Swami Vivekananda



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Fast Facts
vivekananda_seated_midsize.jpg
Other Names and Nicknames: 
Narendranath Dutta, Vivekananda
Function: 
Spiritual Teacher
Traditions: 
Ramakrishna Mission, Advaita Vedanta, Yoga
Main Countries of Activity: 
India, USA
Date of Birth: 
12/1/1863
Place of Birth: 
Kolkata, India
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
No
Date Left His/Her Body: 
4/07/1902
Ancestor Gurus: 
Other Related Gurus: 
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Biography

Swami Vivekananda was the chief disciple of the mystic Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and the founder of Ramakrishna Mission.

He is considered a key figure in the introduction of Hindu philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga in Europe and America and is also credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion during the end of the 19th century. He is considered to be a major force in the revival of Hinduism in modern India.

In the world, he is perhaps best known for his inspiring speech beginning with "Sisters and Brothers of America", through which he introduced Hinduism at the Parliament of the World's Religions at Chicago in 1893.

Swami Vivekananda was born in an aristocratic Bengali family of Calcutta in 1863. Swami's parents influenced his thinking — the father by his rational mind and the mother by her religious temperament. From his childhood, he showed inclination towards spirituality and God realization. While searching for a man who could directly demonstrate the reality of God, he came to Ramakrishna and became his disciple. As a guru, Ramakrishna taught him Advaita Vedanta (non-dualism) and that all religions are true, and service to man was the most effective worship of God.

After the death of his Guru, Vivekananda became a wandering monk, touring the Indian subcontinent and getting first-hand knowledge of India's condition. He later sailed to Chicago and represented India as a delegate in the 1893 Parliament of World Religions. An eloquent speaker, Vivekananda was invited to several forums in the United States and spoke at universities and clubs. He conducted hundreds of public and private lectures and classes, disseminating Vedanta and Yoga in America, England and a few other countries in Europe. He also established the Vedanta societies in America and England.

Later he sailed back to India and in 1897 founded the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, a philanthropic and spiritual organization.

Teachings

SEE GOD IN ALL
This is the gist of all worship - to be pure and to do good to others. He who sees Siva in the poor, in the weak, and in the diseased, really worships Siva, and if he sees Siva only in the image, his worship is but preliminary. He who has served and helped one poor man seeing Siva in him, without thinking of his cast, creed, or race, or anything, with him Siva is more pleased than with the man who sees Him only in temples.

GOD IS WITHIN YOU
It is impossible to find God outside of ourselves. Our own souls contribute all of the divinity that is outside of us. We are the greatest temple. The objectification is only a faint imitation of what we see within ourselves.

PERSEVERE IN YOUR SEARCH FOR GOD
To succeed, you must have tremendous perseverance, tremendous will. "I will drink the ocean," says the persevering soul, "at my will mountains will crumble up." Have that sort of energy, that sort of will, work hard, and you will reach the goal.

TRUST COMPLETELY IN GOD
Stand up for God; let the world go.

LOVE OF GOD IS ESSENTIAL
Giving up all other thoughts, with the whole mind day and night worship God. Thus being worshipped day and night, He reveals himself and makes His worshippers feel His presence.

Locations

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Books & Media

Recommended Books: 
Cover image

Swami Vivekananda on Himself

by Vivekananda

(Hardcover)

This book is in effect a biography of Swami Vivekananda, written by the author himself, gathered through letters he wrote and lectures he gave as he traveled throughout the world. Honest almost to a fault, the book gives a glimpse of the multi-faceted personality of the swami from his early days. "Yes, the older I grow, the more everything seems to me to lie in manliness. This is my new gospel."

Pro Opinions

INSPIRING TO ALL

NIDHI PARKASH's picture

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA WAS ONE OF HIS OWN KIND THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE GLOBAL HISTORY.

Swamiji

akbanik's picture

Swamijir aadarsha , bani sara desh totha viswa k onuprerona jogay.

bonya basu's picture

Swami Vivekananda.........

Yes, very much....specially for youngster.
If you write something about his teaching...which is very much appropriate for today's generation which is missing among them....preferably in English....because other people will understand what you said.
I think Bengal is still rich in culture and ethics just because of such GREAT PERSONALITIES.I feel proud of being BENGALI.....as with its RICH HERITAGE AND CULTURE.
Thank you being here!

bonya basu | Sat, 10/30/2010 - 11:30