Home / Articles / Day dedicated to Swami Vivekananda ji

Day dedicated to Swami Vivekananda ji

Swami Vivekananda

From: Different websites (Internet)

Vivekananda was born as Narendranath in Calcutta, the capital of British India, on 12 January 1863 during the Makar Sankranti festival of Hindus. He belonged to a traditional Bengali Kayastha (a caste of Hindus) family and was one of the nine siblings. Narendra’s father Vishwanath Datta was an attorney of High Court.  Narendra’s mother was a pious woman and a housewife. The progressive rational approach of his father and the religious temperament of his mother helped shape his thinking and personality. Young Narendranath was fascinated by the wandering ascetics and monks.

Narendra was an average student, but a voracious reader. He was interested in a wide range of subjects such as philosophy, religion, history, the social sciences, arts, and literature. He evinced interest in the Hindu scriptures such as the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagwat Gita, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Puranas. He trained in Indian classic music, and participated in physical exercise, sports, and organisational activities. Narendra joined the Metropolitan Institution of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar in 1871 and studied there until 1877 when his family moved to Raipur. The family returned to Calcutta two years later.

With Sri Ramakrishna
At the threshold of youth Narendra had to pass through a period of spiritual crisis when he was assailed by doubts about the existence of God. It was at that time he first heard about Sri Ramakrishna from one of his English professors at college. One day in November 1881, Narendra went to meet Sri Ramakrishna who was staying at the Kali Temple in Dakshineshwar. He straightaway asked the Master a question which he had put to several others but had received no satisfactory answer: “Sir, have you seen God?” Without a moment’s hesitation, Sri Ramakrishna replied: “Yes, I have. I see Him as clearly as I see you, only in a much intenser sense.”
Apart from removing doubts from the mind of Narendra, Sri Ramakrishna won him over through his pure, unselfish love. Thus began a guru-disciple relationship which is quite unique in the history of spiritual masters. Narendra now became a frequent visitor to Dakshineshwar and, under the guidance of the Master, made rapid strides on the spiritual path. At Dakshineshwar, Narendra also met several young men who were devoted to Sri Ramakrishna, and they all became close friends.

Founding of Ramakrishna Mission
Soon after his return to Kolkata, Swami Vivekananda accomplished another important task of his mission on earth. He founded on 1 May 1897 a unique type of organization known as Ramakrishna Mission, in which monks and lay people would jointly undertake propagation of Practical Vedanta, and various forms of social service, such as running hospitals, schools, colleges, hostels, rural development centres etc, and conducting massive relief and rehabilitation work for victims of earthquakes, cyclones and other calamities, in different parts of India and other countries.

Belur Math
In early 1898 Swami Vivekananda acquired a big plot of land on the western bank of the Ganga at a place called Belur to have a permanent abode for the monastery and monastic Order originally started at Baranagar, and got it registered as Ramakrishna Math after a couple of years. Here Swamiji established a new, universal pattern of monastic life which adapts ancient monastic ideals to the conditions of modern life, which gives equal importance to personal illumination and social service, and which is open to all men without any distinction of religion, race or caste.

Disciples
It may be mentioned here that in the West many people were influenced by Swami Vivekananda’s life and message. Some of them became his disciples or devoted friends. Among them the names of Margaret Noble (later known as Sister Nivedita),Captain and Mrs SevierJosephine McLeod and Sara Ole Bull, deserve special mention. Nivedita dedicated her life to educating girls in Kolkata. Swamiji had many Indian disciples also, some of whom joined Ramakrishna Math and became sannyasins.

Last Days
In June 1899 he went to the West on a second visit. This time he spent most of his time in the West coast of USA. After delivering many lectures there, he returned to Belur Math in December 1900. The rest of his life was spent in India, inspiring and guiding people, both monastic and lay. Incessant work, especially giving lectures and inspiring people, told upon Swamiji’s health. His health deteriorated and the end came quietly on the night of 4 July 1902. Before his Mahasamadhi he had written to a Western follower: “It may be that I shall find it good to get outside my body, to cast it off like a worn out garment. But I shall not cease to work. I shall inspire men everywhere until the whole world shall know that it is one with God.”

1863 January 12 Birth in Kolkata
1879 Enters Presidency College
1880 Transfers to General Assembly Institution
1881 November First meeting with Sri Ramakrishna
1882-1886 Association with Sri Ramakrishna
1884 Passes B. A. Examination
Father passes away
1885 Sri Ramakrishna’s last illness
1886 August 16 Sri Ramakrishna passes away
Fall Establishes Baranagar Math
December 24 Informal vow of sannyasa at Antpur
1887 January Formal vows of sannyasa at Baranagar Monastery
1890-1893 Travels all over India as itinerant monk
1892 December 24 At Kanyakumari, South India
1893 February 13 First public lecture, Secunderabad, South India
May 31 Sails for America from Mumbai
July 25 Lands at Vancouver, Canada
July 30 Arrives in Chicago
August Meets Professor John Ft. Wright of Harvard University
September 11 First address at Parliament of Religions, Chicago
September 27 Final address at Parliament of Religions
November 20 Begins mid-western lecture tour
1894 April 14 Begins lectures and classes on East Coast
May 16 Speaks at Harvard University
July-August At Green Acre Religious Conference
November Founds Vedanta Society of New York
1895 January Begins classes in New York
June 4-18 At Camp Percy, New Hampshire
June-August At Thousand Island Park on St. Lawrence river, N.Y.
August-September In Paris
October-November Lectures in London
December 6 Sails for New York
1896 March 22-25 Speaks at Harvard University, offered Eastern Philosophy chair
April 15 Returns to London
May-July Gives classes in London
May 28 Meets Max Muller in Oxford
August-September In the Europe for six weeks
October-November Gives classes in London
December 30 Leaves Naples for India
1897 January 15 Arrives in Colombo, Sri Lanka
February 6-15 In Chennai
February 19 Arrives in Kolkata
May 1 Establishes Ramakrishna Mission Association, Kolkata
May-December Tours northwest India
1898 January Returns to Kolkata
May Begins North India pilgrimage with Western devotees
August 2 At Amarnath, Kashmir
December 9 Consecrates Belur Math
1899 March 19 Establishes Advaita Ashrama at Mayavati
June 20 Leaves India for second visit to the West
July 31 Arrives in London
August 28 Arrives in New York City
August-November At Ridgely Manor, New York
December 3 Arrives in Los Angeles
1900 February 22 Arrives in San Francisco
April 14 Founds Vedanta Society in San Francisco
June Final classes in New York City
July 26 Leaves for Europe
August 3 Arrives in Paris for International Exposition
September 7 Speaks at Congress of History of Religions at Exposition
October 24 Begins tour of Vienna, Constantinople, Greece and Cairo
November 26 Leaves for India
December 9 Arrives at Belur Math
1901 January Visits Mayavati
March-May Pilgrimage in East Bengal and Assam
1902 January-February Visits Bodh Gaya and Varanasi
March Returns to Belur Math
July 4 Mahasamadhi

One comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Scroll To Top