed that we all have the potential to be great and that we should not limit ourselves by thinking that we are not capable of achieving our goals. He encouraged people to believe in their abilities and to strive to achieve greatness.
“Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man.”
Swami Vivekananda believed that education should be used to bring out the best in an individual. He believed that education was not just about acquiring knowledge, but also about developing one’s innate potential. He encouraged people to strive to become the best version of themselves through education.