Swami Vivekananda was born on the 12th of January 1863 and his birthday is observed as the National Youth Day all over the country. The Government of India led by the then Prime Minister strongly felt the need for a youth icon and the Committee set up for this purpose unanimously decided in favour of Swami Vivekananda. From 1887 to 1893, Swami Vivekananda went on a Bharat Parikrama on foot and gained firsthand knowledge about our country. While he was deeply appalled by the abject poverty, illiteracy and superstition among the masses, he was also deeply touched by their innate spirituality. His wanderings finally took him to the southernmost tip of our motherland viz. Kanyakumari. He swam across the shark infested ocean and reached the rock. He remained absorbed in meditation for three days and nights. He had some extraordinary experiences in which he had a clear vision about the future of his work. He clearly understood his role in restoring India to her past glory. Soon after he sat sail for America with complete clarity of mind. He had decided to participate in the world parliament of religions to exchange India’s spiritual wealth for the material wealth of the West. He felt that he would be able to garner funds for working among the poor and downtrodden masses of India. He returned to India in the beginning of 1897 and on the 1st of May that year he set up the Ramakrishna Mission with the twin ideals of Atmanomokshartham Jagaddhitaya Cha i.e. for the spiritual evolution of the individual and at the same time work for the welfare of the world. In brief his plan was to work extensively for the regeneration of our motherland through this organization where monks would work in cooperation with lay members. While the individual goal of spiritual freedom would not be forgotten, the path would lay through the service of humanity. 

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