swami vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda

-Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached.

Vivekananda’s contributions

World Culture

  • New Understanding of Religion
  • New View of Man
  • New Principle of Morality and Ethics
  • Bridge between the East and the West


  • Identity
  • Unification
  • New Ideal of Monasticism
  • Refurbishing of Hindu Philosophy

Birth and childhood

  • He was born as Narendranath Datta (shortened to Narendra) at his ancestral home in Calcutta, on 12 January 1863 during the Makar Sankranti festival.
  • Narendranath was interested spiritually from a young age, and used to meditate before the images of deities such as Shiva, Rama, Sita, and Mahavir Hanuman.
  • Naren was naughty and restless as a child, and his parents often had difficulty controlling him.
  • His mother said, “I prayed to Shiva for a son and he has sent me one of his ghosts”.


  • In 1871, at the age of eight, Narendranath enrolled at Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s Metropolitan Institution, where he went to school until his family moved to Raipur in 1877.
  • He was also interested in Hindu scriptures, including the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Puranas.
  • He was an avid reader in a wide range of subjects, including philosophy, religion, history, social science, art and literature.
  • Narendra studied Western logic, Western philosophy and European history at the General Assembly’s Institution (now known as the Scottish Church College).
  • In 1881 he passed the Fine Arts examination, and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1884.

Intro. to Ramakrishna

  • In a literature class at General Assembly’s Institution when he heard Professor William Hastie lecturing on William Wordsworth’s poem, ‘The Excursion’.
  • While explaining the word “trance” in the poem, Hastie suggested that his students visit Ramakrishna of Dakshineswar to understand the true meaning of trance.
  • In November 1881, Narendra was preparing for his upcoming F. A. examination, when Ram Chandra Datta accompanied him to Surendra Nath Mitra’s house , where Ramakrishna was invited to deliver a lecture.
  • Ramakrishna asked young Narendra to sing. Impressed by his singing talent, he asked Narendra to come to Dakshineshwar.

With Ramakrishna

  • Narendra’s father’s sudden death in 1884 left the family bankrupt; creditors began demanding the repayment of loans, and relatives threatened to evict the family from their ancestral home.
  • One day Narendra requested Ramakrishna to pray to goddess Kali for their family’s financial welfare,Ramakrishna suggested him to go to the temple himself and pray.
  • He went to the temple thrice, but failed to pray for any kind of worldly necessities and ultimately prayed for true knowledge and devotion from the goddess.
  • Narendra gradually grew ready to renounce everything for the sake of realising God, and accepted Ramakrishna as his Guru.
  • In 1885, Ramakrishna developed throat cancer, and was transferred to Calcutta and (later) to a garden house in Cossipore.Narendra and Ramakrishna’s other disciples took care of him during his last days.
Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda

Parliament of the World’s Religions

  • The Parliament of the World’s Religions opened on 11 September 1893 at the Art Institute of Chicago as part of the World’s Columbian Exposition.On this day, Vivekananda gave a brief speech representing India and Hinduism.
  • Vivekananda began his speech with “Sisters and brothers of America!”.At these words, Vivekananda received a two-minute standing ovation from the crowd of seven thousand.
  • Vivekananda attracted widespread attention in the press, which called him the ‘cyclonic monk from India’.
  • Parliament President John Henry Barrows said, “India, the Mother of religions was represented by Swami Vivekananda, the Orange-monk who exercised the most wonderful influence over his auditors”.

Left to right: Virchand Gandhi, Dharmapala, Swami Vivekananda with the East Indian group


  • On 4 July 1902 (the day of his death) Vivekananda awoke early, went to the chapel 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 p.m. Vivekananda went to his room, asking not to be disturbed, he died at 9:10 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.

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