Swami Vivekananda (12 January 1863 – 4 July 1902), His real name was Narendranath Dutta. He was a Hindu monk, philosopher, author, religious teacher and leading disciple of mystics. He was a key figure in introducing Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world; and is said to have awakened interreligious awareness and made Hinduism a major world religion. Vivekananda became a popular figure after the 1893 Parliament of Religions in Chicago, where he began his famous speech with the phrase. He was so influential in Congress that an American newspaper described him as follows:”an orator by divine right and arguably the greatest figure in Congress”.
Following his great success in Parliament, in the following years Vivekananda gave hundreds of lectures throughout the United States, Great Britain, and Europe, spreading the fundamentals of Hindu philosophy, and at the same time becoming successful. founded the Vedanta Society in New York and the Vedanta Society in San Francisco, both of which became the basis of Vedanta societies in the West. Born into a noble Bengali Kayastha family in Calcutta, Vivekananda from an early age had religious and spiritual inclinations. Then he found his guru, Ramakrishna, and became a monk.
After Ramakrishna’s death, Vivekananda traveled throughout the Indian subcontinent, gaining firsthand knowledge of the Indian living conditions in British India at the time. Touched by their fate, he resolved to help his countrymen and found a way to the United States, where he achieved great success. In India, Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Math, which provides spiritual training for monks and household devotees, and the Ramakrishna Delegation, to provide charity, social work and education. Vivekananda was also a major force in contemporary Hindu reform movements and contributed to the concept of nationalism in colonial India. He is considered a patriotic saint and his birthday in India is celebrated as National Youth Day.
Narendranath enrolled at the Metropolitan Academy in Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, where he attended until his family moved to Raipur. After his family returned to Calcutta, he was the only student to score first in the entrance exam to the President’s College. Narendra is known for his extraordinary memory and ability to read quickly. Some incidents have been cited as examples. In a lecture, he once quoted two or three pages verbatim from the Pickwick Papers.
In 1880, Narendra joined the Nava Vidhan of Keshab Chandra Sen, founded by Sen after meeting Ramakrishna and converting from Christianity to Hinduism. Narendra became a member of a Freemasonry and Sadharan Brahmo Samaj in his twenties, a small group of Brahmo Samaj led by Keshab Chandra Sen and Debendranath Tagore. From 1881 to 1884, he was also active in Sen’s Hope Band, which tried to discourage young people from smoking and drinking. In 1881, Narendra met Ramakrishna for the first time, who became his spiritual center after the death of his father in 1884. Narendra’s first introduction to Ramakrishna was in a literature class at the General Institute when he heard Professor William Hastie lecture on William Wordsworth’s poem The Voyage. While explaining the word “ecstatic” in the poem, Hastie suggested that his students visit Ramakrishna of Dakshineswar to understand the true meaning of trance. This prompted some of his disciples to visit Ramakrishna .
The influence on Indians is remarkable. Vivekananda, after becoming an “intelligent, active and devoted sanyasi” in 1886, had a deep desire to spread the message of the “sacred unity of existence and unity in diversity” across the country. Swamiji’s inspiration also gave new life to the War of Independence. The long period of subjugation caused India to lose its sense of its millennial strength. Swami Vivekananda has reminded India of its strength, made India realize, revived spirit and awakened national consciousness. taught the world that it is our duty to encourage all people to do good so that they can achieve their dreams. Vivekananda has directly conveyed his ideas to people, especially young people. His message broke the chains of caste and creed and spoke a language of universal brotherhood.