Guiding Light: As you sow, so shall you reap

Guiding Light: As you sow, so shall you reap

Ritesh AswaneyUpdated: Friday, January 12, 2024, 11:02 PM IST
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Swami Vivekananda | PTI

As the Sun begins his auspicious annual northerly transit, or Uttarayan, we prepare to celebrate a whole host of harvest festivals from Bhogi to Bihu and Lohri to Pongal! India is the land of abundance, blessed with a variety of crops from fruits to foodgrains, and we find a way to celebrate the beauty of every season. And amidst this flurry of harvest festivals, it's only right that we spend some time pondering about our growth as a people.

India has one of the youngest populations in the world, with 50% of the people being 30 or under and as we set our sights on becoming the next economic superpower, we have to focus on the quality of education that our youth receive. And as we celebrate National Youth Day on the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekanand, we are reminded of his evergreen slogan, “Arise, Awake and Stop not till the goal is reached!” Swamiji was a thought leader, someone who captured the imagination of the world through his World Congress of Religions address in Chicago in 1893.

Rising to speak for the ocean that is Sanatan Dharma at a time when India was going through her lowest periods under oppressive colonial rule, his words gave a new hope to the youth. And in an era, where we’re bombarded with mis-information and deeply ensconced into cram-culture, his views are like a breath of fresh air. He said, “Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man. Religion is the manifestation of the Divinity already in man. Therefore the only duty of the teacher in both cases is to remove all obstructions from the way.” Slamming the education system as a clerk-making machine, he emphasised on the importance of man-making, or the all-around development of the individual, focussing on the positives, rather than dwelling on the negatives.

If we are serious about nation-building, then our primary responsibilities lie towards ourselves, and investing in our growth as individuals, the rightful inheritors of a past so glorious that it was the envy of the ancient world. Progress is meaningless without spiritual grounding, for the path to success is ridden with ups and downs, which will test the very limits of our endurance. And then there are distractions and detours, which tempt us away from our goal. This is where our treasure trove of spirituality comes into its own, like a shining light in these uncertain times. It's vitally important that we realise that the rocket fuel which will launch us into the orbit of civilisational glory is a carefully curated blend of our Indic traditions and our modern scientific temper!

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