Swami Vivekananda’s inspiring messages are based on the most influential P’s: Purity, Patience, and Perseverence
Partha Pratim Mazumder
Every year since 1985, the Government of India observes 12th January, the Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda as National Youth Day. To quote from the Government of India's Communication, “it was felt that the philosophy of Swamiji and the ideals for which he lived and worked could be a great source of inspiration for the Indian Youth.”
Swami Vivekananda once said, “Whatever you think, that you will be. If you think yourselves weak, weak you will be; if you think yourselves strong, strong you will be.” He also said, “See for the highest, aim at that highest, and you shall reach the highest.” His message was simple yet powerful. Vivekananda conveyed his ideas directly to the people, especially to the youth. His message broke through the shackles of caste and creed and spoke of a language of universal brotherhood. What he said captures the great importance of his ideas and ideals among the youth in our country today. He personified the eternal energy of the youth and their restless quest for truth. It is entirely fitting that 12th January, the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, is observed as National Youth Day to rekindle the eternal message of this great patriot and son of India.
But how to make youth realise the relevance of Swami Vivekananda in these exciting and challenging times, when on the one hand people and nations are engaged in the noble task of developing the personality and leadership qualities of the youth by involving them in various nation-building activities, while on the other hand there are challenges of hunger, poverty, unemployment, corruption and terrorism. Among the various ways which Swami Vivekananda suggested to rebuild the Indian society, Education was the primary means for empowering the people. He once said, “The education which does not help the common mass of people to equip themselves for the struggle for life, which does not bring out strength of character, a spirit of philanthropy, and the courage of a lion – is it worth the name? Real education is that which enables one to stand on one’s own legs.” For him, education meant secular learning that built character and instilled human values in students.
According to Swami Vivekananda, “Teach yourselves, teach everyone his real nature, call upon the sleeping soul and see how it awakes. Power will come, glory will come, goodness will come, purity will come, and everything that is excellent will come when this sleeping soul is roused to self-conscious activity.”
The youth of India have great creative energy with the positive potential to take them to spiritual heights. If human creativity is a special quality, then the “Never say die!” spirit is its apex. Demographically, today’s India is at its youngest best and has the power to meet any challenge with the collective consciousness and effort of all people, especially young people. This is the perfect time when youth is alert and aware and provoked by the environment and lack of values. India is a nation facing incredible challenges. This is evident from the utter lack of safety and security for the girl child and women anywhere in the country and the impunity with which monstrous elements like rapists heap violence on girl children and women.
The only qualification that Swamiji looked for in youngsters was to cultivate and nurture the ability to ‘feel’. He offered his potential ‘mantra’ and desired to take solid action so that those who wanted to go beyond just feeling could do so. The most influential P’s are: Purity, Patience and Perseverance. The P’s are the great traits that the youth of today are rich in and this is evident from their keenness to be part of positive change that will have impact on entire society. Purity is of thought and achievement. Patience is to understand the dynamic form and need to focus on the area for improvement. Today’s youth needs enormous perseverance to take part in the multifaceted challenges we face in today’s society. They need to place their efforts in the realities of livelihood, societal stages and political variety.