About the life history of the great swami vivekanada.
About Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda original name is Narendra Nath Datta, was born in an affluent family in Kolkata on 12 January 1863. Swami Vivekananda childhood name was narendra dath. Swami Vivekananda always says that for my birth my parents have prayed to god for so many years. Vivekananda is born as the god gift. Always swami Vivekananda mother used to pray lord Shiva with full of mind and peace and one day night in the dreams of Bhuvaneswari Devi a light has been appeared that lord Shiva gave him a gift that gift is nothing it is narendra dath. From the child hood narendra dath is an active boy and he likes the sannays very much his grand father do took the sanyasam. From child hood he used to spend time with friends and in meditation. His mind is very sharp.
His father Viswanath Dutta was an attorney of Calcutta High Court. He was considered generous, and had a liberal and progressive outlook in social and religious matters. Vivekanada’s mother, Bhuvaneshwari Devi, was endowed with deep devotion, strong character and other qualities. From his mother he learnt the power of self-control. He was reportedly adept in meditation and could reportedly enter the state of Samadhi. He reportedly would see a light while falling asleep and he reportedly had a vision of Buddha during his meditation. During his childhood, he had a great fascination for wandering ascetics and monks.
Always narendra dath used to spend time with friends, in the later days friends say that from the child age narendra is very talented he has a talking ability so we do raise any issue and make narendra to talk. Narendra did not study his class books he shows interests in various history books, he spends his time to go to library, and he spends hours in doing meditation and with friends. What ever the friends ask narendra will do it. Once to their place one ship has came there but the British were not given permission to visit but his friends were eager to see the ship then narendra went secretly to the officer’s room and he convinced and while coming out of the room he came in a royal way.
Narendranath had varied interests and a wide range of scholarship in philosophy, religion, history, the social sciences, arts, literature, and other subjects. He studied a lot books always he says that he do say while studying the books he read all the pages but he only read the first and last lines of a paragraph. So that he covered various books. He evinced much interest in the Hindu scriptures like the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Puranas. He also likes the music and he learned music also. Narendranath started his education at home, later he joined the Metropolitan Institution of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar in 1871. Narendra from the child hood onwards he likes to meditate very much. One day narendra and his friends went to the garden and started to meditate, at that time to that pace one snake came by seeing the snake all his friends went away and they do called narendra but he was in deep meditation at that time snake went off from that place and after the Vivekananda opened his eyes and asked what has happened.
He used to study in the grand mother’s home when exams are there. If exams are with in 3 days he used to sit in a room and close the doors and he comes out only when the portion is completed till then he didn’t open the room doors. Like these when he was studying he used to sing a songs in mean while he sang songs very nicely every time when he is singing songs the child window in front of the grand mothers home is used to listen. The widow was attracted by the narendra one day she was unable to control the temptation and she came to narendra room secretly but narendra said my dear mother all the ladies are for me like mother if any mistake I did please forgive me, for these words the widow feel shy and went away, from that that he use to study in a different room. In 1879 he passed the entrance examination for Presidency College, Calcutta, entering it for a brief period and subsequently shifting to General Assembly’s Institution. During the course, he studied western logic, western philosophy and history of European nations. In 1881 he passed the Fine Arts examination and in 1884 he passed the Bachelor of Arts. Narendranath is said to have studied the writings of David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Baruch Spinoza, Georg W. F. Hegel, Arthur Schopenhauer, Auguste Comte, Herbert Spencer, John Stuart Mill, and Charles Darwin. Narendra became fascinated with the Evolutionism of Herbert Spencer, and translated Spencer’s book on Education into Bengali for Gurudas Chattopadhyaya, his publisher.
Vivekananda from the childhood he has the doubts for the existence of life and he wants to become a sage also. In order to know the existence of life vivekanadana meet various sages and the great people but he was not satisfied with the answers given by them. It was at that time he first heard about Sri Ramakrishna from one of his English professors at college. One day in November 1881, Narendra went to meet Sri Ramakrishna who was staying at the Kali Temple in Dakshineshwar. When Vivekananda meet the Sri Ramakrishna he asked in a straight way “sir do you ever see god”? With out moment hesitation Sri Ramakrishna answered “Yes, I have. I see Him as clearly as I see you, only in a much intenser sense.” Apart from removing doubts from the mind of Narendra, Sri Ramakrishna won him over through his pure, unselfish love. Thus began a guru-disciple relationship which is quite unique in the history of spiritual masters. Narendra now became a frequent visitor to Dakshineshwar and, under the guidance of the Master, made rapid strides on the spiritual path. At Dakshineshwar, Narendra also met several young men who were devoted to Sri Ramakrishna, and they all became close friends.
After two years Vivekananda has faced two difficult situations one is which sudden death of his father in 18884. So the narendra has to bear burden of the family members. The second difficult was the illness of the Sri Ramakrishna which was diagnosed by a throat cancer. So that Sri Ramakrishna was moved to a house at Shyampukur, and a few months later to a rented villa at Cossipore. At the both places the nurses has given the treatment with care. But due to family problems narendra has tried for a job but he joined a group as its leader.
Sri Ramakrishna instilled the brotherhood and the love towards on another. One day the master sent them out for begging by giving ochre robes. In this way he himself gave a foundation for the monastic order. In a short period of time Sri Ramakrishna gave up his mortal body on 16 August 1886. After the death of master 15members as a group started living together. After establishing the new monastic order, Vivekananda heard the inner call for a greater mission in his life. At that time the name of narendra dath has been converted to Swami Vivekananda. After few days swami Vivekananda has take a long journey to explore the discovery of India.
During his travels all over India, Swami Vivekananda was deeply moved to see the appealing poverty and backwardness of the people. He was the first religious leader in India to understand and openly declare that the real cause of India’s downfall was the neglect of the masses. The immediate need was to provide food and other bare necessities of life to the hungry millions. For this they should be taught improved methods of agriculture, village industries, etc. It was in this context that Vivekananda grasped the crux of the problem of poverty in India owing to centuries of oppression; the downtrodden masses had lost faith in their capacity to improve their lot. I for this they needed a life-giving, inspiring message. Swamiji found this message in the principle of the Atman, the doctrine of the potential divinity of the soul, taught in Vedanta, the ancient system of religious philosophy of India. He saw that, in spite of poverty, the masses clung to religion, but they had never been taught the life-giving, ennobling principles of Vedanta and application to life. Thus the masses needed two kinds of knowledge: secular knowledge to improve their economic condition and spiritual knowledge to infuse in them faith in themselves and strengthen their moral sense. The next question was how to spread these two kinds of knowledge among the masses? Through education – this was the answer that Swamiji found. One thing became clear to Swamiji: to carry out his plans for the spread of education and for the uplift of the poor people, and also of women, an efficient organization of dedicated people was needed. As he said later on, he wanted “to set in motion machinery which will bring noblest ideas to the doorstep of even the poorest and the meanest.” It was to serve as this ‘machinery’ that Swamiji founded the Ramakrishna Mission a few years later.
It was when these ideas were taking shape in his mind in the course of his wanderings that Swami Vivekananda heard about the World’s Parliament of Religions to be held in Chicago in 1893. His friends and admirers in India wanted him to attend the Parliament. He too felt that the Parliament would provide the right forum to present his Master’s message to the world, and so he decided to go to America. Another reason which prompted Swamiji to go to America was to seek financial help for his project of uplifting the masses.
Swamiji, however, wanted to have an inner certitude and divine call regarding his mission. Both of these he got while he sat in deep meditation on the rock-island at Kanyakumari. With the funds partly collected by his Chennai disciples and partly provided by the Raja of Khetri, Swami Vivekananda left for America from Mumbai on 31 May 1893.
His speeches at the World’s Parliament of Religions held in September 1893 made him famous as an ‘orator by divine right’ and as a ‘Messenger of Indian wisdom to the Western world’. At the opening ceremony Vivekananda was one of the last speakers to speak. The previous speakers had talked about the merits of their own religion but Vivekananda appealed to the whole audience with his vision of oneness and equality before God. His opening words began with:
“Brother and Sisters of America.” … Spontaneously the audience rose to its feet to applaud, appreciating the visionary sentiments Vivekananda offered. He continued. “It fills my heart with joy unspeakable to rise in response to the warm and cordial welcome which you have given us….” Swami Vivekananda was chosen to represent Hinduism. However Swami Vivekananda did not try in any way to prove the superiority of his religion. Instead Vivekananda spoke with great sincerity about the harmony of world religions and the common spirituality of humanity. It was this universal message of oneness which captivated the audience. After the Parliament, Swamiji spent nearly three and a half years spreading Vedanta as lived and taught by Sri Ramakrishna, mostly in the eastern parts of USA and also in London. He returned to India in January 1897. In response to the enthusiastic welcome that he received everywhere, he delivered a series of lectures in different parts of India, which created a great stir all over the country.
Soon after his return to Kolkata, Swami Vivekananda accomplished another important task of his mission on earth. He founded on 1 May 1897 a unique type of organization known as Ramakrishna Mission, in which monks and lay people would jointly undertake propagation of Practical Vedanta, and various forms of social service, such as running hospitals, schools, colleges, hostels, rural development centre’s etc, and conducting massive relief and rehabilitation work for victims of earthquakes, cyclones and other calamities, in different parts of India and other countries. It may be mentioned here that in the West many people were influenced by Swami Vivekananda’s life and message. Some of them became his disciples or devoted friends. Among them the names of Margaret Noble (later known as Sister Nivedita), Captain and Mrs. Sevier, Josephine McLeod and Sara Ole Bull, deserve special mention. Nivedita dedicated her life to educating girls in Kolkata. Swamiji had many Indian disciples also, some of whom joined Ramakrishna Math and became sannyasins.
Making an objective assessment of Swami Vivekananda’s contributions to world culture, the eminent British historian A L Basham stated that “in centuries to come, he will be remembered as one of the main moulders of the modern world…” Some of the main contributions that Swamiji made to the modern world are mentioned below: are the
· New understanding of the religion
· New view of the man.
· New principles of morality and ethics.
· New Ideal of Monasticism.
· Refurbishing of Hindu Philosophy and Religious Doctrines.