National Youth Day:
January 12 marks the birthday of Swami Vivekananda.
- National Youth Day is celebrated on this day. Celebrated since 1984.
- The main objective is to promote rational thinking among the youth, believed to be the future of the country.
- Swami Vivekananda was a true luminary, credited with enlightening the western world about Hinduism.
- He was an ardent disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa and a major force in the revival of Hinduism in India.
- He pushed for national integration in colonial India, and his famous speech remains as the one that he gave in Chicago in 1893.
- Born in Kolkata on January 12, 1863 in Kolkata, Swami Vivekananda was known as Narendra Nath Datta in his pre-monastic life.
- He is known to have introduced the Hindu philosophies of Yoga and Vedanta to the West.
- Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had called Vivekananda the “maker of modern India.”
- In 1893, he took the name ‘Vivekananda’ after Maharaja Ajit Singh of the Khetri State requested him to do so, changing from ‘Sachidananda’ that he used before.
- He formed the Ramakrishna Mission in 1897 “to set in motion a machinery which will bring noblest ideas to the doorstep of even the poorest and the meanest.”
- In 1899, he established the Belur Math, which became his permanent abode.
- He preached ‘neo-Vedanta’, an interpretation of Hinduism through a Western lens, and believed in combining spirituality with material progress.
- Books written by him: ‘Raja Yoga’, ‘Jnana Yoga’, ‘Karma Yoga’ are some of the books he wrote.