[Answered] Write about major teachings of Swami Vivekananda. Do you think Ideas of Swami Vivekananda are still relevant?

Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Teachings of Swami Vivekanand and it’s relevance today.
Conclusion. Way forward.

Swami Vivekananda was a great social reformer of the 19th century. He was a devote follower of Vedanta. He tried to apply Vedanta to practical every day life. Hence his teaching are also referred to as Practical Vedanta.

Some teachings of Swami Vivekanand:

  1. Tolerance: Swami Vivekananda preached tolerance and peace for humankind. His idea of peace and tolerance was global and included people of all the religions and sects. If humans are to thrive and prosper, they need to tolerate the diversified views and strive for the prosperity of all.
  2. Right Education: He stressed that good education is not merely learning of facts but also development of character. He redefined the concept of education which was not limited to exploring means of earning only. For him education was way to build one’s character, strength, intellect etc. Such idea of education would help in evolving oneself as better person in both personal and public life.
  3. Strength: Swami Vivekananda stresses on the importance of being strong in the life. Weakness comes with number of difficulties for one in a life. Whether its personal goals or professional goals, a person need to be fearless and firm to achieve them.
  4. Compassion for Weaker Sections: He stressed that success at the cost of poor is not worth having. He tells us that as a part of society every person is responsible for the welfare of poor and marginalised people. It emphasizes the need to have empathy and compassion for the weaker sections of the society.
  5. Religion: He argued in favour of religious reforms. He stressed that rationality must be applied to root out evils in religion. His meaning of religion had no place for superstitions, unending rituals and practices and religion that was adrift of spiritual content. His idea of religion was humane, did not have necessity of middlemen to connect with one’s god and did not have barriers of caste, community etc. Such progressive understanding of the religion would relieve people from wrong notions of religion and provide them with real spiritual upliftment.
  6. Fraternity: Swami Vivekananda focuses on the values like Love, Patience, Perseverance in one’s life. This would increase the brotherhood and fraternity among the people, reduce conflicts among them and would bind the society as a whole.
  7. Self-faith: Having faith on oneself is the most important. In order to live a good life, people make all sorts of efforts, but they forget to trust themselves, lack confidence and depend on supernatural powers to help them out of their miseries.

Relevance of Swami Vivekanand’s teaching today:

  1. The relevance of Swami Vivekanand today is with the ideals and goals that he devised for the youth. He wanted the youth to have that much of faith in themselves. The youth needs to rediscover Vivekananda’s message of looking inward rather than being a restless soul stuck up in an incessant effort. Understanding Swami Vivekananda and his message and putting it across our youth can be the simplest way to address many problems faced by India today.
  2. Another aspect of Swamiji’s teaching was universal brotherhood. Today the world realises that to bring peace, there is no other ideology more proper than this. Vasudhev Kutumbakam – i.e. belief in the world as a family has become necessary in growing era of protectionism and de-globalisation.
  3. He said that lack of education is the root cause behind all problems in India. He believed that education should be freed from the stranglehold of the upper class and spread to every section of the society. He was not in favour of just career-oriented education. Unfortunately, that kind of education is not available today and given the risk of automation and poor job growth rate in India, gaining true education, as defined by Vivekanand, would surely help youth of today to excel in various fields.
  4. He was in favour of allowing women to take their own decisions. He emphasised on the women’s education and believed that it will lead to greater development of society as a whole. He also advocated the need to impart martial arts training to women so that they could defend themselves. Considering the sexual crime against women, girl drop outs from school and also reducing female labour force participation, Swami’s teaching are still relevant.

It is high time for the youth to come forward by shedding their fears to shape up India. Swamiji laid great stress on Vasudev Kutumbakam. He argued that instead of differences if we focused on the similarities we all share then this world would be a happier place. His teachings are relevant today since many problems remained the same. His teachings reflects a path to these problems.

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