Swami Vivekananda's central message to Youth
Swami Vivekananda's lectures, talks,letters,poems--his life's work --is published in nine volumes entitled The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda. Is there any central message of Swamiji that runs through the pages of these nine volumes? Let us hear Swamiji himself: My ideal indeed can be put into a few words and that is: to preach unto mankind their divinity, and how to make it manifest in every movement of life. Man's inherent divinity was Swamiji's central message. The following famous quotation of Swamiji can be our mantra for personality development: Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this Divinity within by controlling nature, external and internal.
Swami Vivekananda Message for Youth
Swamiji was never tried of rousing people to be conscious of their inherent divinity and perfection. He wanted this divinity to manifest in our day-to-day lives. In fact ,he held this manifestation of divinity as the sole index of civilization of humankind:

A nation may conquer the waves, control the elements, develop the utilitarian problems of life seemingly to the utmost limits, and yet not realize that in the individual, the highest type of civilization is found in him who has learned to conquer self.
This universe is simply a gymnasium in which the soul is taking exercise; and after these exercises we become gods. So the value of everything is to be decided by how far it is a manifestation of God. Civilization is the manifestation of that divinity in man.
This divinity in us is the repository of eternal bliss. The more it manifests, the more we experience abiding happiness and get supreme knowledge.

Strengthening of will-power, the essence of personality development:

The divine core of our personality is covered, as it were, by five dimensions:
*Physical dimension consisting of our body and senses.
*Energy dimension which performs digestion of food, circulation of blood, respiration and other activities in the body.
*Mental dimension characterized by the activities of the mind, like, thinking, feeling and emotions, etc.
*Intellectual dimension characterized by the determinative faculty in a person. This is also the seat of discrimination and will power.
*Blissful dimension experienced as bliss during deep sleep.

Each succeeding dimension is subtler than the preceding one and pervades it.

Personality development implies progressive identification with higher dimensions of personality. Thus a person identified only with the physical dimension without exercising his higher mental faculties, lives not far different from animals, whose pleasure and pain are restricted to the sensory system.

Development involves struggle with one's lower mind characterized by desires, old habits, wrong tendencies, impulses and bad impressions. The lesser we identify with the lower mind, and the more we identify with the higher mind, and exercise our buddhi(discrimination), the more developed will our personality be. This involves struggle to grapple with one's mind and its old habits, to cultivate new and wholesome ones. But this struggle is the greatest of all struggles in that it makes us civilized in the real sense of the term by manifesting our divinity and thereby our hidden perfection.
Some essential qualities for personality development
Faith in Oneself: Swamiji held faith in one's potential divinity as the sheet anchor of personality development. Faith in God came next only to faith in oneself, If one believes that one's real nature is the spirit-- not the body or the mind--one would be a better individual with strong character.

Think Positive Thoughts: Swamiji described ,in no uncertain terms, weakness in human beings. Positive, wholesome thoughts based on our inherent divinity are essential for a strong character. Go on doing good, thinking holy thoughts continuously, that is the only way to suppress base impressions...Character is repeated habits and repeated habits alone can reform character. Further, according to Swamiji, the only sin is to think of oneself and others as weak.

Attitude towards Failures and Mistakes: Swamiji advocated upholding the ideal once again even if a person failed a thousand times. He appreciated committing mistakes and learning from them rather than leading from them rather than leading an inert existence like a wall, which can't even tell a lie.

Self-reliance: Man is the maker of his own destiny, said Swamiji: . We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves.

Renunciation and Service: Swamiji held selfless service as a paramount means to character development. This ,coupled with renunciation of selfishness and desire for the fruits of action, was considered by Swamiji as the twin ideal of our nation. Intensify her in those channels, said he and the rest will take care of itself.
Swamiji and his works, and awakens in them a desire to mould their character and develop their personality. A noble character and developed personality will ensure excellence in one's chosen field, and contribute to individual and national development. Says Swamiji: Teach yourselves, teach every one his real nature, call upon the sleeping soul and see how it awakes. Power will come, glory will come, goodness will come, purity will come, and everything that is excellent will come when this sleeping soul is roused to self-conscious activity.

Article Credit - Ramakrishna Mission.

Books by Surendra Nath

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