The Spiritual Genius of Swami Vivekananda

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This article is about Hindu monk Swami Vivekananda. For other uses, see Swami Vivekananda (disambiguation). |Born |Narendra Nath Datta | | |(1863-01-12)12 January 1863 | | |Calcutta, India | |Died |4 July 1902(1902-07-04) (aged 39) | | |Belur Math near Calcutta | |Founder of |Belur Math, Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission | |Literary works |Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Jnana Yoga |

Swami Vivekananda (Bengali pronunciation: [pic]Shāmi Bibekānando (help·info)): Bengali pronunciation: [ʃami bibekanɒnɖo]) (12 January 1863–4 July 1902), born Narendra Nath Datta[3] (Bengali pronunciation: [nɔrend̪ro nat̪ʰ d̪ɔt̪t̪o]), was an Indian Hindu monk. He was a key figure in the introduction of Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the western world[4] and was credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion in the late 19th century.[5] He was a major force in the revival of Hinduism in India and contributed to the notion of nationalism in colonial India.[6] He was the chief disciple of the 19th century saint Ramakrishna and the founder of the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission.[4] He is perhaps best known for his inspiring speech beginning with "Sisters and Brothers of America,"[7] through which he introduced Hinduism at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago in 1893. Born into an aristocratic Bengali family of Calcutta,[8] Vivekananda showed an inclination towards spirituality. He was influenced by his guru Ramakrishna from whom he learnt that all living beings were an embodiment of the divine self and hence, service to God could be rendered by service to mankind.[9] After the death of his guru, Vivekananda toured the Indian subcontinent extensively and acquired a first-hand knowledge of the conditions that prevailed in British India.[10] He later travelled to the United States to represent India as a delegate in the 1893 Parliament of World Religions. He conducted hundreds of public and private lectures and classes, disseminating tenets of Hindu philosophy in the United States, England and Europe. In India, Vivekananda is regarded as a patriotic saint and his birthday is celebrated as the National Youth Day.[11] Vivekananda was born as Narendranath in Calcutta, the capital of British India, on 12 January 1863 during the Makar Sankranti festival. He belonged to a traditional Bengali Kayastha (a caste of Hindus) family and was one of the nine siblings.[13] Narendra's father Vishwanath Datta was an attorney of Calcutta High Court.[14] Narendra's mother was a pious woman and a housewife. The progressive rational approach of his father and the religious temperament of his mother helped shape his thinking and personality.[15][16] Young Narendranath was fascinated by the wandering ascetics and monks.[16] Narendra was an average student, but a voracious reader.[17] He was interested in a wide range of subjects such as philosophy, religion, history, the social sciences, arts, and literature.[18] He evinced interest in the Hindu scriptures such as the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Puranas. He trained in Indian classical music,[19] and participated in physical exercise, sports, and organisational activities.[18] Narendra joined the Metropolitan Institution of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar in 1871 and studied there until 1877 when his family moved to Raipur.[20] The family returned to Calcutta two years later.

[edit] College and Brahmo Samaj

In 1879 after his family moved back to Calcutta, Narendra passed the entrance examination from the Presidency College. He subsequently studied western logic, western philosophy and history of...
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