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Indira Gandhi: My parents and especially my mother were very close with the Ramakrishna Mission. And I must say that the teachings of Swami Vivekananda had inspired all the members of the Nehru family both in their political activities and day-today lives...The single word which echoed and reached in all his speeches was Abhih i.e. Fearlessness. 2. Jawaharlal Nehru: I do not know how many of the younger generation study the speeches and writings of Swami Vivekananda. But I can tell you that many of my generation were very powerfully influenced by him and I think that it would do a great deal of good to the present generation if they also went through Swami Vivekananda’s writings and speeches, and they would learn much from them. What Swamiji has written and said is of interest and must interest us and is likely to influence us for a long time to come. He was no politician in the ordinary sense of the word and yet he was, I think, one of the great founders – if you like, you may use any other word – of the national modern movement of India...Directly or indirectly he has powerfully influenced the India of today. 3. Lal Bahadur Shastri: I remember that in my student days I have read the speeches of the Swami and was deeply attracted to it. Its impact on my mind was so great that my perceptions were all changed, and I started to have a different idea about life...This sagephilosopher aroused the people...He wanted that the people of our country should embark on work and be active. 4. Mahatma Gandhi: I have gone through Swami Vivekananda’s works very thoroughly, and after having gone through them, the love that I had for my country became a thousand fold. 5. Rabindranath Tagore: Vivekananda’s Gospel marked the awakening of man in his fullness and that is why it inspired our youth to the diverse courses of liberation through work and sacrifice.
6. Romain Rolland: Swami Vivekananda was energy personified and action was his message to men...His message of energy had a double meaning: a national and a universal. Although, for the great monk of the Advaita, it was the universal meaning that predominated, it was the other that revived the sinews of India. 7. Dr S Radhakrishnan: When I was a student in high school and college, we used to read Swami Vivekananda’s speeches and letters which were then passing from hand to hand in manuscript form, and they used to stir us a great deal and make us feel proud of our ancient culture. Though our externals were broken down, the spirit of our country is there and is everlastingly real – that was the message which we gathered from his speeches and writings. 8. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee: The message of the Swami still resonates in the Indian hearts. Only in his chalked out path India can achieve absolute national rejuvenation. As the great ideals of Bhagavan Buddha had their culmination in Emperor Asoka’s proactive stance for his subjects, such were the spiritual tenets of Bhagavan Sri Ramakrishna manifested through the life’s work of Swami Vivekananda. Behind Asoka’s emissaries of peace was the political enormity of a King, but, on the other hand, Vivekananda’s Karma Yoga had nothing except love and sacrifice behind its sustenance...To build the country and the nation, it is imperative that we must adopt the ideal of the Swami. 9. C Rajagopalachari: Swami Vivekananda saved Hinduism and saved India. But for him, we would have lost our religion and would not have gained our freedom. We therefore owe everything to him. 10. Benoy Kumar Sarkar: Vivekananda’s Gospel is that of energy, of mastery over the world, of élan vital subduing conditions that surround life, of creative intelligence and will, of courage trampling down cowardice, of world-conquest...