President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee were among those who paid tributes to Swami Vivekananda on the 156th birth anniversary of India’s greatest spiritual leader.

Swami Vivekananda’s birthday is celebrated in India as National Youth Day.

Haling Swami Vivekananda as a “nation builder”, President Kovind said that the ideals of the monk continue to shape the minds of generations.

“Tributes to Swami Vivekananda on his birth anniversary. In honour of this great scholar, monk and nation builder, we commemorate this day as National Youth Day. The ideals and vision of Swami Vivekananda continue to shape the minds of generations,” wrote the President on Twitter.

 

In two tweets, Prime Minister Narendra Modi recalled the words of the revered Hindu monk – “Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached”.

“’Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached.’ Remembering these powerful words, and the rich thoughts of the venerable #SwamiVivekananda on his Jayanti. He emphasised on the ideals of service and renunciation. His belief in Yuva Shakti was unwavering,” wrote the PM in a tweet.

“The thoughts and ideals of #SwamiVivekananda inspire and energise crores of Indians, particularly our youth. It is from him that we draw the motivation of building an India that is strong, vibrant, inclusive and an India that takes global leadership in several areas,” he added.

 

Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu in a series of tweets called Swami Vivekananda an “embodiment of Hindu culture”.

“My tributes to one of tallest sons of India, Swami Vivekananda, who was a spiritual teacher and an embodiment of Hindu Culture on his birth anniversary, today. #Vivekananda,” he wrote in a tweet.

“Swami Vivakananda was a social reformer and was against religious dogmas. He believed in the uplift of humanity, irrespective of caste or creed and emphasized the importance of spiritualism for the survival and progress of mankind,” added Naidu.

“We need to popularize the teachings of Swami Vivekananda among the younger generation so that they realize and assimilate the greatness of India’s culture, spiritual heritage and traditions. #Vivekananda,” he said in another tweet.

 

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that her government is observing Vivek Utsav in the memory of Swami Vivekananda across the state.

“Today is the birth anniversary of the great preacher and philosopher, #SwamiVivekananda. We are observing #VivekUtsav in his memory across the State. We must always remember the message of peace and brotherhood that Swami Ji stood for,” she wrote on Twitter adding that the youth should come together to “dispel the climate of hatred and uncertainty”.

 

 

Born Narendra Nath Datta on 12 January 1863 in Kolkata (then Calcutta), Vivekananda became a disciple of Ramakrishna Paramhansa and took sanyasa in 1887.

In 1893, he delivered an iconic speech at the World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago. He introduced the concepts of Vedanta and Yoga to the western world. Credited with reviving Hinduism in India, Swami Vivekananda founded the Ramkrishna Math and Ramkrishna Mission in 1886 and 1897, respectively.

In 1984, the government of the time declared that the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda will be celebrated as National Youth Day.