Swami Vivekananda was an Indian Hindu Monk, Hindu revivalist, Vedanta philosopher. He is also the founder of Ramakrishna Vedanta Math. He is mainly famous for his great address at the Parliament of the World’s Religion in Chicago in 1893. Indian people often give him the credit for raising Hinduism as a world heritage. The government of India celebrates his birthday as National Youth Day.
Vivekananda was born on 12 January 1863 in Calcutta. His family name was Narendranath Datta. His father Vishwanath Datta was an attorney in Calcutta High Court, and his mother Bhubaneshwari Devi was a housewife. From his childhood days, he was aware of the religious environment around him. He often used to meditate in front of different deities.
Narendranath began his school in 1871 at Metropolitan Institute of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. He also passed entrance examination with the first-class from presidency college. He often read various kinds of text including literature, philosophy, history, religion, sociology and art. Swami Vivekananda was also attracted to the Hindu scriptures like the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, The Mahabharata etc. Additionally, he studied contemporary western philosophy and practiced classical music.
His religious thinking began when he came into the influence of the Brahmo Samaj. He liked the reformist approach and anti-superstition movements led by the Samaj. But the kind of puritanism of the Samaj did not attract him. The event of meeting with Ramakrishna Paramhansa, a prominent sage changed his life forever.
Narendranath’s father died suddenly in 1884. This incident left his family into huge crisis. He tried to serve his bankrupt family. And then he began to meet Ramakrishna. His views towards religion and spiritualism changed forever. Ramakrishna died in 1886. Then Narendra and his fellow youths formed the ‘Ramkrishna Math’. Narendra took a new name ‘Viveknanda’. After that, he started to travel as a monk in different places of India. After that, he went to the USA in 1893 and delivered the address at the ‘Parliaments of Religions’ in Chicago. In his address, his graceful calling ‘Sisters and Brothers of America’ attracted all the audiences. He then delivered many lectures in UK and USA.
Vivekananda returned to India in 1897 and founded ‘Ramkrishna Mission’ at Calcutta. He Started to work to reduce poverty, eliminate caste system, promoting industrialization, raise nationalism to end colonialism. Additionally, Swami Vivekananda achieved a great honor as a saint of modern day Hinduism all over India. He died on 4 July in 1902 in Belur, West Bengal.
- Born: January 12, 1863, Kolkata, India
- Died: July 4, 1902, Belur, India
- Guru: Ramakrishna
- Education: Scottish Church College (1884)
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