Swami Vivekanand, a youth icon and great spiritual master, should be taught at all universities about how a curious youngster may become a role model for millions of people worldwide who follow Vedanta philosophy, and that too in a short period of time. His vision, aim, and continuous efforts to restore glory utilizing Sanatan Dharma teachings are admirable. His captivating personality is the product of his spiritual efforts over the years. His dedication to humanity and human ideals should be studied and applied by all young people.
Famous notable individuals statements about Swami Vivekanand’s stature
If you want to know Bharat then study Vivekananda. Everything is positive in him and nothing is negative-Rabindranath Tagore
“A great voice is meant to fill the sky. The whole world is its sounding box…Men like Vivekananda are not born to merely whisper. They can only proclaim. The sun cannot moderate its rays. He was deeply conscious of his role: to bring Vedanta out of its obscurity and present it in a rationally acceptable manner, to create awareness among his countrymen about their spiritual heritage and to rekindle their self-confidence; to show that the deeper truths of Vedanta are universally valid and that Bharat’s mission is to communicate these truths to the whole world – these were the goals he set before himself.” Romya Rollan
His work and many stories reflect his diverse nature, which is an inspiration to millions. I’m going to tell you about just a few of them.
The road beneath your feet
Swami Vivekananda went on a lengthy trip in the Himalayas when he came upon a weary old man hanging helplessly at the foot of an upward slope. In frustration, the guy cried to Swamiji, ‘Oh, Sir, how to cross it; I can’t go any more; I will collapse.’
Swamiji attentively listened to the old man before saying, ‘Look down at your feet. The road beneath your feet is the same road that you have passed over and that you see ahead of you; it will soon be beneath your feet.’ These remarks inspired the old guy to continue his journey.
Can you disregard humanity?
In the truest sense, a monk is always a free soul. He’s always moving, like a river. He sometimes spends the night at a burning ghat, sometimes in the king’s palace, sometimes at a railway station, but he is always happy. Swami Vivekananda, a monk, was living at a railway station in Rajasthan. Throughout the day, people kept approaching him. They had numerous questions, most of which were religious and spiritual in nature, and Swamiji was patient in addressing them. In this manner, three days and three nights passed. Swamiji was so preoccupied with spiritual topics that he didn’t even take a break to eat. People who gathered to him didn’t even thought to inquire if he had any food to eat! When the visitors had all left on the third night of his stay, a poor man approached him and said lovingly, ‘Swamiji, I have seen that for three days you have been constantly speaking. You haven’t even taken a sip of water! This has caused me great distress.’
Swamiji got the impression that God had appeared to him in the person of this impoverished man. ‘Will you kindly give me something to eat?’ he said. The man was a cobbler by trade, so he hesitated before saying, ‘Swamiji, my heart yearns to give you some bread, but how can I? I played with it. If you don’t mind, I’ll get you some coarse flour and dal and you may make whatever you like with them!’
‘No, my child; give me the bread you’ve prepared,’ Swamiji said. I’ll gladly consume it.’ At first, the poor man was terrified. He was afraid that the monarch would punish him if he found out that he, a low caste person, had prepared food for a monk. But his desire to serve a monk overcame his dread. He dashed back home and soon returned with freshly baked bread for Swamiji. Swamiji was moved to tears by this penurious man’s generosity and selfless devotion. He wondered how many people like these went unnoticed in our country’s cottages. They are materially poor and of supposedly lowly birth, but they are noble and generous.
Meanwhile, some gentlemen were irritated when they discovered Swamiji consuming meals supplied by a shoemaker. They came to Swamiji and advised him that accepting food from a man of low birth was wrong. Swamiji patiently heard them and then stated, ‘You people had me talk without respite for the previous three days, but you did not even care to check if I had taken any food and rest. You profess to be gentlemen and brag about your high caste; worse, you blame this man for being of a lower caste. Can you disregard his humanity and despise him without feeling ashamed?’
Your focus should be solely on the target
Swamiji was watching some boys in America. They were standing on the bridge, attempting to shoot at floating eggshells in the river, but they were continuously missing the goal. Swamiji took the gun and pointed it at the shells. He fired twelve times, each time hitting an egg-shell. ‘Well, Mister, how did you do it?’ the youngsters inquired of Swamiji. ‘Whatever you are doing, focus your entire mind on it,’ Swamiji advised. When shooting, your focus should be solely on the target. You will never miss again. Think only about the lesson when you’re learning it. Boys in my nation are educated to do this.’
Patriotism comes first, followed by Universalism
Once Someone once told Swamiji that a monk should have no loyalty to his home country. He should instead consider all countries to be his own. Swamiji responded, “He who fails to love and support his mother, how can he provide sustenance for another’s mother?”Swamiji was implying that even monks should love their nation. How can he embrace the world if he cannot love his own country? Patriotism comes first, followed by universalism.
Passed Mother’s test
Before going abroad for the first time to preach Hindutva, Vivekanand’s mother wanted to know if he was up to the task, so she invited him to dinner. Vivekanand relished the cuisine that smelt of his mother’s personal love and care. Vivekanand’s mother presented him with a plate of fruits and a knife after the lovely dinner. Vivekanand ate the fruit and then asked his mother, “Son, can you please give me the knife, I need it?” Vivekanand answered instantly by handing over the knife.
“Son, you have passed my test,” Vivekanand’s mother replied calmly, “and I heartily bless you for going abroad.” Surprisingly, Vivekanand inquired, “Mother, how did you test me?” “I didn’t get it.”
“Son, when I asked for the knife, I saw how you handed it to me, holding the knife’s sharp edge and keeping the wooden handle of the knife towards me,” Mother said. This way, I won’t get wounded, plus it shows that you care about me. And this was your exam, which you aced.
This was the most essential imprint he left on the hearts of many people he encountered during his lifetime: to think of others before oneself. It is a natural law that the more noble and big-hearted you become, the more you will receive, and the more narrow-minded you become, the less you will receive.
Apart from his timeless speech in Chicago, his speech titled ‘The Future of Bharat’ which Swami Vivekananda gave in Madras on February 14, 1897 should also be discussed.
Here are some brief takeaways from his wide-ranging talk that outline the work ahead for us from one of modern Bharat’s most visionary builders.
1. He calls for recognition of Bharat’s eternal heritage as a sanctuary of knowledge, spirituality and philosophy.
2. The problem Bharat faces is that its complexity and diversity exceed that of all other countries and this exposes it to multidimensional challenges.
3. Despite complex diversity, unity can be built because the foundation of Bharat’s future lies in sacred common religious and cultural traditions.
4. Please do not fight amongst yourselves and unite religious diversity under the umbrella of Sanatan Dharma for a prosperous future Bharat.
5. Bharat is a great storehouse of spiritual gems, it has to be democratized and popularized for inclusive education and expansion of cultural knowledge.
6. The solution to the problem of caste is to raise the lower to a higher level, not to bring down the higher. The privileged people should take this responsibility on their shoulders.
7. Understand the power of organization and activate it for psychological upliftment and become a source of collective impact.
8. Calling for the unity of Bharat and worship of Bharat Mata, he said that for the next fifty years this will be our only main thing – this great Bharat Mata. This is the only goddess who is awake. The first worship is the worship of Virat – of the people around us. Worship them. We have to worship them instead of being jealous of each other and fighting with each other.
It is time to commemorate him wholeheartedly on his birth anniversary and embrace his teachings about making our nation great again.