Swami Vivekananda: Biography, Quotes and More

Swami Vivekananda, born Narendranath Datta on January 12, 1863, was an Indian Hindu monk, philosopher, author, religious teacher, and the chief disciple of the 19th-century Indian mystic Ramakrishna. He was a key figure in the introduction of the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world and is widely considered to be the Father of modern Indian nationalism. Vivekananda is credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion, and inspiring the Indian independence movement.

Date of Birth: January 12, 1863 

Place of Birth: Calcutta, Bengal Presidency (Now Kolkata in West Bengal)

Parents: Vishwanath Dutta (Father) and Bhuvaneshwari Devi (Mother)

Education: Calcutta Metropolitan School; Presidency College, Calcutta

Institutions: Ramakrishna Math; Ramakrishna Mission; Vedanta Society of New York

Religious Views: Hinduism

Philosophy: Advaita Vedanta

Publications: Karma Yoga (1896); Raja Yoga (1896); Lectures from Colombo to Almora (1897); My Master (1901)

Death: July 4, 1902

Place of Death: Belur Math, Belur, Bengal

Memorial: Belur Math, Belur, West Bengal

Swami Vivekananda Quotes

“Everything is easy when you are busy. But nothing is easy when you are lazy.” ~ Swami Vivekananda

“You are incarnations of God, all of you. You are incarnations of the Almighty, Omnipresent, Divine Principle. You may laugh at me now, but the time will come when you will understand. You must. Nobody will be left behind.” ~ Swami Vivekananda

“All power is within you. Believe in that,do not believe that you are weak… Stand up and express the Divinity within you.” ~ Swami Vivekananda

“We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves.” ~ Swami Vivekananda

“Everything can be sacrificed for truth, but truth cannot be sacrificed for anything.” ~ Swami Vivekananda

“Devotion to duty is the highest form of worship of God.” ~ Swami Vivekananda

“Whatever you think, that you will be.” ~ Swami Vivekananda

“Talk to yourself atleast once in a Day. Otherwise, you may miss a meeting with an EXCELLENT person in this World.” ~ Swami Vivekananda

“Take up an idea, devote yourself to it, struggle on in patience, and the sun will rise for you.” ~ Swami Vivekananda

“We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.” ~ Swami Vivekananda

“Things do not grow better; they remain as they are. It is we who grow better, by the changes we make in ourselves.” ~ Swami Vivekananda

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.” ~ Swami Vivekananda

“He who struggles is better than he who never attempts” ~ Swami Vivekananda

“Experience is the only teacher we have. We may talk and reason all our lives, but we shall not understand a word of truth until we experience it ourselves.” ~ Swami Vivekananda

“Dependence is misery. Independence is happiness.” ~ Swami Vivekananda

“The same power is in every man, the one manifesting more, the other less; the same potentiality is in everyone.” ~ Swami Vivekananda

“Never say NO, Never say, ‘I cannot’, for you are INFINITE. All the power is WITHIN you. You can do anything.” ~ Swami Vivekananda

“Do not lower your goals to the level of your abilities. Instead, raise your abilities to the height of your goals.” ~ Swami Vivekananda

“Take Risks in Your Life If you Win, U Can Lead! If You Lose, You can Guide!” ~ Swami Vivekananda

“Everyone goes with the flow… but the one who goes against the flow becomes someone remarkable in life.” ~ Swami Vivekananda

“Stand up and be strong! No fear. No superstition. Face the truth as it is!” ~ Swami Vivekananda

Early Life and Education:

  • Born into a Bengali family in Kolkata, India.
  • His father, Vishwanath Datta, was an attorney at the Calcutta High Court.
  • His mother, Bhuvaneshwari Devi, was a devout housewife.
  • Educated at Presidency College, Calcutta, where he was exposed to Western philosophy and science.
  • Developed a deep interest in spiritual matters from a young age.

Meeting Ramakrishna:

  • In 1881, met Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, a mystic and saint, who became his guru.
  • Ramakrishna’s teachings had a profound impact on Vivekananda, leading him to embrace Hinduism and its spiritual traditions.
  • After Ramakrishna’s death in 1886, Vivekananda and his fellow disciples formed the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, dedicated to spreading Ramakrishna’s teachings.

Worldly Travels and the Chicago Parliament of Religions:

  • In 1893, Vivekananda traveled to the United States to attend the Parliament of Religions in Chicago.
  • His famous speech, “Sisters and Brothers of America,” introduced Hinduism to a Western audience and made him an international figure.
  • He traveled extensively throughout the United States and Europe, giving lectures and spreading his message of universal brotherhood and spiritual enlightenment.

Contributions to Hinduism and Indian Nationalism:

  • Interpreted Hinduism in a modern and progressive way, emphasizing its universal message and compatibility with science.
  • Advocated for social reform and the upliftment of the downtrodden.
  • Played a key role in awakening national consciousness in India and inspiring the Indian independence movement.

Legacy:

  • Considered one of the most influential spiritual figures of the modern age.
  • His teachings continue to inspire millions of people around the world.
  • The Ramakrishna Math and Mission, which he founded, is a global organization with centers in over 100 countries.

Here are some of Swami Vivekananda’s most famous quotes:

  • “Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached.”
  • “You have to believe in yourself. Then the whole world will believe in you.”
  • “Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man.”
  • “Weakness is death. Strength is life. Wake up what is in you. Be strong. Fear nothing!”
  • “All power is from within. You can do anything if you only believe in yourself.”

Swami Vivekananda’s life and teachings continue to inspire people around the world. His message of universal brotherhood, spiritual enlightenment, and social justice remains relevant today more than ever.

I hope this comprehensive overview of Swami Vivekananda’s biography is helpful. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

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