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Swami Vivekananda, born Narendranath Datta on January 12, 1863, in Kolkata, India, was a key figure in the introduction of Indian philosophies of Vedanta






 

### Swami Vivekananda


#### Early Life

Swami Vivekananda, born Narendranath Datta on January 12, 1863, in Kolkata, India, was a key figure in the introduction of Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world. He was born into an aristocratic Bengali family and was educated at the Presidency College and the Scottish Church College in Kolkata.


#### Spiritual Journey

Vivekananda's spiritual quest began in earnest when he met the mystic saint Ramakrishna Paramahamsa at the Dakshineswar Kali Temple in 1881. Under Ramakrishna's guidance, Vivekananda experienced a spiritual awakening and dedicated himself to his guru's teachings. After Ramakrishna's death in 1886, Vivekananda and a group of disciples formed a monastic order.


#### Contributions

1. **Chicago Address:** Swami Vivekananda is best known for his speech at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago on September 11, 1893, where he introduced Hinduism to America and spoke about religious tolerance and universal brotherhood.

2. **Vedanta Society:** He founded the Vedanta Society, first in New York in 1894, and later in other parts of the United States and Europe, spreading the teachings of Vedanta and Yoga.

3. **Ramakrishna Mission:** In 1897, Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Mission, an organization dedicated to social service and spiritual development.

4. **Literary Works:** He authored several books, including "Raja Yoga," "Jnana Yoga," "Bhakti Yoga," and "Karma Yoga," which articulate his teachings and philosophy.


#### Philosophy

Swami Vivekananda emphasized the unity of all religions and the importance of self-realization. He taught that the divine exists in every individual and that serving humanity is equivalent to worshipping God. His message encouraged the upliftment of the poor and stressed the importance of education.


#### Legacy

Swami Vivekananda passed away on July 4, 1902, at the age of 39. Despite his short life, his influence on the spiritual landscape of both India and the world was profound. He inspired many to follow the path of spirituality and service and played a significant role in the revival of Hinduism in India and its introduction to the West.


#### Inspirational Quotes

1. "Arise, awake, and stop not until the goal is reached."

2. "You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul."

3. "Take risks in your life. If you win, you can lead; if you lose, you can guide."


#### Impact on Society

Swami Vivekananda's teachings continue to inspire millions around the world. His call for social justice, emphasis on education, and belief in the potential divinity of every human being resonate strongly in contemporary times. His vision for a harmonious society rooted in spiritual values remains a guiding light for many spiritual and social movements globally.

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