: Swami Vivekananda firmly believed that the true essence of religion was the common good and tolerance and to fulfill the dream of making a resurgent India through these principles there is a need to instil his ideals in today's youth, Chief Justice of India N V Ramana said on Sunday.
Justice Ramana while virtually addressing an event to mark the 22nd Foundation Day of Vivekananda Institute of Human Excellence, Hyderabad and the 128th anniversary of the historic Chicago Address of Swami Vivekananda said: "Swami Vivekananda, in his address, propagated the idea of tolerance and universal acceptance. He analysed the dangers posed by the meaningless and sectarian conflicts in society to the nations and the civilisations. There is greater need today, in contemporary India, to pay heed to the words spoken by Swami Vivekananda as early as in 1893."
Swami Vivekananda's address in the World "Parliament of Religions" at Chicago in 1893 drew the world's attention to the ancient Indian philosophy of Vedanta. He popularised practical Vedanta as it preached love, compassion and equal respect for all, the CJI said, pointing out that his teachings have great relevance for all times to come.
"He was prophetic. Long before the painful churning that took place in the subcontinent during the freedom struggle resulting in framing of an egalitarian Constitution of India, he advocated secularism as if he foresaw the events to unfold.
"He firmly believed that the true essence of religion was common good and tolerance. Religion should be above superstitions and rigidities. To fulfil the dream of making resurgent India through the principles of common good and tolerance, we should instil the ideals of Swamiji in today's youth," Justice Ramana said.
Swami Vivekananda believed that youngsters in India are the chain that binds our past to a greater future. He believed that anything is possible if one has the required belief, he said.
It is imperative for the youth to be aware about the social realities and challenges, the CJI said, adding "Remember, any change in the nation's trajectory always stems from its youth and their participation. It is for you to build the ideal nation and society that you desire to witness."
"The democratic rights that we take today for granted are a result of the struggles of thousands of young people who took to the streets fighting authoritarian figures either during the freedom struggle or the dark days of emergency. Many lost their lives, sacrificed lucrative careers, all for the greater good of the nation and society," Justice Ramana said.
Trust the youth to check the deviations in a society's journey towards peace and progress, he added.
"Although it is desirable to be independent and economically successful, at the same time we must not forget our duties towards our family, our community and the nation," he said.
"The youth often perceive every action with a clear set of principles-they don't tolerate injustice either towards themselves or towards others. They don't compromise with their ideals come what may. They are not only selfless but also adventurous. They are willing to sacrifice for the cause they believe in. It is these unadulterated minds and pure hearts which form the backbone of our nation," the Chief Justice said.
Justice Ramana further said today resources are available at one's fingertips and there is unlimited access to a world of information. "These advantages come with a heavy burden. The hyper awareness that modern society allows, with the ease of flow of information mandates that students are more socially and politically aware."
Justice Ramana also advised youth to focus on their health and engage in physical activities and sports.
"Visit the slums to be conscious about the divides that exist even within urban spaces, visit villages to be aware about rural living. Beyond a mere awareness of the issues, you need to have the mentality to find solutions, and take action to make meaningful change in society. You need to be aware that your actions are a part of the process of nation building," he said.
He further called upon educational institutions to inform and create awareness in the students about rights and restrictions.
They should promote and transmit a culture of lawfulness, of respect for the law. Institutions should equip young minds with knowledge about their rights and duties and empower them to be change-makers in society, Justice Ramana added.
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