Politicians and celebrities paid rich tribute to Swami Vivekananda today as the nation marked the renowned visionary’s 154th birth anniversary. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first to tweet his thoughts on the spiritual leader he has called his “personal inspiration”.

“We offer salutations to the great Swami Vivekananda & remember his powerful thoughts & ideals that continue shaping the minds of generations,” PM Modi tweeted, along with an image of him praying before Vivekananda.

The government is marking the day as the National Youth Day.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted that Vivekananda “made the people of India realise their strength and true potential”.

“Swami Vivekananda’s teachings and his life inspire us to transform India into a land of enlightened wisdom, peace and prosperity,” he said.

As tweets poured in, SwamiVivekananda became a trending hashtag.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi tweeted that Vivekananda remains an inspiration with his message of courage.

“Remembering Swami Vivekananda today. His message to live fearlessly, with courage and strength of purpose will continue to inspire & guide us,” he said.

Many on Twitter shared the spiritual leader’s most memorable quotes.

Former cricketer Virender Sehwag also tweeted his favourite quote.

Many on social media recalled Swami Vivekananda’s historic Chicago speech in 1893, which made him a hero in the US. The speech at the first Parliament of the World’s Religions is considered among Vivekananda’s most significant contributions to the world. He is also credited with introducing to the West the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga.

Boxer Vijender Gupta quoted him as saying: “You cannot believe in God, until you believe in yourself.”