Swami Vivekananda, originally named Narendranath Dutta, was born on January 12, 1863, in the sacred city of Kolkata, India. He stood as a significant figure, characterized by a blend of profound wisdom and a humble lifestyle. Vivekananda embodied the ideals of high thinking and simple living, which were at the core of his philosophy.
He was not only a spiritual luminary but also a revered leader, philosopher, and a man of unwavering principles. His contributions to philosophy included notable works such as “Modern Vedanta” and “Raj Yoga,” which continue to inspire seekers of truth around the world. Through his writings, he sought to illuminate the path of spiritual awakening and self-realization.
Swami Vivekananda’s spiritual journey was deeply intertwined with his mentorship under Ramkrishna Paramhansa, a revered saint of the time. As one of Ramkrishna’s principal disciples, Vivekananda imbibed the profound spiritual teachings that would shape his own mission in life. It was under Ramkrishna’s guidance that he cultivated a deep understanding of the spiritual traditions of India.
Vivekananda’s legacy extends beyond his philosophical writings and personal practices. He played a pivotal role in the establishment of two significant institutions – the Ramkrishna Math and Ramkrishna Mission. These institutions serve as beacons of spiritual wisdom and centers for service to humanity, carrying forward the torch of his teachings.
Throughout his lifetime, Swami Vivekananda dedicated himself to the dissemination of the timeless values embedded in Indian culture. His mission was to awaken individuals to their inner divinity and to foster a sense of unity and understanding among all people, regardless of their background or beliefs. His teachings continue to inspire countless individuals on their own spiritual journeys, leaving an indelible mark on the world.
Swami Vivekananda Childhood Days
Swami Vivekananda, born as Narendranath Dutta to parents Shri Vishwanath and Bhuvneshwari Devi, showed exceptional intellectual prowess from a young age. He had a remarkable ability to grasp his school lessons effortlessly, earning him the nickname “Shrutidhar” from his teachers. Alongside his academic talents, he also excelled in activities like swimming and wrestling.
Deeply influenced by the teachings of the Ramayana and Mahabharata, Narendra held a profound reverence for religion. He looked up to “Pavan Putra Hanuman” as his life’s inspiration. He approached his beliefs with careful reasoning and critical thinking, even questioning the existence of a higher power. This led him to seek answers from various saints, asking each one, “Have you seen God?”
Despite his relentless quest for spiritual understanding, his question remained unanswered until he encountered “Ramkrishna Paramhansa.” This meeting would go on to profoundly shape the course of Swami Vivekananda’s spiritual journey.
Meeting with Ramkrishna Paramhansa and Harmonization of Indian Culture
Swami Vivekananda first met Ramkrishna Paramhansa when Ramkrishna visited a friend’s house in Kolkata. Ramkrishna, who had supernatural abilities, felt a strong connection with Swami Vivekananda and invited him to Dakshineshwar. He believed that Swami Vivekananda’s birth was a blessing for humanity and would help uplift the world. Under Ramkrishna’s guidance, he moved from spiritual darkness to enlightenment and developed deep gratitude and reverence for his Guru.
Swami Vivekananda’s famous speech in Chicago, where he addressed the audience as “Sisters and Brothers of America,” won the hearts of many. In his speech, he emphasized the importance of tolerance and universal acceptance, stating that his religion believed in accepting all religions as true. This highlighted the value of Indian religion, promoting universal acceptance, unity, and harmony, despite the diversity of cultures.
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose once remarked that Swamiji harmonized the East and West, religion and science, and the past and present. This played a significant role in ending India’s cultural isolation from the rest of the world.
Swami Vivekananda was a symbol of high ideals and great thoughts, serving as an inspiration for the youth of India. Through his teachings, he aimed to empower young minds with self-realization, character development, recognition of inner strengths, a spirit of service to others, a positive outlook, tireless effort, and more.
Great Works by Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda is known for his powerful sayings. One of his famous quotes is, “Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached.” He believed that anything that weakens a child physically, intellectually, or spiritually should be avoided like poison. He stressed the importance of education that helps build a strong character.
Swami Vivekananda’s creation of the “Ramkrishna Math” and “Ramkrishna Mission” showcased his deep devotion to his Guru, as well as his commitment to self-sacrifice, discipline, and serving the underprivileged people of India. He also played a pivotal role in establishing Belur Math.
He dedicated his life to spreading the message of divinity and the true essence of scriptures. This revered monk, deeply patriotic towards Mother Earth, took his final breath on July 4, 1902, at Belur Math.
Inspiring Story on his life
Swami Vivekananda was indeed a remarkable spiritual leader and philosopher, whose influence reached far and wide. One of his most stirring moments took place during his visit to the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago in 1893.
During that period, there was limited knowledge about Hinduism and India in the Western world. Swami Vivekananda was determined to change this perception. Despite facing doubt and bias, he stepped onto the stage and delivered a stirring speech that resonated deeply with the audience.
In his address, Swami Vivekananda emphasized the unity inherent in all religions and stressed the individual’s quest for spiritual enlightenment. He advocated for the belief that every human being, regardless of their background, shares an inherent equality. He urged people to recognize the divine essence in one another.
This message of tolerance and inclusivity was revolutionary at the time. It prompted many individuals to reevaluate their perspectives and strive for a more harmonious world. Swami Vivekananda’s words continue to inspire people today, and his legacy stands as a testament to the potential of spirituality to unite people and foster positive change in the world.
Swamiji brought forth the profound wisdom of Indian culture and Hinduism, emphasizing concepts like non-duality, selfless love, and dedication to the nation. His captivating character, adorned with the highest moral values, inspired the youth deeply. His teachings sparked an awakening to the immense potential within their souls.
As a tribute, we commemorate his “Avtaran Divas” on January 12th as National Youth Day with immense fervor and excitement.