Swami Vivekananda was a popular Hindu monk, philosopher, and religious teacher. He played an integral role in spreading the ideals of Hinduism, Yoga, and Vedanta in the Western world. During his lifetime, Swami Vivekananda was a devout advocate of peace, equality, and women empowerment. Moreover, he was a keen learner and passionate about music, gymnastics, and studies. In this blog, we will explore his early life, spiritual crisis, popular teachings, books, and more valuable information. Let’s begin with fun learning.
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Early Life of Swami Vivekananda
Below we have mentioned details about the early life of Swami Vivekananda:
- Swami Vivekananda was born on 12 January 1863 in the Indian state of Kolkata.
- He was born into an upper-middle-class family where he was exposed to different subjects such as Western philosophy, science, Christianity, and more.
- His father, Vishwanath Datta, was a renowned and successful attorney at the High Court of Calcutta.
- He completed his early education at the Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar Institution and attended the Presidency College in Calcutta.
- Vivekananda was also a member of the Brahmo Samaj.
- He met Ramakrishna Paramahamsa in the year 1881 and was inspired by his teachings, beliefs, and philosophies.
- Upon the demise of Ramakrishna in August 1886, Vivekananda took the vows, turned into an ascetic, and became Swami Vivekananda.
Also Read: Essay on Swami Vivekananda: 100 to 500 Words
Here are the details about his spiritual crisis:
- Although Swami Vivekananda was born into a religious family, he sometimes believed in Agnosticism and questioned the existence of God.
- In 1880, Vivekananda joined the Navavidhan Brahmo Samaj, founded by Keshab Chandra Sen.
- Amidst his uncertain spiritual crisis, he met Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa at the Dakshineshwar Kali Temple and sought to find answers to his religious questions. For instance, he asked him whether he had seen God or not.
- When Vivekananda’s father passed away, he went to Ramakrishna to seek blessings. There he was told to pray Goddess Kali and thus, this movement started the spiritual awakening phase of his life.
Vivekananda as a Monk
Vivekanand’s life as a monk began somewhat like this:
- Ramakrishna was severely ill and suffered from throat cancer for many years.
- Upon his devastating condition, Vivekananda, along with fifteen other disciples, rented a palace at Cossipore and devoted all their time to nursing Ramakrishna.
- Unfortunately, on 16 August 1886, Shri Ramakrishna left his mortal body.
- Upon his demise, Vivekananda and other followers started living at Baranagar in Calcutta. It was later renamed Ramakrishna Math or the monastic order of Ramakrishna.
- In 1887, all the disciples, including Vivekananda, took vows of celibacy and adopted monkhood.
- In this way, Narendranath became Vivekananda, the bliss of discerning wisdom.
- The monks now continued living their lives on the voluntary donations given by patrons as madhukari (holy begging).
- Vivekananda left the Math in 1886 and went on a tour of India on foot. This later came to be known as Parivrajak.
Swami Vivekananda Books
During his lifetime, Swami Vivekananda wrote numerous books which received huge popularity among the general public. Here are some of his renowned literary works:
- Raja Yoga
- Jnana Yoga
- Karma Yoga
- Bhakti Yoga
- Pathways to Joy
- Living at the Source
- Meditation and Its Methora
- The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda
- Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras
- Swami Vivekananda on Himself
Teachings of Swami Vivekananda
- Swami Vivekananda urged people to eliminate the prevalent caste system in the society.
- He was a great advocate of science and industrialization.
- Vivekananda also advocated women empowerment by fighting against the prevalent injustices and social customs against them.
- He made numerous efforts to spread the ideals of neo-Vedanta which combined the concepts of Dvaita (dualism) and Advaita (monism).
- Additionally, he also propagated a popular Hindu doctrine which states that all souls are divine and thus, everyone should work towards manifesting that divine within themselves.
Also Read: 10 Golden Teachings of Swami Vivekananda
- The Ramakrishna Mission was founded by Swami Vivekananda in 1897 in Calcutta, India.
- It refers to a famous Hindu society that was founded with a twofold purpose. Firstly, to spread the teachings of Vedanta as per the life of Ramakrishna and secondly, to improve the overall social and religious conditions of the people.
- In the sphere of the USA, the Vedanta Society of the City of New York is an excellent example of the oldest branches of the Ramakrishna Mission.
- Additionally, the Ramakrishna Mission also undertook numerous other essential services such as establishing educational institutions and making hospital facilities easily accessible.
Demise of Vivekananda
- It is believed that Swami Vivekananda had already predicted that he would not live till the age of forty.
- He attained Mahasamadi on July 4, 1902, and is said to have left his body while doing meditation.
- He was later cremated on the banks of the holy river Ganga.
Swami Vivekananda is globally remembered for his speech to the 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions. It was during this speech that he introduced Hinduism to the USA and advocated for religious tolerance.
Vivekananda was born on January 12, 1863 in Calcutta. He was a renowned Hindu spiritual leader who made numerous efforts to introduce the concepts of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world. Moreover, many people attribute Vivekananda to the popularity of Hinduism in the religious world.
Swami Vivekananda, also known by his birth name Narendranath Datta, was born on 12 January 1863. He was born in an affluent Kolkata family where his father, Vishwanath Datta, was a renowned attorney of that time. Although Vivekananda was an excellent student and keen learner, he practiced as well as advocated yoga and meditation from a very young age. Moreover, he also raised the popular slogan of Go back to Gita along with his harmonious preachings. His birth anniversary is now celebrated as International Youth Day.
No, Vivekananda did not get married throughout his life. Instead, he accepted brahmachary or the vows of celibacy which ultimately meant renunciation of pleasure and focus on public welfare.