“Arise! Awake! and stop not until the goal is reached”
Venerable Swami Vivekananda
January 12 was the birth anniversary of Venerable Swami Vivekananda, one of the greatest spiritual leaders world has seen in the modern era. Venerable Swami Vivekananda bestowed with dashing handsome boyish looks was a Vedanta scholar par excellence, Visionary, world renowned Eloquent Orator, Philosopher, Musician, Yogi who underwent deep meditative states in samadhi and a Humanitarian. He was also very proficient in Yoga.
This is a small article to commemorate Venerable Swami Vivekananda 153 birth anniversary and is a small drop in the ocean since its impossible to judiciously address the legacy left behind by Venerable Swami Vivekananda. Vivekananda addressed as Venerable ( thanks to Mr Modi for using the term in Twitter communication) to honor a person of impeccable character who lived his life as a monk or swami following a strict code of moral precepts and detachment towards any sensual or worldly pleasures. Venerable Swami Vivekananda is known for bringing Vedanta (Knowledge of Vedas, the oldest scriptures in Hinduism) to the world and known for his iconic speech at the first Parliament of the World’s Religions, held in Chicago (including the Eternal words Sisters and Brothers of America) which redefined an era of public communication and speech.
The western world had got used to the words Ladies and Gentleman. Venerable Swami Vivekananda was a man of science and judiciously tried to blend Western and Eastern RELIGIOUS thought through scientific inquisition.
Pic Swami Ramakrishna, Sarada Devi with Swami Vivekananda Source: vedantanny.org
“They alone live, who live for others.”
Born as Narendra Nath Datta, Vivekananda was born in an affluent family in Kolkata on 12 January 1863. A prodigious kid Vivekananda excelled in studies, music, sports, gymnastics apart from deep inclination towards spirituality. His true calling came when he met his Guru Venerable Swami Ramakrishna who instilled in him a monastic code of renunciation and brotherhood. After Swami Ramakrishna left his mortal body, fifteen of Swami Ramakrishna’s disciples formed a monastic code of brotherhood renouncing worldly life under the tutelage of Vivekananda who was now formally addressed as Swami. Appalled by the poverty and inequality in India, Venerable Vivekananda founded Ramakrishna Mission to not only spread social awareness about Vedanta but also to deeply involve in social causes which range from eradicating poverty through education, women empowerment and other initiatives. Venerable Vivekananda was a pioneer in India to spread awareness of social causes focused on poverty, women empowerment, superstition in everyday life apart from other issues at a time when no one had even thought of alleviating poverty on a mass scale. Pic Above Vivekananda with disciples frontline.in
“Whatever you think, that you will be. If you think yourselves weak, weak you will be; if you think yourselves strong, strong you will be”
His teaching inspired millions of people around the world and form a paradigm change for people to live life in peace and harmony. He propagated inner strength, strong character and empathy to live a holistic life. A superlative patriot his teaching and influence brought about a love for motherland and united the country culturally. He left the mortal body at a very early age of 38 but left behind an eternal legacy only few can match.
One of the chief disciples from western hemisphere was Sister Nivedita ( side pic) was called Margaret Noble who dedicated her life in promoting his teachings especially in social service and wrote invaluable books. My own knowledge on this subject matter is limited and have attached a good article below effectively detailing notable disciples. http://www.academia.edu/2547123/SOME_DISTINGUISHED_DISCIPLES_OF_SWAMI_VIVEKANANDA_EASTERN_AND_WESTERN
Venerable Swami Vivekananda is one of the greatest iconic spiritual leaders for both India and the world. His tireless effort and vision in spreading brotherhood, peace and harmony should be immortalized in golden letters in the great spiritual history of India.
One good initiative the present government could do is to encourage more readings on Vivekananda especially in history text books. More emphasis must be given to his original thought and vision which encompassed Venerable Swami Vivekananda as he intended too.
Must places to visit to pay homage to Venerable Swami Vivekananda
Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari, India.
Please also read
All quote above are of Venerable Swami Vivekananda