Swami Vivekananda was an Indian Hindu monk and one of the most influential spiritual leaders of the nineteenth century. He was the chief disciple of the Bengali saint Ramakrishna and the founder of the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission. Vivekananda is considered one of the main exponents of Vedanta and is also credited with spreading Hinduism in the West. He travelled to the United States and many other countries. During his visit he founded the parliament of the world religion. His teachings have inspired many modern-day spiritual leaders and thinkers.
Swami Vivekananda was born in Calcutta, India, on 12 January 1863 in a Bengali family. He belonged to a traditional family. His birth name was Narendranath Datta (shortened to Narendra or Naren). His fathername, Vishwanath Datta, was an attorney at the Calcutta High Court. His mother, Bhuvaneshwari Devi, was a homemaker. His grandfather was an expert in Persian and Sanskrit. Vivekananda was the fourth of nine children. He got early education at home till the age of eight. His parent’s rational attitude and religious temperament helped shape his personality and thinking. He was naughty as a child. His mother Bhubaneswari Devi, said, “I prayed to Shiva for a son, and he has sent me one of his demons”. He attended a local school afterward. At the age of eleven, he entered Calcutta University. Vivekananda was a bright student fluent in English, Bengali, Sanskrit, and Hindi.
In 1881, Vivekananda graduated from Calcutta University with honors in philosophy. He was a brilliant student. He was known for his ability at speed reading and prodigious memory. One incident that is given as an example is his argument with a Swedish national. The Swedish originally disagreed with the references given by him, but later conceded.
Religious Reform movement:
He then joined the Brahmo Samaj, a religious reform movement in India. Vivekananda became a disciple of Ramakrishna in 1882. Ramakrishna was a Hindu mystic who greatly impacted Vivekananda’s spiritual life. In 1885, Ramakrishna died. Vivekananda left the Brahmo Samaj and began his religious organization, the Ramakrishna Mission. The Mission was based on the teachings of Ramakrishna and was dedicated to helping the poor and needy. Vivekananda traveled throughout India and the United States, preaching his message of peace and tolerance.
In December 1886, Narendra and his brother monks went on an invitation to Antpur village. On the Christmas Eve of 1886, Narendra and eight other disciples took their formal monastic vows. They decided to live their lives as their master told them to live. He chose the name “Swami Vivekananda.”
Travel in India:
Narendra left the monastery as a Parivrâjak in 18888. According to the Hindu religious tradition, a life of a wandering monk “without ties, without fixed abode independent and strangers wherever they go.” He travelled country-wide for five years, learning and acquainting himself with diverse social patterns and religious traditions. During this travel, he met with Indians from all religions and walks of life Hindus, Muslims, Christians, and scholars like dewans and Rajas.
On 31 May 1893, Vivekananda started his journey to the West. He visited several cities in Japan, China, Canada, and United States. On 30 July 1893, He reached Chicago. In Chicago, the parliament of religions took place in September 1893. Where he gave his historical speech.
Parliament of the World’s Religions:
At the art institute of Chicago, the Parliament of the World’s Religions opened in September. On that day, he gave a brief speech representing India and Hinduism. He was confused but started his speech with the words “sisters and brother of America.” The crowd of seven thousand gave him a two-minute standing ovation on these words. When silence was restored, he resumed his speech. On behalf of “the most ancient order of monks in the world, he greeted the youngest of the nations.
Lecture tours in the UK and US:
As a guest, he visited many parts of the US and UK. He gave new views of “life and religion to thousands.” He spent two years lecturing in the eastern and central United States. He met Margaret Elizabeth Noble, an Irish woman, in November 1895.
Back in India:
Vivekananda received a warm welcome on his return to India, on 15 January 1897. He gave his first public speech in India. People gave him an enthusiastic reception. In his train travels, people often forced the train to stop so that they could hear him.
He passed away on 4 July 1902, at the young age of 39. On the day of his death, he woke early. In the monastery at Belur Math, he meditated for three hours. He taught his students Sanskrit grammar and the philosophy of yoga. With his colleagues, he planned a Vedic college in the Ramakrishna Math. He went to his room at 7:00 pm. While meditating at 9:20 pm, he died, according to his disciples. His death cause was possibly the rupture of a blood vessel in his brain.
Dedication to Swami Vivekananda:
The Vivekananda Kendra in Kanyakumari is one of the many organizations dedicated to the memory of this great man. The Vivekananda Kendra is a spiritual and cultural center that promotes Vivekananda’s ideals of service to humanity and spiritual enlightenment. The Kendra sponsors educational and social service programs and meditation and yoga classes. The Ramakrishna Mission, founded by Vivekananda’s guru Sri Ramakrishna, is another organization that carries on Vivekananda’s work. The Mission runs hospitals, schools, and colleges and provides disaster relief and social service programs throughout India and other countries. The Mission’s work is based on the principle of service to in man, which was one of Vivekananda’s central teachings. The Vivekananda International Foundation is another organization that promotes the teachings of Swami Vivekananda. The Foundation is a think tank that researches various issues, including security, diplomacy, and development. The Foundation also organizes conferences and seminars on these topics. These are just a few of the many organizations that have been inspired by the life and teachings of Swami Vivekananda. His message of tolerance, service, and spirituality continues to resonate with people of all faiths, and his memory is honored by those who carry on his work.
Swami Vivekananda was born in 1863 in Kolkata, India. His birth name was Narendra Nath Datta. He was a key figure in introducing Vedanta and Yoga in Europe and America and His teachings greatly influenced the Western world. He was a gifted and charismatic speaker. His lectures and writings were very popular. He was also a great teacher. His students included some of the most influential people of his time. He was a Hindu monk and a spiritual leader. He founded the Ramakrishna Mission, a religious organization promoting social service. The Mission is named after his guru, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Swami Vivekananda passed away in 1902 at the age of 39. His death was a great loss to the whole nation. His teachings, however, continue to inspire people all over the world. Swami Vivekananda was one of the most influential spiritual leaders of the 19th century. He is credited with reviving Hinduism in India and spreading its message of tolerance and universal brotherhood worldwide. Vivekananda’s teachings have inspired millions of people, and followers of all faiths revere his memory.