Swami Vivekananda, birth name Narendranath Datta was born in wealthy family in Kolkata on 12 January 1863 during Makar Sankranti a major festival in India. His father, Vishwanath Datta, was attorney at Kolkata high court and his mother Bhuvaneshwari Devi was very spiritual. Narendranath had completed graduation from Kolkata University; he had acquired a vast knowledge of different subjects like philosophy, history, religion, social science and excelled in music, gymnastic, sports etc. He was interested in spirituality from very young age and practice meditation. National youth day is celebrated in honor of Swami Vivekanand on his birth day in India from 1985. Swami Vivekanand delivered his great and memorable speech on Hinduism as presenter of India on 11 September 1893 in parliament of world religion arranged in Chicago and become world famous. All key press media covered his speech and accepted that he was the most influenced monk in entire parliament. So this day is celebrated as World Brotherhood Day across the world. Swami Vivekanand is well known for his spirituality, wisdom, meditation, powerful memory, ability at speed reading etc etc.


Narendra had to pass through a period of spiritual crisis and doubts about the existence of God. During this time he heard about Sri Ramakrishna from one of his English professors at college. In November 1881, Narendra went to meet Sri Ramakrishna who was staying at the Kali Temple in Dakshineshwar. He asked a question which he had put to several others but had not received satisfactory answer: have you seen God? At the same time, Sri Ramakrishna replied: Yes, I have. I see as clearly as I see you. Sri Ramakrishna won him over through his pure, unselfish love and removed all doubt. Narendra became a frequent visitor to Dakshineshwar and under the guidance of the Guru, made rapid strides on the spiritual path. At Dakshineshwar, Narendra met many young men who were devoted to Sri Ramakrishna, and going forward they all became close friends for whole life.

On sudden death of his father in 1884 and left family bankrupt, Narendra had to take responsibility to support his mother, brothers and sisters. Another event was illness of Sri Ramakrishna which was diagnosed to be cancer of the throat. In this situation young disciples nursed the Master with devoted care. In spite of poverty at home and inability to find a job for him, Narendra joined the group as its leader. Sri Ramakrishna inspired these young men, brotherly love for one another. He distributed ochre robes to all and sent them out to beg food. In this way he laid the foundation for a new monastic order. He gave specific instructions to Narendra about the formation of the new monastic Order. After the Guru passing, all young men began to live together at Baranagar in North Kolkata. Under the leadership of Narendra, they formed a new monastic brotherhood, and in 1887 they took the sannyasa and Narendra now became Swami Vivekananda.


Vivekananda thought of the Guruji in relation to India and the rest of the world and heard inner call for mission in life. So after receiving the blessings of Sri Sarada Devi, the divine wife of Sri Ramakrishna, Swamiji started a long journey of exploration of India. Swami Vivekananda was deeply moved to see the appalling poverty of the masses across India. He understands the main cause of India downfall was the neglect of the masses. The immediate need was to provide food and other bare necessities of life to the hungry people. He spread message taught in Vedanta and ancient religious philosophy of India of the Atman, potential divinity of the soul.

Swamiji plans for the spread of education and for the uplift of the poor masses, and also of women, an efficient organization of dedicated people was needed. Going forward Swamiji founded the Ramakrishna Mission for humanity on 1 May 1897 in which monk and people together practice Vedanta and involve in social service includes running hospital, school, colleage rural development center etc.

He too felt that the World religion Parliament would provide the right forum to present his Master message to the world, and so he decided to go to America. Another reason which prompted Swamiji to go to America was to seek financial help for his project of uplifting the masses in India. His speeches at the World Parliament made him famous as Messenger of Indian wisdom to the Western world. After the Parliament, Swamiji spent nearly three and a half years spreading Vedanta as lived and taught by Sri Ramakrishna, mostly in the eastern parts of USA and also in London. Many people from west were influenced by Swami Vivekananda life and message. Some of them became his disciples or devoted friends. Swamiji had many Indian disciples, some of whom joined Ramakrishna Math and became sanyasi.

He returned to India in January 1897. In response to the enthusiastic welcome that he received everywhere, he delivered a series of lectures in different parts of India, which created a great stir all over the country. Through these inspiring and profoundly significant lectures Swamiji attempted to do the following. Rouse the religious consciousness of the people and create in them pride in their cultural heritage. He taught ore concept of Hinduism and principles of Practical Vedanta.

In 1898 Swami Vivekananda took land on the western bank of the Ganga at a place called Belur for permanent place and got it registered as Ramakrishna Math after a couple of years. Swamiji established universal pattern of monastic life which adapts ancient monastic ideals to the conditions of modern life, which gives equal importance to personal enlightenment and social service, and open to all irrespective of religion or caste.

Swami Vivekananda explains new theory to the modern world about his interpretation of religion as a universal experience of inspirational reality, common to all humanity. Religion and science are not contradictory to each other but are two side of coin. Concept of potential divinity of the soul prevents this degradation and makes life meaningful and worth living. Vivekananda has given a new theory of ethics and new principle of morality based on the built-in purity and Atman. We should be pure because purity is our real nature, our true divine Self or Atman.

Swami Vivekananda had built a bridge between Indian culture and Western culture. He explains Hindu scriptures, philosophy and the Hindu way of life to the Western people in form which they could understand. In spite of regional diversities, India has great sense of cultural unity. Swamiji explained country great spiritual heritage and feel Indians pride for the past. In addition, he pointed out drawbacks of Western culture and need India contribution to overcome these drawbacks. This is the global mission of Swamiji.

Factors like unity, pride for past gave real strength and purpose to India nationalist movement. Swamiji unique contribution to the creation of new India was to open the minds of Indians and duty to the demoralized masses. Swamiji spoke about the common bases of Hinduism and the common ground of all sects. So many people compare Swamiji with Adi Sankracharya. Swamiji was always in favor to raise voice in defense of Hinduism. Swamiji realized and explain everyone to service to God in man - Jan Seva.

Vivekananda did not just explains holy Hindu scriptures and philosophical ideas in terms of modern thought but added several illuminating concepts based on his own experiences and vision of the future. Swamiji want that education by which character is formed, strength of mind is increased by which one can stand on one own feet. If you think yourselves weak, you will be weak; if you think yourselves strong, you will be strong. We need faith in ourselves and stand up on that faith. Purity, patience and determination are the three keys to success. Teach yourselves, teach everyone his real nature, call upon the sleeping soul and see how it awakes a great Vedantic truth. Power, glory, goodness, purity and every excellence will come once sleeping soul is roused to self-conscious activity.

Shree Ramkrishna many time mentioned about Narendra that he will take Mahasamadhi once and same event happen on 4 July 1902 at 9.10 PM when Swami Vivekanand took Mahasamadhi.