Vivekananda! The icon of youth.
Swami Vivekananda was one of the most revered monks from India of the 19th century. His contribution to spreading the message of Vedanta to the whole world is unparalleled. He was an ideal role model for all people in the world and to all youngsters because of his inspirational personality. He removed the misconception in the world that India was a very backward country and religion in India was inferior to other religions in the world.
Childhood name: Narendranath Datta
Birthdate: 12 January 1863
Birthplace: Calcutta state of Bengal, India
Mother: Bhubaneswari Devi
Father: Vishwanath Datta
Guru: Shree Ramkrishna Paramhansa
Death: 4 July 1902
He dedicated his whole life to the upliftment of the poor and made efforts to lift the downtrodden and unhappy. He possessed immense gifts of knowledge and understanding. He did not require to read the whole book, merely reading a few stanzas from the beginning and the end was enough for him to grasp the whole subject.
He read numerous books in such a short time. Once the librarian of the book challenged Vivekananda that he did not read all the books because Vivekananda borrowed and returned books every other day. The librarian was surprised when Vivekananda not only answered all the questions which the librarian posed from the books but also quoted the location of the paragraphs in the book.
His Guru was Shri Ramkrishna Paramhansa. He lived his whole life according to the message given by his Guru. Shree Ramkrishna Paramhansa and Vivekananda were an ideal example of the Guru-Shishya relationship.
Swami Vivekananda was invited to the Parliament of Religions in Chicago. He was nervous before his turn came to speak because he had never spoken in front of such an audience, but when he uttered the words “Sisters and Brothers of America” as he started his speech, the audience stood up from the chair and got lost in wonder. As the Parliament of Religions came to an end, he was considered the best among all speakers as he spread the message of Vedanta to all revered people from all over the world.
His only message to all the people in the world was LOVE INDIA. He dedicated his whole life to the country.
He was a “Dhyan Guru”. Dhyana means meditation. He had wonderful concentration powers. He could do meditation for hours and hours without any break. He traveled across the whole country and was very sad when he saw that there was so much poverty and unhappiness in the country. He decided later on that by doing meditation and just following the spiritual life will lead just to his own salvation. So he dedicated his life for the poor and for the upliftment of his countrymen.
He was a master of all four yogas, Raja Yoga(asana, pranayama, meditation, etc) , Bhakti Yoga(worship of God), Jyana Yoga(reaching God through reasoning) and Karma Yoga(Working selflessly for all). He told all that you might pick either one path out of these or by following all paths, you will attain salvation.
He gave a lot of literature to the world whose message is still relevant in the world. His book Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda comprising of 9 volumes consists of a lot of his work and his own personal advice to all.
Some of Vivekananda famous quotes:
1) Arise, awake, and stop not till your goal is achieved.
2) Do not spend your time talking but meditate in silence and become a dynamo of spirituality.
3) The goal of mankind is to manifest the divinity within.
4) You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself.
“His strength and beauty, the grace and dignity of his bearing, the dark light of his eyes, his imposing appearance, and from the moment he began to speak, the splendid music of his rich deep voice enthralled the vast audience…. The thought of this warrior prophet of India left a deep mark upon the United States.” – Romain Rolland
“If you want to know India, study Vivekananda. In him everything is positive and nothing negative.” Rabindranath Tagore