Swami Vivekananda (1863 - 1902)

Swami VivekanandaSWAMI VIVEKANANDA’s early name was Narendra Nath. He was born on a Monday, January 12, 1863 (Bengali calendar: 29 Poush 1269) in the Datta family of Simla locality, Kolkata. His father was Viswanath Datta and his mother, Bhubaneswari Devi.

Narendra Nath’s brilliant intellect started to shine from his boyhood. He excelled in singing, study, play and was ever ready to learn. He had also strong religious tendencies and inclination for meditation. First admitted in the Metropolitan School, he pursued his higher studies in the Scottish Church College from where he graduated.

He met Sri Ramakrishna for the first time in 1881, at a turning point of his life when a burning desire to know God was consuming his heart. He remained under Sri Ramakrishna’s spiritual guidance till the latter’s passing away in 1886.

After that, he formed a brotherhood with his Gurubhais (brother-disciples) at the Baranagar Math, later known as Ramakrishna Math. From 1888 to 1893, it travelled throughout India and witnessed with great pain the pitiable condition of the poor, the downtrodden and the illiterate of his Motherland.

Towards the end of his wanderings, some young people in Madras, who had recognized his exceptional capacities, arranged to collect funds to send him to Chicago to participate in the Parliament of Religions which was to take place on September 11, 1893. There, standing on the dias, he conquered the world.

He continued to spread the message of Vedanta in America as well as in England and influenced many sincere spiritual aspirants. He returned to India in 1897.

On May 1, of the same year, he founded the Ramakrishna Mission and on December 9, 1898, the Ramakrishna Math was shifted to Belur.

On December 2, 1954, Sri Sarada Math was started in Dakshineswar, thus fulfilling his prophecy that another Math similar to the one in Belur, would be founded for the women, too.

On July 4, 1902, at the age of thirty-nine, he entered into Mahasamadhi at the Belur Math.

Read Online : Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda