Swami Vivekanand (1863 - 1902) Pg 1/2
Swami Vivekanand was born as Narendra in Kolkata on January 12, 1863 as the son of Vishwanath Dutta. He came from a religious family and he practiced meditation from very early age. He was so talented that he would read complete book in matter of minutes. He studied philosophy.
The questions started in young Narendra’s mind about the presence of God. He asked several people as to whether they have seen God, but nobody could give him satisfactory answer. Finally, he asked the same question to Swami Ramkrishna Paramhans, who told him “Yes, I see God, just as I see you. God can be realized. If you have a burning desire and weep for him, he surely will manifest Himself.” First, he could not believe that such a simple person could have experienced God, but he developed faith in him, and accepted him as his Master.
After five years of training under Ramkrishna, Narendra got matured and was ready to renounce all earthly possessions for God-realization. Though Vivekanand did not believe in murti pooja, he was asked by the Master never to criticize Kali-worship. He showed unwillingness for this, and was told “You will not only accept her, but weep in her name.” Before Ramkrishna passed away in 1986, he told Vivekanand “I have given you all what I have and great things will be done by you.”
After the death of the Master, Vivekanand and other disciples renounced everything and vowed to become Monks. He traveled throughout India, studying the ills of Indian society and realized the need to rejuvenate the spirit of the poor and under privileged.
Vivekanand was encouraged to represent Hinduism in the 1893 at World Parliament of Religions in Chicago. He was applauded by the audience for several minutes, when he started his first address with the words, “Sisters and brothers of America”. His address was brief and to the point. At the end he said “We Hindus believe not only in universal toleration but we accept all world religions are true”
Champions of Hinduism: Swami Vivekanand
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