Swami Vivekananda was a revolutionary young monk who rekindled the hopes and recharged the spirit of India at a time when the common Indian was exhausted, felt hopeless and had lost faith and confidence in himself and his destiny, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval said on Tuesday.
Delivering the Swami Vivekananda memorial lecture at JNU, Doval said Swami Vivekananda's passion for the country impelled him to shake the conscience of every Indian.
Doval said Swami Vivekananda insisted that a strong India cannot be rebuilt without education, empowerment of people through knowledge.
"He told youth they should learn many things from West but have faith in own spiritual heritage," Doval said.
"He (Vivekananda) talked about society's unity and lamented that one of the causes of India's degradation was social fragmentation," the NSA said, adding that the monk also noted that solution to India's caste problem isn't to degrade higher caste but raise lower up to the level of the higher.
Doval said he felt honoured to be at this prestigious University to speak on the 158th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.
"The institution has played a seminal role in academics, research and public affairs. Two of our senior-most cabinet ministers today, Nirmala Sitharaman and Dr S Jaishankar, are the products of this University and the country is proud of their contribution."
Doval said it is rare that "we attribute the term revolutionary to a spiritual man".
"Faith systems glorify the past and are traditionalists. Revolutionaries, on the other hand, want change and that too at a fast pace. The means suggested by them also are often in conflict with norms and ethos of their times. Swamiji challenged prevalent norms of religion, social practices and individuals self-perception," he said.
Doval said that it was only a revolutionary monk like Vivekananda who could say "Kickout the priests who are always against progress because they would never mend their ways and their heart would never become big."
The NSA said Swami Vivekananda enthralled the World Parliament of religions in Chicago in 1893 with his historic address and the world started looking at Hinduism with a new perspective and new respect.
"His passion for the country impelled him to shake the conscience of every Indian. He asked them that do you love your country and if yes then come and let us struggle for higher and better things. Look not back not even if you see your nearest and dearest crying," the NSA said.
"Only a man of this spirit, indomitable will, passion for the country and love for humty could achieve what he did. He made a multitude of Indians believe in themselves and take responsibility for their destiny that ultimately led to India's independence from a tyrant colonial rule," Doval added.
( With inputs from ANI )
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