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Swami Vivekananda was a spiritual leader and a social reformer who brought spiritual reawakening among the Indians in the 19th century. Vivekananda was a man with deep footing in both science and religion. He was popularly known as the “Intellectual Monk of India”. His interpretation of the Vedanta’s, synthesis of the East and the West established several milestones in the cultural pavement of India. He always focused on teaching universal principles rather than personalities. His birthday 12 January is observed as National Youth day in India. In this article let us learn more about this famous personality in the history of our nation and world. Check here for Swami Vivekananda’s Early Life, Education, Teachings, Quotes and Quiz.
Swami Vivekananda – Early Life
- 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
- Guru: Ramakrishna
- Founder of: Ramakrishna Mission (1897), Ramakrishna Math, Vedanta Society of New York
- Death: 4 July 1902
- Place of Death: Belur Math, Belur, Bengal
- Memorial: Belur Math. Belur, West Bengal
Swami Vivekananda was born to a Bengali Kayastha family of Calcutta on 12 January 1863 during the Makar Sankranti festival. His father was an attorney and an influential personality in the society. Vivekananda’s mother was a woman who has faith in God and has a great impact on his son. Narendranath was interested in spirituality from a young age and used to meditate before the images of deities such as Shiva, Rama, Sita, and Mahavir Hanuman. He was influenced by his guru, Ramakrishna, from whom he learnt that all living beings were an embodiment of the divine self. After Ramakrishna’s death, Vivekananda toured the Indian subcontinent and acquired knowledge of the prevailing in British India. He later traveled to the United States, representing India at the 1893 Parliament of the World’s Religions. Vivekananda conducted hundreds of public and private lectures and classes in the United States, England and Europe.
Swami Vivekananda – Education
Education, according to Swamiji, is incomplete without the teaching of aesthetics or fine arts. He cites Japan as an example of how the combination of art and utility can make a nation great. To be religious for him means leading life in such a way that we manifest our higher nature, truth, goodness and beauty, in our thoughts, words and deeds.
In 1871, at the age of eight, Narendranath enrolled at Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s Metropolitan Institution for schooling. In 1880, he joined Keshab Chandra Sen’s Nava Vidhan and also became a member of Sadharan Brahmo Samaj led by Keshab Chandra Sen and Debendranath Tagore. In 1881, he passed the Fine Arts examination, and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1884.
He first heard about Shri Ramakrishna from William Hastie, the Principal of the Scottish Church College. He finally met Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa at Dakshineshwar Kali Temple and Vivekananda asked him a question, “Have you seen God?” which he had asked so many spiritual leaders but was not satisfied. But when he asked Ramakrishna, he gave such a simple answer that “Yes, I have. I see God as clearly as I see you, only in a much deeper sense”. After this Vivekananda started visiting Dakshineshwar and got several answers to the questions that were in his mind.
On 11 September 1893, he came upon the stage and stunned everyone while saying “My brothers and sisters of America”. For this, he received a standing ovation from the audience. He stayed around two and a half years in America itself and founded the Vedanta Society of New York. He also traveled to the United Kingdom to preach the philosophies, spiritualism, and principles of Vedanta.
Swami Vivekananda founded Ramakrishna Mission on 1 May 1897 for one’s own salvation and for the welfare of the world.
He predicted that he will not live until the age of 40. On 4 July 1902, he died while doing meditation. He is said to have attained ‘Mahasamadhi’ and was cremated on the Banks of river Ganga.
Swami Vivekananda – Teachings
Below is the list of books written by Swami Vivekananda
- Jnana Yoga: The Yoga of Knowledge
- Bhakti Yoga: The Yoga of Love and Devotion
- Karma Yoga: The Yoga of Action
- Raja Yoga: Conquering the Internal Nature
- My Master
- Swami Vivekananda on Himself
- Teachings of Swami Vivekananda
- Meditations and its Methods
- The Master as I Saw Him: The Life of The Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda revealed to the world the true foundations of India’s unity as a nation. He taught how a nation with such a vast diversity can be bound together by a feeling of humanity and brotherhood. Vivekananda emphasized the points of drawbacks of western culture and the contribution of India to overcome those. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose once said: “Swamiji harmonized the East and the West, religion, and science, past and present. And that is why he is great.
Swami Vivekananda – Quotes
Following are few words stated by Swami Vivekananda
- We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.
- Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, 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.
- The more we come out and do good to others, the more our hearts will be purified, and God will be in them.
- Our duty is to encourage every one in his struggle to live up to his own highest idea, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the Truth.
- The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.
Swami Vivekananda Quiz 2022
1. Swami Vivenakananda was the disciple of
A. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
B. Swami Sadananda
C. Ramana Maharshi
2. Swami Vivekananda’s birth name is
A. Virendar Dutta
B. Narendranath Dutta
C. Rabindranath Tagore
3. Name the birth-place of Swami Vivekananda
A. New Delhi
4. Swami Vivekananda was the founder of
A. Sringeri Math
B. Ramakrishna Math
C. Ahobila Math
5. Swami Vivekananda was responsible for spreading knowledge about this religion in the West:
6. Swami Vivekananda was born on the auspicious day of
A. Vaikunta Ekadasi
B. Makara Sankranthi
C. Durga Pooja
7. Vivekananda is said to have foreseen his own death, saying that he would not reach what age?
8. The birthday of Swami Vivekananda is celebrated in India as
A. National Youth day
B. Children’s day
C. Labor Day
9. Swami Vivekananda attained Mahasamadhi at the age of
10. Who described Swamiji to Romain Rolland (the French writer and mystic) with these words – ‘He had a beautiful voice like a violoncello, grave without violent contrasts, but with deep vibrations that filled both hall and hearts’?
11. What was the special name given to Narendranath by his mother in his boyhood?
12. Who said these words to Narendranath – ‘O my Naren! I can do anything for you, even beg from door to door!’
A. Lal Bahadur Shastry
B. Neelam Sanjeev Reddy
C. Eknath Ranade
D. Shri M. Bhaktavatsalam
A. Aldous Huxley
B. Romain Rolland
C. Max Muller
D. Christopher Isherwood
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