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Relevance of Swami Vivekananda's Ideas in the 21st Century

Updated: Sep 10, 2023

“Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached.” is a Shlok of the Katha Upanishad, popularized by Swami Vivekananda. The Shlok acquaints with the importance of persistence in life which was Swamiji’s core principle. He always insisted to believe in yourself and never give up. Arise, awake can be personified by the tides of the ocean which never get tired, and they always keep going. The spirit of tides is amazing, it always comes back with a higher force. So, the thing to learn from them is to be determined and believe in oneself.

It is not like the ideologies of Vivekananda are outdated and not relevant in today’s time. But instead following his principles is like a complete package of human development. It is like carving the personality of a person in every aspect, spiritual, intellectual, social, and physical.

Karma yogi.
Swami Vivekananda was a man of great wisdom and a strong disciple of Ramakrishna Paramhansa. His vedantic teaching has enlightened the importance of religion as a rational and humanistic enterprise. Though his life was very brief, around 39 years, he gave many precious values and ethics to the world. He was the one to spread India’s spiritual heritage and Hinduism to the world. The seeds of spirituality were sown from his home itself. It was his mother who inculcated such values. The philosophy of Vedanta and yoga was first made known to foreign shores by him.

The youth today do not deal with the challenges of life in a very pragmatic way, they are more driven by the trends and are generally short-tempered in nature. Thus, the relevancy of Swami Vivekananda's teaching soar. Dilemmas due to fast moving world, social recognition, unemployment, competitiveness, and many such problems deteriorate the morale of youth. The relevancy lies not in the nature of the challenge but in the spirit to address it. Swami Vivekananda always insisted people be motivated, dedicated, and consistent. Once you start doubting yourself, everything will fall apart because if you are not confident about yourself then how others can believe in you? One of his quotes, “All the powers in the universe are already ours. It is we who have to put our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark.” strongly argues that it is we, humans who create an atmosphere of despair when we have all the powers to fulfill our dreams by just being persistent.

And in concern with the development of a nation, it is the whole youth whose upliftment and progress is going to count and not just some political, and social leaders, scientists, or businesspersons. It is the masses, every citizen of a nation who makes a country great. Swami Ji once in his speech told, “Buddha or Christ did not determine a country’s fate, it was the common people who decided what the country’s future would be like.”, emphasizing the importance of youth in nation-building. With this, a high need for the development of human resources arises among today's youth. Because only an educated (not just literate) youth can get into the employment cycle or create one such cycle. The true meaning of education should be character-building, man-making, acquiring skills, amelioration of society, and assimilation of ideas. According to him, a nation is a consolidated identity of empowered humans, with high spiritual aims.

Spiritualism is not just about following certain religions and religious beliefs, but it is rather a way of living. These days people are suffering from several anxieties, feeling helplessness, unfit mental health, and unsatisfied with life mostly because of a lack of spiritualism. They have no guiding force to keep them motivated. That is the reason the suicide rate is increasing nowadays. Over this he quoted, “Take risks in your life. If you win, you can lead, if you lose, you can guide.”, which the youth must take into account to stay positive.

Entrepreneurship, the trend of today’s youth, if guided by Swami Vivekananda’s principles, will surely make entrepreneurs successful in every aspect. The essence of an entrepreneur’s life is struggles, but they must boost their morale and endeavor their dreams with calmness and dedication. For the youth, it becomes very necessary to strengthen and evaluate their true potential. Mindfulness along with good intentions leads to headway in your business and welfare as well.

The youth today is very much ambitious and it is getting bolder day by day but with it, they are also getting distracted easily due to ample available options and the influence of social media. So, for them to achieve their aspirations, it becomes a necessity to stay firm, positive, and determined.

He always insisted people look for inclusive growth. He argued that the aim of our existence is to serve the whole society and to create a culture to empower individuals spiritually and emotionally. In today’s fast-moving world where everyone is not able to make up, if you can then it becomes your moral responsibility to work for the welfare of the masses. His envision of employment as a medium to serve others and not just a mere source of income should be embraced by everyone for uplifting of masses and nation-building.

Swami Vivekananda’s other teaching was to serve God in man. He was a strong believer in welfareism and thus used spirituality as a medium to do social welfare and help the needy. In today’s era where everyone is very much self-centered and self-obsessed, it becomes obligatory for the youth to have the feeling of oneness- “वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम्”. These values can be inculcated in youth only by guiding them to the way of spiritualism. And there can be no greater help than helping a person spiritually.

About the author
Tanvi Amrelia, currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts (Honors) in Economics, is a passionate writer and part-time gardener. Her love for expressing ideas through blogs and articles led to her remarkable achievement. Tanvi's article, titled 'Relevance of Swami Vivekananda's ideas in the 21st century,' garnered recognition as the second runner-up in 'The Trailblazers 2023,' a nationally acclaimed article writing competition hosted by the Youthisthan Foundation. In her article, Tanvi delves into the enduring relevance of Swami Vivekananda's ideas, offering fresh insights into their significance in the contemporary world, a testament to her thoughtful perspective and writing prowess.


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