I cannot write about Vivekananda without going into raptures. Few indeed could comprehend or fathom him – even among those who had the privilege of becoming intimate with him. His personality was rich, profound and complex and it was this personality as distinct from his teachings and writing which accounts for the wonderful influence he has exerted con his countrymen and particularly on Bengalees. Reckless in his sacrifice, unceasing in his activity, boundless in his love, profound and versatile in his wisdom, exuberant in his emotions, merciless in his attack but yet simple as a child he was a rare personality in this worlds of ours.
In this revised edition I have incorporated the Intelligence Report on Swami Vivekananda prepared for the Government of India, Foreign Department, in 1896 and preserved in India Office Record, London.
In addition excerpts from the book. Political Trouble in India—1907-1917 by J. C. Ker, I. C. S., Personal Assistant to the Director of Criminal Intelligence, and
Sedition Committee Report have been included to show the British rulers’ assessment of Swamiji’s contribution towards national awakening in India.
I am confident that our youth will find this book very useful to build up their character and form ideal on which both Swamiji and Netaji laid great emphasis.
The Spirit of Youth has found most profound and powerful expression in the lives of Swami Vivekananda and Netaji Subhas. They understood the true significance of youth and realizing the tremendous potentialities of Youth-Power both Swamiji and Netaji pinned their hopes in the youths of our country. To inspire our youth they practised what they preached. They spoke more in deeds than in words. That is why their words have acquired added meaning and significance.
They knew that once the dormant soul of the youth had been awakened, life in all its spheres would be illumined and hence they sang the glorious songs of youth. At their behest thousands of youth of our country left their hearth and home, near and dear ones and sacrificed their lives for the cause of their beloved motherland.
Today our youths are groping in the dark. A sense of
frustration has overtaken them. The spirit of dissension
and party intrigues have dealt a crushing blow to the youth movement. In search of ideology our youths look beyond the boundaries of India and eventually they get lost.
We feel aggrieved to see this colossal waste of youth-power and finish our duty by paying lip-sympathy to this vast waste of national power. Hardly any constructive attempt is being made to find out remedy to prevent this drainage of vital resources of the country.
Our leaders make tall promises and utter high- sounding phrases which have failed to make any impression on the young boys. They have fed our youths constantly with the lofty ideals of Mahatma Gandhi which they themselves know are unrealistic in the context of present socio-economic conditions and international scene. Our youths are not inclined to believe that inherent goodness in man will lead to transformation of Indian society and Ram-rajya will be established. In reality they find Ravanas rule the day.
Our youths need more courageous words, bold messages and realistic ideals to remove poverty, illiteracy and inequity. These are found in abundance in the words and deeds of Swamiji and Netaji.
Unfortunately, the ideals of Swarniji and Netaji are hardly being propagated. Their noble deeds. which can whip up the spirit of youth, are almost unknown to the young men of modern India.
This book is a modest attempt to spread the ideals of Swamiji which inspired men like Subhas Chandra to court hardship and undergo all sufferings to make India a great nation. If this book inspires our young men to read the works of Swami Vivekananda and Netaji Subhas, I shall feel my work is done, for I am confident that once
the youths of today read the lives and works of Swamiji and Netaji they will feel inspired and gain confidence in themselves which will pave the way for regeneration of our society.
This book owes its origin to my discussions with my brothers, Sri Pannalul Mukherjee, Sri Rabin Mukherjee and Sri Sambhu Mukherjee.
I record my deep sense of gratitude to Swami Balaramananda, Swami Jyotirupananda and other sannyasins of Advaita Ashrama for their constant encouragement and various help they have kindly rendered to me.
I am grateful to Dr Subrata Gupta, Sri amal Sen Gupta, Dr Amar pal, Sri Mayukh Bose, Sri Bijoy Nag, Sri Sachindranath Bhattacharya, Gupta Mallick and Sri Rabin Bhattacharya for assisting me in the preparation of the manuscript and for final execution of the plan to publish this book.
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