S WA M I V I V E K A N A N D A 1863–1902
Sw a m i Pra b h a n a n d a
A regal, majestic figure of commanding presence, vast learning and deep insight, Swami Vivekananda was barely 30 years old when he created a stir at the World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893. Three and a half years later, when he returned to India, his homeland, it was as a colossus of strength, courage, confidence, love and manliness – the embodiment of the ideal of the ‘man-making and character-building’ education he propagated. Swami Vivekananda was born Narendranath Datta on 12 January 1863 in Calcutta in a respectable middle-class family. His father, Viswanath Datta, was an attorney and was a lover of the arts and literature. Although liberal-minded, Viswanath was sceptical about religious practices. On the other hand, Narendra’s mother, Bhubaneshwari Devi, was a pious, kind-hearted lady, devoted to the Hindu traditions. The influence of each of his parents on Narendra was different, yet together they provided a congenial atmosphere for the precocious boy to grow into an energetic young man with high ideals. During his formative years he developed extraordinary mental abilities which some people either misunderstood or ignored, but which others appreciated and took as signs of an outstanding individual. As a child he liked to play at meditation and would
Original language: English Swami Prabhananda (India) Completed his university education in 1956 and took final monastic vows with the Ramakrishna Order in 1966. He has served in several educational institutions run by the Order – as headmaster, principal or secretary – besides doing some rural development work. In 1983 the Swami became a trustee of the Ramakrishna Order, and is now head of the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Calcutta. His research work on Sri Ramakrishna and the history of the Order is well recognized. He has written fourteen books in Bengali... [continues]
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