When Swami Vivekananda visits SSU…



Youth must possess muscles of iron and nerves of steel, inside which dwells a mind of the same material…’it has been more than a century since I made this statement, I wonder if my countrymen and the youth today in the 21st century uphold any of these values, wonders Swami Vivekananda.

‘Sri Sri University, Bidhyadharpur-Arilo, Cuttack,’ Vivekananda reads. So, finally I am here, he smiles. ‘The long stretch, the gentle breeze, and the silence, the choice of location for a University definitely deserves praise,’ he remarks. Sister Nivedita nods in agreement. 

Jaydev Block! Interesting name, he smiles. Is not this the Academic Block, Shruti? he asks. It must be the one, Sister Nivedita answers. ‘Let us take a look inside. We will certainly not be able to see students, it is too early in the day,’ Vivekananda remarks walking past the open courtyard.

Can you hear the chants? Sister Nivedita asks, Swami Vivekananda looks around in amusement. ‘Amazing! So many students are practicing yoga and meditation,’ he exclaimed. ‘Youth must have faith in their own spiritual heritage,’ I had spoken of this and now when I see these students soaked in Dhyan and Sadhna, I feel hopeful of the country. ‘The morning sadhna is a must or else I feel drained and tired all through the day,’ a student exclaims, Vivekananda and Nivedita exchange smiles and leave the hall.

‘The last goal was spectacular dude!” Swami Vivekananda looks in disbelief at the two boys who just walk past. ‘What does ‘dude’ mean any idea?’ Nivedita looks clueless. ‘There must be a football ground nearby they were talking of goals,’ Nivedita continues. ‘Probably, let us explore,’ he says.

‘There is a badminton court, a tennis court and also a football ground,’ Nivedita exclaims. ‘So many girls are playing,’ she adds. ‘You will be nearer to heaven through football and the study of Gita,’ Vivekananda exclaims. ‘You had said these exact words a century ago,’ Nivedita chuckles.  

‘Are we all ready for the cleanliness drive!’ a student exclaims. ‘These students are all marching to a nearby village where they also organise frequent health camps, and life skills training sessions,’ Nivedita says, I overheard their conversation, she adds.

Vivekananda in front of the magnificent Buddha statue says, ‘Youth must focus their collective energies towards nation building. They must live for a noble reason, a mighty ideal, and a higher state so that they are able to transcend the impermanence.’ Nivedita nods in agreement. ‘I am so glad these students understand the importance of ‘seva’ and service,’ Vivekananda continues.

‘I plan to start something of my own. I have the blueprint in mind and the department head has promised that he will guide me throughout,’ a student, sitting in a hut-shaped structure says. ‘This is one of the very few universities that promote the start-up culture. I am so glad to be part of the University,’ another student continues.  

‘This is exactly how I envisioned an educational institution to be,’ Vivekananda says.

Education is not the amount of information that is put into your brain and runs riots there...We must have life-building, man-making, character-making assimilation of ideas,’ Nivedita says. ‘Did I miss out on something?’ Nivedita questions. ‘You remember all my speeches,’ Vivekananda adds.

‘It is sundown, shall we leave?’ Nivedita asks. ‘I wish the youth of today are educated in a way where character is formed, strength of mind is increased, intellect is expanded and by which he can stand on his own feet,’ Vivekananda says walking past a student meditating in front of the Buddha statue. 

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