Swami Vivekananda Biography


One of the chief disciples of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami Vivekananda was born as Narendra Nath Datta on January 12, 1863 in Kolkata, West Bengal to Vishwanath Datta and Bhuvaneswari Devi. He took the name Swami Vivekananda after becoming a monk. He was a good student, besides being proficient in music and sports. He stood up against many of the superstitions prevalent during that time and had great affection and respect for ascetics.

He entered the hallowed portals of the Presidency College in 1879. After a year, he joined the Scottish Church College in Kolkata and studied philosophy, western logic, western philosophy and the history of European nations. His studies made him question the existence of God. Though he associated himself with the Brahmo Samaj for sometime, he did not get the answers to his questions. It was then that he went to visit Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Soon, he became Ramakrishna's disciple.

Ramakrishna passed away in 1886. Swami Vivekananda and a few other disciples of Ramakrishna decided to become monks and renounced everything. In 1890, he set out on a on a long journey across the length and breadth of the country. This brought him in close contact with various kinds of people: rich as well as poor, good as well as bad. He reached Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of mainland India in December 1892 and started meditating on a lone rock. He meditated for three days; this rock has presently become popular as the Vivekananda memorial.

His greatest moment came when in 1893; he went to the United States and addressed the Conference of World Religions in Chicago. He mesmerized everyone with his speech. He also traveled to England. He returned to India in 1897 after four years and started the Sri Ramakrishna Mission in 1897. This great saint and philosopher passed away for his heavenly abode on July 4, 1902.

Swami Vivekananda's Teachings

Swami Vivekananda's teachings were focused on various aspects of religion, education, social issue, character building, etc. As a Hindu monk his role was noteworthy as he introduced Vedanta to the Western world, while revitalizing and redefining some aspect of the religion within India. He realized and taught that a country's future depends on its people. He stressed how important man-making was. His real ideals were to preach divinity and how to manifest it in our life.

Swami Vivekananda on education

Swami Vivekananda believed that education is the manifestation of perfection. He contemplated that the existing education system is not enable to make a person stand on his own feet, as it did not teach a person self-confidence and self-respect. To him education wasn't just a compilation of information, but it was rather something meaningful. He considered education to be character-building and life shaping phase.

Swami Vivekananda on youth

Swami Vivekananda believed that highest value of youth period is immeasurable and inexpressible. It is the most precious time of life and the best time of life. The way one utilizes this period will decide his or her future years. Happiness, success, honor, good name depend on the way a person lives in this period as it the first state of their entire life. He wanted the youth to known that this youth period is a privilege and an adventure.

Swami Vivekananda on meditation

The teachings of Swami Vivekananda on meditation, its values and practice, reveals the profundity and span of the mystic traditions of India and his own internal realizations. To practice meditation one should be able to resist all things negative and get hold of your mind. As the mind is like a lake and each stone drop creates a ripple and disturbance, we should keep or mind calm as a still lake as the ripples block our path of visualization. Be calm and keep quiet, then only we will be able to meditate.

Swami Vivekananda on Nationalism

For Swami Vivekananda, Nationalism and Patriotism were not just emotions for public use but it replicated a deeper, practical belief which resulted in real act. Real act of Nationalism and Patriotism, were simple examples like wiping away a widow's tear, giving food to the orphans, it meant declaring fight against poverty, eliminate social evils and make every effort to bring equity and fair justice in the country.



Last Updated on : February 1, 2014

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