Swami Vivekananda Represents Spiritual Grandeur of India and Potential of Indian Youth: Dr.Najma Heptulla
Swami Vivekananda truly personified the spiritual grandeur of India in its totality and his life represents the strength and potential of Indian youth in transforming the image of the country. Dr. Najma Heptulla, the Union Minister of Minority Affairs said this while speaking at the Celebration of National Youth Day on the occasion of the Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda here today. She spoke on “Honouring the Legacy of Swami Vivekananda: Building A World of Peace”. The event was organized by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF).
Swami Vivekananda was essentially a man of peace. The primary message of his life was of understanding, reconciliation and co-existence. His life and work transcended the boundaries of India and are of eternal relevance. On becoming a Sanyasin, at the young age of 23, in 1886, he spread the message of “divine unity of existence and unity in diversity”, throughout the country. At the age of thirty, his address at the First Parliament of World Religions, in Chicago, on 11 September 1893, was a soul-stirring experience for the participants. It gave a new awakening to the Indians and stimulated world interest in Indan spiritual moorings.
Swamiji used the occasion to appeal to the world leaders, to promote tolerance and universal acceptance as a path to eliminate the evils of sectarianism, bigotry and fanaticism. He effectively engaged the spiritual community in efforts to forge a new global civil society. His message of the essential unity of mankind, of the importance of harmony and reconciliation, of the imperative of empowering women and the poor and of religious co-existence and tolerance are ever more relevant today than before.
He believed that every religion offered a pathway to the eternal supreme. In Chicago speech of 1893, he reminded the participants that “there is a God above all gods, there is a religion above all religions, that there is something that superseded all our religiosities, all our pieties, rituals, dogmas and doctrines and on the basis of that religion the whole world – East and West – should be united.”
In fact, his address in Chicago, revealed for the first time the soul of India to an audience which was largely unaware of India’s spiritual greatness. Swami Vivekananda was not just a man of religion. He was someone who had influenced religion as much as religion had influenced him. He was a social activist too, a great pathfinder and prophet of a new resurgent India, proud of its ancient heritage and longing to see it modernized, committed to the principles of equality and social justice and occupying a space of honour in the comity of nations on her own right.
Social reform was an intrinsic part of his message. He had indeed, visualized a union between the East and the West to be effected by a judicious exchange of Indian spirituality with Western materialistic knowledge. According to him, mere material achievements, not rooted in a spiritual outlook, is a sure route to chaos and disaster.
According to him, ‘unity of man is the primary aim of religions’. The fundamental concern of all saints, religious leaders and philosophers has always been the establishment of a just, peaceful and harmonious social order. No religious philosophy within itself carries the message of hatred. Yet we still have so much of tensions and bloodshed all over the world in the name of religion. We must build inter-faith amity by developing trust, mutual respect and understanding.
No society can make significant achievements, without its youth shouldering the responsibilities as citizens and contribute to the processes of development. Identify the segments that have so far been discriminated against and kept out of the purview of development and create enabling conditions for their inclusive development.
The youth should have a positive and pro-active disposition towards socialand development issues. They should not allow emotive and divisive issues to waste their creative energies. They can positively contribute in promoting pluralistic culture. This is the message that everyone should carry home from the life of Swami Vivekananda.
Expressing satisfaction on being recognized as an Ambassador of Peace, she said she is a product of the composite nationalism integral to India. She said her recognition is, in fact, recognition of that eternal spirit of India.
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