At the same time, however, he wanted our educational system to be refurbished so
as to help the common mass of people to equip themselves for the struggle of life.
“We want that education by which character is formed, strength of mind is
increased, the intellect is expanded, and by which one can stand on one’s own
feet…’’ exhorted Vivekananda.
His vision of India was to have a new society inspired by the vision of dignity of man,
his freedom and individuality, his strength and his capacity to love and serve human
beings- through egalitarian society free from notions of high or low.
Let our youth- who are the real builders of our nation-come forward and, by their
action and conduct, translate the vision of Vivekananda into a reality, and
ceaselessly strive to make our India morally and spiritually resurgent, physically
healthy, socially stable and strong, politically sagacious and vibrant and
economiclaly most prosperous.
In several ways, the life and work of Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) mark the
historical process of India rediscovering herself in modern times. These are also
emblematic of the ways in which a tradition modernizes or creates alternative forms
Generally speaking, his contribution to India and to the larger world may be summed
up in four ways.
First, in modern India, it was Vivekananda who first emphasized that our everyday
lives would become more meaningful only when spiritualized. It was in this
spirituality that he re-discovered, as it were, India's message to herself and to the
world. For Vivekananda, this spiritual self-realization led to people more fully
realizing their own potentialities. Especially in the context of a colonized society like
that of 19th century India, this was tantamount to men and women locating greater
self-belief in themselves.
The human soul being free, suggested Vivekananda, more than compensated for the
loss of political freedom.
Second, even though the Swami rejected political praxis and Westinspired social and
religious reforms, his essential message was the empowerment of the people:
through education, collective thought and action but above all, realizing he
underlying unity of all human existence. In the Hindu tradition, ascetic detachment
from the world had been criticized even before Vivekananda but it was he who first
actively joined the idea of individual renunciation to committed social service. In this
sense, he gave new meaning or signification to the very idea and institution of