08 January 2011

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Short Biography of Swami Vivekananda – Brave heart of India

Short Biography of Swami Vivekananda – Brave heart of India

Birth name -Narendranath Dutta , called as Naren
Date of birth - 12 January 1863(1863-01-12)
Place of birth -Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India
Date of death - 4 July 1902(1902-07-04) (aged 39)
Place of death - Belur Math near Calcutta
Guru/teacher - Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

What - Subash Chandra Bose said about Vivekananda –

" I cannot write about Vivekananda without going into raptures.
Few indeed could comprehend or fathom him - even among those who had the privilege of becoming intimate with him.
His personality was rich, profound and complex and it was this personality - as distinct from his teachings and writings - which accounts for the wonderful influence he has exerted on his countrymen and particularly on Bengalees.
This is the type of manhood which appeals to the Bengalee as probably none other. Reckless in his sacrifice, unceasing in his activity, boundless in his love, profound and versatile in his wisdom, exuberant in his emotions, merciless in his attacks but yet simple as a child - he was a rare personality in this world of ours…. "

In 1984, the Government of India declared and decided to observe the Birthday of Swami Vivekananda 12 January as National Youth Day every year from 1985 onwards.

Sayings of Swami Vivekananda –

Cut out the word help from your mind. You cannot help; it is blasphemy! You worship. When you give a morsel of food to a dog, you worship the dog as God. He is all, and is in all.

The secret of religion lies not in theories but in practice. To be good and do good - that is the whole of religion.

Man is higher than all animals, than all angels; none is greater than man.

All nations have attained greatness by paying proper respect to women. That country and that nation which do not respect women have never become great, nor will ever be in future.

We want to lead mankind to the place where there is neither the Vedas, nor the Bible, nor the Koran; yet this has to be done by harmonizing the Vedas, the Bible, and the Koran.

Mankind ought to be taught that religions are but the varied expressions of THE RELIGION, which is Oneness, so that each may choose the path that suits him best.

All love is expansion, all selfishness is contraction. Love is therefore the only law of life. He who loves lives, he who is selfish is dying. Therefore love for love's sake, because it is law of life, just as you breathe to live.

Cut out the word help from your mind. You cannot help; it is blasphemy! You worship. When you give a morsel of food to a dog, you worship the dog as God. He is all, and is in all.

So long as the millions live in hunger and ignorance, I hold every man a traitor who, having been educated at their expense, pays not the least heed to them.

He was born in 1863 to a rich family. Swami Vivekanandas father was Vishwanath Dutta was an attorney of Calcutta High Court.

Poetry of Swami Vivekananda –

The Living God by Swami Vivekananda –

He who is in you and outside you,
Who works through all hands,
Who walks on all feet,
Whose body are all ye,
Him worship, and break all other idols!

He who is at once the high and low,
The sinner and the saint,
Both God and worm,
Him worship — visible, knowable, real, omnipresent,
Break all other idols!

In whom is neither past life
Nor future birth nor death,
In whom we always have been
And always shall be one,
Him worship. Break all other idols!

Ye fools! who neglect the living God,
And His infinite reflections with which the world is full.

While ye run after imaginary shadows,
That lead alone to fights and quarrels,
Him worship, the only visible!
Break all other idols!

- Swami Vivekananda

"All love is expansion, all selfishness is contraction.
Love is therefore the only law of life.
He who loves lives, he who is selfish is dying.
Therefore love for love's sake,
because it is law of life, just as you breathe to live.

By - Swami Vivekananda

During his childhood young age Vivekananda studied scriptural texts, Vedas, the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Puranas. He was also well versed in classical music

Even when he was young, he questioned the validity of superstitious customs and discrimination based on caste and refused to accept anything without rational proof and pragmatic test.

He was brilliant and eager to know more and learn more and never feared to question anyone regarding anything.

Questions like – Where He can find the Hanuman ?

when he was young he went to hear story of Ramayana , when Pandit finished his story telling that is Ramayana , young naren that is Vivekananda went to the Pandit and asked him
Where can he find the Hanuman ?
Pandit answered him something , after hearing that he went to that place immediately.
Only after search his parents found him at that place.

Why and how and proof everything he wanted to know.

1871 – He joined the Metropolitan Institution of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar

1879 – He passed the entrance examination for Presidency College, Calcutta and later changed to General Assembly's Institution and studied western logic, western philosophy and history of European nations.

1881 - he passed the Fine Arts examination

1884 - he passed the Bachelor of Arts.

Naren translated Spencer's book on Education into Bengali for Gurudas Chattopadhyaya

He studied western philosophy as well as he studied Indian Sanskrit scriptures and many Bengali works.

Dr. William Hastie, the principal of Scottish Church College, where he studied during 1881-84, wrote, "Narendra is really a genius. I have traveled far and wide but I have never come across a lad of his talents and possibilities, even in German universities, among philosophical students."

In young age Naren learned about Indian ancient customs and traditions but as he started to read, listen and ask , he got more confused as he found himself in conflicts.
his argumentative nature coupled with his sharp intellect which hated superstition and questioned simple faith on the other, were now at war with each other.

In his eagerness for spiritual illumination he went to Devendranath Tagore, the leader of the Brahmo Samaj, and asked him: "Sir, have you seen God?"
He did not answer him and same way others also failed to the answer him.

Then one fine day he remembered his professors words Dr. William Hastie words,
while speaking of trances in the course of his lectures, had said, "Such an experience is the result of purity of mind and concentration on some particular object, and is rare indeed, particularly in these days.
I have seen only one person who has experienced that blessed state of mind, and he is Ramakrishna Paramahamsa of Dakshineswar.
You can understand if you go there and see for yourself
Thus Naren decided to meet Ramakrishna Paramahamsa to find answers for his questions.

Naren met Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and ask him the same questions which no one was able to answer him , satisfy his intellectual and studied mind
"Yes, answered Sri Ramakrishna, "I see Him just as I see you here, only I see Him in a much intense sense.
God can be realized; one can see and talk to Him as I am doing with you.
But who cares to do so? People shed torrents of tears for their wife and children for wealth and property, but who does so for the sake of God?
If one weeps sincerely for Him. He surely manifests Himself."
For the first time he had found a man who could say that he had seen God.

Thus he started to visit and meet Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
In beginning he did not accept Ramakrishna Paramahamsa as his Guru but later he accepted them as his guru.
He tested Ramakrishna, who never asked Narendra to abandon reason, and faced all of Narendra's arguments and examinations with patience

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa died on August 16, 1886 at the Cossipore garden house.
But before death Ramakrishna Paramahamsa asked Vivekananda to take care of other monastic disciples and in turn asked them to look upon Vivekananda as their leader.
Vivekananda was taught that service to men was the most effective worship of God.

After death of their Guru fifteen of his young disciples (one more joined them later) began to live together in a dilapidated building at Baranagar in North Kolkata.

1887 –
Narendra and eight other disciples took formal monastic vows.
Narendra took the name of Swami Vivekananda

In 1890, Swami Vivekananda set out on a long journey.
During his travels all over India, Swami Vivekananda was deeply moved to see the appalling poverty and backwardness of the masses.
Then Vivekananda understood that only Knowledge and education is the answer to eradicate the poverty of masses including as they were not given education.

December24, 1892. –
Swami Vivekananda reached Kanyakumari swam across the sea and started meditating on a lone rock. He meditated for three days their.
The rock is popular as Vivekananda memorial and is a major tourist destination.

1893 –
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.
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.

He earned wild applause for beginning his address with the famous words, "Sisters and brothers of America."

After the Parliament, Swamiji spent nearly three and a half years spreading Vedanta mostly in the eastern parts of USA and also in London.

Visit To Japan - Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo.
Vivekananda called Japanese "one of the cleanest people on earth", and was impressed not only by neatness of their streets and dwellings but also by their movements, attitudes and gestures

Contrasting the rapid progress of Japan with the situation back in India, he urged his countrymen - the "offspring of centuries of superstition and tyranny" - to come out of their narrow holes and have a look abroad - "Only I want that numbers of our young men should pay a visit to Japan and China every year.

Especially to the Japanese, India is still the dreamland of everything high and good. And you, what are you? … talking twaddle all your lives, vain talkers, what are you? Come, see these people, and then go and hide your faces in shame.

A race of dotards, you lose your caste if you come out! Sitting down these hundreds of years with an ever-increasing load of crystallized superstition on your heads, for hundreds of years spending all your energy upon discussing the touchable ness or untouchable ness of this food or that, with all humanity crushed out of you by the continuous social tyranny of ages – what are you? And what are you doing now? …

promenading the sea-shores with books in your hands – repeating undigested stray bits of European brainwork, and the whole soul bent upon getting a thirty rupee clerkship, or at best becoming a lawyer – the height of young India’s ambition – and every student with a whole brood of hungry children cackling at his heels and asking for bread! Is there not water enough in the sea to drown you, books, gowns, university diplomas, and all?"

He returned to India in January 1897.

He founded on 1 May 1897 a unique type of organization known as Ramakrishna Mission with the aim of to focus and bring the attention of educated people on the plight of the downtrodden masses, and to expound his plan for their uplift by the application of the principles of Practical Vedanta.

1898 -
Swami Vivekananda acquired a big plot of land on the western bank of the Ganga at a place called Belur to have a permanent abode for the monastery and monastic Order
originally started at Baranagar, and got it registered as Ramakrishna Math after a couple of years.

June 1899 –
he went to the West on a second visit. This time he spent most of his time in the West coast of USA and returned o Belur Math in December 1900.

The rest of his life was spent in India, inspiring and guiding people, both monastic and lay.

Swamiji has also taught Indians how to adapt Western humanism (especially the ideas of individual freedom, social equality and justice and respect for women) to Indian ethos.

4 July 1902 –
Swami Vivekananda died on July4, 1902 at Belur Mutt near Calcutta.

A story told by the Swami Vivekananda –

A frog lived in a well. It had lived there for a long time.
It was born there and brought up there, and yet was a little, small frog. Of course the evolutionists were not there then to tell us whether the frog lost its eyes or not, but, for our story's sake, we must take it for granted that it had its eyes, and that it every day cleansed the water of all the worms and bacilli that lived in it with an energy that would do credit to our modern bacteriologists. In this way it went on and became a little sleek and fat. Well, one day another frog that lived in the sea came and fell into the well.
"Where are you from?"
"I am from the sea."
"The sea! How big is that? Is it as big as my well?" and he took a leap from one side of the well to the other.
"My friend," said the frog of the sea, "how do you compare the sea with your little well?”
Then the frog took another leap and asked, "Is your sea so big?"
"What nonsense you speak, to compare the sea with your well!"
"Well, then," said the frog of the well, "nothing can be bigger than my well; there can be nothing bigger than this; this fellow is a liar, so turn him out."

That has been the difficulty all the while.

I am a Hindu. I am sitting in my own little well and thinking that the whole world is my little well. The Christian sits in his little well and thinks the whole world is his well. The Mohammedan sits in his little well and thinks that is the whole world.
I have to thank you of America for the great attempt you are making to break down the barriers of this little world of ours, and hope that, in the future, the Lord will help you to accomplish your purpose.

12th January is celebrated as National Youth Day but do we know the relevance of this day? What is one supposed to do on this day, how does one celebrate? Is it a holiday?

These are some questions this short video tries to answer by taking you to a journey 100 years back to an India that existed then and tries to find a connect with the world today

Listen to article Short Biography of Swami Vivekananda – Brave heart of India

Watch the video about Swami Vivekananda –

Reality views by sm -

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Tags - Autobiography Biography Swami Vivekananda History Facts Poems


Arti January 09, 2011  

A truly great man, I read his books regularly...
A very nice post.

sm,  January 09, 2011  


Teamgsquare January 09, 2011  

Great personality . Wonderfully written

sm,  January 10, 2011  

Team G Square,,

Renu January 10, 2011  

His teachings are so relevant and all time gems.

chitra January 10, 2011  

Such a great personality . I have visited Belur Math and Vivekanda Memorial in Kanya Kumari. Very good post sm, thanks

Kirtivasan Ganesan January 10, 2011  

A very great writeup on Vivekananda. Thanks.

sm,  January 10, 2011  


sm,  January 10, 2011  


sm,  January 10, 2011  


Irfanuddin January 11, 2011  

an ideal for youth... good post on his Birth anniversary.....thnx for sharing....

("Lets Laugh @ ourself" hav a look at my new post plz)

sm,  January 11, 2011  


Usha January 16, 2011  

sm, Excellent read...I didn't know 12th January is National Youth Day..Thanks for posting Swami Vivekananda's biography, Great inspiring post.

sm,  January 16, 2011  


SM April 16, 2011  


vraj,  August 29, 2012  

i like this character.so intelligent and brave

Unknown September 09, 2012  

he did so what no one could do

pranita deshpande January 12, 2019  

My favorite leader .Nice motivation you have chosen.