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Swami Vivekananda’s India at the Centenary of Independence

“Each nation has a destiny to fulfill, each nation has a message to deliver, each nation has a mission to accomplish. Therefore we must understand the mission of our race, the destiny it has to fulfill, the place it has to occupy in the march of nations, the role of which it has to contribute to the harmony of races.” -Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda, the great philosophic Guru with true spiritual consciences, is one of the pioneers of making an India where there will be no caste discrimination, no religious dispute, and no social discernment; an India where there will be eternal devoutness to wide awake intellectually, everlasting humanity to serve the mankind and endless valour to have a passion among the youths to reform, refurbish also reconstruct the society. He had a vision of making India with the gusto of gallantry, with the power of patriotism, and with the supremacy of spirituality. Furthermore, a heart-fullness of humanism was his main motto for the furtherance of an ideal society as he said, “This life is short, the vanities of the world are transient, but they alone live who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive.” India is best recognised for its ‘unity in diversity’ in every aspect from culture to language to religion.

We have a glorious history filled with generosity, heroism, and selflessness. Vivekananda, the real-life mentor, taught not only us but also the whole world about our treasured philosophy and the role of religion in an ethically and morally justifiable nation. But, we are distracted from the actual goal; as a result, our country is deteriorating in terms of spirituality and humanity, though India in 2023 has advanced in science and technology.

Vivekananda’s philosophy and role of youths for the betterment of India

“Where should you go to seek for God? Are not all the poor, the miserable, the weak, gods? Why not worship them first? Why go to dig a well on the shores of the Ganga? Let these people be your god- think of them, work for them, pray for them incessantly- the Lord will show you the way.”... (Swami Vivekananda)

Rich in culture, full of natural resources and human capital, the golden bird India ranked 111th out of 125 countries in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2023. Though this situation is far away from his vision, his ideology can be the pathway to touch the desired destiny of civilization where irrespective of caste, gender, and religion, each individual would have the right to live with equality. When all of us will practice, such kind of dogma to serve mankind like he had, especially the poor and needy people of our country, Swami Vivekananda’s India would not be far away.

One of the prodigious educators, Swami Vivekananda had a view of nationalism through four pillars i.e. consciousness and pride in the ancient glory of India, the development of moral and physical strength, the awakening of the masses, and unity based on common spiritual ideas. These very amplitudes of humanism ideas are the need for the transformation and progress of present-day India towards an ideal, ethical, and benevolent nation. Vivekananda’s idea for the unification of glorious Eastern philosophies with the valiant spirit of nationalism gave the Indian national movement a unique path. He said, “None can resist her (India) anymore; never is she going to sleep any more; no outward powers can hold her back any more; for the infinite giant is rising to her feet.” This identical attitude of our revered Swami Ji helped immensely us to become free from British rule. But, the question arises where do we stand after seventy-six following the sacred path that was made by Swami Vivekananda for the betterment of our nation? No, we are wandering. This is high time to reflect on it.

We need to awaken ourselves by acknowledging our duty headed for the India that Swami Ji had dreamt of for the sake of the whole civilization. We are a country that has about 143 crores of the population out of which 65% is youth (below 35 years) as per the 2022 revision of the World Population Prospects. We have the most valuable assets like virtuous culture, Vedic education, scientific philosophy, and natural resources. Moreover, we have the ethical values of spiritual gurus like Swami Vivekananda and ample young minds with us. According to Swami Vivekananda, “The history of the world is the history of few men who had faith in themselves. The faith calls out Divinity within. You can do anything.” We need to imbibe these words and follow the path shown by Swami Ji as we did during the national movement of India. We have a lacuna of confidence and also a lack of self-realisation of our duty and inner power. If we work together selflessly for the progress of society in aspects like eradication of social evils, illiteracy, poverty and unemployment, etc. we can make India as envisioned by Swami Vivekananda. We must not forget the words of Swami Ji, “We must encourage every one in his struggle to live up to his own highest idea, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the Truth.”

Religion-Reformation-Renaissance: A Gateway towards Vivekananda’s India

“Let us proclaim to every soul: Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached... It is a man-making religion that we want... It is a man-making education all around that we want.” (Swami Vivekananda)

Being the most influential philosophic sage, Swami Vivekananda emphasized the moral and spiritual education that gives birth to ethical human beings to reconstruct a real nation. He explained the true sense of religion to aware individuals of altruism, respect for all, and especially reverence for women for the improvement of our country. “Can you better the condition of your women? Then there will be hope for your well-being. Otherwise you will remain as backward as you are now.” (Swami Vivekananda) Following and practicing a religion that reforms the constricted mindset of a society is the necessity of the current scenario which displays more disappointment as crime against women increased by 4% in 2023 as per NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau). Furthermore, a handful of communal and religious riots have occurred from post-independence to the present date in India.

“To devote your life to the good of all and the happiness of all is religion. Whatever you do for your own sake is not religion.”(Swami Vivekananda) 

The people of our country must recognise what the real religion means and to do so we must understand the ideology of Swami Vivekananda and his teachings about religion. He said, “I shall call you religious from the day you begin to see God in men and women.” Irrespective of all age, gender, and religion, each one of us must realise the essence of the philosophy of Swami Vivekananda for the progress of our nation. We the Indians have to take rebirth; the rebirth of morality, selflessness, bravery, and humanism- the rebirth of Swami Vivekananda’s ideology. It is a time for another renaissance- the renaissance of an idyllic India- the India of purity, divinity, and humanity- the India of Swami Vivekananda.

“My ideal indeed can be put into a few words, and that is: to preach unto mankind their divinity, and how to make it manifest in every movement of life.” (Swami Vivekananda)

Vivekananda’s India is the nation of nerve, the motherland of morality, the place of pilgrimage, and the state of spirituality that he ever visualized. On the other hand, in the era of artificial intelligence, artificiality is the only thing that persists within us without having the intelligence of real knowledge. Twenty-three years ahead, in 2047, India can touch the height of humanism, through the path of peacefulness and can become the most powerful nation with its passionate youths to serve mankind only when we all Indians will follow and practice the philosophy of Swami Ji. Vivekananda’s India, in the centenary of independence, should be surrounded by the aura of authenticity, the boundary of brotherhood, the credence of courage, the domain of democracy, the epoch of enlightenment, and the home of humankind.

About the article 
Explore Rasmita Panigrahi's award-winning vision 'India in 2047: Swami Vivekananda’s India at the Centenary of Independence.' Unveiling Swami Vivekananda's profound philosophy, the article envisions an India of equality, spirituality, and humanity. Panigrahi delves into Vivekananda's teachings, emphasizing the role of youth, religious reformation, and the need for a societal renaissance. With insightful analysis, the article challenges the current trajectory and urges Indians to embrace Vivekananda's ideals for a future marked by authenticity, brotherhood, courage, democracy, enlightenment, and humanity. A compelling glimpse into the potential of India in 2047.

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