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Swami Vivekananda Biography

Swami Vivekananda Biography

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This is the best from centuries to centuries for Indian youth. A saint,traveller,humanitarian of 18th century knowing the great early knowledge of his country MOTHER INDIA for its inner strength inspires the world from his work achievements. This is inspiring biography of swami Vivekananda. Every youngster of any belonging country should read it sensibly. Thank you.
This is the best from centuries to centuries for Indian youth. A saint,traveller,humanitarian of 18th century knowing the great early knowledge of his country MOTHER INDIA for its inner strength inspires the world from his work achievements. This is inspiring biography of swami Vivekananda. Every youngster of any belonging country should read it sensibly. Thank you.

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Published by: Chaitanya Eshwarappa on Oct 05, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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03/14/2014

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Swami Vivekananda - ABiography by SwamiNikhilananda
PREFACE
Swami Vivekananda's inspiring personality was well known both in India and inAmerica during the last decade of the nineteenth century and the first decade of thetwentieth. The unknown monk of India suddenly leapt into fame at the Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893, at which he represented Hinduism. His vastknowledge of Eastern and Western culture as well as his deep spiritual insight, fervideloquence, brilliant conversation, broad human sympathy, colourful personality, andhandsome figure made an irresistible appeal to the many types of Americans who camein contact with him. People who saw or heard Vivekananda even once still cherish hismemory after a lapse of more than half a century.In America Vivekananda's mission was the interpretation of India's spiritual culture,especially in its Vedantic setting. He also tried to enrich the religious consciousness of the Americans through the rational and humanistic teachings of the Vedantaphilosophy. In America he became India's spiritual ambassador and pleaded eloquentlyfor better understanding between India and the New World in order to create a healthysynthesis of East and West, of religion and science.In his own motherland Vivekananda is regarded as the patriot saint of modern Indiaand an inspirer of her dormant national consciousness. To the Hindus he preached theideal of a strength-giving and man-making religion. Service to man as the visiblemanifestation of the Godhead was the special form of worship he advocated for theIndians, devoted as they were to the rituals and myths of their ancient faith. Manypolitical leaders of India have publicly acknowledged their indebtedness to Swami
 
Vivekananda.The Swami's mission was both national and international. A lover of mankind, hestrove to promote peace and human brotherhood on the spiritual foundation of theVedantic Oneness of existence. A mystic of the highest order, Vivekananda had adirect and intuitive experience of Reality. He derived his ideas from that unfailingsource of wisdom and often presented them in the soul-stirring language of poetry.The natural tendency of Vivekananda's mind, like that of his Master, Ramakrishna, wasto soar above the world and forget itself in contemplation of the Absolute. But anotherpart of his personality bled at the sight of human suffering in East and West alike. Itmight appear that his mind seldom found a point of rest in its oscillation betweencontemplation of God and service to man. Be that as it may, he chose, in obedience toa higher call, service to man as his mission on earth; and this choice has endeared himto people in the West, Americans in particular.In the course of a short life of thirty-nine years (1863-1902), of which only ten weredevoted to public activities — and those, too, in the midst of acute physical suffering— he left for posterity his four classics:
 Jnana-Yoga
,
 Bhakti-Yoga
,
Karma-Yoga,
and
 Raja-Yoga
, all of which are outstanding treatises on Hindu philosophy. In addition, hedelivered innumerable lectures, wrote inspired letters in his own hand to his manyfriends and disciples, composed numerous poems, and acted as spiritual guide to themany seekers who came to him for instruction. He also organized the RamakrishnaOrder of monks, which is the most outstanding religious organization of modern India.It is devoted to the propagation of the Hindu spiritual culture not only in the Swami'snative land, but also in America and in other parts of the world.Swami Vivekananda once spoke of himself as a 'condensed India.' His life andteachings are of inestimable value to the West for an understanding of the mind of Asia. William James, the Harvard philosopher, called the Swami the 'paragon of Vedantists.' Max Müller and Paul Deussen, the famous Orientalists of the nineteenthcentury, held him in genuine respect and affection. 'His words,' writes Romain Rolland,'are great music, phrases in the style of Beethoven, stirring rhythms like the march of Handel choruses. I cannot touch these sayings of his, scattered as they are through thepages of books, at thirty years' distance, without receiving a thrill through my body likean electric shock. And what shocks, what transports, must have been produced when inburning words they issued from the lips of the hero!' 
EARLY YEARS
Swami Vivekananda, the great soul loved and revered in East and West alike as therejuvenator of Hinduism in India and the preacher of its eternal truths abroad, was bornat 6:33, a few minutes before sunrise, on Monday, January 12, 1863. It was the day of the great Hindu festival Makarasamkranti, when special worship is offered to the
 
Ganga by millions of devotees. Thus the future Vivekananda first drew breath whenthe air above the sacred river not far from the house was reverberating with theprayers, worship, and religious music of thousands of Hindu men and women.Before Vivekananda was born, his mother, like many other pious Hindu mothers, hadobserved religious vows, fasted, and prayed so that she might be blessed with a sonwho would do honour to the family. She requested a relative who was living inVaranasi to offer special worship to the Vireswara Siva of that holy place and seek Hisblessings; for Siva, the great god of renunciation, dominated her thought. One nightshe dreamt that this supreme Deity aroused Himself from His meditation and agreed tobe born as her son. When she woke she was filled with joy.The mother, Bhuvaneswari Devi, accepted the child as a boon from Vireswara Sivaand named him Vireswara. The family, however, gave him the name of NarendranathDatta, calling him, for short, Narendra, or more endearingly, Naren.The Datta family of Calcutta, into which Narendranath had been born, was well knownfor its affluence, philanthropy, scholarship, and independent spirit. The grand father,Durgacharan, after the birth of his first son, had renounced the world in search of God.The father, Viswanath, an attorney-at-law of the High Court of Calcutta, was versed inEnglish and Persian literature and often entertained himself and his friends by recitingfrom the Bible and the poetry of Hafiz, both of which, he believed, contained truthsunmatched by human thinking elsewhere. He was particularly attracted to the Islamicculture, with which he was familiar because of his close contact with the educatedMoslems of North-western India. Moreover, he derived a large income from his lawpractice and, unlike his father, thoroughly enjoyed the worldly life. An expert incookery, he prepared rare dishes and liked to share them with his friends. Travel wasanother of his hobbies. Though agnostic in religion and a mocker of socialconventions, he possessed a large heart and often went out of his way to support idlerelatives, some of whom were given to drunkenness. Once, when Narendra protestedagainst his lack of judgement, his father said: 'How can you understand the greatmisery of human life? When you realize the depths of men's suffering, you willsympathize with these unfortunate creatures who try to forget their sorrows, eventhough only for a short while, in the oblivion created by intoxicants.' Naren's father,however, kept a sharp eye on his children and would not tolerate the slightest deviationfrom good manners.Bhuvaneswari Devi, the mother, was cast in a different mould. Regal in appearanceand gracious in conduct, she belonged to the old tradition of Hindu womanhood. Asmistress of a large household, she devoted her spare time to sewing and singing, beingparticularly fond of the great Indian epics, the
 Ramayana
and the
 Mahabharata
, largeportions of which she had memorized. She became the special refuge of the poor, andcommanded universal respect because of her calm resignation to God, her innertranquillity, and her dignified detachment in the midst of her many arduous duties.Two sons were born to her besides Narendranath, and four daughters, two of whomdied at an early age.

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