Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A NEW YOUTH MOVEMENT: DESIGNED BY SWAMI VIVEKANANDA [PART-1.]

PREFACE 
This new publication is a compilation of a few articles on a particular theme based on discussions in All India Youth Training Camps, often appearing as Editorials in 'Vivek-Jivan' -the bilingual monthly organ of the Mahamandal. These together may well serve the purpose of an authentic introduction to the Mahamandal - its ratiocinative background, Aims and Objectives, the Task and its Method of Work.
Those who are interested in the Mahamandal and its work should do well ' To Chew and Digest' the book. For them also who are not particularly interested in this organization, reading the volume will be worthwhile, it is expected. It may 'Provoke Thoughts'  which are not generally encouraged, but are unavoidable, if we want to view the general human scene today and particularly the condition of our own society. A fresh look, and not just a stereotyped estimate, at the prevailing condition is essential, if any constructive action is called for.
No idea here is an out-flow of any particular individual human brain. Every idea is borrowed from Swami Vivekananda and their linking has only one purpose : regeneration or ushering in a New India. If use of a new coinage is allowed , it may be said: Here is an attempt to study 'Applied Vivekananda' in the national context.

PUBLISHER
September,1987  
Printed by 
P.K. Das
Pelican Press
85 B.B. Ganguli Street
Calcutta-12
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CONTENTS: [PART-1.]

1. The Work
2. Tend Individuals, Tend Society
3. Heart and Soul
4. The Need of Organization and Leadership
5. Will and Unite
6. Implication of 'Be and Make'
7. For Total Development
8. The Task and the Way
9. Our Limitation
10. The Object and the Way
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A New Youth Movement

1.
The Work
Many do not understand what the Mahamandal wants to do. Much has been written during the last 18 years  in 'Vivek-Jivan' - the bilingual monthly organ of the Mahamandal- and other publications and also said in youth gatherings, training camps, and elsewhere. The whole thing cannot be repeated here, but the main points may be recapitulated for the benefit of those who are at work. If others also have a better understanding, that will be an additional gain.   No individual or organization can undertake to do all that needs to be done. It has been said in the Gita (18.25) --

अनुबन्धं क्षयं हिंसाम् अनवेक्ष्य च पौरुषम्।
     मोहात् आरभ्यते कर्म यत् तत् तामसम्  उच्यते  ।।
 
-That  work is tamasa, which is undertaken without consideration of the अनुबन्धं ,
 the result that it may yield, expenditure of money, energy, etc. chance of injuring other's interests, and the capacity to undertake and execute a plan-merely from a momentary impulse or enthusiasm, not guided by analysis and discrimination.   
It is not prudence to jump upon some work without thoroughly studying the pros and cons and the possibility of success. That work becomes more efficient, says the Chhandogya Upanishad '-नाना तु विद्या चाविद्या च यदेव विद्यया करोति श्रद्धयोपनिषदा तदेव वीर्यवत्तरं भवतीति' (1.1.10) Whatever work is done with vidya, knowledge (of ॐ), through shraddha, faith, and backed by upanishad, meditation, that alone becomes most effective. 
"The Work" which is undertaken with adequate understanding (of Truth), faith (श्रद्धा) , conviction and sincerity, and the required know-how (upanishada), with understanding of the negative and the positive aspects (of vidya **), if a work is taken up, it has a better chance for success. 
The Mahamandal has not therefore taken upon itself the task of bringing about a thorough economic or political change in India, removing unemployment or illiteracy for good, or ensuring good health to the ever-growing millions of the country. It has instead chosen a small sphere of work, the work of building individual life of the youth in particular, increasing gradually the number of men of character -the key to solving all other bigger problems that face us today. 

The plan was given by no one other than Swami Vivekananda, who emphasized on taking care of the root, gave an outline of the man of the future, as also the method for making such men. The Mahamandal is trying to follow the path he has shown. It has found that trying other methods are of no avail in the long run and therefor does not intend to beg of anybody and everybody ideas for some work just to keep the youths engaged, ostensibly for social good with the object of containing their energies that often afflict the society.
Indeed it is one of the toughest jobs that anyone may venture to try, and being rather uncommon, draws nobody's attention, sympathy, or appreciation. The good worker cares a fig for the others applause, if he knows the merit of his chosen job and seeks no reward for himself. The greatest contribution for the good of all, one can make by building his own life properly. No other service to society is more beneficial than this. When one young man has nothing more than his strong body and stern will to do good to all, he may with conviction about his bold endeavor, build his own life on a solid foundation and then with no other investment or blueprints help another of his stock to do the same. If with sincerity this process can be continued, immense service will go to society in the long run. We should not be short-sighted. Unless we do this first and plunge into work, that will be inferior work according to the Gita (2.49) and the Upanishads. 
दूरेण ही अवरं कर्म बुद्धियोगात्  धनंजय।
बुद्धौ शरणम् अन्विच्छ कृपणाः फलहेतवः।।

- " Work (done with selfish desire) is far inferior, O Arjuna, to that done with a detached reason. Small-minded are they who are motivated by selfish results.’ Any action with a selfish motive  is far inferior. If we build our life properly, we will know more about our own inner purity and power and knowing that the same are in everybody and everywhere, our unselfish work will be worship of that 'Purity and Power' residing in all. That only may be the real success of life (Gita:18.46) says, 

यतः प्रवृत्तिः भूतानां येन सर्वं इदं ततम्।
स्वकर्मणा तम् अभ्यर्च्य सिद्धिं विन्दति मानवः।।

[18.46 यतः from whom? प्रवृत्तिः (is) the evolution? भूतानाम् of beings? येन by whom? सर्वम् all? इदम् this? ततम् is pervaded? स्वकर्मणा with his own duty? तम् Him? अभ्यर्च्य worshiping? सिद्धिम् perfection? विन्दति attains? मानवः man.]
He from Whom all the beings have evolved and by Whom all this is pervaded worshiping Him (Sri Ramakrishna) with his own duty, man attains perfection.**

As soon as common people hear about an organization particularly in the name of Swami Vivekananda, their imagination takes it to the final field of work among the downtrodden and the lowly. True, Swamiji wanted that. But very often we forget Swamiji's directions for preparation for such work through self-development. We want to rush to the college before we finish the school. There our buddhi fails us. So Krishna (in Gita) exhorts us to take recourse to buddhi and the rishi of the Upnishad asks us to have vidya.
Swamiji's plan follows this scheme in Toto and that is why his social service is so different from all other. The Mahamandal wants to follow this plan only and does not propose to depend on techniques and theories of social service imported in bulk from elsewhere.

The argument for quick action is lame. It comes from lack of buddhi. One must be ready to pay the right price for the valued commodity. Concrete social service, only which common people understand, Mahamandal may never undertake on a large scale to ameliorate the condition of all suffering humanity. Buddhi will tell us that this itself cannot be taken as failure. If proper schooling of youths (the limited sphere of work chosen) can be done, they will do concrete service thousandfold in various ways wherever they may go for their livelihood or for voluntary service. But without that no work will ultimately be successful.
In its fold it takes up social service as much as it can according to its capacity, only as a means to the end it has set before itself. It has the know-how for the work it has chosen and that is yielding palpable results. The Mahamandal treads its path following only the advice of Swami Vivekananda and that alone. 

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**तेनोभौ कुरुतो यश्चैतदेवं वेद यश्च न वेद ।
नाना तु विद्या चाविद्या च यदेव विद्यया करोति
श्रद्धयोपनिषदा तदेव वीर्यवत्तरं भवतीति
खल्वेतस्यैवाक्षरस्योपव्याख्यानं भवति ॥ 1.1.10॥

{i.तेनोभौ कुरुतः यश् च एतद् एवं वेद यश् च न वेद/ii. नाना तु विद्या च अ-विद्या च,/ iii. यद् एव विद्यया करोति, (श्रद्धयोपनिषदा)  श्रद्धया उपनिषदातद् एव वीर्यवत्तरं भवति इति,/iv. खल्व् एतस्य एव अ-क्षरस्य उपव्याख्यानं भवति}     

Though one who knows and one who doesn’t  may try at the same karma, since knowledge and ignorance are different, the karma done by the knowledge with faith and meditation  following the rules  turns out to be strong, which is the meaning [the mystical meaning of the sacred syllable Aum ॐ ] of this syllable.- Aum ॐ . "
 Commentary : “Both persons perform [the particular religious rite under discussion-'BE AND MAKE'], both the one who knows thus the mystical meaning of the sacred syllable Aum] and the one who does not know [who knows only the procedures of the rite and not the true character of 'ॐ' . [But] knowledge (विद्याand ignorance (अविद्या ) are different. What one performs with (विद्या
knowledge,  and faith and Upanishad (श्रद्धया उपनिषदा= in Incarnation and Aspirant?) becomes far stronger (v irYavattaram) [sc., than what is performed by the ignorant man." 


[अनश्नन्नन्यो अभिचाकशीति ।(श्वेता : ४-६ ,और मुण्डक: ३-१-१) दूसरा ऊपर वाला पक्षी जो ॐ के आध्यात्मिक अर्थ को जानता है - यह जगत ब्रह्ममय है, श्री रामकृष्ण ही आधुनिक युग में ब्रह्म के अवतार हैं,
इसीलिये वे श्रद्धा-उपनिषदा अर्थात सभी मनुष्यों को श्रद्धा और खुली आँखों से ध्यान करते हैं,कि जगत क्षणभंगुर आकर्षण को छोड़कर कौन उनकी तरफ आ रहा है ? (अवतार-ठाकुर देव  में श्रद्धा -उपनिषदा= पराभक्ति या खुली आँखों से ध्यान   [अन्यः = दूसरा Uper Bird, अनशन्न= न खाता हुआ, अभिचाकशीति = केवल देखता रहता है)
The Upper Bird (Absolute Truth):  Rama’s ( or Thakur's) character, deeds and appeal cannot be understood unless he is taken to be both human and divine. 
" राम अतर्क्य बुद्धि मन बानी, मत हमार अस सुनहु सायानी " 
It can be understood even by common sense that, if we look upon Rama considering Him only as Brahman (Absolute Truth), and not consider His human aspects (Relative Truth) then we will be unable to follow his life and teachings.
Because our intellect, mind, and words can not go beyond 'Time-Space and Causation'! 
(Source of Translation http://www.jagritbharat.com/ ]
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 2.
Tend individuals , Tend Society !
Do you know in the world today youths number one thousand millions and India's share in youth population in the world is one seventh ? India's youth population now is approximately one hundred forty millions or fourteen crores and we all know and the world knows and it is known for all time that all power of human society lies in the youth. people of the age group 15-35 are generally taken as youth, according to demographic norms. 
Swami Vivekananda had great faith in the youth of India. Astonishingly we find that Socrates, Aristotle, and such giants of the West of earlier ages, were not very happy with the youth of their own times. They found fault with the youth, they spoke ill of the youth all the time. Even in our own time, if we come across elderly people, we find that they do not like the young people generally. They somehow tolerate them. But we fail to find in Swami Vivekananda's utterances any such observation.
He was never uneasy with the youth.What is the reason ? Swami Vivekananda delved deep into the being, in the human being. Swamiji could see that in all youths there is that same being, that ultimate being, that reality, that Brahman, that Atman, that all powerful entity, which is all knowledge, that reality which is of the nature of Bliss or Ananda. So, Swamiji said that all beings were temple of God, but the human being was the Taj Mahal of all temples. Consequently every being, and particularly human beings, were to him objects of adoration. If we go back to our hoary past and turn on the pages of the Vedas, we find that a beautiful superlative adjective about Brahman is there- yavistha, the most youthful. All gods even are heroes, mighty in body and mind and Swamiji wanted us all to be real Heroes (Devas).
He called the youth and said, ' This is the time to decide.' In youth, if you fail to take a correct decision about your future, you will not be able to make use of the wealth that is your life. If we allow our senses, our mind, propensities, our natural tendencies to drag us out, then simply we will lose our life. Therefore, in spite of many defects in the youth, Swamiji never scolded them, he only loved them, came forward, and placed before them certain great ideals.
He said, Look at the world, see how men suffer in various ways and as we all know, at least from the Vedantic point of view, that at the root of all our sufferings is ignorance. So, dispel this ignorance, have real light and if you get a little of that light, you will see that our future is very great and if we can have that light in our individual life and if many of us have a little of that light, the future of mankind will be bright. The darkness that has come upon the whole of humanity as a thick pall , would burst asunder and we shall rise and make real progress. 
In the present day world we find certain duality's. Affluence on one side and poverty on the other. The march of science and the lack of real wisdom, lack of real joy and happiness in the life of men and the threat of war, all sorts of competition and strife and hatred, selfishness and greed, lack of sympathy. We find lack of love and only hatred everywhere; hankering for wealth and lust, blind materialism and lack of real spirituality. That is what brings in our mind the desire for waging wars.
In our country for thousands of years our forefathers tried to bring this out, this search for wisdom. They wanted and did synthesize the science of the world, outer world, and the science of the inner world. But in course of millennia we forgot the trick of synthesizing these two sciences.In our own times, so to say, towards the end of the last century, Swami Vivekananda arose to make the possibility of this synthesis of these two sciences of the without and the within and those who have eyes to see things, the events of the current period, can see clearly that this is going to take place in the whole world. In one of the recent publication of the Mahamandal under the title 'In Store for the 21st Century' you can have a glimpse of this possibility.
In today's India what do we find ? We find that there are only twenty houses, those who are very rich. There are rich people, there are educated people, there are people whom really we can call a privileged class. But on the other side we find 74.5 % of India's population today, according to a study conducted by U.N.O, form the under-privileged class. Can we tolerate this? Still about 70 % of our people are illiterate. 35% people whom we call literate, only know the letters, but they are certainly not educated.
about 50 % of the population of India still live below the subsistence level. though statistics shows that the figure is diminishing fast and would vanish at the end of the century. According to another study conducted by the U.N. about a couple of years ago only the figure of such people living under the poverty line in India today was thirty three crores. Many do not have any education. Many do not have any health care. Even many are deprived of real justice. "Equality' in our society is just a hollow word.In this condition should we simply be satisfied and be striving for our own good? 

Swami Vivekananda gave us a very simple definition of society. Swamiji said, a society is composed of individuals and, therefore, Swamiji derived out of this definition that you can can only make for the progress of society by taking care of the individuals. To Swamiji, regeneration of the nation meant invigorating the individual. So he said, ' Man-making is my life's mission.' That can only be the way to regenerate India.

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3.
heart and soul?
[If scientifically there is a direct link between the heart and soul?]
We have seen from Swamiji's words that the individuals make for the whole society. Therefore, if we build individuals properly, we shall be building a good society. How an individual may make himself properly ? He can, if he takes care of his body, if he takes care of his mind, and if takes care of his heart.
Through nourishment, proper nourishment and exercise of the physical body, he has to build his body well. Likewise, the mind has to be fed, it has to be given its proper nourishment and exercise.
 But can we feel our soul ? We have seen that we have expression of our soul in our heart, which feels. One day Swamiji raised the question, where dose our soul resides? in our body ? In Sanskrit we get the word hridaya. Swamiji one by one scanned all the possible hide-outs of the soul in our body. Starting from the head he gradually came down and stopped near our heart.
He saw that the possibility of our soul somehow hiding itself in the extremities was remote. If you cut off one of your arms or one of your legs, you do not die. You know that your soul still persists. But, if our head crushes or our thoracic cage is broken down, we normally do not live. So this was a very scientific approach. So he thought, it must be somewhere here. But through the process of elimination he found that the head is too much busy with the functioning of the bran, our intellect, and he had occasions to see that though we need intelligence, it very often makes us selfish and does not allow us to think much about others, and therefore it cannot represent our soul; which loves all and is unselfish. So, he concluded through this scientific examination and the process of elimination that, if our soul exists at all in our body it must be, as our forefather conjectured, residing somewhere near our heart, this blood pumping machine.
Narendranath (Swami Vivekananda) was a very brilliant student. He studied all subjects-history, religion, philosophy, physics, chemistry, biology, physiology, anatomy, etc.etc. He said, you know, in the body there are a number of ganglia. Medical students must be knowing very well. Near the actual heart, the blood pumping machine, there is ganglion and it is known as the 'sympathetic ganglion'. This is a scientific name. And his final conclusion was, if the soul has to reside in the human body, it must be residing in the sympathetic ganglion.

So, who has been able to bring out his divinity ? He who is more sympathetic towards others. Look at the life of Sri Ramakrishna, look at the life of the Holy Mother, look at the life of Swami Vivekananda, lives of Buddha, Sri Chaitnya, Jesus Christ, and other such persons. We all find that they are lumps of love only. Being forced to speak about Sri Ramakrishna, once Swamiji admitted his incapacity. He said, I cannot say anything about Him. Then at last, after much effort, he only said, he is LOVE, premswarupah, as our shastras say about God.

So that is what really we are and to manifest that divinity, or love, we take the help of our mind and body. This effort individually we can make.This possibility lies in everybody. But particularly today in the environment of our society, it is difficult for a few individual young men to strive for this great fulfillment. Individually if we try, after some time we may think that perhaps in the circumstances we will not succeed in this attempt. We may eventually give up this attempt and quit; simply flow on with the current. But, if a number of young people come together, unite and come under an organization, they enthuse and inspire each other. Then this attempt of building their life can succeed.

 This is the purpose of this organization, Akhil Bharat Vivekananda Yuva Mahamandal. It is there so that all young people united under the banner of this organization can inspire each other and help each other in building their lives. If through such organized effort they can create a few lakhs of young people out of 60 crores of Indian youth, then in no time, in course of a few years only, our whole society will be transformed to a great extent.

Sociological science tell us that not everybody in a society sets the standard or the style or the trend of a particular society in a particular period of time, but a powerful united band of people sets the trend of a particular society. You can test this truth yourselves. Today we say so much of anti-social activities we find in our society. Do you think, does anybody believe, that the majority of people in our society today are anti-social ? Never. But there are a few anti-socials today living in our society who have become powerful, just a minority of anti-social simply threaten the whole society. Why don't you learn this ? Can you not form just a band of good young people, strong in body, strong in character, strong in mind, strong in determination, with an expanded heart, which feels for others ? If you individually form your lives and come together, young force will simply change the general style of life of the whole society.

One day Swamiji (he was then at Varanasi) was going along the way and a monkey somehow followed him. It was threatening him and Swamiji at first was trying to run away. But it was all the while menacingly following him. At that time a mendicant was going that way. He said, ' are bhai, ruk jao, ghumke kahre ho jao, daro math.' and immediately Swamiji followed his advice, turned round, stood before it and looked at it in the face. The result was it immediately fled away.So today in face of the threat of the anti-social, and all evil in society, if we simply try to flee and escape, we shall fail.
If we just look around, stand with the strength of our character and determination of mind, we can stop those evil things, we can take up the reigns of the society. The Mahamandal wants to place the life and the great teachings of Swami Vivekananda before all the youths of India. If the youths are united, they will not only remove the evils from the society, but they will make for the real progress, regeneration of a new India.
So, the good and well-being of all people of India is the object before the Mahamandal. Amelioration of the sufferings of the people is a must, but that cannot ultimately be achieved merely through some developmental or relief works or social service works. Clearly we can see from the teachings of Swami Vivekananda that we can do the greatest good to our own country by building our lives and uniting together for a right cause.
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(21st February, 1900. letter to Swami Akhandananda )  " It is not in the brain but in the heart that the Atman, possessed of knowledge, power, and activity, has Its seat. " शतं चैका च हृदयस्य नाड्य: — The nerves of the heart are a hundred and one" etc. The chief nerve-centre near the heart, called the sympathetic ganglia, is where the Atman has Its citadel. The more heart you will be able to manifest, the greater will be the victory you achieve.It is only a few that understand the language of the brain, but everyone from the Creator down to a clump of grass, understands the language that comes from the heart. But then, in our country, it is a case of rousing men that are, as it were, dead. It will take time, but if you have infinite patience and perseverance, success is bound to
come. "
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4.
The Need of Organization and Leadership 
 A saying attribute of Vyasa goes like this -
त्रेतायां मंत्रशक्तिश्च, ज्ञानशक्तिः  कृते युगे।
द्वापरे युद्धशक्तिश्च, संघशक्तिः कलौ युगे।। 
-Power lay in mantras in Treta Yuga, in knowledge or intelligence in Satya Yuga; War power as paramount in Dwapara Yuga, while in Kali Yuga power lies in organization.
Swami Vivekananda was fascinated with the idea of organization. He appreciated the merit of the power of organization. He knew about organizations of our country appearing in old times, their success and drawbacks. Yet he favored the idea of organization for working among the people-not only for amelioration of their suffering, but also for educating them in the right line. He found that among the common people of our country the spirit that can make any organized effort successful was absent.
He said, 'The faculty of organization is entirely absent in our nature, but this has to be infused.' Aphoristically he adds, ' The great secret is, absence of jealousy.' He lamented, 'You three hundred millions have a will each separated from the other.' We may remember what is mentioned in the Aims and Objects of the Mahamandal since 1967: ' Therefore to make a great future of India, the whole secret lies in organization, accumulation of power, coordination of wills' In our Anthem we have what Vivekananda puts in the words: ' Already before my mind rises one of the marvelous verses of the Atharva Veda Samhita (also occurring in the Rig Veda) which says, " Be thou all of one mind, be thou all of one thought." Being of one mind is the secret of society.
Besides this secret what makes organizations thrive is proper Leadership which is also very very important. But, as it is commonly held, leaders are born and not made. What does it indicate ? It emphasizes that the right type of leadership is difficult to acquire. If somebody says, I want to be a leader, he cannot prove his mettle right away. Swami Vivekananda warns, ' And the more you go on fighting and quarreling about all trivialities the further you are off from that accumulation of energy and power which is going to make the future India.' He continues, ' Every one wants to command and no one wants to obey. First, learn to obey. The command will come itself. Always first learn to be a servant and then you will be fit to be a master. If your superior orders you to throw yourself into a river and catch a crocodile, you must first obey and then reason with him. Even if the order be wrong, first obey and then contradict it. No centralization is possible unless there is obedience to superiors. No great work can be done without this centralization of individual forces. '        
His words are very clear and need no elucidation. He puts plainly, ' We are lazy; we cannot combine; we do not love each other; we are intensely selfish; not three of us can come together without hating each other, without being jealous of each other.' 'Kill self first if you want to succeed. Do not try to lead your brethren, but serve them. Never attempt to guide or rule others. Be the servant of all. Do not try to be a ruler. He is the best ruler who can serve well.'
If we want to work and succeed in our organization we must hear, contemplate upon, and make these thoughts our own and build our leadership on these ideas so that those who join the work go the right way. If the leaders lack in essential qualities, the following will not be conducive to any real constructive work, which is the main object. So those who lead should cultivate these basic things and also mind the following;
                      No egoism; no name or fame or any other interest. Cool head and calm judgement always keeping the ideals in view. Try to be a student always. Learn from every experience.
All must clean in words, deeds and mind. Make the first sacrifice, then expect others to follow suit. Work before you ask others to work.
Remain a follower till others make you their leader. Each should think he could be a leader and should imbibe the qualities of a leader. Come forward whenever circumstances demand, but don't rush to lead. Do not wait on the ground that you have not already had the office of responsibility. Keep the conscience clear that you are doing something for the furtherance of the cause you stand for and not for any personal motive.
Become one of those whom you are to lead. Do not look upon them from a height. Do not boast that without you nothing will move, but give your due quota for the work you are in. No compromise with untruth or what is not moral. Never lie.
Your work or programme  is nothing or even may be injurious, if it is not conducive to the fulfillment of the ideals set forth before you.
Always remember, others will do as you do. Your thought should guide your actions. Have planning, discrimination, foresight, and far-sight. Dash is good; but no ostentation, hypocrisy. Have control over your speech, thought, and movement. Build up the right motivation.
Be clean in money matters. You have to acquire both character and efficiency. Any one of them does not make a leader. Shake off all bias. Be methodical without becoming a machine.
Talk enough, but do not talk too much.
Do not run to lead if these are lacking. Know, contemplate, and cultivate these ideas. You will also have to lead many in time. Make yourself worthy for the job.
Remember Swamiji's charge, ' Work, work the idea, my brave noble, good souls, - to the wheel, to the wheel put your shoulders; stop not to look back for name, or fame or, any such nonsense.
Last though not least, have conviction about the main aim and for the purpose read Vivekananda carefully and regularly lest you deviate from the path you have chosen to become a Man.
Read the suggestion again and again. In your diary note which qualities you have and to what degree. Also note carefully which you do not have. Do not despond. Try to acquire those which you do not have and develop those you already have.Make fresh notes after six months and mark the progress. You will be loved by all and command respect and find joy in the work. The result will be you will develop in character and efficiency and only then the organization will succeed in achieving its object-to organize the youths and to burn into their hearts energy, strength, honesty, spirit of sacrifice and service, courage, love for Motherland and her people so that they may build a new India.
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 5.
Will and Unite
The first thing is to develop our human qualities, because many of us do not have normal human qualities.Often we have been praying,repeating the words of Swami Vivekananda, 'Make me a Man'!. Do we sincerely pray ? Do we sincerely wish that we should become men and if we do not really want to be proper men, what is the use of offering such prayer ? There is no meaning at all. We are sub-human creatures actually. Many in society are brutes, they behave like beasts. How many real men are there in society? That is why human society is in the present condition. Everywhere we have so many grievances, complaints to make about the affairs of social life. sometimes we protest, sometimes we burst out, but do we take any action to remove such things from society? We accuse others, we hold others responsible for every evil. But we do not want to shoulder the responsibility. We want to entrust the job of changing the society to others.
I see the situation is such, it is bad, it is intolerable. It is doing great harm to society and I know that many are not serious about these things. They do not think that it is their business to solve, to do something, to bring about a change in the situation. So what is the use of suggesting, ' Let it be done' ? Who will do it ? ' Let it be done' is vague. If I say, 'You do it', or ' I will do it', we can understand it, but if we say simply in a polite manner, 'Let it be done', who is going to do ?
If we say, let it be done, let society improve, let the ills of the society vanish, it means nothing. We do not know whether you or I will do it. I do not want to get involved in this task, but I wish that this change should come in society. I simply wish, but simply wishing is nothing, is meaningless. But I should will. Instead of wishing I should will. If we simply wish, it is wistful thinking, it will never materialize. But instead of indulging in wishful thinking, if we learn to will that is something altogether different. 'Will' means determination, I will . willing is very important. Willing is the seed, is the father of the things that come. .Without willing nothing can come. If someone wills strongly, vigorously, manfully, anything will happen, anything will come, will be achieved. This is absolutely true and therefore we should not simply wish, we should will.
We should not ask others or expect others to do it. We should not keep the matter vague, but we must make a clear statement fixing responsibility, who is to do it. I am to do it.Let us do it, come, you, I and everybody else. Those who care about the welfare of the people should come together, put their shoulders together, their heads together, their hands together, their feet together and walk along all together. That is what we say when we pray -sam gachcha-dhvam, sam vadadhvam, etc. Let us all move together, let us all will together, let us all enjoy together. We should do everything together. This unity and the capacity to will are the most important things.
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6.
The implication of ' Be and Make'
whether we study ourselves or the nature outside, we hear the call of the limitless. Both inside and outside are fathomless.  So we want to break everything that limits us. We find that it is a sin to keep ourselves isolated and we want to lose ourselves and expand into others, who are only our kin. We find that our greatest victory is to conquer ourselves, so that we are our masters and not slaves of our passion or  our environment.
The crisis of the present time lies in a loss of this conviction in ourselves, our own greatness, infinite power, and a faith in our goodness too. We can overcome this crisis by fortifying ourselves with this confidence; here the need is one of individual effort.Freedom is our nature, and our love for others, because of our kinship, goads us to see them all free. Here individual effort transformed into social effort, conveyed in the short but meaningful saying of Swami Vivekananda : BE AND MAKE.
Now, if we move a little further along his thoughts, we find that he indicates the same thing when he says, ' In India we have social communism, with the light of Advaita (non-dualism)--that is spiritual individualism.' 
To intimate this transition to social effort he suggested imparting learning and culture to the masses, for he knew well that away from the masses our collective existence is false. As the masses awaken- and awaken they must one day, he emphatically foretold- they will engulf everything like surging flood, and if they have acquired the required culture meanwhile, when the surge subsides the land will be fertile with a humane alluvium. [clay or silt or gravel carried by rushing streams and deposited where the stream slows down] This will bring into blossom a thousand flowers, which in turn, before they wither away, will bring forth the most nourishing fruits!
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7.
For Total Development 
If we want to make men or be men, we must know what man is? A man means a body, a mind, and his soul. Simplifying that Swamiji gave us a formula; Man is three H's. He said, the hand, the head, and the heart put together make a man. So, if we want to make men and be men, then we should take care of our hand, standing for body; the head, standing for our intellect or mind; and the heart, wherein we have the expression of our soul. We must take care of these things.

We must keep our body fit and strong. With practice of mental concentration, we may try to have control over our mind and to develop it in the proper manner. Through studies and discussions about the ideals put forth by Swami Vivekananda, we may try to  rouse our capacity of feeling which is the function of heart. If we understand man in this way, this trinity-hand, head, and the heart, or the body, the mind, and the soul, then only we can think of a goal for our life. 
If we think we are bodies only, then we will naturally trying to provide nourishment to it, enjoyment to it, pleasure to it only and their everything would finish. If we think we are bodies and minds only, then also we shall be gratifying our senses and indulge in having various fantasies and desires, or at best, would try some intellectual acrobatics and there also it finishes. But if we know that our body and mind are nothing but a little expression of our real essence which is the Soul, we shall have a different kind of goal before us for our life. That is why Swami Vivekananda says that religion is the manifestation of the divinity already in man.We should attempt to manifest that divinity and that gives us the real, the correct goal of our life.
If we know that in us dwells a Soul, a Self, or Atman, or Brahman, we shall see, we shall know that it is not here only, it is in everybody, it is in everything, it pervades the whole universe and also transcends it, it is also there beyond the whole manifested universe .This faith only can unite humankind. This knowledge gives us real wisdom; it can only unite everybody.This shows that mine and the other bodies or minds are not different , but different expressions of the same essence.
This gives us the spirit and the courage to love everybody and not to hate anybody. That gives us the capacity to empathize with others. This knowledge goads us to sacrifice our pleasure, or happiness, our everything for the sake of other people. This gives us the capacity for feeling for others. with that sympathy for others we shall then, with this knowledge, try to ameliorate the suffering of other people. This in short Swamiji put by saying that renunciation and service are the twin ideals for India, Intensify her in those channels and the rest will take care of itself, he added. These thoughts bring before us a sound life-view. This gives us a philosophy for our life. This gives us the inspiration to build ourselves properly.
So, we should resolve to build our life properly in the light of this philosophy of life or this life-view. If we not different from other people, if they suffer, if they weep, if they wail, we must go all out to meliorate their sufferings and for its sake we should be ready to undertake any sacrifice or sufferings. In Bhagvata we have a beautiful verse , uttered by Sri Krishna himself. It gives us the purpose of this life, the goal of this life, the meaning of this life, the fulfilment of this human life:  

एतावत् जन्मसाफल्यं देहिनामिह देहिषु ।
प्राणैरर्थैर्धिया वाचा श्रेय एवाचरेत् सदा ॥ 
This is saphalya, the fulfillment of human life; dhinam iha, in this word for those who are embodied. While they are in their body, this is the purpose or fulfillment of human life. What is that ? What gives that fulfillment ? 'shreya acharanam sada' Always try to do good. In what way ?  'प्राणैः अर्थे धिया वाचा' Through your words, through your dhi or intellect or your mind, and if necessary with the sacrifice of your life. and arthaih . If you have wealth, using your wealth, using your intellect, your buddhi and your words, and if necessary with your whole life to do good to others. That is fulfillment of human life.
Swamiji also gives us this same idea. He says, This life is short, the vanities of the world are transient, they alone live who live for others; the rest are more dead than alive. So with these ideas we should resolve to build ourselves properly.
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8.
The Task and the Way
The object before us is the good of India. If we want to work for that we have to see things clearly.We all know, Swami Vivekananda came and worked for the good of the world and specially for India's good, because he knew that India alone can contribute meaningfully to the progress of the whole of mankind. Swamiji had this vision out of his spiritual realization. Swamiji's self-expression and realization came from the truths enshrined in our old shastras, particularly in what we call the Vedanta. 
In the past in our country this Vedanta was studied particularly in the woods by munis. Swami Vivekananda was the first person who worked for bringing these great truths enshrined in our old shastras from woods to the market place, to the common man, to society, to individual homes and the lives of the people.This is called 'Practical Vedanta'. It has to be applied for the purpose of life-building of individuals for the good of the whole society .
Therefore, as we have already seen, our first work should be to pay our attention to building individual character. Swami ji said, no nation is great or good because its parliament enacted this or that law.A nation becomes great or good if its men are great and good. A man is good if he has a good character. Therefore , Swami Vivekananda said, Make men first. Swami Vivekananda also realized that if we are to undertake this work in a big way for good of the whole nation, we must work in a organized manner .
So with a view to working for the well-being and good of our own nation, our own people, we must concentrate our attention to individuals.We shall have to work in the organization and through the organization for individual character-building and self-development .We shall now try to see if we can have a scientific approach and method for this character-development. Many amongst us think that character is something inherent in the individual.We very often say that water has definite characteristics. Fire has some qualities. Tiger is a ferocious animal. Can we say anything like that regarding man? Swamiji has said that even gods aspire to be born as human beings. However great and glorious and pompous the lives of gods might be, they remain as they are. We have never heard that there was a tiger who became a saint. But human history has innumerable instances recorded where sinners have become saints.
Let us examine how do we know about the character of a person ? The character of a person is known through one's behavior, his encounter with other persons in society. I meet somebody and when he goes away, I have in my mind left a very pleasing impression about the man.On the contrary, when I come in contact with some other man, perhaps I feel sorry;I think it would have been good if I would not have met him ever. Why does it happen? Because, the personality of the first and the personality of the second person are different .One is winsome, the other is not so.
Let us mark the difference between personality and character.Personality is the total impression that a man makes upon others.Even the voice of a person, physical features, etc.go a long way in this matter.Even the dress, the hair cut, and all other things about him add something to his personality .Character is only a part of one's personality. But let us understand clearly this part of one's personality is the most important.My dress may be shabby, I may not have an impressive look, outward look, I may not have much education, but if I have some sterling qualities in my character, ultimately I will be liked and loved, because of my behavior, because of the expression of my feelings. We shall be very near the truth if we say that our personalty means what we appear to be and character is what we really are. Through our particular mode of speaking and other things we may simply charm others, but when the situation demands we may act otherwise.
Therefore, we should first take care to build our character properly so that the real content of our personality is prepared on sound ground.Think of Sri Ramakrishna. Many educated people used to come to him. What sort of a man he appeared to be to them ? A simple, rustic from the village without letters, no acquaintance with manners, he often used vulgar rural language . There was apparently nothing to be attracted to him.But even before he speaks a single word, as you come near him and he looks up, you are fascinated , you are caught in the net of his love. How could this happen? Because he had a wonderful character and not a mere outward personality .How did he form such a character ? He searched for Truth and discovered the Truth in himself , which is purity, which is love, which is compassion , which is sympathy , which is unselfishness , which is sacrifice ,which is service to all. These are really the best qualities which a man can have in his character .
If we somehow can develop these qualities in us, then only we can say that we have formed a good character.Our character is but a bundle of habits or an agglomeration of our propensities. Love for Truth or compassion, sympathy, unselfishness, fearlessness, sacrifice, and urge for service -these are good qualities of character. Can we, therefore , take it for granted that these qualities also come out of habit of which makes our character? We will see that these good qualities which we have just now referred to are their in us already, in our being. What is the role of habit then in character formation ,of these character qualities are inherent in our essence ? We will see on examination that due to wrong decisions and wrong actions we have somehow left some imprints on our our mind which hinder the flow of these inherent beautiful qualities lying in our essence.Therefore, Swamiji has said, let us mark this with special attention , that character building, or education for that matter, is a negative process, as we have to strive and work hard to remove these hindering impressions on our mind so that good qualities can manifest themselves. As a farmer removes the obstacles from the channel of flowing water in the field , so we have to remove these blocks -suggests Patanjali in Yoga Sutras.
Therefore, the first step to character formation is to desist from bad actions, bad words, bad thoughts. This self-restraint is called brahmacharya.Then we have to form good habits through repeated action. What is good action ? We will naturally ask. Normally we will perhaps in one voice suggest that we will perform moral actions.But what is moral ? Swami Vivekananda gives us a definition of morality in very simple words which gives an absolute definition of morality , which does not change with time or clime.Swamiji says, that which is unselfish is moral and that which is selfish is immoral.
where from does he derive this definition of morality ? We can easily see that this is a corollary of the truths propagated by Vedanta.As long as I think of 'I' and 'mine', I am limiting myself. When I lose separate existence in expanse of the totality , then I am unselfish and I am moral. That means I admit the totality of Truth. With this understanding of morality, therefore, we can easily distinguish between right and wrong action.
And if, with this discrimination, we perform right actions and go on repeating them, then the agglomeration of the propensities out of such good actions, through habits, will give us the right type of character. Therefore, repetition of moral actions over and over again is the method of character building.Swami Vivekananda asked us to serve man as God. Sri Ramakrishna asked, Is meditation possible only with closed --eyes ? He suggested, you can also have meditation with your eyes open. He performed puja in the image installed in the Kali temple of Dakshineswar.But he himself raised the question, can you make puja of God only in an image ? Can you not worship God in flesh and blood too ? Therefore, both Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda (or Swami Vivekananda from the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna ) taught this great truth that service is real worship, not self-pleasure, not selfishness. Renunciation and service to others -this is the way to formation of one's character. In Swamiji's words, the aim of life is to see that the flower of your character is full blown. Try to do that.
On the practical side we see that our character comes from your action. If our discrimination has control over our action, then only such action becomes conducive to good character .This discrimination between good and bad action is a function of your mind. Therefore, control over our mind is the primary task for formation of character. Because we resolve to do some thing in our mind and also with the help of our mind with discrimination between good and bad actions, so with control of mind and the use of discrimination and persistently repeating good action we can form good habits, propensities , that is good character, and ultimately a lofty destiny for all of us.Therefore, Swami Vivekananda said that you are the maker of your own destiny.
Our destiny does not depend on a fantastic fate working from nowhere. This depends on our own manliness and faith in ourselves. Therefore Swamiji said, As I grow older , I find that everything depends on manliness and this is my new gospel. He asked every young man to have faith in himself , in his own manliness , his striving. Swamiji calls everyone to bring out his own potentiality , build his own destiny and with that destiny to take the whole nation to higher , greater, glorious future.
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 9.
Our Limitation
 We know our limitation. But that is not going to dampen our enthusiasm. On the other hand, it helps us to find ways to cross them. Man is outwardly limited. But man is great when he knows this and tries to outgrow to his unlimited stature.
A work is not great only if it has a good publicity and fanfare. Very few will care to listen to what we say. But there are some who have been listening to these for the last forty nine years. That is the hope. If a few foreigners are included in a procession it claims a front page report and a picture, but if a few thousand young men, march the thoroughfares shouting, 'we want to be men' -it draws nobody's notice. That is the way of a world people with men circumscribed by narrow outlooks, selfish motives, men with no greater view of man and sense of values. None should grouse for such things, but act resolutely.
The condition of our people and their lot are well known. The state machinery, democracy, and a lot of theories are there to tackle all these. And the results are known. Taking everything into consideration, it is felt that something remains to be done which is not in the list of business of anybody. The Mahamandal has chosen to take that up. It is the attempt to make men of ourselves. Because all attempt to remove our sufferings and make ourselves happy, to make a great nation, a great country of which we can be proud are found to be failing due to this one failure.This demands a far sight and determination to work hard without any immediate reward, and the mental and moral resolve to be prepared for any sacrifice. To work for a long-time value, regardless of people's present opinions, is the only ethically right action. Naturally the following for such an idea will be small.
Scanned to the core it will be seen that it is more spiritual than physical. Because it wants to treat the core of man and not his outer shells. As soon as a spiritual thing will be detected many will flee and others will go for usual and ordinary spiritual aspects which may be fit for individual cases. It does not force its members to visit temples, churches, or mosques. But it is not irreligious.It tells its friends, in the words of Swami Vivekananda, 'The secret of religion lies not in theories but in practice. To be good and do good -that is the whole of religion! It is not a wise thing for one to suffer in this life so that one can be happy in the next. One must be happy here and now.' The Mahamandal prefers Vedantic thoughts to ordinary religious practice. 'In one word, the ideal of Vedanta is to know man as he really is'.If the Mahamandal prescribes any meditation, it is an open-eyed meditation- the meditation of man. For ' if you cannot worship your brother man, the manifested God, how can you worship a God who is UN-manifested.?
The Mahamandal gladly admits such limitations, for it is an organization for the youth, all of whom may not be interested in usual religious modes but may be interested in becoming worthy citizens capable of devoting their whole lives for the welfare of their comrades and the good of the motherland. That is also good spirituality. Through that they will be acquiring fuller manhood, for what does he find to ' know man as he really is ?' ' Man is an infinite circle whose circumference is nowhere but the center is located in one spot.' The center is he himself but he is circumference encircles all around him. That is how he grows , widens his sphere, and becomes big and becomes a true man. This is indeed a journey towards Godhood.Godliness is not a thing to be achieved direct from brutish existence of selfishness, jealousy, greed, indiscipline, egoism, etc. Manliness, in which these may be overcome, is the first step. And we are now for the first step and that may be a limitation for us.
In order to change the present condition in the country it may be necessary to change the government, the form of democracy, or the constitution. But only purer and more perfect men may undertake the job.  Where are they, and how are we going to have them? That is the work left out by all those who speak for democratic and revolutionary changes.The Mahamandal is attempting that and until then it may not be able to usher in a change. That is a limitation humbly accepted by it. And that is why it has nothing to do with politics which always puts the cart before the horse.
The Mahamandal does not command a huge sum of money, nor does it have a large man power. It is not worried over it so long as the ideal is clear before it and there are at least some young men who realize what is to be done for the real good of the country. For it is seen that a large number of sincere, honest, hard working, patriotic, unselfish, docile, sacrificing, spirited, and courageous young men are everywhere in the country, who are eager to dedicate for the regeneration of the great nation.
The Mahamandal is not a society of the selected few, who will have nothing else to do but to carry out the errands of the organization blindly. It is for all young men who love their country and its men, and themselves too and want to have a full vigorous life of action, glory and fulfillment of national life. It is for young people as they are and where they are. They are neither to leave their home, nor studies, nor normal avocations, but to give their surplus energy, time and, if possible, money  for the work and build their character (integrated character of good citizen ) through, work and studies devoted to the purpose.
We don't grudge if it is a limitation that the Mahamandal does not preach all the possible ways of having life fulfillment, but preached only work as a means, suited to most young people of the above-described nature, who need not be discriminated on grounds of region, cast or creed. The ability to give one's best to a cause is a spiritual capacity. The cause is the good of the country and its teeming millions. And the capacity for the work may be acquired only through works which are not done for selfish ends . Social service work is such. And that is why social service is advocated by the Mahamandal only as a means and not as an end. It is for the young people to decide if they will come forward for this cause or live a life for mere selfish ends, which will ultimately end in their dehumanization and further degradation of the nation.
With all the limitations of the Mahamandal enumerated above and possibly many more, there lies an unlimited possibility of its succeeding in galvanizing the youth force to a constructive purpose for their good and the good of the country.
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10.
The Object and the Way  
The object must be clear first before plunging into action in every case of work which is worth doing. It is not enough to do something as we cannot stay without work. That way most people are busy, but such works do not yield any result which benefits people. Naturally we should first determine what we should do keeping an eye on the result of our work so that it may be beneficial to the many. Therefore we should know what people need and on the basis of this need we should plan our work. 

Our people have lived in ignorance and misery for long years, nay , for long centuries. What is most needed is the general and overall propensity of the people. Therefore, all our works should be so schemed that it is conducive to general propensity, Education, economy, literature, music, fine arts, statecraft, philosophy, religion, social customs, in the law of the land, industry, commerce, foreign trade,agriculture, and all other disciplines should be oriented that they all lead to the same goal of prosperity of the people .That is the ideal and is professed by all, but seldom we find that it is approached in reality. In our country the divergence in between these streams is very marked and often one wonders if there is any real attempt at cohesion of purposes.
What is the way to attain this unification of purpose ? Can it all be done ? Of course it can be done and the way is to will to do so. If only an individual wills so, it will never be, but if it is the will of the many it will come. How can the many will so ? Teach everyone to learn to will that way. If you learn to will that way and teach another similarly, there will be coordination of will. This is the most important part of education of the mass.It was taught in the Rig Veda, Atharwa Veda and Upanishads, and later shashtras. Today we have forgotten this unique discipline and that is why we are suffering so much. Voting the majority party to power is a very weak approach to this grand principle of coordination of will. This discipline can best be re-aqua red through political means. Coordination of will is emphatically a political action, but here 'apolitical' means away from the narrow ideologies of political parties.
If the core of this mass education could be realized first a-politically  many of the predicaments we have today would be overcome. To begin work in this direction we must have unflinching faith in the efficacy of the coordinated will of the people. And then we should have strong determination to bring this about. 
As individuals should learn to will for the prosperity of the country and influence individuals to will so, they should come close and forge a united front so that a national will emerges. This will for the prosperity of people if sincere will purge them of their selfishness and give them the strength to sacrifice for the various fields of politics and disciplines mentioned earlier, things are bound to change. The question is, how to precipitate this action ? There lies the necessity of organization. And the Mahamandal is the nucleus of such an organization which will scatter to all corners of the country and build individual lives, which will be more efficient than any machine conceived by the human brain.
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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A NEW YOUTH MOVEMENT: DESIGNED BY SWAMI VIVEKANANDA [PART-2.]

A NEW YOUTH MOVEMENT: CONTENTS [PART-2.]
11. The Way Further Explained
12. What is Essential
13. The Role of the Mahamandal
14. The Plan of Work
15. The Idea and the Method
16. Speaking to Ourselves
17. Our Duties
18. What is Wanted 
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11.
The Way Further Explained 
The Mahamandal has been spreading in the different parts of the country. Much enthusiasm has been observed at times and lack of it in other times. Though this physical expansion is welcome, what is more necessary is greater conviction in its objects and ideals. This may come only if those who are working in its folds and those who want to take this up are thoroughly acquainted with these objects and ideals. Only from such faith and conviction will come the will to work for the ideal.

Until the conviction grows determination to work it up will not be found. For facility of understanding the ideals there are booklets. leaflets, monthly journal, Organizers training camps, weekly classes, study circles, general training camps, possibility of exchange of ideas through correspondence, and personal interviews. Those who are interested may make use of these methods and know what is contemplated about coordination of wills to bring about change in society. 

Unless we understand the object clearly and the method well, even if we are agreed that we should do something for the country , our uncoordinated action will not give the efforts the shape of a movement for the good of the country. Agitations are useless. What is necessary is a movement. A movement is a broad flow of coordinated will. This is the best instrument for social engineering. The will, and more so when it is a coordinated will, is all-powerful.
To give this movement a dynamism that will work wonders we have taken up an ideal which will guide without any possible deviation- an ideal that is capable of changing the society for the good of the masses-in Swami Vivekananda. But it is not enough to do anything merely in the name of this great hero and the pathfinder of the future. To achieve something tangible we must coordinate the object and the way or the method with this ideal. So we must know these three -the object, the ideal, and the way-thoroughly well.

While the Mahamandal has nothing to do with any sort of politics, it is neither an ordinary religious or social service organization.The members of the Mahamandal cannot associate with any political organization; and ordinary religious rites and rituals or just doing some social service work do not constitute the program of the Mahamandal. Buildings, schools, dispensaries are not the criteria to judge the success of this movement.The real purpose is to build a better society through character-building of the youths. Activities, functions, institutions, social service and all that goes to help building character of the youths are only means to this end. Not by judging the quantity of such work but by assessing how far those activities are helping the youths in acquiring character qualities the success of the Mahamandal work is to be evaluated.
As such evaluation is difficult and the progress of individuals easily escapes the casual eye, the beginner often fails to take note of the progress of the working upon the youths mind and not easily enthused.But that is to be done and conviction about the success of such silent work is to be gained individually and all together. 
We can never remove the misery of our men and provide education, shelter, food, etc. to the millions and eradicate corruption in all spheres of our social life without forming individual character. And therefore that is our aim. Without a healthy society full development of human personality, the total education of men (which is nothing but true religion or spirituality) is not possible. For that character building of youths is the sine qua non.The movement contemplated by the Mahamandal is one for this character-building for building a new society for the good of the many.
This cannot be achieved by a handful of persons or separate groups here and there. If a large number of people throughout the length and breadth of the country come forward to to forge a unity with one purpose and march together in a coordinated manner with indomitable faith in the success of the scheme, there is no doubt that a change will come. The Mahamandal came into being only from such an idea.Now, if we do not come closer and work together and work hard to achieve what has been contemplated , how will the root and branch reform visioned by Swami Vivekananda come to reality ? We have talked enough, we have sighed enough, we have slumbered enough. Cry halt to all these, come and work together. We have enough power to give things the shape we like. 
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12.
What is Essential 
Any individual may do something for the good of others. Any organization may also take up some good items of work for the good of the people in general. These may be very beneficial works. Many may drive some benefit from such works. But there are also works that are less obvious - the benefit flowing from such works may not be very conspicuous , but their effect may be far reaching and it may be that without such works other beneficial works will not ultimately yield any lasting result. Many do not care to know if there are such works. Even if known, many will not like to labour on them as their results do not follow immediately and are not recognized and applauded by all then and there.
But without caring for applause the Mahamandal has chosen to devote all its energy to try to do some such basic work which will ultimately give meaning to success in other socially good endeavor.
Man is the basic thing and man-making is the basic work. All social services-by state or voluntary organizations -is rendered through the agency of man. If these men do not have right understanding , attitude, motivation, selflessness, no service will deliver the goods properly. Therefore, cultivating these qualities is a basic work.These qualities belong really in the character of man. And character-building is another name for man-making. 
An individual may of course attempt at man-making with himself or others. But to make a serious attempt everywhere and not to leave it as a casual  endeavor of a few, an organized effort that will cover all parts of the country is essential. And that is the function of the Mahamandal. 

Having discussed what is necessary Swami Vivekananda came to the essential point when he said, "So make men first. When you have men who are ready to sacrifice their everything for their country, sincere to the backbone-when such men arise India will become great in every respect. Then only India awake, when hundreds of large-hearted men and women giving up all desires of enjoying the luxuries of life, will long and exert themselves to their utmost , for the well-being of the millions of their countrymen who are gradually sinking lower and lower in the vortex of destitution and ignorance ." So he exhorted: "Work among these young men who can devote heart and soul to this one duty --the duty of raising the masses of India; it depends on the young people of India.'

It is good to collect funds and materials and distribute them to needy people or to set up some other projects for economic benefit of people. Many organizations can do and are doing that. But it is better and more important to build up the character of people who will unselfishly do everything for the well-being of the people. Such people should be there in all avocations of life, in society and in homes. That is most essential and forms the guarantee for assured and sustained social well-being. The making of such men is thus the most essential social service.This should be kept in mind clearly. All activities should be directed to this one end.
This is being attempted through the Mahamandal. And , to be sure , the attempt is yielding result.There are well defined methods.All should understand the need, know the methods , and then apply the methods to see results flowing.
Mere lectures and articles will not do.Come and see how individuals are improving. If we want a great change in India for the better, this is the way.Character -qualities should be imbibed,ideas should be assimilated .This is true education.The essential work is this basically education in the true sense of the term.This will naturally take time.Nothing great can be achieved overnight or without sustained labour.Some may question , can all men be improved ?If not, the alternative is status quo.Will that solve any of the problems ? If the attempts are continued some at least will improve and the number will multiply and things are bound to change in fifty years if not in twenty five. Those who are lazy and pessimistic, let them go to sleep. Let those who are optimistic and diligent and have faith in themselves and in man come forward and put their shoulders under the wheel.
Rightly Vivekananda concluded : " We have, therefore , to wait till the people are educated, till they understand their needs and are ready and able to solve their problems." Hear 'wait' does not mean --sit idle till God's grace makes everybody educated. It urges all to work hard to educate people and to be educated properly. ' Take man where he stands and from thence give him a lift.' as Swami Vivekananda said. ' The education which does not help the common people to equip themselves for the struggle for life, which does not bring out the strength of character, a spirit of philanthropy and the courage of a lion-is it worth the name ? The training by which the current and expression of will are brought under control and become fruitful is called education.' 
This education cannot be imported by setting up schools and colleges under boards or universities.There are innumerable institutions established and lots are coming into existence. But 'the idea of the sacrifice for the common weal is yet not developed in our nation' as Vivekananda said This idea is to be brought to the door of every young man of the country . This is the real work of the Mahamandal. And you can do it, If you believe you can!
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[The Loss of Shraddha in India and Need of Its Revival—Men We Want—Real Social Reform/ Shri Surendra Nath Sen—from private dairy/ The Abroad And The Problems At Home/ (The Hindu, Madras, February, 1897)Shrimati Sarala Ghoshal — Editor, Bharati/ 6th April, 1897]
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13.
The Role of the Mahamandal 
There is the old saying : You cannot dip into the same river twice. This directly contradicts the other very common adage: History repeats itself.The world is said to be in a flux ; it flows along time like a river. And as no river retraces its course, there is no dropping into the same river twice; it has already flown a long way along time in the meantime.How does history then repeats itself ?The question is quite pertinent. 
But if we look back into time, which we correctly or incorrectly call history, we find so many similar occurrences down the flow of time, though in quite different environments.We seems to find a law of history and declare: History repeats itself, ignoring the other equally correct observation that along the flow of time, the repetitions though very similar are not just repetitions.
The solution lies in the fact that neither of the statements is absolutely wrong or absolutely correct. When an incident seems to repeat itself, the whole milieu has completely changed and truly there is no dipping into the exactly same river. But if we do not concern ourselves so much about the exact particles of the flowing river, we find that the river is much the same with its bed, the banks, and other thing and the incident we are observing has many things about it which were common with an earlier incident. It is on a crest or on a particular point in an ebb, its nature being very much like the other one we observed at an early date. 
This has been the case with many of the big historical strides; and we may learn much out of them, if we care to. Man has lost and regained faith in himself many a time in the course of history and consequently the history of the world has taken different shapes. And even in the same epoch according to the strength of faith in many different nations have left different marks upon history. To quote Swami Vivekananda : The history of the world is the history of a few men who had faith in themselves. As soon as a man or a nation loses faith in himself or itself, death comes.' 
We are now passing through a time when we have almost lost all faith in ourselves. There is a total bankruptcy of ideology and action.Our long servitude has made us a nation without a backbone. When the yoke of servitude is lifted from our shoulders, we cannot raise our head ; we still stay bent and wait for another yoke or commands to follow like slaves but cannot think of becoming masters of our own future. Why ? We have not yet taken the lesson to have faith in ourselves .Swami Vivekananda wanted us to have this lesson first before anything else. He said: If you have faith in all the three hundred and thirty millions of your mythological gods and in all the gods which foreigners have introduced into your midst, and still have no faith in yourselves, there is no salvation for you. Have faith in yourselves and stand up on that faith.'

This we have got to learn individually, as well as, as a nation. Till then, so long as we go on looking to others for help,go a begging all the while, we cannot have salvation either as individuals or as a nation. We have forgotten to take the position of the giver in any field -this too in the case of individuals and likewise as a nation.We never think-we are never taught to think that way even that we can also, every one of us, take the position of the giver in some field or other. Similarly as a nation also we have something to give. Swamiji says: 'In the world always take the position of the giver.Give everything and look for no return.'
These are the simple things we have to teach ourselves if we are to live as a nation, if we want to regain faith in ourselves to stall off national death. Through small and simple items of social work with the right perspective in view we can learn how to take the position of the giver without barter, at the same time gaining faith in ourselves .In this attempt the Akhil Bharat Vivekananda Yuva Mahamandal inspires all its friends. It does not have a big manifesto. In fact it does not know the role it will have to play in larger context. It is growing in a small way, gradually captivating the idea of young men especially in villages, in building themselves into stronger fortresses, were petty selfishness cannot make any inroads , where service is not overshadowed by self.
Swamiji himself said, " I never make plans. Plans grows and work themselves I only say Awake awake.' the ABVYM asks all young men to hearken to that call of Swami Vivekananda , to awake and to rise to the occasion when India, our ever glorious motherland, seems to pass through a critical stage, when we don't believe anybody, not even ourselves.We must know that our creed should be building up, building up a future India according to our genius, and building up is possible only through giving and not by begging. Suspicion cannot be the motive force , but only faith.If the Akhil Bharat Vivekananda Yuva Mahamandal has any role to play, it is this recovery of faith of the young men of the country in themselves .
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१६ जनवरी २०१६ को 'स्टार्ट अप इंडिया ' हमारे देश की ६५ % आबादी ३५ वर्ष से कम उम्र की है ! भारत की लगभग ८० करोड़ जनसंख्या युवा है। 
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14.
The Plan of Work
The main work of the Mahamandal is on the minds of the young people to help them from a life-view, find an aim of the life and to provide for a practical method of self-development and character-building so that they may become conscientious citizens aware of and competent to do their duty to society and to achieve greater fulfillment of their individual lives.All work of the Mahamandal is directed to this purpose.

The aim of the Mahamandal, is this, building a better society by building life and character of individuals--'man-making and character-building,' to use the famous phrase of Swami Vivekananda. This means balanced development of his head and heart and hand-head to think, heart to feel, and hand to work.This aim when pursued by individuals, with collective endeavor widely, is bound to have its effect on society-an effect emerging as gradual improvement of the tone of society.
That cannot be a five-year or ten-year or twenty five-year plan. As generation after generation comes this plan of action has to continue; at no point of time we can exclaim , 'Finish, your job is over, we have achieved our goal, and here is your perfect society! This is unrealistic. Those who join this work taking it as a mission of life, must be prepared for a lifelong struggle and hand over the struggle to be continued by those who join later.
It is an organization for the youths, all of whom may not be interested in usual religious modes, but may be interested in becoming worthy citizens capable of devoting their whole lives for the welfare of their fellow men and the good of the  motherland.This is indeed good spirituality. Through that they will be acquiring fuller manhood. 
A large number of sincere, honest,hard working, patriotic, unselfish, docile, sacrificing,spirited, and courageous young men are everywhere in the country, who are eager to dedicate themselves for the regeneration of the country and they may be united and enthused. 
The real need must be understood, the methods of meeting the needs must be known , and they must be applied properly to see results following. If we want a great change in India for the better, this is the way. 'When you deal with roots and foundations ,all real progress must be slow,' says Swami Vivekananda. Some may question, Can all men be improved ? If not the alternative is status quo. Will that solve any of the problems? If the attempts are continued some at least will improve and the number will multiply and things are bound to change. Swami Vivekananda points out, 'And if we read the history of the nations between the lines, we shall always find that the rise of a nation comes with an increase in the number of such men: and the fall begins when the pursuit after the infinite, however vain the Utilitarians may call it, has ceased.' We have to work for it. 
Some may ask, as we often hear, 'Your aim is noble, the plan is laudable, but how do you go about doing your job ?' In answer it may be said, the methods of man-making and character-building as enunciated by our seers of the past, as brought home to us by Swami Vivekananda, and as echoed   verbatim by modern psychology, are thoroughly scientific.To put it very briefly , the method is to be embed in the subconscious mind ideas of character qualities, first by hearing, then by contemplating, afterwords making these indelibly impressed by guarding, guiding and willing, and repeatedly performing such actions which reflect such ideas through discrimination and control of the mind,always lubricating the process with controlled and guided feeling (emotion) the part played by the heart. It will be seen clearly from the above that this is a harmonious combination of discrimination (Jnana -yoga), psychic control (Raj -yoga), emotion (Bhakti-yoga) and contemplated action for character-development (karma -yoga).

The whole activity of the Mahamandal is so planned that this process operates on every individuals who joins.Study circle, mental concentration, prayer, and social work take care of the four strands of the synthetic process respectively. Social service not being the object of the Mahamandal, but a way of character-building, its quantum is not the criterion to assess Mahamandal work. The attitude to such work and its inter-relation with study and acquiring of discriminating power, rousing and guiding feeling, and capacity to control mind, are what count.

The Mahamandal offers to young people an environment where they can cultivate their character according to this plan Mahamandal centers are places in town and villages (there are now about three hundred and fifteen centers in different States) -any or shed or the shed of a tree or a ply ground, where the youths meet. They take exercise to keep the body strong and healthy ; study and discuss to sharpen their intellect and gather knowledge; through the study of the life and teachings of Swami Vivekananda of an oceanic heart and by actually imitating his exhortation on serving humanity (seva) they make efforts to expand their hearts.

How practical this is none will believe unless one has gone through the process and has been astonished to mark his own heart expanding.Similar but simple exercises for children are also provided. To utilize outward seva for puja or other worship of the inner divinity of man, to manifest it in every moment of life, the centers often run charitable dispensaries, coaching classes , adult education centers, libraries, etc; they undertake village work, relief to victims of natural calamities, help farmers, poor students, and other people in need and take up other activities.They often donate blood for indigent patients.

They do all that would strengthen their brawn, sharpen their brain, and broaden their heart. To help them understand the whole scheme, details of the methods of self improvement and character-building, and the underlying principles, youth training camps are often held at various levels from local to all-India. Specific methods are suggested and interested young men are guided and advised to keep record of their progress. 
Follow-up studies point to very encouraging results of improvement of character-qualities of individuals. Group activity, living together mixing with youth from different parts of the country give them toleration, cooperative spirit, sense of identity with all, and national integrity . Everything together make them better citizens -dutiful, patriotic, unselfish, sacrificing-with humanistic disposition, spirit of service (seva), and broader outlook.
The young must realize the necessity of making themselves fit to serve the nation properly and in the process prevent problems and evils from arising in the society. It should naturally be the serious business of others to help the young make themselves properly.This is exactly the field the Mahamandal has chosen to work.Thus, the most urgent work is the proper training of the youths.The training should be so planned that it will develop the youths in all directions. A total man out of every youth should be the aim.  

Institutional educational system in vogue does not provide this essential elements of total education that each citizen needs to have. Thus the work of the Mahamandal in a way is to supplement the education system as a whole. Social service being involved in the process the society in areas where Mahamandal units function is also served by the units.And the service that is rendered to those who join the Mahamandal is perhaps social work par excellence, as this only can bring about a real change in society.

Thus the Mahamandal is a slow movement, for life-building, a movement,which , of joined by a good section of the youths of the country, will certainly change the society for the better in the long run. This hope has constantly grown during the last forty nine years supported by the evidence of the success of the process as observed and has now become a conviction with those who work for this movement.
The Mahamandal will be satisfied if it could successfully do the thankless job of making men of character and supplying them to all fields . not to gain control over them or to gain power through politics , but as without this the ultimate problem of the society cannot be solved.

This is the meaning of Swami Vivekananda Saying , 'And therefore, make men first.' We have not so far properly heeded his suggestion. But in this suggestion lies the seed of a revolutionary change. Without trying to avoid this leader of modern india, by sticking the label of 'The Hindu Monk' on his person. lest our selfish dreams of pandering to lust for power and possessions vanish, let us work upon this plan and spread this man-making movement throughout the length and breadth of the country.

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15.
The Idea and the Method 
What type of institution is Akhil Bharat Vivekananda Yuva Mahamandal ? Is it a religious institution , a cultural institution, a social-service organization, or an educational institution ?
Swami Vivekananda was a monk; he preached religion So, it appear that the Mahamandal has something religious about it, as it is in the name of Swami Vivekananda. If, taking one's cue from this 'something religious,' one asks whether the Mahamandal is a religious institution, the answer will be, 'No'. But, if mention is made of, or attention is pointed to, what is the core of religion, what religion really means, then the Mahamandal is, of course, a religious institution.
This religion is, however, no religion of any narrow boundary. This is not at all the religion of the Hindus (among the Hindus of the Vaishnavites, the Shaktas or of the Shaivites) This is so, because Sri Ramakrishna or Vivekananda  does not belong to any particular religion. They are the Founders of the harmony of all religions.
They are the founders of the harmony of all religions. Tolerance was altogether absent from the domain of religion- and whether it is still there is open to doubt. In this respect, they are the eye-openers of the people of the world. Tolerance is very important. For, taking into account clime  and time, different religions have risen among different groups of men. But man has a 'dharma', duties, aspirations, and yearnings in life.And the way to the fulfillment of these aspirations, yearnings is the way of religion. To people to whom this occurs , there is no difference between Hindus, Muslims, or Christians.
Swami Vivekananda has dwelt on this matter deeply and elaborately .According to him , one gets to religion only when one conquers one's inner nature and outer nature. This gives strength -real strength-and that is why this is true religion. So, religion is that which lifts a creature from the level of the brute to that of man, and then from the level of man to that of the divine. 
There is no room for different religions here. It is the same in all cases, and anything contrary to it no religion. Every religion prescribes that man should curb and shed his animality and develop his human qualities.Any man who has thus become religious would appear as a God-be he an imaginary God! In imagination, we retain only that which is prized -such as cannot be had in the day-to-day world. Our imagination is not gratified with the beauty, the physical features, and the nature of man we usually come across in society . That is why we attribute to our idea of God the infinitely develop forms of human qualities. And so we want to make a God out of man. This is a common strain in every religion of the world.Judged from this angle, the Mahamandal is also practicing religion. But as temple, rituals, and worship have no place in the Mahamandal, it is not a religious institution on that account.

Nowadays, to many, culture usually means dance, music, drama, stories, novels, or some unintelligible paintings, or poems.The Mahamandal does not bother about such an interpretation of culture .In that sense, the Mahamandal is certainly not a cultural institution. If a man is really cultured , he does not look at the world the way animals do. With the unfoldment of his manhood, there blooms in him a tender faculty for appreciation of beauty. The practical usefulness of a thing does not in itself satisfy him. He looks for inner beauty in things. By such constant striving the mirror of his mind becomes clear. And he acquires the capacity to find beauty in the world, in nature, in things, in thought, and in all living creatures. This is indeed a spiritual quality. If understood in this way, the Mahamandal is surely for culture, but in no way it is so according to the common connotation of culture as above.

An analysis in the same way will reveal that the Mahamandal is not even a social service organization with the common connotation.Why ? A social service organizations generally undertake some welfare activity in society - it renders assistance to people in various ways.Nowadays, rural development has become an item of social service. Normally assistance is rendered to the destitute -food to the hungry, medicines to the ailing, cloth to the unclad, and so forth.
These are good works. But the Mahamandal  is not just for such types of work. For this kind of work ,there is a multitude of organizations at local, national, and international levels all over the world.They are patronized by the national government, various international agencies, and also general public. What special justification can there be to have one more organization of this type?

But there is still a place for social service in the Mahamandal .This social service is, however, of a special type; and it would not be wrong if we call it one of a higher type. This is so, because Vivekananda himself had developed the idea.Service to the ignorant and the poor was taught by Swamiji. Service through providing food to the unfed, clothes to the unclad, medicine to the ailing was no doubt suggested by Swamiji.But the work on which he laid special emphasis is providing good ideas to the people : ideas that help man grows to become better individuals.In our families and societies, there are many who go without such ideas as make life better. They are really poor. Poor are not only those who have no money and cannot make both ends meet. One who suffers from want or inadequacy of good ideas is also poor.According to Swamiji, to serve such poor people is the highest of all kinds of social service. The Mahamandal particularly addresses itself to this higher type of social service as pointed out by Swamiji. 
The Mahamandal does not have for its object fulfillment of any individual or collective desire, where, not UN-often, gratification of the ego becomes the main  urge for practicing generosity.Nowadays very often social service springs from such a mentality. I have something and I give something to poor-this is the mentality which gives self-satisfaction and ego-gratification. That is why there is so much of publicity in newspaper , radio, television, etc.for all types of social service activities, including even distribution of rugs ! This is not, of course, what Swamiji taught. 
Had it been so, people would not have kept him so fresh in their memory with veneration, respect, and love that he commands even today. Many have been born on this earth who have drawn up schemes for social service of the above description, and success has also been there.But they do not live long in human memory .
Pioneers among men, leaders of races, venerated personalities like Krishna, Buddha, Christ, Mohammad, Chaitanya, Ramakrishna are remembered by mankind for the fact that each of them has given to the world such invaluable ideas as have provide to be most effective for the real benefit of man through ages, through all of them did not found new sects themselves.For progress towards perfection, towards complete elimination of all wants through positive ideas, men who lack them have drawn inspiration from the lives and precepts of these great souls.
The Mahamandal does not claim that it will meet all the needs of society.But the youths of today do not have ideas that are necessary for building up their lives.More often than not, the youths of the country do not get from the existing system of education those invaluable ideas necessary for life-building.Of course, there are some teachers who, beyond the pale of textbooks , hold before their pupils some lessons from their own lives and experiences.This they do, so that the students may feel inspired and compelled to build their lives properly.It is due the existence of a few such teachers with the spirit of renunciation and service that even today some youths are growing as the real wealth of the country.When these limited few will also not be there, and all will be drawn into the vortex of trade unionism,then will it really be a day of great misfortune for the nation.
The number of mindful guardians is also dwindling fast. It is by realizing this that the Mahamandal has taken up the mission of meeting this want.So, if at all an epithet is to be used to indicate what type of organization this Mahamandal is, instead of calling it a religious, cultural or social service organization, the Mahamandal should be called an educational institution. 
If now the question is asked, whether the Mahamandal intends to establish schools and colleges for spreading ideal education on some particular model, the answer is again, 'No'Manny are trying to implement plans for imparting education by establishing schools and colleges, but they also meet with failure. Even if proper care is taken about content and method of education --if that could at all be possible -any plan for such ideal education is doomed to failure, on account of fact that teachers will come either from employment exchange or with political backing, and the plan will remain on paper only.
So, as things stand today, there is no use multiplying schools and colleges with possible government grants, as, understandably , labour and money spent for the purpose would go waste without yielding the desired benefit.That is why the Mahamandal wants to do the same job of imparting the right kind of education, not by multiplying such institutions with public money, but by working on the principle : If the boy does not come to education, education must go to the boy.' So, the task of the Mahamandal is to spread its centers everywhere -in villages and towns.If there is any boy who will not come to any of those centers, the Mahamandal will go to his home with a supply of those ideas which he needs badly, without which he cannot grow properly and becomes ricky and weak, bodily and morally. Such man-making ideas, when made available, will help him grow in all res[ects and make him strong and healthy.Dwelling on this idea, Swamiji says that man has three elements, which are his sources of power-body,mind and heart; when there is harmonious development of all these three elements, one becomes a real man. It is this task that the Mahamandal has chosen to perform.
Physical exercise for fitness and development of the body,practice of mental concentration to gain control over the mind, to increase its effective power, and at the same time acquiring the capacity to make it one-pointed are included in the daily routine for Mahamandal youths.But, if strength of body and mind is our sole possession, it would not be possible for us to make much headway in the mater of welfare of human society.For that, heart needs to be added to the other powers. 
The heart that is sympathetic should be expanded. But how ? What is the method of expanding the heart ? As one of its methods comes social service. Of course, as a method of expanding heart, social service is not to be performed in the spirit of common place charity.We should serve with respect, with the feeling that every creature, every man is a temple in the true sense. people are in distress, in difficulty, as their real divinity is not manifested.Therefore , just as we cleanse a temple, make sandal wood paste, pluck flowers, and decorate the temple and the deity to make everything there beautiful, in order to feel the divine presence, so also our social service should be leavened with holiness and sincere feeling to make the manifestation of the divinity already in the man in distress possible by offering the same attention, purity, love,reverence, and awe that we usually have for the deity in the temple.
So, it wouldn't be fair to evaluate the worth of the social service schemes now in operation at various units of the Mahamandal merely on the basis of the volume of work, money involved, or outward show.Proper evaluation of such work can be made only through assessment of the motive and the depth of feeling of the worker and then from the number of such workers engaged in the sort of work, which would give them a spiritual boost.All-round development and unfoldment of the being through constant striving for the highest excellence of body, mind and heart are the essence of true education, which in a way is the same thing as true religion or spirituality .This spirituality does not concern a different world from ours or merely a world beyond death. Through striving to manifest in their lives real religion, serious and sincere men have discovered some clear-cut ways in every age, and these have, in course of time, become traditional .These 'paths of religion' are also called 'Yogas'. There are four principal yogas in our tradition, viz.'Janan yoga', 'Raj yoga', 'Bhakti yoga' and 'Karma yoga'. 

Swami vivekananda observed that religion means conquering our inner nature as also the the nature outside by resorting to one or more or all of the above yogas.Swamiji has also said that when our inner power is brought under our control , it becomes easy to exercise control over outer nature. According to him, the most effective and perfect path can be had by harmonizing and integrating all these four yogas. One who takes to this integral path of self-development is endowed in full with the fruits of all these four individual paths, and his development in all directions comes about simultaneously.
In short, Jnana yoga is the path of discrimination. The way enjoins discriminating, telling apart by the application of the power of discernment, the good from the evil, the eternal from the transient, the abiding from the ephemeral . And by exercising judgment in this way, one can attain to what is eternal and real, the ultimate truth.
A Raja yogi lays the greatest stress on the power of the mind.With him, the mind is everything; and if it could be rid of all its agitations by calming it and bringing it under under absolute control , truth reveals itself, he claims. This is his path to realize the truth.
To a Bhakta it seems that there is no need for queer exercise of the body, the mind, or the intellect, none for breath control or any kind of mortification. Should any feat be called for, be it a feat of the heart.That I would love to perform . I shall open my heart and hold it up to God, my Beloved. By whatever name or in whatever way we may like to invoke Him, there is something which is the ultimate truth and whose essence is love itself. 
Had there been nothing of the kind, how could sprout this little bud of love in me ? Had there been none who is full of love and whose nature is love, how could in me surge that love which refuses to be dammed up, which disdains to remain confined within oneself, which longs to open the flood-gate to embrace all ? It is He whom some call Allah, some God, some Siva, or some Kali.
Some, in imagination thinking him God in heaven see Him seated on the throne there.The person practicing Bhakti yoga says , ' Rather than realizing truth by exercising discrimination, controlling the mind, or practicing austerity, I will seek truth through love, exhausting my limited love on Him who is all love and seeing myself at one with the world at large. By offering love, I will myself become all.'
The Karma-yogi doesn't like any of these modes. According to him, there is no need to exercise discrimination or to become emotionally surcharged and keep the heart open, waiting for God.In his opinion, to remain idle is not at all proper. The fact that we have the power to work, the power to move has a significance of its own. By the application of this power to work, we can have perfection and fulfillment of our lives. The Karma-yogi, working with his method in pursuit of perfection comes to realize that real happiness can be had only only when the work is done not for self-pleasure or self-enjoyment. 
Sri Krishna reminds us of the fruits of Karma-yoga in the Gita. Selfless work done for the good of others on careful worker the fruits of knowledge .The Karma-yogi , by renouncing self-interest and sacrificing himself, attains to truth that is realized though Jnana yoga. For, he feels that he and others are not different. His awareness of this identity is in perfect accord with the truth, which the lover discovers through his love for God, the man of knowledge or one who discriminates discovers through his discrimination, and the yogi discovers through the control of his mind.
These being the four principle methods of seeking truth and attaining it, a person who can apply all these methods in his life equally and properly and can taste the ultimate truth in every possible way is, according to Swami Vivekananda, the ideal man.Sri Ramakrishna, too, has said, 'Why should I just have one taste of an edible ? There may be so many preparations of the same fish.'

With our limited capacity in the sphere of the Mahamandal , we would strive, according to the ideas and guidance of Ramakrishna-Vivekananda, to synthesize Jnana- discrimination, control of the mind, indiscretion love, and selfless work. Then only will our development become all-round and complete. It may be that love for men will grow in our heart, sympathy may also be awakened; but, if we are not able workers, we cannot strive to remove their sufferings.Again, engaging oneself in removing others distress though service would not ultimately be fruitful, if the mind, while at the work, is in a disturbed state achieved through practice of control of the mind.Again , before thinking , speaking or doing anything, discrimination is to be exercised to see whether it is good or bad.To stimulate that power of judgement, cultivation of the knowledge-path is necessary. 
But we need not employ discrimination to the extent a true Vedantist does, equating Ganga water and ditch-water. We may strive for helping our capacity for discrimination by a simple process.We may study and contemplate on the great lives and teachings of Ramakrishna-Vivekananda. Through constant cultivation of those thoughts , power of discrimination and judgment is awakened, and this gives one the capacity to discern between right and wrong, real and unreal,good and evil. Poise and tranquility of the mind , without which we are often led to wrong judgment and love that wells up in our heart cannot be translated into action, can be ensured through regular practice of mental concentration and prayer for the well-being of all. 
And for expansion of our heart , to stir up your sympathy to feel for others' woes, to stimulate our devotion, which is nothing but love extended universally, striving is necessary, The study and cultivation suggested for acquiring the capacity for discrimination will also help in expansion of our heart. They have to be followed by our exposure to the environment of suffering and actual service rendered to achieve the object.
When a man equipping himself with such faculties of the heart and intellect , with power of the mind and practical efficiency , steps into the society , fired with the inspiration to devote his life for the real well-being of man, his work becomes a little different from that of an ordinary social worker. The Mahamandal is at work at different centers for making such worthy, healthy, strong, thoughtful, and sympathetic men.In different villages and towns, each of such youthful individually and all in unison give practical shape to the life-giving ideas of Swami Vivekananda.
In the view of the Mahamandal , this is the way of synthesizing the four yogas to transcend animality in man and to stride for full manhood.This is the way in which the Mahamandal , without being a common religious , cultural, social service , or educational institution ,is continuing its work for the last forty nine years for true religion,culture, social welfare, and education with resolve to build a better society of better men, This indeed is the work of Mahamandal.
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16. 
Speaking to Ourselves 
The Mahamandal is not a religious organization in the ordinary sense. It is not a social institution service organization in the ordinary sense . It is not an educational institution in the ordinary sense. But it works to bring real religion to every young man irrespective of his religion by birth or even if he claims to belong to no religion. One may say that he does not belong to any one sectarian religion. But we must tell him, 'Brother, what you need is another religion, the religion that makes man a real man.'
The Mahamandal is a social service organization in a deeper sense. But it does not believe in charity from a high pedestal, but it makes use of social service done in a humble way with a motive formed earlier through correct thinking,understanding, ratiocination. It is done to expand our heart. Religion actually turns a brute into a man and a man into God and that is necessary in the development of man in all respects. And every man has three aspects-his body, his mind, and his heart.
It is somewhat easier to develop one's body through exercise, nourishment, etc.And it is also not very difficult to develop one's mind, intellect.That one can do. But one who is strong in body and mind only is not fully man . If somebody has a very strong body and a very well developed brain, or intellect, should he remain satisfied ? Will he be a real man who will be an asset to any society ? No. For he will not be able to make the proper use of the powers of his brawn and brain. Because , unless he has real sympathy and heart to feel for others, his energies, physical and mental , will not yield the best result, the highest benefit that they could yield. But mind is only fine matter and body is gross matter. So it is easier to develop the body, but it is somewhat difficult to cultivate the mind. But still these can be developed with care, knowledge, and striving, because these are material things; with proper knowledge we can handle them. 
But heart is something finer, and not material in any sense. We cannot reach the heart easily by any means. We know that mind is an instrument which can be used to tackle mind itself. But for handling heart there is no such instrument. Heart can only respond to heart from a distance.It is something like resonance. Radio waves are sent from one place. There is a receiving set at the other end and the set gives us the same speech or music, which comes from the transmuting center. The heart acts like that. We know of this phenomenon of resonance from physics. Just tune one string of a stringed musical instrument to a particular frequency , say 240. Let another string be set to the same frequency 240. Just pluck one string. If you make this experiment , you will find that the other string automatically starts vibrating and produces the same note that comes out of the first string. You can attune your heart to the heart beats or the feelings of others.
That is the only method to work upon one's heart. And this we can do while doing social service with the right motive. That is why the Mahamandal worker should go to society to help and serve others to expand their own heart. And he is the real yogi, as Sri Krishna says in the Gita, who can feel the woe of others and is equally sorry, one who can share others joy equally . Swami Vivekananda was a great yogi, but we must be small yogis at least.We must at least feel for the sufferings of others and make use of the situation to expand our heart. Don't just feel and stay there. Go and stretch your hand and serve him. Try to mitigate his sufferings and then then what you learn will be permanent , will live  with you, will stay on with you.So this is the place of social service in Mahamandal and this is the scheme of synthesizing the different modes and methods and ways and paths for development . 

As Swamiji says that religion makes a brute a man , so he says, try to develop your body, mind, and heart and if you can do that fully, you become a full man. And then he says, one who has conquered , mastered his inner nature, as also the outer nature, has true religion.But how to master these? Swamiji goes on to say, for this purpose you can make use of any one, two, or more or all the several paths, and he mentioned four traditional great paths for self-
development. These traditional paths have a common name . That is Yoga. 
There are these yogas; Jnana-yoga, the path of knowledge; ; Raja-yoga, the path of mind-control; then Bhakti-yoga, the path of devotion, and karma-yoga, the path of work. These are four traditional paths following which we can develop ourselves and become full men, men who have developed the body, developed the mind, and expanded the heart, so that we overcome the weakness , the beastly weaknesses we have and become men with the shining of divinity. 
The path of knowledge or Jnana-yoga makes use of discrimination between right and wrong, the lasting and the transient, and always discards the transient things and sticks continuously to truth, to the right thing, to the everlasting thing, and gradually realizes the ultimate truth.
The Raja-yogi says that the only thing we have got to do to have fulfilment of life, to delop fully, to realize all our potentiolty , is to have full control over our mind.You can do this with the help of the eight-fold ways , astang yoga- sama,dama,asna,pranayama,prtyahara,dharna,dhyana samadhi.So we have a little of this also. 
Mahamandal wants to make use of a little of all these four paths. And Swamiji has said that almost every man in society takes at least one of these paths as a way to personal development. Swamiji said, My ideal man is he who in his character has all the true quality equally present in full.He is my ideal man who can combine in his pursuit these four methods, practice them in life, and fully develop himself. He is a real full man and this full man is what we want to be.The Bhakti-yogi, the man who takes to the path of devotion, says, 'I find love in me and it seems, it is something expanding. It is an expanding universe , as though.It tries to expand all the time. It is not content if it is there alone. It wants to touch others, gradually grow and engulf the whole world. This love that I feel in my heart suggests that there is something in this universe or beyond this universe which is of the nature of love pure and I somehow have a hankering that this small love will mingle with that ocean of love.'And he strives that way. He sheds tears. He feels. He goes to the temple, applies sandalwood paste to the images, feel that love. He finds love in that hard stone, that hard wood. It is there he feels, behind hardness, the softest thing, love -that way he feels; he tries to find that.
Good, very good. It is necessary. This feeling needs first to have sympathy for others. From this only we can expand your heart.But we can see that even if we can make use of all knowledge , make use of our control of mind, and at the same time have this feeling, sympathy for others-what happens ? Nothing . I know what is right, I know how to feel for others, I know how to control my mind, but if I say there , what I do is nothing. I must go forward and and work being goaded by the feeling, with sympathy, having that mental capacity to concentrate on any work for success, and having made use of that knowledge, the power of discrimination to do. to know what to do to ameliorate the sufferings of others. I must plunge into work. And if you work in that way, with that motivation you will find great joy through this work.
Such work leads to the same truth where you can go through discrimination, through control of mind, or by loving God. So, if you somehow synthesize these paths in the attempt to develop yourself to a full man you will be the ideal man.
The Mahamandal places this ideal of man given by Swami Vivekananda to the youths of the country and suggests a method to synthesize in a way these four great paths. It says, we cannot use discrimination like a Vedantist. It is very difficult. 
Even Totapuri, who initiated Sri Ramakrishna in the Vedantic practice, did he see this sameness in everything? Did he not become angry when somebody touched his fire ? And Sri Ramakrishna started laughing and rolling on the ground. Totapuri became angry. He said, 'What is this, why do you laugh? Sri Ramakrishna said, 'I am amused at your Vedantic knowledge of non-difference. This man, a lowly man,came and touched the holy fire and you went afire ! ' 
So we are not going to be Vedantits like that. We are not going to discriminate that way, but we want to increase is our power of discrimination by a simple method-by studying the writings of Swami Vivekananda . discussing these things to increase the capacity of discriminate between things of permanent nature and things of transient nature, between good and bad, between right and wrong. This is Jnan-yoga, the path of knowledge, for us.
Likewise practicing concentration, everyday we shall learn how to have control over the mind.And we shall practice devotion and love for God not in temples, churches and mosques only, but we shall go to the open field, to the streets , to the huts of the poor people and try to feel the presence in them all of our Beloved, whom we will no longer ignorantly call man but try to recognize as God.
Swamiji asked us to see God in man.He said, I found God nowhere . I have tried  and moved all my life in search of God, but I found God only in man. We shall go there and place all our devotion at the feet of the suffering millions of the society.That is how we shall practice devotion and we shall work only to serve people to expand our heart.
That is how we will combine these four great methods for realizing our highest potentiality , to grow in body and mind and to expand our heart and overcome all the beastly qualities that we have now and become really divinities upon earth.
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17.Our Duties 
What do we want ? We want to be happy. What is happiness ? Normally we do not know. We run helter skelter and after everything in search of happiness . And in this mad rush we forget that something is wanted of us also.What is wanted of us ? It is wanted that we should be dutiful . Duty towards whom? Duty to ourselves, duty to family, duty to society, duty to country, duty to humanity.

We understand what you mean by duty to family. You mean, we should earn as much as possible in the sweat of our brow with the minimum of leisure and spend the minimum for ourselves and provide for everything for the family.But what could be our duty to ourselves ?Duty to society belongs to social workers and that to country to the politicians and the representative of the people who are elected for the purpose.What could be our duty to society or the country ?
This is how the general mass of people thinks.This is wrong. No duty can be performed properly unless duty is understood in its totality.Duty to family can be done better by one who understands his duty to himself, his duty to society and the country. Because the family is a unit of the society and the individual is member of the family.And the individual, the family, the society, and the country -all go to form one humanity.Seen in this way duty to oneself or to the family is a part of the duty to humanity .We have to understand all our duties in this light.For we are not only spectators of the drama of the world, which is the becoming of man, according to Swami Vivekananda ; but also actors on the stage (as observed by a renowned scientist of our age, Niels Bohr) contributing our mite for the good of humanity .
In this perspective our duty towards ourselves becomes much more important and we can also understand that we have some duty to society and the country.Our duty to ourselves is simply to strive to bring out the best in ourselves . The best of our abilities and the best of our qualities. Abilities and qualities are already in use, dormant. We have to awaken them, bring them out, express them, and make use of them through self-effort.
This is the most holy duty that we owe ourselves. This sense of duty comes from the consciousness about our own dignity as men. If we neglect his duty , we not only do harm to ourselves, but also retard the welfare of mankind. One who perform his duty towards himself in bringing out the best in him , becomes more efficient in the discharge of his duties to his family, towards society and the country. How to go about doing this duty to oneself, to bring out the best in oneself?  

Duties to society and the country may be performed in various ways. This may be done either by taking up such work as the sole occupation of one's life or by investing one's surplus energy, time, and money for the purpose.There are various fields in which one may work for this. The field may be philanthropic work, social service, education , social reforms, politics, religion, and so on.There is a long history of such works in these fields in all countries .In the past such works used to be done mostly by individuals. Late on these were undertaken in an organization manner through various private agencies.The state through political patronage gradually started to enter these fields in ever widening areas, leaving certain works for the private agencies and a meager reminder for individuals.This is only natural in the changed economic and social conditions generally in all societies. It may be asked, if this changed circumstance absolve individuals of their duty to society and to the country. 
The answer is , no. On the contrary , the changed circumstance having freed individuals from some old burdens of social obligations has devolved upon them a more onerous duty of serving others in such a way that they may be conscious of their duties towards themselves, which ultimately make them aware of their duties to society and country.This may also be done individually or in organized way.
The duty to oneself , that is to strive to bring out the best of one's abilities and qualities already possessed , may be called 'being' or 'becoming.' That is how we can understand 'BE' of Swami Vivekananda's motto 'BE AND MAKE.' The duty towards society and country performed through helping others in making them conscious of their own human dignity, potentiality, and duty, and showing them how to bring out the best in them to 'become' what they really are may be understood as 'MAKING' in the above motto.Swami Vivekananda has spoken so much on so many subjects , such as religion, sociology, politics, history, aesthetics, etc.etc.But again and again he reverted to one simple proposition, namely 'first be men' , BE AND MAKE -let this be your motto.' If that could be done everything else will take care of itself, he assured again and again.
This is the work the Mahamandal has chosen. there are so many agencies to take care of other duties and obligations to society.All such works are money intensive. The Mahamandal has only energy, feeling, and will to work : for investment.It has chosen to use these to translate this central teaching of Swami Vivekananda into practice both individually and on organized way through out the length and breadth of India .
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18.
What is Wanted 
With emphasis and conviction it can be said that the ideas and the objects of the Mahamandal are set forth by Swami Vivekananda .The Mahamandal has not sprung up out of the ideas of one or a few intelligent persons .It is just a working policy to translate the ideas of Swami Vivekananda, here in India, for a thorough regeneration of the decadent nation.
Swamiji wanted the young men of India to come forward leaving behind all lethargy, despondency ,despair, and every other humiliating idea which benumb their limbs, shorten their stature, and dampen their spirit. This has been happening in our country, of late particularly , and generally for the last one thousand years or so.Swami Vivekananda came to inspire the Indian youths , to instill a new spirit, to give a new vigour to the national life,so that the nation can once more rise to eminence which will dim even its past glorious history.That was Swami Vivekananda's dream. It was a waking dream with Swami Vivekananda, not like the dreams which we have while asleep.Swami Vivekananda was ever awake. He never slept. That was a vivid dream and therefore not really a dream, but a vision.
He could see the history of the past and the history in making and the history that was yet to be.He could see fifteen hundred years hence , as he said. He could see the march of mankind and he saw that India was rising. And it is the youths of India who will raise her again to eminence.
The Mahamandal came into being to do a little like the squirrels who helped Sri Ramachandra to build the bridge to Lanka from the main land. We, the youths of India, are very humble people , we are nobodies , as Swami Vivekananda says,but these bodies are most powerful beings.Because they believe in their inner strength,they believe in their possibilities, they know how to overcome all fear.They know how to go forward , how to march on the tune of the call of the great Swami Vivekananda.He wanted the youths of India to be men and we, the youths of India , want to be men. We want the regeneration of India.
We must remove the causes which have brought about the present degeneration. And what are they? So many causes are there. Lack of seriousness in the first place.Swamiji said : We have a tendency nowadays to trifle with everything , but do not understand the importance of things. Everything with which to build the future of our nation we take lightly, we take our behavior , education, our thought , and everything else lightly.This is the first cause which has brought about this present decadence. So have a little more gravity and seriousness.Gravity does not mean that we will always wear grave faces. Swami Vivekananda says:Don't pull a long face like that. Why? You are not really miserable . You are heroes , you are giants, you are strong, you are fearless.You can sacrifice everything for the good of others.  
You can serve people.You can overcome  the longings of your senses. You can transcend your body and your mind. This is spirituality. Swami Vivekananda wanted to give this spirituality to the youths of India.You are ready to do good to India. That is why he says, Deluge the country with spiritual ideas first of all. 
Before all else we have done just the opposite.We have put spiritual striving and ideas in the cupboard . We have drawn up plans and program ms for the welfare of society.We take great pride that we have been doing so. We spend money in hundreds and thousands of corers and we see that the benefits do not trickle to the poorest and the meanest of the Indian population.They starve, they suffer. We are being deceived, and we have allowed us to be deceived , we, even those who have had some so-called education.
We do not see things in the proper perspective . We do not realize the peril that we are bringing due to our negligence, due to our lack of seriousness , due to our lack of love, for the people, due to our lack of sacrificing spirit, due to lack of our service attitude, due to our selfishness. Simply we have become servants of our body. We want only bodily comfort and pleasure through our senses. Swami Vivekananda Asked us to rise above all these low aspirations. To rise above these -is spirituality. He wanted this spirituality to be revived again. He wanted this spirituality to be revived again.He wanted the practice of this spirituality in everyday life.He wanted to bring the great ideas of the Upanishads to the ploughmen, to the householders, to the workers, to everybody in society.That was his idea and the Mahamandal wants to work on this line.
This is big task - this is a big work and we must do it. The Indian youths must be ready to do this.Who else can do it ? Not elderly people, not weak people, not lean bodies, not sleeping minds; only they who have a strong body, a strong mind, and a large heart, with energy ,discipline, seriousness, love-they can do and they are the youths of India. This great work of through regeneration of India. This is the great work.
There are two ways of doing something. One is to do the thing in a big way, with big plans, spending a large sum of money, etc. and the other way is to do the thing in a small way, even unnoticed by people, without any praise or anything. Calmly in our day to day life and through small organization we can work for a big goal.That is the method of work of the Mahamandal. To translate Swamiji's ideas into practice for the regeneration of the nation.That is the aim of the Mahamandal.
The Mahamandal does not want name or fame, does not want to acquire property, does not want to be admired or applauded by anybody or to raise large funds. It has one merit-a fund of will, a fund of determination in few young men.They are not well-known figures, do not have much education, they are really nobodies. Simply they have this will-" We will translate Swami Vivekananda's ideas into practice; we will generate the whole nation thoroughly.
We will be pure. Our efforts will be pure, our plans will be pure, our purpose will be pure, our methods will be pure. With purity we will go forward and translate the ideas of Swami Vivekananda and regenerate India. How can it be done ? We do not stand in need of big programmes or a big propaganda machinery , on which nowadays we often find people tempted to put much faith.But the work can be done with a good resolve and conviction, love for the people. The Mahamandal has been trying to do this.
'Our great country is on the road to degeneration in various respects.' Can we tolerate it ? Can Indian youths tolerate that ?We can prevent it and do something that will reverse the process.How can we do that ? We can do that only by building our life, only by building our character. Because the nation can be raised only by men of character. If we have this power of character then we can achieve we desire. 
What is this character ? The capacity to will rightly, not the capacity to will for a selfish end. It is to will rightly, not the capacity to will for a selfish end. It is to will for the good of all. That is character.Character is overcome passions, to overcome desires for self-satisfaction, for gratification of the senses.That is character. Character is the capacity to suffer for the good of others.The capacity to overcome all misery. These are some of the things that are together known as character.To be a man of character means all these. 
Unless we are men like this, can we solve any problem ?Can we really help others, can we really serve the society? We cannot. So if we want to work for the good of the nation, first of all we must build our character. If we do not build our character and at the same time go to serve society, go to help others-the poor, the illiterate, all our efforts ultimately will go in vain.Because, if men without character serve people, the want of people served may sometimes be removed a little, there hunger may go for a few days, they may be able to read news papers and books, write some simple letters, but they will remain men without character.They will do all sorts of things not conducive to the welfare of the society. They will bring in things which will harm society.
Public money is being drained. Bribery is rampant. Everyone wants less work, no responsibility, and more money for more gratification.Mass media, literature , education-whether at home or in the institution- examples of elders, all go to pamper lower passions, inflate greed and lust, inflate selfishness in the growing youths.This is not the condition in our country only. That is the situation everywhere. But we cannot afford this ruining luxury at this juncture when we must rise as a nation, to rebuild it on a sound ground, to remove the age-long poverty and ignorance of the masses.
We do not have the capacity for right thinking. We have lost that capacity . Simply we are moving like a herd of sheep, as Swami ji repeated again and again. Unscrupulous people achieve their own selfish ends at the cost of the less privileged and people having no education and intelligence believe that they are working to help them. They often follow them and gradually lose their character, become corrupt, simply lose their efficiency to work even.
Hard work our nation has forgotten.What do others, men in other countries, do ? We are not going to praise others only, but men almost everywhere else are hard working people.We must 'learn to do more than paid for '. I get this much as wages and I am supposed to work for eight hours in factory.
I work for the manufacture of seven pieces of an item.If twelve pieces are produced in a day, I am satisfied.If I produce fourteen instead of twelve I will get an incentive bonus.But can you produce fifteen or sixteen and do not claim anything more than the wages that is fixed for you? I Will do.. Yes, I earn my livelihood through my work. But my nation is here.I can contribute for the good of my country. I work here in this factory , but the things I produce will enrich my nation.I do this work. I do this much, and with what I earn somehow I can make both ends meet.It's all right.But,if I can produce fifteen pieces in a day, why should I stop after the tenth price, just to earn my wages? Can I not contribute something to my nation through my labor, even if for a part of it I do not earn an extra sum?Many have no job, they are also in need of money. My extra production will create some capital, which may be ploughed back to create job for them. Can I not compare my situation with the-ire's ?This is a spiritual capacity. Everywhere this works.
I talk four hours in a school and I get this much salary. If I talk four hours on the subject taught in a school as per syllabus and if I talk to the boys for an extra hour and give them some ideas working upon which they can build their character and life, I will really contribute so much to my nation.
Suppose I am a doctor in a hospital. I have fixed hours when I go there. Suppose I treat a hundred persons daily for which I am getting my salary. Can I not work for one hour more and treat ten poor people ?We don't do that. Swami Vivekananda said, ' So long as millions die in hunger and ignorance I call every man a traitor who have been educated at their cost does pay the least heed to them.' That is what most of the educated people of our country today are.
Do the young people today want to be educated and traitors ?Swami Vivekananda calls halt to that. The Mahamandal wants to prevent that.With a little bookish knowledge , they think they have become really learned, they have real education. Real education will expand your heart, make your body and mind strong.
Love the country, love your fellow People . Love your brothers, love your own blood in the countrymen. Think clearly, work hard, and help others.You can do that. Learn the trick of controlling your mind. 
Concentrate your mind upon the problem of the nation and upon the small problems of your own life. Solve them with resolution and determination and become a serious and hard-working, heart-whole man.Think for the people and raise your nation. That is what Swami Vivekananda wanted of the young people of India and that is wanted by the Vivekananda Yuva Mahamandal.The ideas and ideals of Vivekananda Yuva Mahamandal are Swami Vivekananda's ideas and ideals. We want to and should translate them into practice.
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[note: Two more chapters are included in this book from ' Swami Vivekananda aur hmari sambhavna'  SV-HS  [73] भविष्य का भारत और श्रीरामकृष्ण/'  " प्रलय या गहरी समाधि " [ ***22 परिप्रश्नेन] लेख पर आधारित. 
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