In case you don’t know who Narendranath Datta was, you are in for a surprise. There are many instances that suggest his transformation to become one of India’s greatest social reformer.
He mastered the art of happy living by evoking religious consciousness within and helping others in need. His selfless attitude and devotion towards his teacher. He also taught us why discipline and determination are essential components in the journey of life.
Let us know him a little more on his 156th birth anniversary and pay our gratitude to him for gifting us beautiful thoughts and ideas.
- Vivekananda was born originally as Narendranath Datta on January 12, 1863, Calcutta.
- In 1891, the king of Khetri, Rajasthan, Ajit Singh, conferred the name “Vivekananda” on him which means “the bliss of discerning wisdom,” from Sanskrit viveka and ānanda.
- An Indian monk, he attempted to blend Indian spirituality with Western ideas, as he believed that both are necessary for progress.
- He was born in an upper-middle class (Kayastha caste) and was educated at a Western-style university, where he was exposed to new ideas – Western philosophy, Science and Christianity.
- He was a prominent social reformer and joined Brahmo Samaj (Society of Brahma) that aimed at eliminating child marriages and providing education to all, particularly women and the lower castes.
Watch the video by Vivekananda Samiti here –
- He later became the most-notable disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahansa (an Indian Hindu mystic and saint in the 19th century, Bengal), who demonstrated the essential unity of all religions.
- Oneness in practice is something Vivekananda always believed in and believed that serving man is equivalent to serving God.
- He stressed on the humanistic side of oldest sacred texts of Hinduism including Vedas and wanted to present Hindu Spirituality to the West. He also promoted Vedanta philosophy (one of the 6 schools in Indian philosophy) in England and the US.
- As a spokesperson for Hinduism at the World’s Parliament of Religions, he appeared in Chicago 1893, where he began his the speech with “Sisters and brothers of America…” People were so captivated by his speech that a newspaper described him as “an orator by divine right and undoubtedly the greatest figure at the Parliament.”
- With a small group of Western disciples, Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Mission at the monastery of Belur Math on the Ganges in 1897, after he returned to India.
- He breathed his last on July 4, 1902, near Kolkata.
January 12, also marks National Youths Day to commemorate the stalwart’s birthday. This year, 2019, on this day, the tallest bronze statue of Vivekananda will be unveiled at Ranchi Lake. The 33-ft high statue was sculpted by Padma Bhushan Ram V. Sutar and costs Rs.15 crore.
In Swami Vivekananda’s words- “After so much austerity, I have understood this as the real truth – god is present in every Jiva; there is no other God besides that. `Who serves Jiva, serves God indeed’.”