12th January! It’s National Youth Day in India. How appropriate that the Birthday of Swami Vivekananda, born as Narendranath Dutta in Bengal is chosen as the day to symbolise the evergreen Youthhood of Ancient Indian Wisdom Traditions that he personified.

Age forty is not even considered halfway in a professional’s worklife starting around the early 20s upto the mid 60s traditionally. What if one has finished his work and left the world before reaching the age of 40? Entering monkhood in his early twenties, his revolutionary path took him early to America where he caused a sensational impact addressing the World Parliament of Religions – having gone there uninvited – with his iconic words “Brothers and Sisters of America!”

He conquered them all only to return to India earliest possible convenience and set up a legendary missionary movement named after his Guru, Ramakrishna. Such inspirational dynamism made him an icon for the aimless youth of India who went on to work for nation building and revival of Indian Traditions. In spite of his failing health he stood up fearlessly against social evils and built a large band of spiritually united social workers across the world. Yet, before he even entered his forties, he shed his mortal physical form and became an unforgettable symbol for reviving hope in Indian Youth!

The transformative journey of young, fiery, feisty Naren to the radiant, compassionate, charismatic monk Vivekananda is a life lesson for every Indian to remind us that today is all we have in our hands to enable us to do something meaningful to ourselves and others!

Swami Vivekananda kept recalling one sentence from the scriptural text, the Bhagawad Gita that acts like a whiplash against indolent inertia or lethargic laziness: “Awake, Arise and Stop Not Till The GOAL is Reached!”

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