Call to the Youth of India – – Swami Vivekananda’s Teachings

(Collected by Brahmachari Amal, an American devotee and published on the occasion of 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda)

My faith is in the younger generation, the modern generation, out of them will come my workers. They will work out the whole problem, like lions. I have formulated the idea and have given my life to it. … They will spread from centre to centre, until we have covered the whole of India.

I am born to organise these young men: nay, hundreds more in every city are ready to join me; and I want to send them rolling like irresistible waves over India, bringing comfort, morality, religion, education to the doors of the meanest and the most downtrodden. And this I will do or die.

First of all, our young men must be strong. Religion will come afterwards. Be strong, my young friends; that is my advice to you. You will be nearer to Heaven through football than through the study of the Gita. These are bold words; but I have to say them, for I love you. I know where the shoe pinches. I have gained a little experience. You will understand the Gita better with your biceps, your muscles, a little stronger.

An English boy will tell you, “I am an Englishman, and I can do anything.” The American boy will tell you the same thing, and so will any European boy. Can our boys say the same thing here? No, nor even the boys’ fathers. We have lost faith in ourselves.
Have faith that you are all, my brave lads, born to do great things! Let not the bark of puppies frighten you – no, not even the thunderbolt of heaven – but stand up and work!

Stand up, be bold, be strong. Take the whole responsibility on your shoulders, and know that you are the creator of your own destiny. All the strength and succour you want is within yourselves. Therefore, make your own future.

Men, men, these are wanted: everything else will be ready, but strong, vigorous, believing young men, sincere to the backbone, are wanted. A hundred such and the world becomes revolutionised.

We are responsible for what we are; and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. If what we are now has been the result of our own past actions, it certainly follows that whatever we wish to be in future can be produced by our present actions; so we have to know how to act.

What we want are some young men who will renounce everything and sacrifice their lives for the country’s sake. We should first form their lives and then some real work can be expected.

Work among those young men who can devote heart and soul to this one duty – the duty of raising the masses of India. Awake them, unite them, and inspire them with this spirit of renunciation; it depends wholly on the young people of India.

Make your nerves strong. What we want is muscles of iron and nerves of steel. We ave wept long enough. No more weeping, but stand on your feet and be men.

Go, all of you, wherever there is an outbreak of plague or famine, or wherever the people are in distress, and mitigate their sufferings.

If you have any respect for my words… I will advise you… to throw open all the doors and windows of your room! In your quarters there are lots of poor people sunk in degradation and misery. You will have to go to them and serve them with all your zeal and enthusiasm. Arrange to distribute medicines to those who are sick, and nurse them with all care, supply food to him who is starving, teach with as much as lies in you the ignorant.

A hundred thousand men and women, fired with the zeal of holiness, fortified with eternal faith in the Lord, and nerved to lion’s courage by their sympathy for the poor and the fallen and the downtrodden, will go over the length and breadth of the land, preaching the gospel of salvation, the gospel of help, the gospel of social raising-up – the gospel of equality.

Purity, patience, and perseverance are the three essentials to success and, and above all, love.

Arise, awake; wake up yourselves, and awaken others. Achieve the consummation of human life before you pass off – ‘Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached.’
If you are really my children, you will fear nothing, stop at nothing. You will be like lions. We must rouse India and the whole wold.

If you can think that infinite power, infinite knowledge and indomitable energy lie within you, and if you can bring out that power, you also can become like me. … Go and preach to all, ‘Arise, awake, sleep no more; within each of you there is the power to remove all wants and all miseries. Believe this, and that power will be manifested.

(next part is “Self-Confidence”)

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