" Awake, arise, and stop not till the goal is reached  " - Swami Vivekananda

  Swami Vivekananda  
 


Swami Vivekananda  is one  of the most famous and influential spiritual leaders that India has ever seen. He was a great philosopher of Vedanta(" The Ultimate Knowledge ") and the first known Hindu to come to the West, where he introduced Hinduism,Yoga and Vedanta at the World's parliament of Religions. He proclaimed in America the greatness of Hinduism and of Indian culture. He was the beloved disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Parmahansa.

As a mark of honor, the National Youth Day in India is held on his birthday on Januray 12th.

CHILDHOOD :

The real name of Swami Vivekananda was  Narendranath Dutta. Swamiji was born in an educated and well-to-do family in Calcutta, on 12th January 1863. He was called as Narendra in his childhood.

His father, Viswanath Datta, was a brilliant lawyer and his mother, Bhuvaneshawaridevi, was pious and wise lady devoted to God. As a boy, Narendra was very fearless, generous, loving and devoted. He enjoyed doing worship of Lord Rama and Lord Krishna. He had a strange attraction for wandering Sadhus.

Narendra was hungry for knowledge in all the fields. His memory was amazing. While at school, he was good at studies, as well as games of various kinds. He had a great talent in singing too. His voice was clear, pure, and full with emotion. He practiced meditation fom a very early age. Concentration was the key to his success.

AS A DISCIPLE OF RAMAKRISHNA

Questions started to arise in young Narendra's mind about God and the presence of God. He asked many leaders whether they have seen God. But he never got a satisfying answer till he met is to be guru Ramakrishna.
Sri Ramakrishna was a Hindu religious teacher. His teachings emphasized God realization as the highest goal of life. He emphasised on love and devotion for God, the oneness of existence and the harmony of religions. Narendra asked Ramakrishna the same old question, whether he had seen God. The instantaneous answer from Ramakrishna was, "Yes, I see God, just as I see you here." Narendra was surprised. He could feel the honesty and experience in those words. He started visiting Ramakrishna frequently and gradually he started having faith in what Ramkrishna said.

Narendra was under the discipleship of Sri Ramakrishna for six years. He was transformed from a puzzled, impatient youth  to a mature man who would renounce everything for the sake of God-realization.

Soon, Ramakrishna's end came in the form of throat cancer. About three days prior to his leaving the world, Sri Ramakrishna called Swami Vivekananda and transferred all his spiritual powers to him. Sri Ramakrishna left the worldly abode on 16th August 1886.
After this, Narendra and a core group of Ramakrishna's disciples renounced everything and became monks. They lived in a house in Baranagore.They took alms to satisfy their hunger and their other needs were taken care of by Ramakrishna's richer householder disciples.

AS A WANDERING MONK :

Swami Vivekanada wanted to do something for the upliftment of Indian people. He desired to learn more of the practility of Vedanta. And one day, he alone left Calcutta and thus started the wandering years of his life. 

Varanasi was the first city that Swamiji visited. During his stay there, he met many scholars and exchanged ideas with them. He wandered all over from north to west, from west to southern tip of India, learning the prevalent culture and condition of India .


He was given the name Vivekananda by Maharaja of Khetri for his discernment of things, good and bad. He finally reached Kanyakumari, on 24th December 1892.There, he swam across the sea and started meditating on a lone rock. He meditated for three days about the past, present and future of India. The thought of the poverty of the masses in his country made him miserable. He decided that unless casteism was rooted out, there could be no salvation for his countrymen. The rock later became famous as the " Vivekananda Memorial " at Kanyakumari.

TRIP TO AMERICA :

In 1893, Swami Vivekananda went to Chicago to represent India at the Parliament of All Religions of the World. There he delivered his powerful speech which made the learned audience bow their heads in reverence. He said that people born in different religions finally reach the same God, as river born in different places finally reaches the sea. He declared that no religion is superior and none is inferior. All the delegates praised his speech and he instantly became popular in America.

After four years of constant work in the West, he came back to India in the year 1897. During the same year, he founded Ramakrishna Math and Mission for the service of the Indian Society.

MAHASAMADHI :

Swamiji's health was constantly eroded owing to tireless work. The body grew weak, but the mind and the soul remained alert and active. 
In 1902 Swami Vivekananda entered Mahasamadhi. On 4th July 1902 that night at nine 'o' clock he looked tired and his hands were trembling. He cried and sat up. He breathed a deep sigh and went to sleep. Within a short while he attained eternal bliss. Vivekananda left his mortal body at the young age of 39.

Although Swamiji is no longer with us, his words live. He sacrificed the worldly pleasures and dedicated his life to the country and yearned for the progress of his countrymen. His message has continued to inspire millions.

, and stop not till the goal is reached." - Swami Vivekanan


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