The power of a new idea or the magic of a new skill does not just lift one person or one community—it lifts humanity up.
Throughout history, we have seen how the propagation of new ideas, thoughts and skills has moved the human race forward.
Swami Vivekananda and the Vedanta Movement
Through his travels across India and abroad, Swami Vivekananda spread the idea of Advaita Vedanta and gave the world a new perspective on religion and spirituality. From his lectures in the US, where he gave free private classes on Vedanta to his public meetings with Indian Rajas, monks and villagers, Vivekananda continued to teach the world new ideas of character building, universalism and Advait Vedantism. His teaching and lectures laid the foundations of a modern India and continue to be read by students and scholars across the globe.
Mahatma Gandhi and the Spread of Satyagraha
During the Indian freedom struggle, Mahatma Gandhi travelled the length and breadth of India teaching Indians the concepts of Self Reliance and Satyagraha. He organized people and himself taught them the skills of leather work, pottery, oil pressing and bee-keeping. His teachings of Non-Violence and Self Reliance—which he propagated through his public meetings in Indian towns and villages—paved the way towards an era of freedom.
Dr. Kalam and his Lessons for School Children
At the beginning of his presidency in 2002, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam set a goal of personally interacting with over 500,000 students across India to “help them ignite their imagination and prepare them to work for a developed India.” Throughout his presidency, Dr. Kalam toured the country and visited innumerable schools and colleges delivering lectures and taking questions. Even post-presidency, Kalam continued to shape young minds through his lectures and classes at major institutions, big towns and far flung villages.
Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement
From Selma and Birmingham to Chicago and Atlanta, Dr. King led an entire Civil Rights Movement by teaching people the ideas of Non Violence and Civil Disobedience. He continued preaching the concepts of justice and nonviolent resistance even on his trip to India, where he met students from Delhi University, taught policy and leadership in Harijan villages and addressed crowded student meetings in Calcutta. Dr. King's teachings resulted in greater equality for People of Colour in the United States and continue to guide the world towards Justice and Equality.
Sister Nivedita and the Reawakening of India
Through her extensive travels around the Indian Subcontinent, Sister Nivedita taught Indians the idea of service towards one's nation and redefined nation building for many. She continued to spread her teachings—focused on education, nationhood and womanhood— as she visited England and America and taught sewing, elementary rules of nursing and hygiene to Indian women on her tours around the country.