Why Did Vivekananda Die So Young?
Most of the people in the world and at least from India would know who Swami Vivekananda was. Swami Vivekananda was the pioneer of Vedanta and he spread Hinduism in different parts of the world. He was considered as Dhyan Guru which means master of meditation because of his ability to stay for long hours in a meditative state. The Swami had a huge following in different parts of the world.
He was born on 12 January 1863 and he died on 4th July 1902 merely at the age of 39. This put the people from India as well as different parts of the world in shock and disbelief. Many people would talk about the diseases he suffered from which led to his death. But more analysis is required instead of objectively making assumptions. There there were a lot of reasons which resulted in him going into Mahasamadhi and I have highlighted the major points among this which I could understand after reading his literature for a long time
- The Swami went into frequent meditative states in his life which people also called Samadhi. From that state, it is very difficult to come back to the normal plane. Once in the United States, he was living at a disciple’s house and he became motionless beside the river. His devotees got worried thinking that he might have died. But he again regained consciousness. This was just one of the many such incidents.
- When the Swami began his spiritual journey he had a desire to become a Sadhu and just contemplate about God and achieve higher Samadhi or get into the superconscious state from which it was not possible to come back. But his Guru inspired him to spread the message of Vedanta to different parts of the world.
- He faced great challenges and struggles in his life. When he decided to become a Sanyasi, his father had already died and he had to leave his mother alone whom he loved so much. But with a very heavy heart, he had to make the tough decision in the interests of the country
- The Swami decided that he would go across all parts of the country and understand the country and its culture which was so dear to him. But he was shocked when he saw that there is so much poverty in our country and there are people who did not even have food to eat. Vivekananda decided that he would adopt the path of Karma Yoga rather than Bhakti Yoga and do all he could do to uplift the poor. He always carried the mental stress of all the poor people just as a mother always worries about her children.
- The Swami was fearless. The Swami went about doing his work fearlessly although he did not know where he was going to get his next meal from. Irregular and unhealthy diet started to have a detrimental effect on his body which began to wither gradually.
- After the death of his Guru, Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Vivekananda decided that he would start Ramakrishna Mission otherwise the message of the master will be forgotten with the passage of time. He worked very hard with the fellow devotees and they did not have even food to eat at times. Many times the food they ate was stale, the bread became so hard that they poured water on it to eat. His body gradually began to deteriorate due to this. But the Swami never complained.
- People made him speak for hours and did not even care to offer him food. In one of the villages in India, the villagers made him speak for 2-3 days and did not even offer him food to eat. At that time a person from uneducated caste(at that time considered untouchable) offered the Swami food to eat and there were tears in Swami’s eyes.
- Though profound in knowledge, the Swami was a very simple person. He never asked or begged from anybody though he might have to remain hungry.
- The Swami was an intensive traveler. He not only traveled to different parts of India but he also went to different countries. He went to the United States, England, and different parts of Europe to spread the message of Vedanta in the world.
- He gave a lot of lectures to students with the hope that they would get spiritual powers and become enlightened. He spoke for hours at a stretch without worrying about his own health and he also knew that he was not going to live for long.
- He took the responsibility of Sri Ramakrishna Mission which he set up with his fellow devotees and made sure all the Sanyassins got all the comforts.
- Vivekananda always wanted to find men, real men who would work for the country. He made all the efforts he could and gave knowledge and guidance to young men. But many times he was disappointed that he was not able to find enough men who were ready to sacrifice their life for the country.
- He faced opposition from people in foreign countries because some people thought that he was trying to spread Hinduism in foreign countries but he was fearless and never succumbed to the pressure.
- When he went to the US, he did not have money and he was expecting that Indian people in the US would support him. But unfortunately, even people from India became jealous of his success and refused to help him. Not only they did not help him, but they spread negative rumors about him.
- The Swami faced intense struggles both physically as well as mentally all his life. In fact, he carried the responsibility of our whole country on his shoulders. But someday the load was going to be too heavy.
- He suffered from various ailments due to his incessant struggles and time had come for him to go back to his Guru who would have been waiting for him in the sky.
Vivekananda rightly said that he may leave his mortal body but his message will be relevant for 1500 years. He also said that it will only take another Vivekananda to understand what this Vivekananda has done. It is definitely not possible for you and me to understand the magnitude of the work Vivekananda did for the country because of our limitations of understanding but one thing which we have to do is to follow his advice.