Born: 12 January, 1863
Place of Birth: Kolkata, India
Childhood Name: Narendranath Dutta
Father: Vishwanath Dutta
Mother: Bhuvaneshwari Devi
Education: Calcutta Metropolitan School; Presidency College, calcutta
Founder of: Ramakrishna Mission (1897), Ramakrishna Math, Vedanta Society of New York
Philosophy: Advaita Vedanta
Literary works: Raja Yoga (1896), Karma Yoga (1896), Bhakti Yoga (1896), Jnana Yoga, My Master (1901), Lectures from Colombo to Almora (1897)
Death: 4 July, 1902
Place of Death: Belur Math, Belur, Bengal
Memorial: Belur math, west bengal
About Swami Vivekanand:-
There are some rare men who leave their footprints on the sands of time, becoming a source of motivation for thousands of lost wanderers in the battlefield of life. Swami Vivekananda is one such example. “Come up, o lions and shake off the delusion that you are sheep; you are souls immortal, spirits free, blest and eternal….’ These words of stunning optimism proclaimed the arrival of a prophet- philosopher no less than Swami Vivekananda on the stage of the world. Such were his words that shook the world in the Chicago address on 19 September 1893. A young, educated man, Narendranath Dutta once walked the path of scepticism and even cynicism when it came to religion.
“All the powers in the universe are already our. It is we who have put our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark.”- –Swami Vivekananda“
A visit to Ramakrishna Paramahansa changed his life. He challenged Ramakrishna’s claims of having seen God. Ramakrishna put his fingers on Naren’s heart, and in a moment of overwhelmingly powerful spiritual vision, Naren discovered God everywhere- from the rich man in his mansion to the poor rickshaw puller on the streets of Kolkata. God was no more a wishful thinking confined to the Kali temple at Ramakrishna’s Dakshineshwar. He was a living entity beyond all limitations of caste, creed, religion, language, time and space. Thus Narendranath Dutta metamorphosed into Swami Vivekananda, a disciple of Ramakrishna. This, however, was merely the beginning. The master, Ramakrishna, had told him before his passing away that he, Naren, would have to do ‘Mother’s work’, to teach mankind and be like a banyan tree, giving shelter to the tired and weary. In January 1891, he left the company of his brother monks and traversed the country from the North to the South alone with God. He wept to see the suffering and ignorance of the poor, and was disturbed at the material complacency of the affluent classes. The picture of ancient India appeared vividly before his eyes in all its grandeur and glory, and the contrast was unbearable. Swamiji set upon himself the task of rebuilding a new and rejuvenated India.
“Learn everything that is good from others but bring it in, and in your own way absorb it; do not become others.” –Swami Vivekanand‘.
Be it his journey to America or the lecture at Chicago or the setting up of the Ramakrishna Mission in 1897, his main aim was service to mankind and the rebuilding of a young, vibrant and educated India. · Ramakrishna Mission today is a giant organisation which dedicates itself to the execution of extensive educational and philanthropic work in India and abroad, and expounds the profound Vedantic philosophy preached by Swamiji. The impact Swamiji had on India and across the world can be best understood by the comment made by The New York Herald about his speech at Chicago; ‘He (Swamiji) is undoubtedly the greatest figure in the Parliament of Religions. After hearing him, we see how foolish it is to send missionaries to this learned nation.
“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life; dream of it; think of it; live on that idea. Let the brain, the body, muscles, nerves, every part of your body be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, and this is the way great spiritual giants are produced.”
― Swami Vivekananda
Narendranath Dutta was born on 12 January 1863, and Swam Vivekananda passed away on July 4, 1902. But the lionheart with his piercing eyes, mobile lips, swift movements, clad in yellow and orange, shining like the sun of India in the heavy atmosphere of Chicago, lives on in the memory of millions. He inspires every ma in the world to ‘arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached.
You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.”
― Swami Vivekananda
If anyone wants to study the origin of the Vedanta movement in America then study Swami Vivekananda travels across the US. He was a great thinker, great orator, and passionate patriot. It is not wrong to say that he was more than just a spiritual mind.
“Be the servant while leading. Be unselfish. Have infinite patience, and success is yours.”
― Swami Vivekananda