Swami Vivekananda and National Development
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Vivekananda International Foundation organised a panel discussion on Jan 11, 2021 to commemorate the 158th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. The eminent speakers invited to the panel were Swami Shuddhidananda, Adhyaksha, Advaita Ashrama (branch of Ramkrishna Math and Vision), Kum. Nivedita Bhide, All India Vice President, Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari, Dr R Balasubramaniam, Founder, Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement & Grassroots Research And Advocacy Movement. The panel discussion began with the opening remarks from Dr Arvind Gupta, Director, VIF India.

Swami Shuddhidananda opened the discussion and introduced practical aspects of Vedanta by suggesting that Swami Vivekananda derived his range of thoughts from Upanishads. He added that Swami Vivekananda was the most modern spokesperson of India's ancient philosophy. Moving forward, Swami ji explained that the central teaching of Vedanta and Upanishads is that every person in their true nature is Atman. Later, Swami ji emphasised that Swami Vivekananda's teachings based on the philosophy of Atman are significant for everyone and especially the youth. He said that the entire society, political and international system could change if we practise the Atman knowledge. By explaining the significance of Atman in Swami Vivekananda's teaching, Swami ji emphasised human building as a path to national development.

Moving forward, Kum Nivedita Bhide introduced Swami Vivekananda's patriotism based on a holistic viewpoint. She said that Swami Vivekananda's patriotism stemmed from oneness and wasn't adversarial. She iterated the interconnectedness of the world. Kum Bhide suggested that India's contribution to humanity through Indian civilisational values is central to Swami Vivekananda's teachings. She explained that each organ and limb contributes to the whole body as the body is interconnected interdependent.

Similarly, for the evolution of humanity, each nation has civilisational values to contribute accordingly. And for that, India should remain as it is. Furthermore, Kum. Bhide explained the different aspects of Indian patriotism and Swami Vivekananda's teachings about it.

Moving forward, Dr R Balasubramaniam spoke on man and character building and its relevance in education. He said that for Swami Vivekananda, character building was the ideal of education itself. He reiterated that The Upanishads inspired Swami Vivekananda's teachings. Moving forward, he explained the significance of understanding the inner and external nature through education. Dr Balasubramanian said that education in India should serve the Indians. In explaining the essential lessons from Swami Vivekananda's teachings about education, he focused on the essence of service or "seva" in Indian culture. The panel discussion was followed by a question and answer session and closing remarks by Dr. Gupta.

Event Date 
January 11, 2021

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