|Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Major teachings of Swami Vivekananda and its relevance today.
Conclusion. Way forward.
Swami Vivekananda was a great social reformer of the 19th century. Swami Vivekananda’s contribution to India’s renaissance is profound. He was deeply moved by the appalling poverty and backwardness of the masses. Swami Vivekananda gave Indians proper understanding of the country’s great spiritual heritage and thus gave them pride in their past and strengthened the sense of unity as a nation.
Major teachings of Swami Vivekananda:
- Tolerance: Swami Vivekananda preached tolerance and peace for humankind. His idea of peace and tolerance included people of all religions and sects. According to him, if humans are to thrive and prosper, they need to tolerate the diversified views and strive for the prosperity of all.
- 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 a way to build one’s character, strength, intellect etc.
- Strength: Swami Vivekananda stresses on the importance of being strong in life. Weakness comes with a number of difficulties for one in a life. Whether personal goals or professional goals, a person needs to be fearless and firm to achieve them.
- Compassion for Weaker Sections: He stressed that success at the cost of poverty is not worth it. He emphasised the need to have empathy and compassion for the weaker sections of the society.
- 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.
- Fraternity: Swami Vivekananda focused 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.
Relevance of Swami Vivekanand’s teaching today:
- Fearlessness required to oppose injustice: Swami Vivekanand wanted people to be fearless. Understanding Swami Vivekananda and his message is important for removing our fears to fight any injustice. To defeat casteism, economic inequalities and other social injustice like women discrimination, it is important to fight against these injustices with courage.
- Brotherhood: Swamiji’s teaching of universal brotherhood is most relevant today. The world needs to realise that to bring peace, there is no other ideology more proper than this. Vasudev Kutumbakam i.e. belief in the world as a family has become necessary in the growing era of protectionism and de-globalisation.
- Education: 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. Emphasis on true education, would surely help youth of today to excel in various fields especially in jobs that need skills.
- Women empowerment: 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. Considering the sexual crime against women, girl dropouts from school and also reducing female labour force participation, Swami’s teaching is 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. His teachings are relevant today since many problems remained the same. His teachings reflect a path to these problems.