Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emphasized that India’s quest for prosperity must be guided by Swami Vivekananda’s Awakened India vision.
Modi was addressing the 125th-anniversary celebrations of ‘Prabuddha Bharata’, the monthly journal of the Ramakrishna Order started by Vivekananda in 1896, which is among the longest-running English journals of the country.
Drawing attention to Vivekananda’s letter to the Maharaja of Mysore and to Swami Ramakrishnananda, the PM said it underlined two thoughts of Vivekananda’s approach to empowering the poor.
“He wanted empowerment to be taken to the poor if the poor themselves cannot easily go to empowerment. Second, he talked about India’s poor, they are to be given ideas; their eyes are to be opened to what is going on in the world around them, and then they will work out their own salvation’. He asserted that this is precisely what is being done today. Citing examples from the present.
“If the poor cannot access banks, then banks must reach the poor. That is what the Jan Dhan Yojana did. If the poor cannot access insurance, then insurance must reach the poor. This is what the Jan Suraksha schemes did. If the poor cannot access health-care, then we must take health-care to the poor. This is what Ayushman Bharat scheme did.” The infrastructure like roads, education, electricity, and Internet connectivity reaching to different corners of the country, he said, are all igniting aspirations among the poor. And, it is these aspirations that are driving the growth of the country,” the Prime Minister said.
Significantly, the PM again referred to the youth power and its importance in modern India, as he did in his 73rd Maan Ki Baat in the morning, wherein he discussed the different initiatives led by them which are inspiring and encouraging. Herein he expressed happiness that Vivekananda’s big dreams for India and his immense faith in the country’s youth is reflected in India’s business leaders, sportspersons, technocrats, professionals, scientists, innovators, and so many others. He asked the youngsters to learn from Swamiji’s lectures on Practical Vedanta which stresses the need to overcome setbacks and treat them as a part of the learning curve. Further, he said they must learn to become fearless and be full of self-belief as advised by Vivekananda.
Making a notable point, the PM stressed that the Swami did not see spiritual and economic progress as mutually exclusive. “Most importantly, he was against the approach where people romanticize poverty,” he said and went on to add that “in his lectures about Practical Vedanta, Vivekananda said, “the fictitious difference between religion and the life of the world must vanish, for the Vedanta teaches oneness’.”
Drawing from India’s nearly year-long concerted fight against the pandemic Covid-19, Modi said, “India’s proactive stance during the pandemic is an example of Swamiji’s approach of not feeling helpless in a crisis. Similarly, instead of complaining about the problem of Climate Change, India went for a solution in the form of the International Solar Alliance.” Emphasizing that this is Prabuddha Bharata of Swami Vivekananda’s vision being built, he said “This is an India which is giving solutions to the world’s problems.”
Wishing the journal the best for the future, the PM praised it for making Swami Vivekananda’s thoughts immortal and spreading his ideas.