Vimarsha: Vivekananda and National Regeneration
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“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.”

VIF held the first Vimarsha of the year on January 13, 2020. The highlight of this session of Vimarsha was the address delivered by Pravrajika Divyanandaprana. The topic was ‘Vivekananda and National Regeneration’. Pravrajika Divyanandaprana Ji is a monastic member of Sri Sarada Math, Dakshineshwara and is currently posted at Ramakrishna Sarada Mission in New Delhi. She is also the editor of the English journal of Sri Sarada Math, Samvit. Apart from this, she also is a regular speaker at various institutions of imminence.

The event began with a short address by the Director, Dr. Arvind Gupta. He began his address with an emphasis on the importance of Swami Vivekananda and how he continues to be a “shining beacon” for the community. In his introduction to the topic, he focused on the idea of regeneration and how important it is to uplift the masses of our country and that a common man should be made aware of the “spiritual message of India”. Dr. Gupta emphasized on the importance of spirituality and how it should be a guiding principle for us. He also touched upon the importance of selflessness as a practice, something that each and every person should carry out. He concluded his address with an emphasis on the youth of our country as also Swamiji's idea of placing trust in the younger generation.

Divyanandaprana Ji began her address by giving the audience a picture of who exactly Swami Vivekananda was. She called for understanding the man himself first, before trying to understand his mission. She said that Vivekananda was no ordinary man and that he was a “spiritual powerhouse”, a man of realization. According to her, Swami Vivekananda was placed on this earth by God, for a purpose, and that purpose is the betterment of the society. And that since he is placed on this earth by God, everything he says, every pointer he gives for national regeneration, comes directly from the source (God). So it is extremely essential that we take these seriously.

Swamiji Ji had realized the importance and the glory of the 5000 year old civilization that our country has, and that this, rich history can become a guiding principle. The ethos that our civilization, which predates all religions and much of human history, carries through its literature like the Rigveda is the message of spirituality which is bigger than any religion. This civilization created a great knowledge society based on the spiritual ethos. India is a land which has invested its resources in research on the subject and not just the objective world. And by dwelling deep into the nature of the subjective world, our forefathers have discovered enormous laws of the subjective world which has been encapsulated in the Yoga Sutras and Vedanta literature. This deep study allows one to reach the deepest dimensions of the inner being, known as the atman. And by knowing this atman, one can understand the nature of the objective world. And this brings self-realization in one, and according to Divyanandaprana Ji, the very purpose of human life is this self-realization.

Swami Vivekananda propagated this idea of spirituality passionately because he believed that before we deluge this land with social and political ideas, we should deluge it with spiritual ideas. He believed that we should go beyond a man and his religion, and look at the inner self and spirituality because that is what will guide us. Swamiji gave a lot of importance to the Upanishads and often called for “going back to the Upanishads” because he believed that it had the answers and that the “salvation of India” was there. The Upanishads become important because it gives one an identity apart from body and mind; it gives a transcendental identity to a person.

Divyanandaprana Ji then moved onto to explain the idea of unity and how vital it is to have unity among the masses. She says that the nature of life is unity and this is what is brought to us by the Upanishadic science. Swami Vivekananda envisioned India to be a great spiritual umbrella with no divide among men. Divyanandaprana Ji says that it is us who have created this divide and we have to get out of it. We live in a world where everybody is searching for this unity, poets and philosophers talk about it, politicians talk about it and even economists are looking for it, but according to Divyanandaprana ji, unity can be found only at the heart of existence.

She then enumerated few of the points given by Swami Vivekananda for the betterment of our nation which he draws from this land.

  1. Upliftment of the masses especially women through education: Swamiji believed that this was the way to go forward. He wanted to empower women and put them in a position where they can solve their own problems. He believed that it is of utmost importance that we acknowledge and respect the omnipotent force that is there in all women. His plan was to raise women and masses through education.
  2. Building up of economy: Swamiji advocated a plan for development that is tempered with values.
  3. Exchange your spirituality for material sciences because India is rich in the philosophy of Yoga and Vedanta; it is rich in the techniques for mind management. And Swamiji believed that we should exchange this with the West in return for the scientific civilization they developed. And even before you give it, we should first acknowledge the fact that we do have something to give because what we have to give is of eternal importance to the world.

Divyanandaprana Ji concluded her address by giving the audience a glimpse of the ideas Swami Vivekananda had on education. She said that Vivekananda gave education the most importance because he strongly believed that education was the key to development. Education is not mere collection of facts, but it is about orienting life towards something elevating, bringing values to life, and not just developing one's intellect. Everything is part of education. This is what is lacking in our education system. Education is the nervous connection between ideas; it is the sanskaar that we imbibe. The main tenet behind Swamiji notions of education is the application of elevated ideas.

We must feel intensely about these ideas and should bring them out at each and every opportunity we get. She says, what will decide the course for future generations is, how sensitive we are to these ideas. What schools and colleges and universities can’t teach can be taught by a mother to her child. And according to Swamiji, that is where education begins. The real change makers in our country are not the bureaucrats or the politicians; it is the mothers and the teachers. Everyday something elevating should come to our mind. Divyanandaprana Ji highlighted a few initiatives that should be pursued with vigour such as setting up of ‘Vocational Training Institutions’, MSMEs, skill development opportunities etc. She observed that India as a country has a great advantage in terms of its demographic dividend; that is the huge youth population our country has. This is a gift which is full of possibilities. Hence, it is extremely essential to educate and train our youth.

Written By: Pratyush Manoj Nair, Young Professional, VIF

Event Date 
January 13, 2020

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