Swami Vivekananda is an admired spiritual leader. This inspiring Hindu monk is regarded as a patron saint in modern India. To Hindus, he is a source of open-mindedness, strength, mental energy and spiritual power.
His Early Life
Swami Vivekananda was born on 12 January, 1863, in Calcutta. His given name was Narendranath Dutt. He was a youth of great intelligence and charm. Though pre-independent India was racked by communal strife and sectarianism, Vivekananda’s youthful spirit soared as a manifestation of courage and freedom.
Travels and Learnings
Vivekananda was an avid student of Hindu and Western philosophy. His revered guru was Ramakrishna Paramhamsa. Vivekananda traveled across India to learn about his people and country. He found his spiritual home in Kanyakumari in southern India, where the Vivekananda memorial is today a landmark for pilgrims and tourists.
Travel to America
In 1893, Swami Vivekananda became world famous, when he attended the first Parliament of World Religions, held in Chicago. The young monk’s inspiring speech electrified the august assembly. This speech made him famous overnight.
Swami Vivekananda’s teachings are a great source of help to the West in understanding the Asian mind. In 1976, Vivekananda’s visit to America was remembered and honored during America’s Bicentennial Celebration. A portrait of the great Swami was mounted in the National Portrait Gallery, based in Washington D.C.
An Immortal Soul
Vivekananda is revered as an inspiring social and spiritual leader even today. His teachings are studied with interest in India and overseas. Vivekananda passed away at the young age of 39, in the year 1902.