Grooming youth for Nation Building (Seminar at Sambalpur University)
Updated: Oct 20, 2022
A nation is only as strong as its citizens. After centuries of backwardness, our great nation is moving towards prosperity and material well-being. Millions of people have been lifted from backbreaking poverty and India is becoming a power to be reckoned with in fields of science and industry. But are we on the right path? Economic prosperity does not cure all the ills of society. If we look at the so-called advanced countries, while there is great prosperity, loneliness, depression, drug abuse and disturbed family life are realities that cannot be ignored. We can see glimpses of all these issues today even in India.
Does this mean we should cut back on material growth? Absolutely not. But it has to balanced with the inner growth of people, and the answer can come only from the field of spirituality. Morality, honesty, goodness, charity and compassion are divine qualities, and these can be tapped only by connecting to the divine. The key to doing so is catching them young, by reaching out to children and youth.
However, while there is excellent progress is material education, there has hardly been any serious effort in educating the young in spiritual values. It seems that our education system is focusing solely on marks, degrees and jobs, without giving the young the foundation of spirituality. And without a strong foundation, all our efforts will collapse in a heap.
Throughout history, India was rich, not only materially, but also in matters of the spirit. Visitors to India, from ancient times, the Middle Ages, and right up to a couple of
centuries ago, were struck by the prosperity of the country as well as the strong moral values of its people. Our country, throughout its great history, has been a laboratory for advancing materialism as well as spiritualism. If our country hopes to reclaim its position as Vishwa Guru, we have to work on both these fronts. One-sided development can only lead to disaster.
“On a practical level, how can we instill the universal values of Sanatan Dharma in the young? The role of the teacher is vital to this, but mere preaching cannot achieve anything. To inspire the young, the teachers themselves must know these values, and, most importantly, practice them themselves. Only then the young will imbibe these values” Deviji was addressing in the seminar.