Rightly eulogized as a way of living, Hinduism is not only for a particular group, on the contrary it claims to be for the entire humanity since it recognizes all living beings as spiritual entities which are part of the Supreme Being. It is of paramount importance since it unravels a practical view of life. Today, man is living in a sophisticated era, yet there is a dearth of peace, extreme competition, corruption, violence, crimes, suicides and other vices are rampant throughout the globe. Currently, the young generation seems much tied up with education and owing to various influences, most of them take this so called glittering world to be a bed of roses, thus developing a strong inclination to the numerous distractions offered to them.
Hinduism teaches the youth about uprooting unrighteousness in the form of jealousy, anger, ego, greed, hatred, lust, likes and dislikes, which are the frequent enemies residing in them. An appeal is made to everyone for the cultivation of love, compassion, humility, peace and other virtues in the best way possible. By so doing, one awakes the divinity within oneself. In the words of Swami Vivekananda, ‘each soul is potentially divine’. Therefore, fear, failure and negative mentality held back decisiveness and take away positive action, cause lack of inner strength, and hence allowing external factors to shape one’s life.
Furthermore, Hinduism lays emphasis on the control of the senses and the mind. These days, many youth are easily carried away by the senses, the empirical world appear to be so luring that most of them fall prey to various troubles. Many have become slaves to their senses, as such they are unable to digest the daily challenges. One’s intellect is always engaged in planning and decision making. One must train the mind to engage in the worldly activities and at the same time must be able to withdraw it inwards whenever needed just like a tortoise. But how is that possible? Hinduism suggests a panacea to this issue which is through meditation. If the mind is not trained by meditation, it refuses to withdraw, as a result of this, one continues to live in suffering. When hopes are destroyed, then only the mind collapses and takes adverse decisions like suicide, murder, covetness and the like. Through meditation, proper concentration will be developed which is no doubt a plus for the students. Nowadays, many students are only interested in information but not transformation. One’s intellect will blossom only when transformation occurs. In B.Gita itself, it is only when Arjuna had his mind fixed on Shri Krishna that he was able to perform his duty. Even scientists have found remarkable psychological and physiological improvement of the human body when the mind is in a meditative state.
Moreover, the sine-qua-non of having legitimate desire is equally brought to the limelight in Hinduism. Some youth think that Hinduism condemns desires. This misconception about ‘not having desires’ lead man to avoid studying Hinduism as they wonder how can one lead a life devoid of desires? As a result of this misconception, they may consider Hinduism as impractical in this modern day context where so much depends upon satisfying one’s desire for success and achievements. In our Hindu tradition, desire (kama) is considered to be one of the greatest endowments and privilege of human being. In fact, it is only desire to create the world that led to the evolution of this universe by the Supreme God as pointed out in our Vedas, Upanishads, Suktas and other religious texts. Desire as such is not a problem unless one has mastery over desires which ought to be guided by righteousness (dharma). When it is misguided, then only it takes the form of greed. M.K.Gandhi advocated, ‘there is enough for everybody’s needs but not for everybody’s greed’.
Hinduism highlights on the value of detachment which is very often misunderstood by many of us. The reality is that Hinduism is not asking one to be detached from the world. In fact, physical detachment is impossible as we live in an inter-connected environment where action of one affects the other. Even in the Upanishads, it is addressed that man needs both materialism and spiritualism to lead a balance life. Renunciation is the key to a brighter future. Therefore, renounce inequality and promote equality, renounce arrogance and be open-minded, renounce selfish behaviors and seek happiness for all. Hinduism promotes unity in diversity- Vasudhaiva Kutumbhakam- the whole world is one family. All of us live on the same earth. The same sky is above us. Ignoring this underlying principle of unity man visualizes multiplicity of unity in diversity. Since many has lost the ability to see unity in diversity, one is immersed in restlessness. Great personalities who have served the society with single minded devotion are an inspiration for all. For instance, Mother Teresa served the poor people of India. Dr M.L.King spent his entire lifetime advocating racial harmony. Albert Schweitzer left a good life in France to serve the poor people in Africa. The fourteenth Dalai Lama became the messenger of world peace and harmony while remaining in exile away from his homeland Tibet.
Youth must be engaged in selfless work without any expectation for reward. In the Gita, it is mentioned, “Karmanyevadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana, Ma Karma Phala Hetur Bhur Ma Te Sango Stv Akarmani”, that is work for the sake of your duty, do not be attached to the fruits thereof. Tagore rightly said, ‘love is freedom in action’, which culminates in disinterested work. Besides, the notion of sacrifice is also brought to the forefront. Swami Vivekananda stated, ‘service to man is service to God’. It is noteworthy that God Himself did a lot of sacrifice for the creation of the world. Now the question is how many youth are engaged in sacrifices today? The answer is very few since many of them are leading a luxurious lifestyle, making them busy in their self-centered surroundings. Sacrifices makes us capable of love and hence establishing oneness. Just as while praying to God, one sacrifices one’s ego, likewise while serving humanity, the negative traits are transformed into positive ones.
Hinduism like other religions preaches about respecting our elders- Matru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava, Acharya Devo Bhava, Satyam Vada, Dharmam Chara..’ one should respect one’s Mother, Father, Teacher, speak only the truth and follow the path of righteousness. A person devoid of these values is equated to the level of an animal which brings misfortune to himself and incurs sins. The importance of moral valuesis unfolded as Hinduism speaks of the true identity of the individual, the real significance of the family and the sanctity of the society. Sadly, many students spend more energy concentrating on their outer looks and sensual pleasures rather than character building and exams. The traditional values are declining day by day, therefore it is mandatory to revive the lost values like disciplines, effort, endurance, sense control and curbing indulgence in sensual pleasures.
Hinduism equally assigns due importance to Nature. God’s creation is highly pious, hence human has no right to uproot what he cannot creates. Everyone including the youth, have to realize the inter-connectedness of the living entities and emphasize on the idea of moral responsibilities to oneself, one’s society and the world at large. The Earth is revered as our Mother. She feeds, shelters and clothes us. One cannot survive without Her. If as children, we cannot take care of Her, then Her ability to cater for man is diminished. Today, unfortunately man is under the grip of ‘Covid-19’ but who is to be blamed for it? It is man only because he is responsible for all the damages caused to Mother Nature. Thus, gratitude to the Creator and to the spiritual forces in creation is at the heart of Hinduism and other religions. In the Rig Veda, it is stated, ‘the Sky is like Father, the Earth is like Mother and the Space as their Son. The universe consisting of the three is like a family and any kind of harm done to the three throws the universe out of balance’. Even William Wordsworth opined, ‘there is a Spirit in Nature’. This alarming situation has taught us that death is certain and inevitable. Hinduism proclaims that one should overcome over the fear of death which is due to attachment. This is so as during death time only the body perishes but not the self which is ever-lasting. Hence, give respect to Mother Nature and change your way of thinking. M. K. Gandhi rightly urged us ‘to be the change that you wish to see in the world’.
Dear youth, one has to face many obstacles in life but one should not be depressed. Life is a challenge, meet it with determination. Life is a dream, realize it with ardent will. Life is a play, enact it with honesty. Life is selfless love, enjoy it in accordance with righteousness. Hence, be strong-minded and develop faith in that which is good. Hinduism gives guidance to survive in the times of difficulties and depression. Education can no doubt help students to gain material wealth and comforts but not peace of mind. Hinduism has the ability to transform students. This subject is not only for getting a certificate or a degree, it depicts the way one should lead life in a balance manner, while tuning one’s way of thinking towards positivity. Unfortunately, many students have a wrong perspective about it, thinking that it deals about with Gods and prayers, when in fact, Hinduism englobes the entire way of how to live one’s life according to the societal norms. Some also feel that this subject is obsolete and it will not serve them in the near future. It is good to note that Hinduism is relevant even in today’s world as it stays with oneself for lifetime; sharpening one’s character towards purely goodness.
Hinduism creates a difference in man’s way of thinking and takes us closer to one’s inner self, prevents us from going astray and turns us into new leaves. Dear youth and parents, do show an interest in Hinduism, do not only read about it, do practice the teachings involved in it at least to some extent, for ‘actions speak louder than words’. Parents should encourage their kids to learn about Hinduism from home itself but for this to be effected, parents themselves must be role models. Hinduism is crucial for all beings but here it is targeting mainly the youth since the future of humanity lies in their hands. Therefore, if actions are not taken promptly, greatest will be the loss. Dear youth, WAKE UP, RISE AND SHINE’. The motto of education is not only to get a certificate or to become a laureate rather to be better humans endowed with humility and other virtues. Glorify yourselves through noble deed each day- be it in thoughts words and deeds. It is indeed a recipe for peaceful living not only for the youth but for all the beings on earth. Thus, it is rightly said by Swami Paramahansa Yogananda, ‘Affirm divine calmness and peace, and send out only thoughts of love and goodwill if you want to live in peace and harmony. Never get angry, for anger poisons your system’.
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