ESSAY ON THE LEGACY OF SWAMI VIVEKANANDA
Swami Vivekananda as we all know is the greatest Hindu monk who has brought a massive change during the 19th century. He was born in 1863 in Kolkata and continued his studies there. Swami Vivekananda is his renowned name due to his contribution to the Hindi Monasticism. His real name was Narendra Nath Datta known by a very few. He lived in an atmosphere where there was a debate about whether God had a form or was just in one’s belief. It was through his friend he met his Guru Sri Ramakrishna a devotee of Lord Vishnu in Dakineshwar. Naren expected that Ramakrishna was like any other man who is just another priest, but to his surprise he came across the most unique person on earth that he had ever seen. Despite the fact that initially Swami found that this man was truly mad but soon he was attracted and moved by his charismatic personality. He became the disciple of Sri Ramakrishna. So long from then Swami used to visit his guru’s lectures and spend almost the entire time only with him. Due to Ramakrishna’s wise teachings not only Naren but also a few young men used to visit his home until his death in 1886 due to cancer. Swami spent around 5 years in learning the whole concept of realization between soul and God. His teacher had initiated Swami and others to sannyasa with orange robes. As per the orders given by Ramakrishna, the young monks began living together and the community that was formed came to be known as Belur Mutt to the south of Dakineshwar. There was a time when Naren set off wandering for around 3 years leaving Kolkata, to the different parts of India was then being called as Swami Vivekananda his monastic name. He had continued his journey all the way visiting various cities and sometimes meditating in Himalayas. In 1892 when he finally reached the southern tip of India, meditating on a rock he had a vision of the future India. Interestingly that rock bears his name even today. Due to a local Hindu ruler, Swami resolved to undertake the trip to the Chicago World’s Parliament of religions in 1893 being one of the Hindu representatives. “Sisters and Brothers of America,” began Swami Vivekananda’s renowned first address to the World’s Parliament of Religions, held at what is now the Art Institute of Chicago. India remained under the heel of British imperial rule, and most Americans of European descent still did not regard people of other ethnic groups as equals. Placing the word “sisters” before “brothers” was also significant. This was twenty-seven years before women in America were granted the right to vote. The major theme of Vivekananda’s address would be a central one of his teaching: the idea of “toleration and universal acceptance.” Speaking of Hindus generally, he says, “We believe not only in universal toleration, but we accept all religions as true.” There was of course a huge uproar in the parliament and later on after that speech he was being followed immensely where a large population even though outside India was totally fascinated by him. His speech was reported in both US and India. His theme i.e. the opposites of toleration and acceptance he said “I fervently hope that the bell that tolled this morning in honour of this convention may be the death-knell of all fanaticism, of all persecutions with the sword or with the pen, and of all uncharitable feelings between persons wending their way to the same goal.” According to The New York Herald memorably stating, “He is undoubtedly the greatest figure in the Parliament of Religions. After hearing him, we feel how foolish it is to send missionaries to this learned nation.” To capture the attention and make a person realize, he began with a story of a frog which lives in well. This frog had lived there for so many years and was born and brought up in the surroundings of the well. It was very happy with its home and used to regularly cleanse all the worms and bacilli that lived in it with the energy that...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document