Man Making And Nation Building

Giving food to the hungry, providing medical aid to the sick and imparting secular knowledge or information to the ignorant are generally taken to be acts of service and rendered to others by a person who is service minded. Offering any other help to the needy can also be included in this. But providing the basic or primary needs to others is only a low type of service. There is a higher level of service when somebody imparts knowledge to the needy and also training to the person to make him independent and self-reliant, and thus making him stand on his own legs.

But there exists a still higher level of service when a higher and a deeper knowledge is imparted which can be described as enlightenment or inward illumination. In the two either cases, we enable a person to gain pleasure but here we equip a person to attain real happiness. We draw his attention to the deeper human problems and strengthen his means of understanding to realize what is happiness and how it can be enjoyed individually and collectively.

Service is offered for self satisfaction and the first beneficiary is the person who offers service and not one who receives. It may be out of compassion for the people or a sense of pity or even a sense of kinship, fellow-feeling or brotherhood or a desire for popularity, name, and fame or an ulterior motive of obliging the people for same future benefit such as election, etc. Thus it is ego-satisfaction or the feeling of superiority complex arising through patronage.

Therefore, there is a give-and-take, a mathematical precision in receiving the returns approximately for the service rendered. There is a desire to serve others for one reason or the other and this desire is fulfilled through the act of service. So desire is the birthplace of service.

On consideration of such points, we come to know that there are services which are ignoble and noble. What are they? What is the urge behind them? Is this urge desirable? What is the attitude behind the service, which makes it sacred or secular? What should be the prime mover in service? These considerations will ultimately lead us to THE SERVICE that is expected of us in this Service Mission.

The impact of Vivekananda Kendra Rural Development Programme can be summarized as under :
  1. A greater awareness of our culture
  2. A greater interest to study our scriptures.
  3. A large number of youths coming forward to take up the work after arduous training.
  4. A large number of general public supporting the programme
  5. An awakened society ready to withstand any challenges.
The plan was to
  1. Start a number of small village level centres.
  2. Take up such activities that can involve a cluster of village around each centre.
  3. Cover as many villages as possible by training village youth in youth camps.
  4. Take the message of Sanatana Dharma as interpreted by Swami Vivekananda, to every home, every hamlet, every school, utilizing temples and service activities as the media.
  5. Identify, motivate, and train the youths to become active, full time workers of Kendra.