Swami Vivekananda, Swami Vivekananda was a great preacher, prophet and patriot. He was the foremost disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. He spread India’s spiritual message of Vedanta throughout the world
Swami Vivekananda was a great preacher, prophet and patriot. He was the foremost disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. He spread India’s spiritual message of Vedanta throughout the world.
Born in Bengal in 1863, his original name was Narendranath Dutta. His father was Vishwanath Dutta. He was a prosperous lawyer. He gave young Narendra English education.
Narendra had a keen mind. He wanted to find out the truth of everything he saw and learnt. He had a spiritual bent of mind. He read a large number of books.
When Vishwanatha Dutta died, Narendra was only 21 years old. His family income fell. Fortunately, Narendra was not married.
Even in this condition, he himself went without food to feed the poor. He struggled with his poverty and continued his studies. At that time he heard people praise the greatness of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.
Like all young educated men, Narendra did not at first believe in the spiritual powers of Sri Ramakrishna. He went to meet him and argued.
Narendra had a remarkable face. His large eyes, shapely nose and broad lips attracted every one.
As soon as Sri Ramakrishna saw young Narendra, he said to himself, “Ah, my spiritual son has come!” and smiled. Vivekananda boldly asked Sri Ramakrishna:”Have you seen God?” “Yes, my son” said Ramakrishna, “as really as I see you!” Vivekananda felt that he had found his master. He became a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna.
Very soon Sri Ramakrishna taught him all about the Truth of God. Narendra became a sanyasin in his 25th year. Afterwards he came to be called Vivekananda. He travelled throughout India on foot, studying the condition of people in the country.
One day he was meditating on a rock in Kanyakumari. At that time, he got a call from God to preach the greatness of India.
In 1893, a Parliament of Religions met in Chicago, in America. At first they had allotted to this Indian monk only a few minutes. But when he started speaking, everyone was fascinated by his discourse. He toured America for three years spreading Vedanta.
After visiting England, he returned to India. “Arise, awake!” was his- call to the world. He said: “The only religion that ought to be taught is the religion of fearlessness.”
Once Vivekananda was travelling by train. As usual, he was starving. Another passenger seated by his side started ridiculing sanyasins.
He said: “These people deserve to starve.” The Swami just smiled on hearing those words. At the very next station a person stepped into that compartment with a parcel of food and a jug of water and coming to Vivekananda said: “My patron deity Rama came in my dream and, pointing you out, ordered me to take some food for you. I quickly prepared the dish and brought it to you. Please take it”. Thus God helped him.
Vivekananda organised the Ramakrishna Mission which today is working admirably in all parts of the world. He had many disciples of whom Sister Nivedita, an English lady, was the most talented. Heavy work impaired his health and Vivekananda passed away at Belur in l902 at the age of 39. Abeautiful temple was built for him on the rock at Kanyakumari where he got his first inspiration. His writings are collected in eight volumes.