Swami Vivekananda Jayanti 2014
One of the most inspirational personalities of our country, Swami Vivekananda not only swayed the beliefs and removed the existing prejudices against India from the likes of America and England, but also socially reformed India, so much so, that he was later called the maker of Modern India.
Earlier known as Narendranath Dutta, he was born on January 12, 1863 to Vishwanath Dutta and Bhuvaneshwari Devi in Shimla Pally, Kolkata. He was the jack of all trades from birth, and was exceptionally good at studies, games and even extracurricular activities. In 1879 he joined the Presidency College and a year later he learned philosophy from the Scottish Church College. It was here that he first heard about Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.
Swami Vivekananda is regarded as the prime disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, who taught him that aid and service to man is the most effectual form of devotion to God. He also taught him Advaita Vedanta or non-dualism and that all religions are rightful and true. In 1897, Swami Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, organs to propagate religion and social service respectively.
Swami Vivekananda was instrumental in spreading Vedanta and Yoga all across England, Europe and America by establishing Vedanta societies there, and escalating interfaith awareness and tolerance. He compiled a number of books on the four Yogas too. He is considered to be the key figure in the revival of Hinduism in contemporary India. He introduced Hinduism at the Parliament of World’s Religions in Chicago in1893, his rousing speech beginning with “Sisters and Brothers of America”. Being an articulate and persuasive speaker, he was invited to speak at various clubs and universities, and even in the United States.
According to Swami Vivekananda himself, the best teaching that he received from his guru Sri Ramakrishna was that God resides in every man’s heart. He was called the ‘pride of the nation’ and passed away on July 4, 1902.
Swami Vivekananda Jayanti 2014 Date: 12 January.