The twelfth of January (12th January) is a special day in India. Named as National Youth Day, celebrated all over India as the birthday of the great legend Swami Vivekananda. His vision for the youth of the country, inspiring and motivating them to think rationally and vividly, was phenomenal. Swamiji had tremendous faith in the young minds, capable of inculcating and nurturing new discoveries and inventions for the future world. My earnest attempt to spread the light of hope and positivity among the young generations following the footsteps of Swamiji on this auspicious occasion of National Youth Day.
The photo below is hand made embroidered by one of my uncle, an unknown artist with immense talent. He gifted this amazing masterpiece to my parents and is still there in my parent’s house.
Swami Vivekananda – The Monk
Swami Vivekananda was a saint, monk and patriot representing modern India. He dedicated his entire life for serving the people and addressing problems of poverty and education. He had strong beliefs on humanity, the power of mankind and most importantly on the potential within the youth. For him, serving the people in the way of worshipping the Almighty and which he ardently followed till his death. Our country, India, hence proudly declared his birthday as the National Youth Day. It is a gentle reminder to the young people about Swamiji’s vision, dreams and expectations and how it can be taken forward and cascaded to the future generations.
Evolution of National Youth Day
In 1863, the great leader and saint Swami Vivekananda was born in a prestigious family of Kolkata, the capital city of West Bengal, a state in the eastern part of India. He grew up as a scholarly person but renounced the worldly life of family and pleasures to pursue serving humanity as a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa. In 1893, he addressed the eminent conference at the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago, US. He was phenomenal in introducing the relevance and significance of the Hinduism and Vedanta religion to the western part of the World.
Continuing with his journey in serving the people, Swamiji established The Ramakrishna Mission to impart the teachings of his guru Sri Ramakrishna. The idealogy of the mission is to strengthen the will power of the people to believe in themselves and spread love and purity throughout the world.
In 1902, the great legend departed his soul from the earth for his journey to heaven. He had slowly retired to his room and went on to deep meditation to denounce his life. Respecting his thoughts, ideas and beliefs, the Indian government declared Swamiji’s birthday 12th January as the National Youth Day from the year 1984. Thus till today, we celebrate National Youth Day every year remembering Swamiji’s teachings through numerous activities and events.
Every year the National Youth Day is marked with various kinds of educational, cultural and sports events in several branches of the Ramakrishna Mission, and Ramakrishna Math. The idea is to focus on imparting knowledge of the Indian heritage, culture and traditions. The teachings of Swami Vivekananda are spread across people through religious speeches, devotional songs and hymns, karma yogas and meditations.
Many schools and colleges across various states of India organize parades in the morning or in the evenings. The students recite poems and sing songs of Swamiji as a mark of respect. Several competitions like yoga, essay writing, art and crafts etc are also held on National Youth Day. The students and the teachers arrange seminars, conferences and lecture sessions; to talk and discuss Swamiji’s vision and mission of life.
Blood donation camps are organized in different parts of the country. People are requested to participate in the camps as an initiative to save patients from any dreaded ailments that necessitate a blood transfusion.
National Youth Day 2021 Theme
Every year a unique theme is decided for celebrating National Youth Day. This year 2021 will be “Channelizing Youth Power for Nation Building”. Though the scale of the celebrations will be minimalistic this time due to the pandemic situation of COVID-19 in progress. Yet we can read Swamiji’s books, his philosophies, his beliefs and try to motivate the young generation to follow his ideologies and thoughts. Online programs and events will be conducted to celebrate National Youth day this year.
The Essence of National Youth Day
National Youth Day represented in colloquial language as National Yuva Diwas, is an inspirational day for the future generations. The essence is to instil motivational power within the young minds; to build a nation that is stronger and innovative in thoughts and actions. Swami Vivekananda had an indomitable spirit and power to create a society filled with zeal and enthusiasm for the betterment and limitless progression. We must carry forward his dreams of transforming the world into a place suitable for survival with honesty and purity.
As I end my article, I want to conclude by mentioning Swamiji’s famous quote
“Arise! Awake! and stop not until the goal is reached”
A travel enthusiast craving to explore the exotic destinations in the world, deciphering the mysteries and the thrill concealed in them.