Sunday, 11 January 2015

Swami Vivekananda: An International Youth Icon – Professor M.S.Rao

“Arise! Awake! and stop not until the goal is reached.” – Swami Vivekananda

Every year on January 12, Indians celebrate the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda who was a youth icon and a spiritual leader.  He was born in an affluent family in Kolkata on January 12, 1863 and a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. His birth anniversary is celebrated as National Youth Day across India. Let us take stock on this day how far we have grown as a nation and society.

Swami Vivekananda has many followers across the world, and I am one of his ardent followers influenced more than 30 years ago. I read most of his works and inspired with his philosophies, and I set a vision to build one million students as global leaders by 2030.  I share his ideals and ideas with students during my leadership development training programs and also through my books and social media posts regularly. I dedicated my award-winning book ‘Student Leaders: Growing from Students to CEOs’ URL: to commemorate his 150th birth anniversary. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India gave me permission to incorporate his pledge in this book. There are several eminent leaders who were inspired by this legend including Indian leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Subhas Chandra Bose and international leaders like Bill Gates and John Rockefeller. I would like to share a few thoughts on this legend.

Leadership Lessons from Swami Vivekananda

There are several leadership lessons we can learn from this legend. Here are some of them:
  1. Example: He led by example. He walked his talk. He practiced what he preached throughout his life. He toured India and abroad to spread spiritual, moral and ethical values.
  2. Ethics: He emphasized on ethical and moral values. He laid stress on character education among the Indian youth. He asserted that character is the beginning of a person’s development.
  3. Excellence: He strove for excellence in all spheres. He pioneered to deliver best. He inspired the imagination of people and implored them to raise their bar to unlock their human potential to achieve excellence.
  4. Empowerment: He empowered Indian youth and strove for women empowerment. He rightly remarked, "There is no chance of the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved. It is not possible for a bird to fly on one wing."
  5. Eloquence: He was a great orator. His famous speech in World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago was an historic one. He mesmerized the audience by addressing, “Dear brothers and sisters of America ..” It aroused a huge applause from audience and he continued his speech, “It fills my heart with joy unspeakable to rise in response to the warm and cordial welcome which you have given me. I thank you in the name of the Mother of Religions and in the name of the millions and millions of Hindus of all classes and sects.”  He spoke about greatness of India and the need for religious toleration and secularism.

Swami Vivekananda had a broader vision unlike his colleagues. He set both national and global goals. With his national goals, he awakened India and Indian youth to grow their potential; and with his global goals, he presented India’s cultural and spiritual values in a positive perspective to the world.  He was the first Indian religious leader to travel and explore India. He was deeply moved by poverty and backwardness of the people. He understood the challenges at the grass root level in India and inspired Indians when the nation needed his leadership.  He was a bridge between the east and the west and he elevated India globally in a positive perspective in modern India. It was a rare contribution by any Indian spiritual leader. He was an authentic leader who led from the front. He was a simple and humble leader without any hypocrisy. His life was a message. He is above Hindu religion and his influence is beyond national borders.  He is a great humanist and pioneer of religious toleration and secularism.

India is blessed with both natural and human resources. If the present human resources which is predominantly young works hard, India can unlock its potential to grow as a super power in the near future.

Presently some of the Indian youth lack focus, discipline and a right attitude. They must inculcate them to grow as good citizens and great leaders.  They must take a pledge to become healthy citizens to build a strong nation and a great global society.

Swami Vivekananda’s Relevance

Swami Vivekananda’s ideas and ideals are timeless. He is relevant as long as the civilization exists. There is intolerance everywhere across the world. Therefore, the world needs another Swami Vivekananda to promote fraternity and brotherhood.  

On the eve of his birth anniversary, I implore Indian youth to inculcate ethical values and achieve success with integrity. Build a tolerant and secular society. Strive for global peace and prosperity. Respect your parents, teachers and elders.  Have a positive attitude, enhance your commitment, and above all, have a backbone with a strong character to excel as a good citizen and as a great global leader. Jai Hind!

“All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything.” - Swami Vivekananda

If you like this article, Like and share Facebook Page:

Life is great!

Professor M.S.Rao, India
Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants India
Listed in Marquis Who's Who in the World in 2013
Vision 2030 Webinar:
Twitter: @professormsrao  
21 Success Sutras for Leaders: Top 10 Leadership Books of the Year (San Diego University) Amazon URL:

Thanks for reading!

Kindly share your thoughts and comments below, I’m sure someone out there will find your story useful.

Copyright©2015 MSR Leadership Consultants India. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

This is a nonprofit blog to share Professor M.S.Rao’s passion and vision to build one million students as global leaders by 2030. Please don't cut articles from my blog and redistribute by email or post to the web. The use of this material is free provided copyright is acknowledged and reference or link is made to the Blog  This material may not be sold, or published in any form, or used in the provision of business services to a third party without permission.

1 comment:

  1. Professor M.S.Rao is a global leadership guru who is passionate to build one million students as global leaders. He has a huge number of followers globally including in Malaysia. He gave autographs to his fans in Malaysia in August 2015 who bought his award-winning book. '21 Success Sutras for Leaders' which is widely read by leaders and CEOs globally. I enjoy his training programs. I read most of his books. I love his vision. I am proud to be one of his one million global leaders. Jai Hind!