Wednesday, May 4, 2016


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.

Printed by 
P.K. Das
Pelican Press
85 B.B. Ganguli Street

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
A New Youth Movement

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. 


**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 ]
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.

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.
(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. "
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.

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.
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!

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.

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.

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.

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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