Swami Vivekananda was a Hindu monk and one of the most famous spiritual leaders in India. It was more than a spiritual mind; He was a prolific thinker, a great public speaker, and a passionate patriot. The young monk and his teachings were an inspiration to many, and his words became targets of self-improvement, especially for the youth of the country. For this reason, his birthday, January 12th, is celebrated in India as National Youth Day. Read this full post to know more about Swami Vivekananda Biography, Teachings, Early Life, Works, Ideas.
Swami Vivekananda Biography
Swami Vivekananda continued the free-thinking philosophy of his guru Ramakrishna Paramhansa towards a new paradigm. He worked tirelessly to improve society, served the poor and needy, and devoted all his efforts to the country. He was responsible for reviving Hindu spiritualism and establishing Hinduism as a revered religion on the world stage. His message of universal brotherhood and self-awakening remains relevant, especially in the current context of widespread political unrest around the world.
|Swami Vivekananda Biography|
|Date of Birth||January 12, 1863|
|Place of Birth||Calcutta, Bengal Presidency (Now Kolkata in West Bengal)|
|Parents||Vishwanath Dutta (Father) and Bhuvaneshwari Devi (Mother)|
|Education||Calcutta Metropolitan School; Presidency College, Calcutta|
|Institutions||Ramakrishna Math; Ramakrishna Mission; Vedanta Society of New York|
|Publications||Karma Yoga (1896); Raja Yoga (1896); Lectures from Colombo to Almora (1897); My Master (1901)|
|Death||July 4, 1902|
|Place of Death||Belur Math, Belur, Bengal|
|Memorial||Belur Math, Belur, West Bengal|
Early Life and Education
Vivekananda was born Narendranath Dutta in Calcutta to a wealthy Bengali family and was one of the eight children of Vishwanath Dutta and Bhuvaneshwari Devi. He was born on January 12, 1863, on the occasion of Makar Sankranti.
Father Vishwanath was a successful lawyer with considerable influence in society. Narendranath’s mother, Bhuvaneshwari, was a woman with a strong and godly spirit who was a great influence on her son.
As a child, Narendranath exhibited a keen intellect. His mischievous nature belied his interest in music, both instrumental and vocal. He stood in his studies, first in the metropolitan region and later at the college of the Presidency in Calcutta.
His well-studied knowledge led him to question the existence of God and for some time he believed in agnosticism but could not completely ignore the existence of a Supreme Being, he allied with the Brahmo movement led by Keshab Chandra Sen for some time.
Bramho Samaj recognized a god in opposition to idolatry and superstition worshiping Hinduism. The many philosophical questions about the existence of God that were floating around in his head remained unanswered. It was during this spiritual crisis that Vivekananda first heard of Sri Ramakrishna from William Hastie, director of Scottish Church College.
To satisfy his intellectual search for God, Narendranath used to visit prominent spiritual leaders of all religions and ask them one single question: “Have you seen God?” Each time he left without a satisfactory answer.
He asked the same question to Sri Ramkrishna at his residence in the temple precinct of Dakshinewar Kali. Without a moment’s hesitation, Sri Ramakrishna replied, “Yes, I have. I see God as clearly as I do.” we’ll see each other, just in a much deeper sense. ”Vivekananda, initially unimpressed by Ramkrishna’s simplicity, was amazed at Ramakrishna’s response. Ramakrishna gradually won over this contentious young man with his patience and love. The more Narendranath Dakshineshwar visited, the more answers his questions received.
In 1884, the death of his father caused Naredranath to find himself in considerable financial hardship, as he had to support his mother and his younger siblings. He asked Ramakrishna to pray to the goddess for the financial well-being of his family.
At Ramakrishna’s suggestion, he went to the temple himself to pray. But as soon as he faced the goddess, he could not ask for money or wealth, but instead asked for “Vivek” (conscience) and “Bairagya” (seclusion). That day marked Narendranath’s full spiritual awakening and he was drawn to an ascetic way of life.
The Life as a Monk
In the middle of 1885, Ramakrishna became seriously ill with throat cancer. Kossipore. Here he formed a group of young men who were ardent followers of Sri Ramakrishna and who together looked after their Guru with devoted care. On August 16, 1886, Sri Ramakrishna surrendered his mortal body.
After Sri Ramakrishna’s disappearance, about fifteen of his disciples, including Narendranath, began to live together in a ruined building in Baranagar, north of Calcutta, called the Ramakrishna Math, the monastic order of Ramakrishna. Here they formally resigned in 1887 all connections to the world and took monastic vows. The brotherhood was renamed and Narendranath originated in Vivekananda, which means “the bliss of discerning wisdom”.
The brotherhood lived during the holy begging or ‘Madhukari’ from the alms voluntarily donated by the sponsors, practiced yoga and meditation.
Vivekananda left the Math in 1886 and toured India on foot as ‘Parivrajak’. of the country and absorbed much of the social, cultural, and religious aspects of the people with whom he came in contact. He witnessed the adversities of life that common people faced, their sufferings, and promised to devote his life to alleviating these sufferings.
Conference in the World Parliament of Religions
During his wanderings, he learned that the World Parliament of Religions was being held in Chicago, USA, in 1893. He really wanted to attend the meeting, India, Hinduism, and its philosophies represented by Guru Sri Ramakrishna. He found confirmation of his wishes while meditating on the rocks of Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of India.
The money was collected from his students in Madras (now Chennai) and Ajit Singh, Raja von Khetri, and Vivekananda traveled from Bombay to Chicago on May 31, 1893.
He faced insurmountable difficulties on the way to Chicago, but his mind remained as untamed as ever. On September 11, 1893, when the moment came, he took the stage and surprised everyone with his opening line, “My Brothers and Sisters of America”.
He received a standing ovation from the audience for the opening movement. He went on to describe the principles of Vedanta and its spiritual meaning and to put Hinduism on the map of world religions.
He spent the next two and a half years in the United States, and in 1894 founded the New York Vedanta Society. He also traveled to Britain to preach the Vedanta principles and Hindu spiritism to the western world.
Teachings and Mission Ramakrishna
Vivekananda returned to India in 1897 and was warmly received by common and royal people alike. He came to Calcutta after a series of lectures across the country and founded the Ramakrishna Mission on May 1, 1897, in Belur Math, near Calcutta. The goals of the Ramakrishna Mission were based on the ideals of Karma Yoga and its main goal was to serve the poor and needy people of the country.
The Ramakrishna Mission undertook various forms of social service such as the establishment and management of schools, colleges, and hospitals, the dissemination of practical principles of Vedanta through lectures, seminars, and workshops, and the initiation of relief and rehabilitation work across the country.
His religious awareness was a mixture of Sri Ramakrishna’s spiritual teachings on divine manifestation and his personal internalization of the Advaita Vedanta philosophy. He directed himself to attain the divinity of the soul through selfless work, worship, and spiritual discipline. According to Vivekananda, the ultimate goal is to achieve freedom of the soul, and that includes the entirety of one’s religion.
Swami Vivekananda was a prominent nationalist and had the general welfare of his compatriots in mind. He urged his compatriots: “Stand up, wake up, and do not stop until you have reached the goal.”
Swami Vivekananda predicted that he would not live to be forty. On July 4, 1902, he spent his working days at Belur Math, teaching students Sanskrit grammar. He retired to his room in the evening and died in meditation around 9 am He would have reached “Mahasamadhi” and the great saint was cremated on the banks of the Ganges.
Swami Vivekananda Biography is to reveal to the world the true foundations of India’s unity as a nation. He taught how a nation with such great diversity can be united by a sense of humanity and brotherhood. Vivekananda highlighted the drawbacks of Western culture and India’s contribution to overcoming them. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose once said, “Swamiji has harmonized East and West, religion and science, past and present. And that’s why he’s great.
Our compatriots gained unprecedented self-respect, self-confidence, and assertiveness through his teachings. “Vivekananda has succeeded in building a virtual bridge between the culture of the East and the West.
He interpreted Hindu scriptures, philosophy, and way of life. the life of Westerners made them understand that, despite poverty and backwardness, India had a great contribution to make to world culture.
Swami Vivekananda played a key role in ending India’s cultural isolation from the rest of the world. This was about Swami Vivekananda Biography, Teachings, Early Life, Works, Ideas.
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