National Security Advisor Ajit Doval Tuesday said Swami Vivekananda was the first person to make the world realise “the high spiritual content and exalted glory of Hinduism”.
He was addressing the first Swami Vivekananda Memorial Lecture at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi to commemorate his 158th birth anniversary.
Two months ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had unveiled a statue of Swami Vivekananda at the JNU campus. JNU’s Executive Council had decided to hold an annual week-long youth festival to commemorate Vivekananda’s birth anniversary. It had also passed a resolution to “constitute a committee to develop academic/research programs on Swami Vivekananda”.
The lecture by Doval on Tuesday was attended by JNU V-C M Jagadesh Kumar.
Doval said: “The British colonial power was at its pinnacle and the country was politically subjugated, economically impoverished, socially fragmented and psychologically, people had been stunned to silence…. As a young man with no resources and few supporters, he (Swami Vivekananda) plunged himself in the battleground to awaken sleeping India… He derived his energy from India’s spiritual past and its strength.”
Doval called him a “great Hindu missionary” and said: “He inspired people to hold onto their Hindu spiritual heritage. He profusely wrote and preached about dhyan, sadhana and yog. He said that you may learn many things from the West, but must have faith in their own spiritual heritage.”
Doval said that Swami Vivekananda talked about the unity of the society and lamented that one of the causes of India’s degradation was its “social fragmentation, caste system and self-centric narrow vision”.