“Lives of great men all-remind us, we can make our lives sublime, and departing leave behind us, Footprints on the sands of time.”
Swami Vivekananda represents the eternal youth of India. India though possessing a hoary and ancient civilisation is not old and effete, as her detractors would hold but Swami Vivekananda believed that she was young, ripe with potentiality and strong at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Swami Vivekananda belonged to the 19th century, yet his message and his life are more relevant today than in the past and perhaps, will be more relevant in future because persons like Swami Vivekananda do not cease to exist with their physical death.
Their influence and their thought, the work which they initiate, go on gaining momentum as years pass by, and ultimately, reach a fulfillment which these persons envisaged.
Swami Vivekanand himself had said “it may be that I shall find it good to get outside my body to cast it off like a worn out garment but I shall not cease to work! I shall inspire men everywhere, until the world shall know that it is one with god.”
The process of this inspiration is spreading all over the world. We are at a critical period of our history. The world is on the brink of total annihilation, and it is the message of Swami Vivekanand which can save humanity from a disastrous end.
Swami Vivekananda had foreseen such a disaster, and had warned the western countries to shift their stance and take to the eternal message of spirituality, harmony and peace, as preached by him in the light of the teachings of his great master, Shri Ramakrishana Paramhansa.
Swami Vivekanand is one of the greatest men who have appeared in the world. After reading his life story, one feels that he had the heart of a Buddha and the brain of a Shankaracharya. Yet he never craved for any personal name and fame. He always used to say that he was a voice without form but, In his life, we see how he felt about the downtrodden, the untouchables.
The poor, the miserable and the sole aim of his life was to bring about a social order which will be based on equitable distribution of the objects of enjoyment, a society without prejudice for any one.
But Swami Vivekanand had said, “Could mud be washed with mud? Could blood be washed with blood?” so he based his whole message on the philosophy of the existence of one reality, which is in every being.
Swami Vivekananda appeared in 1893, on the platform of the parliament of religious conference held at Chicago, as an unknown person, when he was less than thirty years of age. And this I will do or die.
Then again he says, “My faith is in the younger generation, the modern generation, out of them will become my workers they will work out the whole problem. They will spread my message from centre to centre until we cover the whole of India.”
It will not be out of place here to give quotations from some of the most eminent thinkers of the world, both past and present, which have understood and appreciated Vivekananda’s influence in the sphere of thought and action.
Rabindranath Tagore, the great poet and a Nobel laureate, says; “He gave us something which brings us, if I may use the word, a certain pride in our inheritance. He did not spare us.
He talked of our weaknesses and our failings too. So, what Swamiji has written and said, is of interest, and must interest us, and is likely to influence us for a long time to come. He was no politician in the ordinary sense of the word and yet he was one of great founders— of the national modern movement of India.