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Swami Vivekananda 1

Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda in 1894

Date of birth 12 January 1863

Place of birth Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India

Birth name Narendranath Dutta

Date of death 4 July 1902 (aged39)

Place of Belur Math near Kolkata


Guru/teacher Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Quotation Come up, O lions, and shake off the delusion that you are sheep; you are souls immortal, spirits free, blest and
eternal; ye are not matter, ye are not bodies; matter is your servant, not you the servant of matter.

Swami Vivekananda (Sanskrit: Bengali: , Shami Bibeknondo) (January 12,

1863July 4, 1902), born Narendranath Dutta (Bengali: )[1] was the chief disciple of the 19th
century mystic Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and the founder of Ramakrishna Mission.[2] He is considered a key
figure in the introduction of Hindu philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga in Europe and America[2] and is also credited
with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a world religion during the end of the 19th
century.[3] Vivekananda is considered to be a major force in the revival of Hinduism in modern India.[4] He is
perhaps best known for his inspiring speech beginning with "Sisters and Brothers of America",[5] [6] through which
he introduced Hinduism at the Parliament of the World's Religions at Chicago in 1893.[1] Swami Vivekananda was
born in an aristocratic Bengali family of Calcutta in 1863. Swami's parents influenced his thinkingthe father by his
rational mind and the mother by her religious temperament. From his childhood, he showed inclination towards
spirituality and God realization. While searching for a man who could directly demonstrate the reality of God, he
came to Ramakrishna and became his disciple. As a guru, Ramakrishna taught him Advaita Vedanta (non-dualism)
and that all religions are true, and service to man was the most effective worship of God. After the death of his Guru,
Vivekananda became a wandering monk, touring the Indian subcontinent and getting first-hand knowledge of India's
condition. He later sailed to Chicago and represented India as a delegate in the 1893 Parliament of World Religions.
An eloquent speaker, Vivekananda was invited to several forums in the United States and spoke at universities and
clubs. He conducted hundreds of public and private lectures and classes, disseminating Vedanta and Yoga in
America, England and a few other countries in Europe. He also established the Vedanta societies in America and
England. Later he sailed back to India and in 1897 founded the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, a
philanthropic and spiritual organization.
Swami Vivekananda 2


Birth and childhood

Swami Vivekananda was born in 3 Gourmohan Mukherjee Street,
Shimla Pally, Calcutta (Now Kolkata) at 6:33 a.m on Monday in a
traditional Kayastha family, 12 January 1863, during the Makra
Sankranti festival[8] and was given the name Narendranath Dutta.[9]
His father Vishwanath Dutta was an attorney of Calcutta High Court.
He was considered generous, and had a liberal and progressive outlook
in social and religious matters.[10] His mother Bhuvaneshwari Devi
was pious and had practiced austerities and prayed to Vireshwar Shiva
of Varanasi to give her a son. She reportedly had a dream in which
Shiva rose from his meditation and said that he would be born as her
son.[8] Narendranathji's thinking and personality were influenced by
his parentsthe father by his rational mind and the mother by her
religious temperament.[11] [12] From his mother he learnt the power of
self-control.[12] One of the sayings of his mother Narendra quoted
Bhuvaneshwari Devi (1841-1911).
often in his later years was, "Remain pure all your life; guard your own
"I am indebted to my mother for the efflorescence
honor and never transgress the honor of others. Be very tranquil, but [7]
of my knowledge." Vivekananda
when necessary, harden your heart." He was reportedly adept in
meditation and could reportedly enter the state of samadhi.[12] He reportedly would see a light while falling asleep
and he reportedly had a vision of Buddha during his meditation.[13] During his childhood, he had a great fascination
for wandering ascetics and monks.[12]

Narendranath had varied interests and a wide range of scholarship in philosophy, religion, history, the social
sciences, arts, literature, and other subjects.[14] He evinced much interest in scriptural texts, Vedas, the Upanishads,
Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Puranas. He was also well versed in classical music, both vocal
and instrumental and is said to have undergone training under two Ustads, Beni Gupta and Ahamad Khan.[15] Since
boyhood, he took an active interest in physical exercise, sports, and other organizational activities.[14] Even when he
was young, he questioned the validity of superstitious customs and discrimination based on caste[16] and refused to
accept anything without rational proof and pragmatic test.[11] When his father moved to Raipur in 1877 for 2 years
then Narendranath along with the whole family shifted there. At that time there were no good schools in Raipur so he
spent his time with his father and had discussions on spiritual topics. Narendranath learned Hindi in Raipur and for
the first time the Question of existence of God came to his mind. It is believed that once he experienced an ecstasy
during this period of life. The family returned to Calcutta in 1879 but it is believed that these 2 years were the
turning point in his life. Raipur is sometimes termed as the 'Spiritual Birthplace' of Swami Vivekananda.

College and Brahmo Samaj

Narendranath started his education at home, later he joined the Metropolitan Institution of Ishwar Chandra
Vidyasagar in 1871[17] and in 1879 he passed the entrance examination for Presidency College, Calcutta, entering it
for a brief period and subsequently shifting to General Assembly's Institution.[18] During the course, he studied
western logic, western philosophy and history of European nations.[16] In 1881 he passed the Fine Arts examination
and in 1884 he passed the Bachelor of Arts.[19] [20]
Narendranath is said to have studied the writings of David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Baruch
Spinoza, Georg W. F. Hegel, Arthur Schopenhauer, Auguste Comte, Herbert Spencer, John Stuart Mill, and Charles
Darwin.[21] [22] Narendra became fascinated with the Evolutionism of Herbert Spencer, and translated Spencer's
book on Education into Bengali for Gurudas Chattopadhyaya, his publisher. Narendra also had correspondence with
Swami Vivekananda 3

Herbert Spencer for some time.[23] [24] Alongside his study of Western philosophers, he was thoroughly acquainted
with Indian Sanskrit scriptures and many Bengali works.[22] According to his professors, student Narendranath was a
prodigy. Dr. William Hastie, the principal of Scottish Church College, where he studied during 1881-84, wrote,
"Narendra is really a genius. I have travelled far and wide but I have never come across a lad of his talents and
possibilities, even in German universities, among philosophical students."[21] He was regarded as a srutidharaa
man with prodigious memory.[25] [26] After a discussion with Narendranath, Dr. Mahendralal Sarkar reportedly said,
"I could never have thought that such a young boy had read so much!"[27]
Narendranath became the member of a Freemason's lodge and the breakaway faction from the Brahmo Samaj led by
Keshab Chunder Sen another Freemason.[18] His initial beliefs were shaped by Brahmo concepts, which include
belief in a formless God and deprecation of the worship of idols.[28] Not satisfied with his knowledge of Philosophy,
he wondered if God and religion could be made a part of one's growing experiences and deeply internalized.
Narendra went about asking prominent residents of contemporary Calcutta whether they had come "face to face with
God".[29] but could not get answers which satisfied him.[30]
His first introduction to Ramakrishna occurred in a literature class in General Assembly's Institution, when he heard
Principal Reverend W. Hastie lecturing on William Wordsworth's poem The Excursion and the poet's
nature-mysticism.[31] In the course of explaining the word trance in the poem, Hastie told his students that if they
wanted to know the real meaning of it, they should go to Ramakrishna of Dakshineswar. This prompted some of his
students, including Narendranath to visit Ramakrishna.[18] [32] [33]

With Sri Ramakrishna

"The magic touch of the Master that day immediately brought a wonderful
change over my mind. I was astounded to find that really there was nothing in
the universe but God! everything I saw appeared to be Brahman. I realized
that I must have had a glimpse of the Advaita state. Then it struck me that the
words of the scriptures were not false. Thenceforth I could not deny the
conclusions of the Advaita philosophy."

His meeting with Ramakrishna Paramahamsa in November 1881

proved to be a turning point in his life.[35] About this meeting,
Narendranath said, "He [Ramakrishna] looked just like an ordinary
man, with nothing remarkable about him. He used the most simple
language and I thought 'Can this man be a great teacher?'I crept near
to him and asked him the question which I had been asking others all
my life: 'Do you believe in God, Sir?' 'Yes,' he replied. 'Can you prove
it, Sir?' 'Yes.' 'How?' 'Because I see Him just as I see you here, only in
a much intenser sense.' That impressed me at once. [] I began to go Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

to that man, day after day, and I actually saw that religion could be
given. One touch, one glance, can change a whole life."[35] [36] Even though Narendra did not accept Ramakrishna as
his guru initially and revolted against his ideas, he was attracted by his personality and visited him frequently.[37] He
initially looked upon Ramakrishna's ecstasies and visions as, "mere figments of imagination",[11] "mere
hallucinations".[38] As a member of Brahmo samaj, he revolted against idol worship and polytheism, and
Ramakrishna's worship of Kali.[39] He even rejected the Advaitist Vedantism of identity with absolute as blasphemy
and madness, and often made fun of the concept[38]

Though at first Narendra could not accept Ramakrishna and his visions, he could not neglect him either. It had
always been in Narendra's nature to test something thoroughly before he would accept it. He tested Ramakrishna,
who never asked Narendra to abandon reason, and faced all of Narendra's arguments and examinations with
Swami Vivekananda 4

patience"Try to see the truth from all angles" was his reply.[37] During the course of five years of his training
under Ramakrishna, Narendra was transformed from a restless, puzzled, impatient youth to a mature man who was
ready to renounce everything for the sake of God-realization. In time, Narendra accepted Ramakrishna as guru, and
when he accepted, his acceptance was whole-hearted and with complete surrendering as disciple.[37]
In 1885 Ramakrishna suffered from throat cancer and he was shifted to Calcutta and later to Cossipore. Vivekananda
and his brother disciples took care of Ramakrishna during his final days. Vivekananda's spiritual education under
Ramakrishna continued there. At Cossipore, Vivekananda reportedly experienced Nirvikalpa Samadhi.[40] During
the last days of Ramakrishna, Vivekananda and some of the other disciples received the ochre monastic robes from
Ramakrishna, which formed the first monastic order of Ramakrishna.[41] Vivekananda was taught that service to men
was the most effective worship of God.[11] [42] It is reported that when Vivekananda doubted Ramakrishna's claim of
avatara, Ramakrishna reportedly said, "He who was Rama, He who was Krishna, He himself is now Ramakrishna in
this body."[43] During his final days, Ramakrishna asked Vivekananda to take care of other monastic disciples and in
turn asked them to look upon Vivekananda as their leader.[44] Ramakrishna's condition worsened gradually and he
expired in the early morning hours of August 16, 1886 at the Cossipore garden house. According to his disciples, this
was Mahasamadhi.[44]

Baranagar Monastery
After the death of their master, the monastic disciples led by Vivekananda formed a fellowship at a half-ruined house
at Baranagar near the river Ganges, with the financial assistance of the householder disciples. This became the first
Matha or monastery of the disciples who constituted the first Ramakrishna Order.[35]
The dilapidated house at Baranagore was chosen because of its low rent and proximity to the Cossipore
burning-ghat, where Ramakrishna was cremated. Narendra and other members of the Math often spent their time in
meditation, discussing about different philosophies and teachings of spiritual teachers including Ramakrishna, Adi
Shankara, Ramanuja, and Jesus Christ.[45] Narendra reminisced about the early days in the monastery as follows,
"We underwent a lot of religious practice at Baranagore Math. We used to get up at 3:00 am and become absorbed in
japa and meditation. What a strong spirit of dispassion we had in those days! We had no thought even as to whether
the world existed or not"[45] In the early part of 1887, Narendra and eight other disciples took formal monastic vows.
Narendra took the name of Swami Vivekananda.[46]
Swami Vivekananda 5

ParivrjakaWandering monk
In 1888, Vivekananda left the monastery as a Parivrjakathe Hindu
religious life of a wandering monk, "without fixed abode, without ties,
independent and strangers wherever they go."[48] His sole possessions
were a kamandalu (water pot), staff, and his two favorite
booksBhagavad Gita and The Imitation of Christ.[49] Narendranath
travelled the length and breadth of India for five years, visiting
important centers of learning, acquainting himself with the diverse
religious traditions and different patterns of social life.[50] [51] He
developed a sympathy for the suffering and poverty of the masses and
resolved to uplift the nation.[50] [52] Living mainly on Bhiksha or alms,
Narendranath traveled mostly on foot and railway tickets bought by his
admirers whom he met during the travels. During these travels he
gained acquaintance and stayed with scholars, Dewans, Rajas and
people from all walks of lifeHindus, Muslims, Christians, Pariahs
First known photo of Swami Vivekananda as a (low caste workers) and Government officials.[52]
wandering monk at Jaipur.

Northern India

In 1888, he started his journey from Varanasi. At Varanasi, he met pandit and Bengali writer, Bhudev
Mukhopadhyay and Trailanga Swami, a famous saint who lived in a Shiva temple. Here, he also met Babu
Pramadadas Mitra, the noted Sanskrit scholar, to whom the Swami wrote a number of letters asking his advice on the
interpretation of the Hindu scriptures.[53] After Varanasi he visited Ayodhya, Lucknow, Agra, Vrindaban, Hathras
and Rishikesh. At Hathras he met Sharat Chandra Gupta, the station master who later became one of his earliest
disciples as Sadananda.[54] [55] Between 1888-1890, he visited Vaidyanath, Allahabad. From Allahabad, he visited
Ghazipur where he met Pavhari Baba, a Advaita Vedanta ascetic who spent most of his time in meditation.[56]
Between 1888-1890, he returned to Baranagore Math few times, because of ill health and to arrange for the financial
funds when Balaram Bose and Suresh Chandra Mitra, the disciples of Ramakrishna who supported the Math had

The Himalayas
In July 1890, accompanied by his brother monk, Swami Akhandananda, he continued his journey as a wandering
monk and returned to the Math only after his visit to the West.[55] [57] He visited, Nainital, Almora, Srinagar,
Dehradun, Rishikesh, Haridwar and the Himalayas. During this travel, he reportedly had a vision of macrocosm and
microcosm, which seems to be reflected in the Jnana Yoga lectures he gave later in the West, "The CosmosThe
Macrocosm and The Microcosm". During these travels, he met his brother monks Swami Brahmananda,
Saradananda, Turiyananda, Akhandananda and Advaitananda. They stayed at Meerut for a few days where they
passed their time in meditation, prayer and study of scriptures. At the end of January 1891, the Swami left his brother
monks and journeyed to Delhi alone.[57] [58]

At Delhi, after visiting historical places he journeyed towards Alwar, in the historic land of Rajputana. Later he
journeyed to Jaipur, where he studied Pini's Ashtadhyayi with a Sanskrit scholar. He next journeyed to Ajmer,
where he visited the palace of Akbar and the famous Dargah and left for Mount Abu. At Mount Abu, he met
Maharaja Ajit Singh of Khetri, who became his ardent devotee and supporter. He was invited to Khetri, where he
delivered discourses to the Raja. At Khetri, he also became acquainted with Pandit Narayandas, and studied
Mahabhashya on Sutras of Pini. After two and a half months at Khetri, towards end of October 1891, he
Swami Vivekananda 6

proceeded towards Rajasthan and Maharastra.[52] [59]

Western India
Continuing his travels, he visited Ahmedabad, Wadhwan, Limbdi. At Ahmedabad he completed his studies of
Muslim and Jain culture.[52] At Limbdi, he met Thakore Sahed Jaswant Singh who had himself been to England and
America. From the Thakore Saheb, the Swami first got the idea of going to the West to preach Vedanta. He later
visited Junagadh, Girnar, Kutch, Porbander, Dwaraka, Palitana and Baroda. At Porbander he stayed three quarters of
a year, in spite of his vow as a wandering monk, to perfect his philosophical and Sanskrit studies with learned
pandits; he worked with a court pandit who translated the Vedas.[52]
He later traveled to Mahabaleshwar and then to Pune. From Poona he visited Khandwa and Indore around June
1892. At Kathiawar he heard of the Parliament of the World's Religions and was urged by his followers there to
attend it. He left Khandwa for Bombay and reached there on July 1892. In a Pune bound train he met Bal Gangadhar
Tilak.[60] After staying with Tilak for few days in Poona,[61] the Swami travelled to Belgaum in October 1892. At
Belgaum, he was the guest of Prof. G.S. Bhate and Sub-divisional Forest officer, Haripada Mitra. From Belgaum, he
visited Panjim and Margao in Goa. He spent three days in the Rachol Seminary, the oldest convent-college of
theology of Goa where rare religious literature in manuscripts and printed works in Latin are preserved. He
reportedly studied important Christian theological works here.[62] From Margao the Swami went by train to
Dharwar, and from there directly to Bangalore, in Mysore State.[63]

Southern India
At Bangalore, the Swami became acquainted with Sir K. Seshadri Iyer, the Dewan of Mysore state, and later he
stayed at the palace as guest of the Maharaja of Mysore, Shri Chamarajendra Wadiyar. Regarding the Swami's
learning, Sir Seshadri reportedly remarked, "a magnetic personality and a divine force which were destined to leave
their mark on the history of his country." The Maharaja provided the Swami a letter of introduction to the Dewan of
Cochin and got him a railway ticket.[64]
From Bangalore, he visited Trichur, Kodungalloor, Ernakulam. At
Ernakulam, he met Chattampi Swamikal, contemporary of
Narayana Guru in early December 1892.[65] From Ernakulam, he
journeyed to Trivandrum, Nagercoil and reached Kanyakumari on
foot during the Christmas Eve of 1892.[66] At Kanyakumari, the
Swami reportedly meditated on the "last bit of Indian rock",
famously known later as the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, for
three days.[67] At Kanyakumari, Vivekananda had the "Vision of
one India", also commonly called "The Kanyakumari resolve of
1892".[68] He wrote,
Vivekananda Temple on Vivekananda rock at
"At Cape Camorin sitting in Mother Kumari's temple, sitting Kanyakumari, India

on the last bit of Indian rockI hit upon a plan: We are so

many sanyasis wandering about, and teaching the people metaphysicsit is all madness. Did not our
Gurudeva use to say, 'An empty stomach is no good for religion?' We as a nation have lost our individuality
and that is the cause of all mischief in India. We have to raise the masses."[68] [69]
From Kanyakumari he visited Madurai, where he met the Raja of Ramnad, Bhaskara Setupati, to whom he had a
letter of introduction. The Raja became the Swami's disciple and urged him to go to the Parliament of Religions at
Chicago. From Madurai, he visited Rameshwaram, Pondicherry, he travelled to Madras and here he met some his
most devoted disciples, like Alasinga Perumal, G.G. Narasimhachari, who played important roles in collecting funds
for Swami's voyage to America and later in establishing the Ramakrishna Mission in Madras. From Madras he
travelled to Hyderabad. With the aid of funds collected by his Madras disciples and Rajas of Mysore, Ramnad,
Swami Vivekananda 7

Khetri, Dewans and other followers Vivekananda left for Chicago on 31 May 1893 from Bombay assuming the
name Vivekanandathe name suggested by the Maharaja of Khetri.[70] [71]

Visit to Japan
On his way to Chicago, Vivekananda visited Japan in 1893. He first reached the port city of Nagasaki, and then
boarded a steamer to Kobe. From here to took the land route to Yokohama, visiting along the way, the three big
cities of Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo. He called the Japanese "one of the cleanest people on earth", and was impressed
not only by neatness of their streets and dwellings but also by their movements, attitudes and gestures, all of which
he found to be "picturesque".[72]
This was a period of rapid military build-up in Japan - a prelude to the Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese
War. These preparations did not escape the attention of Vivekananda, who wrote - "The Japanese seem now to have
fully awakened themselves to the necessity of the present times. They have now a thoroughly organized army
equipped with guns which one of their own officers has invented and which is said to be second to none. Then, they
are continually increasing their navy". About the industrial progress he observed, "The match factories are simply a
sight to see, and they are bent upon making everything they want in their own country.".[72]
Contrasting the rapid progress of Japan with the situation back in India, he urged his countrymen - the "offspring of
centuries of superstition and tyranny" - to come out of their narrow holes and have a look abroad - "Only I want that
numbers of our young men should pay a visit to Japan and China every year. Especially to the Japanese, India is still
the dreamland of everything high and good. And you, what are you? talking twaddle all your lives, vain talkers,
what are you? Come, see these people, and then go and hide your faces in shame. A race of dotards, you lose your
caste if you come out! Sitting down these hundreds of years with an ever-increasing load of crystallized superstition
on your heads, for hundreds of years spending all your energy upon discussing the touchableness or untouchableness
of this food or that, with all humanity crushed out of you by the continuous social tyranny of ages what are you?
And what are you doing now? promenading the sea-shores with books in your hands repeating undigested stray
bits of European brainwork, and the whole soul bent upon getting a thirty rupee clerkship, or at best becoming a
lawyer the height of young Indias ambition and every student with a whole brood of hungry children cackling at
his heels and asking for bread! Is there not water enough in the sea to drown you, books, gowns, university diplomas,
and all?"[72]
On his return to India in February 1897, when he was asked by a correspondent from The Hindu, "Is it your wish that
India should become like Japan?", Vivekananda's response was unequivocal - "Decidedly not", he said, "India should
continue to be what she is. How could India ever become like Japan, or any nation for the matter of that? In each
nation, as in music, there is a main note, a central theme, upon which all others turn. Each nation has a theme:
everything else is secondary. India's theme is religion. Social reform and everything else are secondary. Therefore
India cannot be like Japan. It is said that when 'the heart breaks', then the flow of thought comes. India's heart must
break, and the flow of spirituality will come out. India is India. We are not like the Japanese, we are Hindus. India's
very atmosphere is soothing. I have been working incessantly here, and amidst this work I am getting rest. It is only
from spiritual work that we can get rest in India. If your work is material here, you die of diabetes!"[73]

First visit to the West

His journey to America took him through China, Canada and he arrived at Chicago in July 1893.[74] But to his
disappointment he learnt that no one without credentials from a bona fide organization would be accepted as a
delegate. He came in contact with Professor John Henry Wright of Harvard University.[75] After inviting him to
speak at Harvard and on learning from him not having credentials to speak at the Parliament, Wright is quoted as
having said, "To ask for your credentials is like asking the sun to state its right to shine in the heavens." Wright then
addressed a letter to the Chairman in charge of delegates writing, "Here is a man who is more learned than all of our
learned professors put together." On the Professor, Vivekananda himself writes "He urged upon me the necessity of
Swami Vivekananda 8

going to the Parliament of Religions, which he thought would give an introduction to the nation."[76]

Parliament of World's Religions

The Parliament of Religions opened on 11 September 1893 at the Art

Institute of Chicago. On this day Vivekananda gave his first brief
address. He represented India and Hinduism.[77] Though initially
nervous, he bowed to Saraswati, the goddess of learning and began his
speech with, "Sisters and brothers of America!".[75] [78] To these words
he got a standing ovation from a crowd of seven thousand, which
lasted for two minutes. When silence was restored he began his
address. He greeted the youngest of the nations in the name of "the
most ancient order of monks in the world, the Vedic order of Swami Vivekananda on the Platform of the
sannyasins, a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and Parliament of Religions
universal acceptance." And he quoted two illustrative passages in
this relation, from the Bhagavad Gita"As the different streams having their sources in different places all mingle
their water in the sea, so, O Lord, the different paths which men take, through different tendencies, various though
they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee!" and "Whosoever comes to Me, through whatsoever form, I reach
him; all men are struggling through paths that in the end lead to Me."[79] Despite being a short speech, it voiced the
spirit of the Parliament and its sense of universality.[79] [80]

Dr. Barrows, the president of the Parliament said, "India, the Mother of religions was represented by Swami
Vivekananda, the Orange-monk who exercised the most wonderful influence over his auditors."[78] He attracted
widespread attention in the press, which dubbed him as the "Cyclonic monk from India". The New York Critique
wrote, "He is an orator by divine right, and his strong, intelligent face in its picturesque setting of yellow and orange
was hardly less interesting than those earnest words, and the rich, rhythmical utterance he gave them." The New York
Herald wrote, "Vivekananda is undoubtedly the greatest figure in the Parliament of Religions. After hearing him we
feel how foolish it is to send missionaries to this learned nation."[81] The American newspapers reported Swami
Vivekananda as "the greatest figure in the parliament of religions" and "the most popular and influential man in the
He spoke several more times at the Parliament on topics related to Hinduism and Buddhism. The parliament ended
on 27 September 1893. All his speeches at the Parliament had one common themeUniversalityand stressed
religious tolerance.[83]

Lecturing tours in America, England

"I do not come", said Swamiji on one occasion in America, "to convert you to a new belief. I want you to keep your own belief; I
want to make the Methodist a better Methodist; the Presbyterian a better Presbyterian; the Unitarian a better Unitarian. I want to
teach you to live the truth, to reveal the light within your own soul."

After the Parliament of Religions, held in September 1893 at The Art Institute of Chicago, Vivekananda spent nearly
two whole years lecturing in various parts of eastern and central United States, appearing chiefly in Chicago, Detroit,
Boston, and New York. By the spring of 1895, he was weary and in poor health, because of his continuous
exertion.[85] After suspending his lecture tour, the Swami started giving free and private classes on Vedanta and
Yoga. In June 1895, for two months he conducted private lectures to a dozen of his disciples at the Thousand Island
Park. Vivekananda considered this to the happiest part of his first visit to America. He later founded the "Vedanta
Society of New York".[85]
During his first visit to America, he traveled to England twicein 1895 and 1896. His lectures were successful
there.[86] Here he met Miss Margaret Noble, an Irish lady, who later became Sister Nivedita.[85] During his second
visit in May 1896, while living at a house in Pimlico, the Swami met Max Mller a renowned Indologist at Oxford
Swami Vivekananda 9

University who wrote Ramakrishna's first biography in the West.[80] From England, he also visited other European
countries. In Germany he met Paul Deussen, another famous Indologist.[87]
He also received two academic offers, the chair of Eastern Philosophy at Harvard University and a similar position at
Columbia University. He declined both, saying that, as a wandering monk, he could not settle down to work of this
He attracted several sincere followers. Among his other followers were, Josephine MacLeod, Miss Mller, Miss
Noble, E.T. Sturdy, Captain and Mrs. Sevierwho played an important role in the founding of Advaita Ashrama
and J.J. Goodwinwho became his stenographer and recorded his teachings and lectures.[85] [87] The Hale family
became one of his warmest hosts in America.[88] His disciplesMadame Louise, a French woman, became Swami
Abhayananda, and Mr. Leon Landsberg, became Swami Kripananda. He initiated several other followers into
Swami Vivekananda's ideas were admired by several scholars and famous thinkersWilliam James, Josiah Royce,
C. C. Everett, Dean of the Harvard School of Divinity, Robert G. Ingersoll, Nikola Tesla, Lord Kelvin, and Professor
Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz.[11] Other personalities who were attracted by his talks were Harriet
Monroe and Ella Wheeler Wilcoxtwo famous American poets, Professor William James of Harvard University;
Dr. Lewis G. Janes, president of Brooklyn Ethical Association; Sara C. Bull, wife of Ole Bull, the Norwegian
violinist; Sarah Bernhardt, the French actress and Madame Emma Calv, the French opera singer.[90]
From West, he also set his Indian work in motion. Vivekananda wrote a stream of letters to India, giving advice and
sending money to his followers and brother monks. His letters from the West in these days laid down the motive of
his campaign for social service.[91] He constantly tried to inspire his close disciples in India to do something big. His
letters to them contain some of his strongest words.[92] In one such letter, he wrote to Swami Akhandananda, "Go
from door to door amongst the poor and lower classes of the town of Khetri and teach them religion. Also, let them
have oral lessons on geography and such other subjects. No good will come of sitting idle and having princely
dishes, and saying "Ramakrishna, O Lord!"unless you can do some good to the poor."[93] [94] Eventually in 1895,
the periodical called Brahmavadin was started in Madras, with the money supplied by Vivekananda, for the purpose
of teaching the Vedanta.[95] Subsequenly, Vivekananda's translation of first six chapters of The Imitation of Christ
was published in Brahmavadin (1889).[96]
Vivekananda left for India on 16 December 1896 from England with his disciples, Captain and Mrs. Sevier, and J.J.
Goodwin. On the way they visited France, Italy, seeing Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper, and set sail for India
from the Port of Naples on December 30, 1896.[97] Later, he was followed to India by Miss Mller and Sister
Nivedita. Sister Nivedita devoted the rest of her life to the education of Indian women and the cause of India's
independence.[85] [98]

Back in India

Colombo to Almora

Vivekananda arrived in Colombo on January 15, 1897 and received an

ecstatic welcome. Here, he gave his first public speech in East, India,
the Holy Land. From there on, his journey to Calcutta was a triumphal
progress. He traveled from Colombo to Pamban, Rameshwaram,
Ramnad, Madurai, Kumbakonam and Madras delivering lectures.
People and Rajas gave him enthusiastic reception. In the procession at
Pamban, the Raja of Ramnad personally drew the Swami's carriage. On
way to Madras, at several places where the train would not stop, the Swami Vivekananda at Chennai 1897
Swami Vivekananda 10

people squatted on the rails and allowed the train to pass only after hearing the Swami.[99] From Madras, he
continued his journey to Calcutta and continued his lectures up to Almora.While in the West he talked of India's
great spiritual heritage, on return to India the refrain of his 'Lectures from Colombo to Almora' was uplift of the
masses, eradication of the caste virus, promotion of the study of science, industrialization of the country, removal of
poverty, the end of the colonial rule.These lectures have been published as Lectures from Colombo to Almora. These
lectures are considered to be of nationalistic fervor and spiritual ideology.[100] His speeches had tremendous
influence on the Indian leaders, including Mahatma Gandhi, Bipin Chandra Pal and Balgangadhar Tilak.[101] [102]

Founding of Ramakrishna Math and Mission

On 1 May 1897 at Calcutta, Vivekananda founded the

"Ramakrishna Math"the organ for propagating religion
and "Ramakrishna Mission"the organ for social
service.[103] This was the beginning of an organized
socio-religious movement to help the masses through
educational, cultural, medical and relief work.[80] The
ideals of the Ramakrishna Mission are based on Karma
Yoga.[104] [105] Two monasteries were founded by him,
one at Belur, near Calcutta, which became the
Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati, a branch of the Ramakrishna Math,
Headquarters of Ramakrishna Math and Mission and the
founded on March 19, 1899, later published many of Swami
other at Mayavati on the Himalayas, near Almora called Vivekananda's work, now publishes Prabuddha Bharata journal
the Advaita Ashrama and later a third monastery was
established at Madras. Two journals were started, Prabuddha Bharata in English and Udbhodan in Bengali.[106] The
same year, the famine relief work was started by Swami Akhandananda at Murshidabad district.[80] [103]

Vivekananda had inspired Sir Jamshetji Tata to set up a research and educational institution when they had travelled
together from Yokohama to Chicago on the Swami's first visit to the West in 1893. About this time the Swami
received a letter from Tata, requesting him to head the Research Institute of Science that Tata had set up. But
Vivekananda declined the offer saying that it conflicted with his spiritual interests.[107] [108]
He later visited western Punjab with the mission of establishing harmony between the Arya Samaj which stood for
reinterpreted Hinduism and the Sanatanaists who stood for orthodox Hinduism. At Rawalpindi, he suggested
methods for rooting out antagonism between Arya Samajists and Muslims.[109] His visit to Lahore is memorable for
his famous speeches and his inspiring association with Tirtha Ram Goswami, then a brilliant professor of
Mathematics, who later graced monasticism as Swami Rama Tirtha and preached Vedanta in India and America.[103]
He also visited other places, including Delhi and Khetri and returned to Calcutta in January 1896. He spent the next
few months consolidating the work of the Math and training the disciples. During this period he composed the
famous arati song, Khandana Bhava Bandhana during the event of consecration of Ramakrishna's temple at a
devotees' house.[110]

Second visit to the West

He once again left for the West in June 1899, amid his declining health.[111] He was accompanied by Sister Nivedita
and Swami Turiyananda. He spent a short time in England, and went on to America. During this visit, he founded the
Vedanta societies at San Francisco and New York. He also founded "Shanti Ashrama" (peace retreat) at California,
with the aid of a generous 160-acre (0.65 km2) gift from an American devotee.[112] Later he attended the Congress of
Religions, in Paris in 1900.[113] The Paris addresses are memorable for the scholarly penetration evinced by
Vivekananda related to worship of Linga and authenticity of the Gita. From Paris he paid short visits to Brittany,
Vienna, Constantinople, Athens and Egypt. For the greater part of this period, he was the guest of Jules Bois, the
famous thinker.[112] He left Paris in October 24, 1900, and arrived at the Belur Math in December 9, 1900.[112]
Swami Vivekananda 11

Last years
Vivekananda spent few of his days at Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati and
later at the Belur Math. Henceforth till the end he stayed at Belur Math,
guiding the work of Ramakrishna Mission and Math and the work in
England and America. Thousands of visitors came to him during these
years including The Maharaja of Gwalior and in December 1901, the
stalwarts of Indian National Congress including Lokamanya Tilak. In
December 1901, he was invited to Japan to participate in the Congress
of Religions, however his failing health made it impossible. He
undertook pilgrimages to Bodhgaya and Varanasi towards his final The Swami Vivekananda temple at Belur Math,
days.[114] on the place where he was cremated.

His tours, hectic lecturing engagements, private discussions and correspondence had taken their toll on his health. He
was suffering from asthma, diabetes and other physical ailments.[115] A few days prior to his demise, he was seen
intently studying the almanac. Three days before his death he pointed out the spot for this cremationthe one at
which a temple in his memory stands today. He had remarked to several persons that he would not live to be
On the day of his death, he taught Shukla-Yajur-Veda to some pupils in the morning at Belur Math.[116] He had a
walk with Swami Premananda, a brother-disciple, and gave him instructions concerning the future of the
Ramakrishna Math. Vivekananda died at ten minutes past nine P.M. on July 4, 1902 while he was meditating.
According to his disciples, this was Mahasamadhi.[117] Afterward, his disciples recorded that they had noticed "a
little blood" in the Swami's nostrils, about his mouth and in his eyes.[118] The doctors remarked that it was due to the
rupture of a blood-vessel in the brain, but they could not find the real cause of the death. According to his disciples,
Brahmarandhra the aperture in the crown of the head must have been pierced when he attained Mahasamadhi.
Vivekananda had fulfilled his own prophecy of not living to be forty years old.[116]

Teachings and philosophy

Part of a series on
Hindu philosophy

Samkhya Yoga Nyaya Vaisheshika Purva Mimamsa Vedanta(Advaita Vishishtadvaita Dvaita Achintya Bheda Abheda)

Gautama Jaimini Kanada Kapila Markandeya Patajali Valmiki Vyasa
Alavandar Adi Shankara Basava Dnyaneshwar Chaitanya Jayanta Bhatta Kabir Kumarila Bhatta Madhusudana Madhva
Namdeva Nimbarka Prabhakara Raghunatha Siromani Ramanuja Vedanta Desika Manavala Mamuni Pillai Lokacharya Samarth
Ramdas Tukaram Tulsidas Vachaspati Mishra Vallabha
Aurobindo Coomaraswamy Chinmayananda Dayananda Saraswati Gandhi Krishnananda Narayana Guru Prabhupada
Ramakrishna Swami Sathyananda Saraswathi Ramana Maharshi Radhakrishnan Sivananda Vivekananda Yogananda
Swami Vivekananda 12

Swami Vivekananda believed that the essence of Hinduism was best expressed in the Vedanta philosophy, based on
the interpretation of Adi Shankara. He summarised the Vedanta's teachings as follows,[119]
Each soul is potentially divine.[119]
The goal is to manifest this Divinity within by controlling nature, external and internal.[119]
Do this either by work, or worship, or psychic control, or philosophyby one, or more, or all of theseand be
This is the whole of religion. Doctrines, or dogmas, or rituals, or books, or temples, or forms, are but secondary
So long as even a single dog in my country is without food my whole religion is to feed it and serve it, anything
excluding that is unreligious.
Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached.
Education is the manifestation of perfection already in man.
Religion is the manifestation of divinity already in man.
Serving man is serving God.
According to Vivekananda, an important teaching he received from Ramakrishna was that "Jiva is Shiva" (each
individual is divinity itself).[120] This became his Mantra, and he coined the concept of daridra narayana seva - the
service of God in and through (poor) human beings. "If there truly is the unity of Brahman underlying all
phenomena, then on what basis do we regard ourselves as better or worse, or even as better-off or worse-off, than
others?" - This was the question he posed to himself. Ultimately, he concluded that these distinctions fade into
nothingness in the light of the oneness that the devotee experiences in Moksha. What arises then is compassion for
those "individuals" who remain unaware of this oneness and a determination to help them.
Swami Vivekananda belonged to that branch of
Vedanta that held that no one can be truly free until all
of us are. Even the desire for personal salvation has to
be given up, and only tireless work for the salvation of
others is the true mark of the enlightened person. He
founded the Sri Ramakrishna Math and Mission on the
principle of Atmano Mokshartham Jagat-hitaya cha
( ) (for one's own salvation and
for the welfare of the World).[121]

Vivekananda advised his followers to be holy, unselfish

Vivekananda Rock Memorial by the night, Kanyakumari, Tamil and have shraddha (faith). He encouraged the practice
Nadu of Brahmacharya (Celibacy). In one of the
conversations with his childhood friend Priya Nath
Sinha he attributes his physical and mental strengths, and eloquence to the practice of Brahmacharya.[122]
Vivekananda did not advocate the emerging area of parapsychology and astrology (one instance can be found in his
speech Man the Maker of his Destiny, Complete-Works, Volume 8, Notes of Class Talks and Lectures) saying that
this form of curiosity doesn't help in spiritual progress but actually hinders it.

Several leaders of 20th Century India and philosophers have acknowledged Vivekananda's influence. The first
governor general of independent India, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, once observed that "Vivekananda saved
Hinduism, saved India."[123] According to Subhas Chandra Bose, Vivekananda "is the maker of modern India" and
for Mohandas Gandhi, Vivekananda's influence increased his "love for his country a thousandfold." National Youth
Day in India is held on his birthday, January 12, to commemorate him. This was a most fitting gesture as much of
Swami Vivekananda 13

Swami Vivekananda's writings concerned the Indian youth and how they should strive to uphold their ancient values
whilst fully participating in the modern world.
Swami Vivekananda is widely considered to have inspired India's freedom struggle movement. His writings inspired
a whole generation of freedom fighters including Subhash Chandra Bose, Aurobindo Ghose and Bagha Jatin.
Vivekananda was the brother of the revolutionary freedom fighter, Bhupendranath Dutta. Subhash Chandra Bose,
one of the most prominent figures in Indian independence movement said,
I cannot write about Vivekananda without going into raptures. Few indeed could comprehend or fathom him
even among those who had the privilege of becoming intimate with him. His personality was rich, profound
and complex... Reckless in his sacrifice, unceasing in his activity, boundless in his love, profound and versatile
in his wisdom, exuberant in his emotions, merciless in his attacks but yet simple as a child, he was a rare
personality in this world of ours
Aurobindo Ghosh considered Vivekananda as his spiritual mentor.
Vivekananda was a soul of puissance if ever there was one, a very lion among men, but the definitive work he
has left behind is quite incommensurate with our impression of his creative might and energy. We perceive his
influence still working gigantically, we know not well how, we know not well where, in something that is not
yet formed, something leonine, grand, intuitive, upheaving that has entered the soul of India and we say,
"Behold, Vivekananda still lives in the soul of his Mother and in the souls of her children.
Sri Aurobindo in Vedic Magazine(1915)
The French Nobel Laureate Romain Rolland writes, "His words are great music, phrases in the style of Beethoven,
stirring rhythms like the march of Hndel choruses. I cannot touch these sayings of his, scattered as they are through
the pages of books, at thirty years' distance, without receiving a thrill through my body like an electric shock. And
what shocks, what transports, must have been produced when in burning words they issued from the lips of the
Vivekananda inspired Jamshedji Tata[124] to set up Indian Institute of Science, one of India's finest Institutions.
Abroad, he had some interactions with Max Mller. Scientist Nikola Tesla was one of those influenced by the Vedic
philosophy teachings of the Swami Vivekananda.
Above all Swami Vivekananda helped restore a sense of pride amongst the Hindus, presenting the ancient teachings
of India in its purest form to a Western audience, free from the propaganda spread by British colonial administrators,
of Hinduism being a caste-ridden, misogynistic idolatrous faith. Indeed his early foray into the West would set the
path for subsequent Indian religious teachers to make their own marks on the world, as well herald the entry of
Hindus and their religious traditions into the Western world.
Swami Vivekananda's ideas have had a great influence on the Indian youth. In many institutes, students have come
together and formed organizations meant for promoting discussion of spiritual ideas and the practice of such high
principles. Many of such organizations have adopted his name. One such group also exists at IIT Madras and is
popularly known as (Vivekananda Study Circle) [125]. Another one exists at IIT Kanpur by the name Vivekananda
Samiti [126]. Additionally, Swami Vivekananda's ideas and teachings have carried on globally, being practised in
institutions all over the world.
Mahatma Gandhi said, "Swami Vivekananda's writings need no introduction from anybody. They make their own
irresistible appeal." At the Belur Math, Gandhi was heard to say that his whole life was an effort to bring into actions
the ideas of Vivekananda.[127] Many years after Vivekananda's death, Rabindranath Tagore a Nobel Poet Laureate
had said, "If you want to know India, study Vivekananda. In him everything is positive and nothing negative."
Swami Vivekananda 14

Vivekananda and Rabindranath Tagore

Although there was no direct reference to Vivekananda in any article by Rabindranath Tagore, the poet told Romain
Rolland: "if you want to know India, read Vivekananda, in him everything is positive and nothing is negative." This
shows the esteem held by Tagore for the Vedanta Kesari.
On Vivekananda's guru, Ramakrishna, Tagore wrote a poem: "To the Paramahamsa Ramakrishna Deva"
"Diverse courses of worship from varied springs of fulfillment have mingled in your meditation. The
manifold revelation of the joy of the Infinite has given form to a shrine of unity in your life where from
far and near arrive salutations to which I join my own." [128]
Tagore was the chief guest on the occasion of birth centenary celebration of Ramakrishna by the Ramakrishna
Mission and paid rich tribute to Ramakrishna. During the 1937 Parliament of Religions, which was held at the
Ramakrishna Mission in Calcutta, Tagore acknowledged Ramakrishna, whose birth centenary was being celebrated,
as a great saint because the largeness of his spirit could comprehend seemingly antagonistic modes of sadhana, and
because the simplicity of his soul shames for all time the pomp and pedantry of pontiffs and pundits.[129]

Vivekananda and science

In his book Raja Yoga, Vivekananda explores traditional views on the supernatural and the belief that the practice of
Raja Yoga can confer psychic powers such as 'reading another's thoughts', 'controlling all the forces of nature',[130]
become 'almost all-knowing', 'live without breathing', 'control the bodies of others' and levitation. He also explains
traditional eastern spiritual concepts like kundalini and spiritual energy centres (chakras).[131]
However, Vivekananda takes a skeptical approach and in the same book states:

It is not the sign of a candid and scientific mind to throw overboard anything without proper investigation. Surface scientists, unable to
explain various extraordinary mental phenomena, strive to ignore their very existence.

He further says in the introduction of the book that one should take up the practice and verify these things for
oneself, and that there should not be blind belief.

What little I know I will tell you. So far as I can reason it out I will do so, but as to what I do not know I will simply tell you what the books
say. It is wrong to believe blindly. You must exercise your own reason and judgment; you must practise, and see whether these things happen
or not. Just as you would take up any other science, exactly in the same manner you should take up this science for study.

Vivekananda (1895) rejected ether theory before Einstein (1905), stating that it cannot explain the space itself.[134]
In his paper read at the World Parliament of Religions, Chicago (1893), Vivekananda also hinted about the final goal
of physics:

Science is nothing but the finding of unity. As soon as science would reach perfect unity, it would stop from further progress, because it would
reach the goal. Thus Chemistry could not progress farther when it would discover one element out of which all other could be made. Physics
would stop when it would be able to fulfill its services in discovering one energy of which all others are but manifestations ...
All science is bound to come to this conclusion in the long run. Manifestation, and not creation, is the word of science today, and the
Hindu is only glad that what he has been cherishing in his bosom for ages is going to be taught in more forcible language, and with further
light from the latest conclusions of science.

The great electrical engineer, Nikola Tesla, after listening to Vivekananda's speech on Sankhya Philosophy, was
much interested in its cosmogony and its rational theories of the Kalpas (cycles), Prana and Akasha. His notion
based on the Vedanta led him to think that matter is a manifestation of energy. After attending a lecture on Vedanta
by Vivekananda, Tesla also concluded that modern science can look for the solution of cosmological problems in
Sankhya philosophy, and he could prove that mass can be reduced to potential energy mathematically.[136] [137]
Swami Vivekananda 15

On November 11, 1995, a section of Michigan Avenue, one of the most prominent streets in Chicago, was formally
renamed "Swami Vivekananda Way". July 13, 1998 Press Release From the Consulate General of India, Chicago,

Swami Vivekananda was the first Indian to be invited to accept the chair of Oriental Philosophy at Harvard
The Place of Jamshedpur the great Indian Iron Ore mine of TATA was indicated by Swami Vivekananda to
Jamshedji Tata. Tata also set up the Tata Institute or the Indian Institute of Science at Bengaluru on the Swamiji's
advice and vision to provide quality higher technology and scientific education to indian students.
World celebrates "World Brotherhood Day" on the 11th September every year, the date Swami Vivekananda
delivered his famous speech in Chicago.
India celebrates National Youth Day on his birthday 12th January every year.
In 1963 on the occasion of Birth Centenary Celebration of Swami Vivekananda, country got a huge Rock
Memorial at Kanyakumari. Every year millions of people from around the world visit this place. Mr. Eknath
Ranade was the person responsible for erecting this memorial. He also found Vivekanand Kendra, an organization
of non-monastic volunteers working to fulfill the dreams of Vivekananda.[138]

Vivekananda left a body of philosophical works (see Vivekananda's complete works). His books (compiled from
lectures given around the world) on the four Yogas (Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Jnana Yoga) are very
influential and still seen as fundamental texts for anyone interested in the Hindu practice of Yoga. His letters are of
great literary and spiritual value. He was also considered a very good singer and a poet.[139] By the time of his death,
He had composed many songs including his favorite Kali the Mother. He used humor for his teachings and was also
an excellent cook. His language is very free flowing. His own Bengali writings stand testimony to the fact that he
believed that words - spoken or written - should be for making things easier to understand rather than show off the
speaker or writer's knowledge.

See also
Vivekananda Kendra
Sister Gargi (marie lousie burke)
Vivekanandar Illam

[1] Jestice, Phyllis G. (2003), Holy People of the World, ABC-CLIO, pp.899
[2] Georg, Feuerstein (2002), The Yoga Tradition, Motilal Banarsidass, p.600
[3] Clarke, Peter Bernard (2006), New Religions in Global Perspective, Routledge, p.209
[4] Von Dehsen, Christian D. (1999), Philosophers and Religious Leaders, Greenwood Publishing Group, p.191
[5] Vivekananda, Swami (11th September, 1893), /Volume_1/Addresses_at_The_Parliament_of_Religions/Response_to_Welcome Response to
Welcome (http:/ / en. wikisource. org/ wiki/ The_Complete_Works_of_Swami_Vivekanand), Parliament of Religions, Chicago,

[6] Harshvardhan Dutt (2005), Immortal Speeches, p.121
[7] Eastern and Western disciples 2006a, p.21
[8] Eastern and Western disciples 2006a, p.11
[9] Swami Chetanananda, "Swami Vivekananda", God lived with them, p.20
[10] Amiya Sen 2003, p.19
Swami Vivekananda 16

[11] Nikhilananda 1964

[12] Amiya Sen 2003, p.20
[13] Biswas, Arun Kumar (1987), Buddha and Bodhisattva, Cosmo Publications, p.19
[14] Arrington, Robert L.; Tapan Kumar Chakrabarti (2001), "Swami Vivekananda", A Companion to the Philosophers, Blackwell Publishing,
[15] Amiya Sen 2003, p.21
[16] Early Years (http:/ / www. ramakrishnavivekananda. info/ vivekananda_biography/ 02_early_years. htm)
[17] Banhatti 1995, p.4
[18] Amiya Sen 2006, pp.1214
[19] Amiya Sen 2003, pp.104105
[20] Pangborn, Cyrus R.; Bardwell L. Smith (1976), "The Ramakrishna Math and Mission", Hinduism: New Essays in the History of Religions,
Brill Archive, p.106, "Narendra, son of a Calcutta attorney, student of the intellectually most demanding subjects in arts and sciences at
Scottish Church College."
[21] Dhar 1976, p.53
[22] Malagi, R.A.; M.K.Naik (2003), "Stirred Spirit: The Prose of Swami Vivekananda", Perspectives on Indian Prose in English, Abhinav
Publications, pp.3637
[23] Prabhananda 2003, p.233
[24] Banhatti 1995, pp.79 "Vivekananda is said to have offered, in a letter to Herbert Spencer, some criticism of the celebrated philosopher's
speculations, which the aged stalwart is said to have appreciated."
[25] Swami Vivekananda By N.L. Gupta, p.2
[26] Dhar 1976, p.59
[27] Dutta, Mahendranath, Dhirendranath Basu, ed., Sri Sri Ramakrishner Anudhyan (6th ed.), p.89
[28] Bhuyan, P. R. (2003), Swami Vivekananda, Atlantic Publishers & Distributors, p.5
[29] Amiya Sen 2006, pp.1213
[30] Pangborn, Cyrus R.; Bardwell L. Smith (1976), "The Ramakrishna Math and Mission", Hinduism: New Essays in the History of Religions,
Brill Archive, p.106
[31] Joseph, Jaiboy (002-06-23). "Master visionary" (http:/ / www. hinduonnet. com/ thehindu/ mag/ 2002/ 06/ 23/ stories/ 2002062300310400.
htm). The Hindu. . Retrieved 2008-10-09.
[32] Mukherjee, Dr. Jayasree (May 2004), "Sri Ramakrishna's Impact on Contemporary Indian Society" (http:/ / www. eng. vedanta. ru/ library/
prabuddha_bharata/ sri_ramakrishna's_impact_on_contemporary_indian_society_may04. php), Prabuddha Bharatha, , retrieved 2008-09-04.
[33] Swami Chetanananda, God lived with them, p.22, "Hastie said, 'I have known only one person, who has realized that blessed state, and he is
Ramakrishna of Dakshineswar. You will understand it better if you visit this saint.'"
[34] Mannumel, Thomas, The Advaita of Vivekananda: A Philosophical Appraisal, p.17
[35] Prabhananda 2003, p.232
[36] Vivekananda, Swami, "My Master" (http:/ / en. wikisource. org/ wiki/ The_Complete_Works_of_Swami_Vivekananda/ Volume_4/
Lectures_and_Discourses/ My_Master), The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, 4, Advaita Ashrama, pp.178179,
[37] Banhatti 1995, pp.1013
[38] Rolland, Romain (1929), "Naren the Beloved Disciple", The Life of Ramakrishna, pp.169193
[39] Arora, V. K. (1968), "Communion with Brahmo Samaj", The social and political philosophy of Swami Vivekananda, Punthi Pustak, pp.4
[40] Isherwood, Christopher (1976), Meditation and Its Methods According to Swami Vivekananda, Vedanta Press, p.20
[41] Cyrus R. Pangborn, "The Ramakrishna Math and Mission", Hinduism: New Essays in the History of Religions, p.98
[42] Isherwood, Christopher (1976), Meditation and Its Methods According to Swami Vivekananda, Vedanta Press, p.20, "He realized under the
impact of his Master that all the living beings are the embodiments of the 'Divine Self'... Hence, service to God can be rendered only by
service to man."
[43] Eastern and Western disciples 2006a, p.183
[44] Rolland, Romain (1929), "The River Re-Enters the Sea", The Life of Ramakrishna, pp.201214
[45] God lived with them, p.38
[46] God lived with them, p.39
[47] Eastern and Western disciples 2006a, p.277
[48] Rolland 2008, p.7
[49] Dhar 1976, p.243
[50] Richards, Glyn (1996), "Vivekananda", A Source-Book of Modern Hinduism, Routledge, pp.7778
[51] P. R. Bhuyan, Swami Vivekananda, p.12
[52] Rolland 2008, pp.1625
[53] Eastern and Western disciples 2006a, pp.214216
[54] Rolland 2008, pp.1112
[55] Banhatti 1995, pp.1922
[56] Eastern and Western disciples 2006a, pp.227228
[57] Eastern and Western disciples 2006a, pp.243261
Swami Vivekananda 17

[58] Rolland 2008, p.15

[59] Eastern and Western disciples 2006a, pp.262287
[60] Rolland 2008, p.25 "It was so at Poona in October, 1892; Tilak, the famous savant and Hindu political leader, took him at first for a
wandering monk of no importance and began by being ironical; then, struck by his replies revealing his great mind and knowledge, he
received him into his house for ten days without ever knowing his real name. It was only later, when the newspapers brought him from
America the echoes of Vivekananda's triumph and a description of the conqueror, that he recognised the anonymous guest who had dwelt
beneath his roof."
[61] Dhar 1976, p.1434 "Tilak recorded his impressions as follows, 'When asked about his name he only said he was a Sanyasin ....There was
absolutely no money with him. A deerskin, one or two clothes and a Kamandalu were his only possessions.'
[62] Eastern and Western disciples 2006a, pp.288320
[63] Eastern and Western disciples 2006a, pp.321346
[64] Eastern and Western disciples 2006a, pp.323325
[65] Eastern and Western disciples 2006a, pp.327329
[66] Eastern and Western disciples 2006a, pp.339342
[67] This view is supported by the evidence of two eyewitnesses. One of these was Ramasubba Iyer. In 1919, when Swami Virajananda, a
disciple of the Swamiji, went on pilgrimage to Kanyakumari, Iyer told him that he had himself seen the Swami meditating on the rock for
hours together, for three days consecutively ... Another eye-witness, Sadashivam Pillai, told that the Swami had remained on the rock for three
nights and had seen him swim over to the rock. Next morning Pillai went to the rock with food for the Swami. There he found him meditating;
and when Pillai asked him to return to the mainland, he refused. When he offered food to the Swami, the latter asked him not to disturb him.
See, Eastern and Western disciples 2006a, pp.344346
[68] Agarwal, Satya P. (1998), The social role of the Gt: how and why (http:/ / books. google. com/ ?id=Gt0XdLly0i0C& pg=PA59), Motilal
Banarsidass, pp.59, ISBN9788120815247,
[69] Life and Philosophy of Swami Vivekananda, p.24
[70] Banhatti 1995, p.24
[71] Eastern and Western disciples 2006a, pp.359383
[72] Paranjape, Makarand (2005), Penguin Swami Vivekananda Reader, Penguin India, pp.246248, ISBN0143032542
[73] "The Abroad And the Problems At Home (The Hindu, Madras, February, 1897)" (http:/ / en. wikisource. org/ wiki/
The_Complete_Works_of_Swami_Vivekananda/ Volume_5/ Interviews/ The_Abroad_And_The_Problems_At_Home). The Complete Works
of Swami Vivekananda/Volume 5/Interviews/The Abroad And The Problems At Home. Wikisource. . Retrieved 2010-08-29.
[74] P. R. Bhuyan, Swami Vivekananda, p.15
[75] Minor, Robert Neil (1986), "Swami Vivekananda's use of the Bhagavad Gita", Modern Indian Interpreters of the Bhagavad Gita, SUNY
Press, p.133
[76] P. R. Bhuyan, Swami Vivekananda, p.16
[77] Banhatti 1995, p.27 "Representatives from several countries, and all religions, were seated on the platform, including Mazoomdar of the
Brahmo Samaj, Nagarkar of Prarthana Samaj, Gandhi representing the Jains, and Chakravarti and Mrs. Annie Besant representing Theosophy.
None represeted Hinduism, as such, and that mantle fell on Vivekananda."
[78] P. R. Bhuyan, Swami Vivekananda, p.17
[79] McRae 1991
[80] Prabhananda 2003, p.234
[81] J. N. Farquhar, Modern Religious Movements in India, p.202
[82] Sharma, Arvind, "Swami Vivekananda's Experiences", Neo-Hindu Views of Christianity, p.87
[83] P. R. Bhuyan, Swami Vivekananda, p.18
[84] "Sayings and Utterances" (http:/ / en. wikisource. org/ wiki/ The_Complete_Works_of_Swami_Vivekananda/ Volume_5/
Sayings_and_Utterances), The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, 5, pp.419,
[85] Adjemian, Robert; Christopher Isherwood, "On Swami Vivekananda", The Wishing Tree, pp.121122
[86] Banhatti 1995, p.30
[87] God lived with them, pp.49-50
[88] Life and Philosophy of Swami Vivekananda, p.27
[89] Burke, Marie Louise (1958), Swami Vivekananda in America: New Discoveries, p.618
[90] God lived with them, p.47
[91] Kattackal, Jacob (1982), Religion and Ethics in Advaita, St. Thomas Apostolic Seminary, p.219
[92] Majumdar, Ramesh Chandra (1963), Swami Vivekananda Centenary Memorial Volume, p.577
[93] Burke, Marie Louise (1983), Swami Vivekananda in the West: New Discoveries, p.417
[94] Sharma, Benishankar (1963), Swami Vivekananda: A Forgotten Chapter of His Life, Oxford Book & Stationary Co.,, p.227
[95] Sheean, Vincent (2005), "Forerunners of Gandhi", Lead, Kindly Light: Gandhi and the Way to Peace, Kessinger Publishing, p.345
[96] Sharma, Arvind, "Swami Vivekananda's Experiences", Neo-Hindu Views of Christianity, p.83
[97] Life and Philosophy of Swami Vivekananda, pp.33-34
[98] A Comprehensive Biography of Swami Vivekananda, p.852
[99] "Return and Consolidation", Life and Philosophy of Swami Vivekananda, pp.3334
Swami Vivekananda 18

[100] P. R. Bhuyan, Swami Vivekananda, p.20

[101] P. R. Bhuyan, Swami Vivekananda, p.27
[102] Gokhale, B. G. (Jan., 1964), "Swami Vivekananda and Indian Nationalism" (http:/ / www. jstor. org/ stable/ 1460427), Journal of Bible
and Religion (Oxford University Press) 32 (1): 3542, , "Vivekananda, Tilak, and Gandhi form parts of one continuous process. Many of
Gandhi's ideas on Hinduism and spirituality come close to those of Vivekananda."
[103] Banhatti 1995, pp.3435
[104] Thomas, Abraham Vazhayil (1974), Christians in Secular India, p.44, "Vivekananda emphasized Karma Yoga, purposeful action in the
world as the thing needful for the regeneration of the political, social and religious life of the Hindus."
[105] Miller, Timothy, "The Vedanta Movement and Self-Realization fellowship", America's Alternative Religions, p.181, "Vivekananda was
adamant that the social worker should never believe that she or he was actually improving the world, which is, after all, illusory. Service
should be performed without attachment to the final results. In this manner, social service becomes karma yoga, the disciple of action, that
ultimately brings spiritual benefits to the server, not to those being served."
[106] Kraemer, Hendrik, "Cultural response of Hindu India", World Cultures and World Religions, p.151
[107] Prabhananda 2003, p.235
[108] LULLA, ANIL BUDUR (September 3, 2007). "IISc looks to Belur for seeds of birth". The Telegraph.
[109] Eastern and Western disciples 2006a, p.291
[110] Banhatti 1995, pp.3536
[111] Eastern and Western disciples 2006b, p.450
[112] Banhatti 1995, pp.4142
[113] "The Paris Congress of the History of Religions" (http:/ / en. wikisource. org/ wiki/ The_Complete_Works_of_Swami_Vivekananda/
Volume_4/ Translation:_Prose/ The_Paris_Congress_of_the_History_of_Religions), Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, 4, Advaita
[114] Banhatti 1995, pp.4344
[115] Banhatti 1995, pp.4546
[116] Eastern and Western disciples 2006b, pp.645662
[117] A.P. Sen (2006), "Editor's Introduction", The Indispensable Vivekananda, p.27
[118] M.V. Kamath (2005), "p.241", Philosophy of Life and Death
[119] Jackson, Carl T (1994), "The Founders", Vedanta for the West, Indiana University Press, pp.3334
[120] Y. Masih (1991), "Introduction to Religious Philosophy", Introduction to Religious Philosophy, Motilal Banarsidass, p.68
[121] Agarwal, Satya P. (1998), The social role of the Gt: how and why, Motilal Banarsidass, p.ix
[122] Priya Nath Sinha, "Conversations and Dialogues : VI - X Shri Priya Nath Sinha" (http:/ / en. wikisource. org/ wiki/
The_Complete_Works_of_Swami_Vivekananda/ Volume_5/ Conversations_and_Dialogues_(Recorded_by_Disciples_-_Translated)/
Volume_5/ VI_-_X_Shri_Priya_Nath_Sinha), Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, 5,
[123] Prabuddha Bharata: 112, 1983.
[124] IISC (http:/ / materials. iisc. ernet. in/ ~rangu/ text. pdf)
[125] http:/ / www. vsc. iitm. ac. in
[126] http:/ / students. iitk. ac. in/ vivekananda/
[127] Campbell, Joseph; Robin Larsen, Stephen Larsen, Antony Van Couvering (2002), "Travels with the Swami" (http:/ / books. google. com/
?id=VySPqLx1DucC& pg=PA74), Baksheesh & Brahman, New World Library, pp.74, ISBN9781577312376,
[128] Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York. (1996). Sri Ramakrishna Tributes (http:/ / www. ramakrishna. org/ rmk_trib. htm).
[129] Katheleen M O'Connell. Utsav-Celebration: Tagores Approach to Cultivating the Human Spirit and the Study of Religion (http:/ / www.
parabaas. com/ rabindranath/ articles/ pKathleen_Utsav. html).
[130] Here nature is not referred as mother nature, but as prakriti or maya as described in Bhagavad Gita's cosmology
[131] Vivekananda's Raja Yoga (Hinduism) (http:/ / www. uwec. edu/ beachea/ vivekananda. html)
[132] The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda/Volume 1/Raja-Yoga/Preface
[133] The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda/Volume 1/Raja-Yoga/Introductory
[134] The Ether
[135] s:The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda/Volume 1/Addresses at The Parliament of Religions/Paper on Hinduism
[136] Eastern and Western disciples 2006b, p.68
[137] Vivekananda also mentioned this to E.T.Sturdy in one of his epistles
[138] http:/ / knol. google. com/ k/ swami-vivekananda#
[139] G. S. Banhatti, The Quintessence of Vivekananda, p.276, "A singer, a painter, a wonderful master of language and a poet, Vivekananda
was a complete artist."
Swami Vivekananda 19

Amiya Sen (2003), Swami Vivekananda (Narayani Gupta ed.), New Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp.109,
Amiya Sen (2006), Indispensable Vivekananda (
printsec=frontcover), Orient Blackswan, pp.242, ISBN9788178241302
Banhatti, G.S. (1995), Life and Philosophy of Swami Vivekananda (
?id=jK5862eV7_EC&printsec=frontcover), Atlantic Publishers & Distributors, pp.276, ISBN9788171562916
Bakshi, Rajni (1993), The Dispute Over Swami Vivekananda's Legacy
Chetananda, Swami (1997), God lived with them: life stories of sixteen monastic disciples of Sri Ramakrishna, St.
Louis, Missouri: Vedanta Society of St. Louis, pp.655, ISBN0916356809
Prabhananda, Swami (June 2003), "Profiles of famous educators: Swami Vivekananda" (http://www.ibe., Prospects (Netherlands:
Springer) XXXIII (2): 231245.
McRae, John R. (1991), "Oriental Verities on the American Frontier: The 1893 World's Parliament of Religions
and the Thought of Masao Abe" (, Buddhist-Christian Studies
(University of Hawai'i Press) 11: 736, doi:10.2307/1390252.
Vivekananda, Swami (2001), Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda (http://www.ramakrishnavivekananda.
info/vivekananda/complete_works.htm), 9 Volumes (Mayavati Memorial ed.), Advaita Ashrama,
Rolland, Romain (2008), The Life of Vivekananda and the Universal Gospel (
barcode=6010010078355) (24 ed.), Advaita Ashrama, pp.328, ISBN9788185301013
Nikhilananda, Swami (April 1964), "Swami Vivekananda Centenary" (,
Philosophy East and West (University of Hawai'i Press) 14 (1): 7375, doi:10.2307/1396757.
Nikhilananda, Swami, Vivekananda: A Biography (
BiographybyNikhilananda.pdf), ISBN0-911206-25-6
Eastern and Western disciples (July 2006a), Life of Swami Vivekananda, 1 (Sixth ed.), Advaita Ashrama,
ISBN81-7505-043-8 older edition (
Eastern and Western disciples (July 2006b), Life of Swami Vivekananda, 2 (Sixth ed.), Advaita Ashrama,
Sil, Narasingha, Swami Vivekananda: A Reassessment, ISBN0-945636-97-0
Nivedita, Sister, The Master As I Saw Him (
Nivedita, Sister, Notes of Some Wanderings With the Swami Vivekananda (
Marie Louise Burke, Swami Vivekananda in the West: New Discoveries
Dhar, Shailendra Nath (1976), A Comprehensive Biography of Swami Vivekananda, Vivekananda Prakashan
Reminiscences of Swami Vivekananda, Advaita Ashrama, ISBN81-85301-17-4
Vivekananda: The Great Spiritual Teacher by A Compilation, ISBN81-7505-147-7
Chaturvedi Badrinath (2006), Swami Vivekananda The Living Vedanta, Penguin, ISBN0143062093
Swami Jyotirmayananda (August 2000), Vivekananda -- His Gospel of Man-Making (http://www. (5 ed.)
Swami Vivekananda 20

External links
Vivekananda's biography (
Complete Works of Vivekananda (
Vivekananda Chicago Speech in 1893 (in common man's voice) (
Article Sources and Contributors 21

Article Sources and Contributors

Swami Vivekananda Source: Contributors: 10 000 thundering typhoons, A Ramachandran, A. B., Abecedare, Abhi3486,
Abhisek.biswas, Abhishka, Abpatak, Adam Keller, Aditya0908, Ahoerstemeier, Akarkera, Akdatta1, Alai, Alcidebava, Alex Middleton, Alexius08, Alikasundara, Alphachimp, Alren, Ambarish,
Ambuj.Saxena, Aminrahimian, Amir85, Andres, AndyBQ, Anurag 1711, Arctic Night, ArglebargleIV, Arvindn, Atmabodha, Avinashisharan, Azad singh parihar, BPK2, Babub, Bakasuprman,
Bandwidthx, Barmank, Beetstra, Benbread, Bhadani, Bharatveer, Bhawani Gautam Rhk, Bigbluefish, Biglovinb, BillC, Biswa roop, Bkonrad, Blanchardb, Bobblehead, Boing! said Zebedee,
Bootstoots, Bsskchaitanya, Buddhakahika, Buddhipriya, Buddhist143, Byomkesh Bakshi, Calvinkrishy, CambridgeBayWeather, Camw, Capricorn42, CarTick, Cekli829, Chancemill, Charles
Matthews, Chetanhegdem, Chicheley, Clasqm, Cloverleaf01, Colonies Chris, CommonsDelinker, Crazyvas, Creation kau, D6, DJIndica, DW, Daev17, Dangerous-Boy, David spector,
Davidcannon, Dbachmann, Debnathsandeep, Deeptrivia, Demie25, Devadaru, Devesh.bhatta, Dinakarr, Dj Capricorn, Dralwik, Dunnob, Duster.Cleaner, DynamoDegsy, Dziewa, Efactor,
Ekabhishek, Encyclo, Enimerotita, Epoch1288, Ettrig, Euchiasmus, Foraneagle2, Frankparlato, Fredrik, Fredzz22, Fuhghettaboutit, GNiranjan, Gadfium, Gautamgoa1984, Gawain, Gayatri999,
Gil Gamesh, Gillyweed, Gmugmble, Goethean, Gogo Dodo, GoneAwayNowAndRetired, Good Olfactory, Graft, Grayme, Green Cardamom, Gujuguy, HPN, Hagalmir, Hanuman Das,
Haripriya63, HeBhagawan, Hede2000, Hemanshu, Holy Ganga, Hurin333, Indiancorrector, Indrajitr, Isis07, J04n, JaGa, Jetman, Jmlk17, John Hill, Johnuniq, Jonoikobangali, Jorunn, Jossi,
Jpers36, Jporcaro, Julia Rossi, Jusdafax, KSchutte, Kaysov, KellyPhD, Kkjkkj, Kkm010, Kkrystian, Kleuske, Knowledge is free for all, Kppethe, Kumarilabhatta, Kvrajiv, Kvrajiv1893k,
Kwamikagami, Lairor, Lakshmi Ravu, Lalmohan Babu, LeaveSleaves, Leggette, Lesto101, Lightmouse, LilHelpa, LordGulliverofGalben, LordSimonofShropshire, Luna Santin, Madhava 1947,
Madman2001, Mahmudmasri, Maitasti, Mallarme, Mangesh thombare, Mankar Camoran, MarnetteD, Marosha, Mav, MaximvsDecimvs, Mellery, MeltBanana, Mercury12, Merlion444, Michael
Snow, Mike Dillon, Minomom, Missamo80, Misterhope, Mkweise, Mohsinwaheed, Msiev, Msml, Mwanner, Myanw, NAHID, Nanouk, NawlinWiki, Ncmvocalist, Nick Number, NickelShoe,
Nikai, Nikhil Srivastava, Nishkid64, Omicronpersei8, Oobopshark, Oolong, P.K.Niyogi, PFHLai, Paleolithic1288, Patoldanga'r Tenida, Paul Raj, Pearle, Pectore, PhilHibbs, Physchim62, Piano
non troppo, Pigman, Pilif12p, Pingku, Politicaljunkie23, Pradosh Mitter, Praveenp, Protozoan, R'n'B, RHaworth, Radiantenergy, Ragib, Raj2004, Rajasekaran Deepak, Rama's Arrow, Ramashray,
Ramnathg, Ranjithet, Recognizance, Redtigerxyz, Relata refero, RexNL, Rich Farmbrough, Rjwilmsi, Robert1947, Roginlatro, Rohitj.iitk, Rror, Rumiton, Salih, Salt Yeung, Sam Spade, Sam
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Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors

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