July 2, 2022
Hindu spiritual leader and reformer Of India - Swami Vivekananda

Hindu spiritual leader and reformer Of India – Swami Vivekananda

Name Swami Vivekananda
Born Narendranath Datta

12 January 1863

Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India

(present-day Kolkata, West Bengal, India)

Died 4 July 1902 (aged 39)

Belur Math, Bengal Presidency, British India

(present-day West Bengal, India)

Religion Hinduism
Citizenship British India
Founder of Ramakrishna Mission (1897)

Ramakrishna Math

Guru Ramakrishna
Literary works Raja Yoga

Karma Yoga

Bhakti Yoga

Jnana Yoga

My Master

Lectures from Colombo to Almora

Philosophy Modern Vedanta

Rāja yoga

 

"Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached

“Swami Vivekananda " 

Swami Vivekananda, original name Narendranath Datta, Datta also spelled Dutt, (born January 12, 1863, Calcutta [now Kolkata]—died July 4, 1902, near Calcutta), Hindu spiritual leader and reformer in India who attempted to combine Indian spirituality with Western material progress, maintaining that the two supplemented and complemented one another. His Absolute was a person’s own higher self; to labor for the benefit of humanity was the noblest endeavor.

Swami Vivekananda’s Early Life

Born into an upper-middle-class family of the Kayastha (scribes) caste in Bengal, he was educated at a Western-style university where he was exposed to Western philosophy, Christianity, and science. Social reform became a prominent element of Vivekananda’s thought, and he joined the Brahmo Samaj (Society of Brahma), dedicated to eliminating child marriage and illiteracy and determined to spread education among women and the lower castes. He later became the most-notable disciple of Ramakrishna, who demonstrated the essential unity of all religions.

Swami Vivekananda’s Belief

Always stressing the universal and humanistic side of the Vedas, the oldest sacred texts of Hinduism, as well as belief in service rather than dogma, Vivekananda attempted to infuse vigor into Hindu thought, placing less emphasis on the prevailing pacifism and presenting Hindu spirituality to the West. He was an activating force in the movement to promote Vedanta philosophy (one of the six schools of Indian philosophy) in the United States and England. 

World Parliament of Religions

In 1893 he appeared in Chicago as a spokesman for Hinduism at the World’s Parliament of Religions and so captivated the assembly that a newspaper account described him as “an orator by divine right and undoubtedly the greatest figure at the Parliament.” Thereafter he lectured throughout the United States and England, making converts to the Vedanta movement.

On his return to India with a small group of Western disciples in 1897, Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Mission at the monastery of Belur Math on the Ganges (Ganga) River near Calcutta (now Kolkata). Self-perfection and service were his ideals, and the order continued to stress them. He adapted and made relevant to the 20th century the very highest ideals of the Vedantic religion, and, although he lived only two years into that century, he left the mark of his personality on East and West alike.

Death

On 4 July 1902 (the day of his death), Vivekananda awoke early, went to the monastery at Belur Math, and meditated for three hours. He taught Shukla-Yajur-Veda, Sanskrit grammar, and the philosophy of yoga to pupils, later discussing with colleagues a planned Vedic college in the Ramakrishna Math. At 7:00 pm Vivekananda went to his room, asking not to be disturbed; he died at 9:20 p.m. while meditating. According to his disciples, Vivekananda attained mahasamādhi; the rupture of a blood vessel in his brain was reported as a possible cause of death. His disciples believed that the rupture was due to his brahmarandhra (an opening in the crown of his head) being pierced when he attained mahasamādhi. Vivekananda fulfilled his prophecy that he would not live forty years. He was cremated on a sandalwood funeral pyre on the bank of the Ganga in Belur, opposite where Ramakrishna was cremated sixteen years earlier.

Publications

Published in his lifetime

  • Sangeet Kalpataru (1887, with Vaishnav Charan Basak)
  • Karma Yoga (1896)
  • Raja Yoga (1896 [1899 edition])
  • Vedanta Philosophy: An address before the Graduate Philosophical Society (1896)
  • Lectures from Colombo to Almora (1897)
  • Bartaman Bharat (in Bengali) (March 1899), Udbodhan
  • My Master (1901), The Baker and Taylor Company, New York
  • Vedânta philosophy: lectures on Jnâna Yoga (1902) Vedânta Society, New York OCLC 
  • Jnana yoga (1899)

Published after his death (1902)

  • Addresses on Bhakti Yoga
  • Bhakti Yoga
  • The East and the West (1909)
  • Inspired Talks (1909)
  • Narada Bhakti Sutras – translation
  • Para Bhakti or Supreme Devotion
  • Practical Vedanta
  • Speeches and writings of Swami Vivekananda; a comprehensive collection
  • Complete Works: a collection of his writings, lectures, and discourses in a set of nine volumes
  • Seeing Beyond the Circle (2005)

 

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