Picture of Vivekananda

Date of Birth: 01/12/1863

Age: 39

Place of birth: Simla

Citizenship: India


Outstanding Indian philosopher and social activist, born 12 January 1863 in the area of ??Simla in Kolkata (West Bengal), died July 4, 1902 in Belurskom Monastery near Calcutta

Swami Vivekananda is considered one of the most famous and influential spiritual leaders and representatives of Vedanta philosophy and revered by millions of Hindus and members of other nations. He was the chief disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and the founder of Ramakrishna Order (Ramakrishna Math [Ramakrishna Math]) and the Ramakrishna Mission (Ramakrishna Mission). Many see him as their idol, for his courage, positive guidance for young people, broad view of the social problems and Uncounted lectures and discourses on Vedanta philosophy.

The birth and early life

Parents Narendranath Datta were Vishwanath Datta and Bhubaneswar Devi. Even as a child he showed a developed mind and a sharp memory. He practiced meditation with the same early age. While in school, he showed good results in their studies, as well as a variety of games. He organized an amateur theatrical studio and gymnastic club and took lessons in fencing, wrestling, rowing and other sports. He also studied instrumental and vocal music. He was a leader among his friends. Even when he was young, he questioned the validity of superstitious customs and discrimination based on caste and religion.

In 1879, Narendra entered the Presidency College (Presidency College) in Calcutta for further study. After studying there for a year, he joined the Scottish Church College (Scottish Church College) and studied philosophy. During the course, he studied logic, philosophy and Western European history.

Around this time, the issue has become acute arise in the mind of the young Narendra on whether God exists and whether He may see. For this reason he joined the Brahmo Samaj, an influential religious movement of the time, led by Keshab Chandra Sen. But the parish prayer and religious songs Samaj could not satisfy Narendra desire to realize God. He asked the leaders of Brahma Samaj: they saw God. He never received a satisfactory answer from them. Around this time, a college professor William Hastie told him about Sri Ramakrishna of Dakshineswar.

Disciple of Sri Ramakrishna

Narendra first met Sri Ramakrishna in November 1881. He asked Ramakrishna the same question that he asked other religious leaders: whether he had seen God. Ramakrishna replied immediately: "Yes, I have seen God, just as I see you, only more clearly." Narendra was astounded and puzzled. He felt that the words of this man was honest and came out of the depths of his experience. He began to frequent Ramakrishna.

Yet, although he could immediately take Narendrane Sri Ramakrishna and his visions, he could not ignore them. Narendra was peculiar to always carefully check everything before he could take it. He checked everything he did and said Sri Ramakrishna, but the teacher was patient, forgiving, cheerful and full of love. He never asked Narendra to the abandoned common sense, and it met all of the arguments and studies Narendra with infinite patience. Over time, Narendra accepted Sri Ramakrishna, and when it happened, its adoption was genuine. At that time, Sri Ramakrishna predominantly taught duality philosophy and a way of Bhakti (Bhakti) his other disciples, he taught Narendra Advaita Vedanta (Advaita Vedanta), the philosophy of non-dualism.

Within five years of his training under the guidance of Sri Ramakrishna, Narendra was transformed from a restless, puzzled, impatient young man, a mature man who was ready to renounce everything for the realization of God. Shortly thereafter, at the Sri Ramakrishna developed throat cancer and he passed away in August 1886 After this Narendra and a core group of disciples of Sri Ramakrishna, consisting mainly of young people who took monastic vows and renounced all worldly things. They began to live in the house, about which said that he was flooded with ghosts, in the Calcutta area Baranagore. This house was the first monastery of the Ramakrishna Order. They begged to satisfy their hunger, and their needs taken care of other wealthy householder disciples of Sri Ramakrishna.

Wanderings in India

Soon the young monks of the monastery Baranagorskogo want to lead a life of wandering monks, with nothing but some clothes and a cup for alms. In July 1890, Vivekananda set out on a long journey, not knowing where the path should lead it. In this journey he went along and across the entire Indian subcontinent. At this time, Vivekananda took different names like Swami Satchidananda, and so Vividishananda. N., Alleged that take the name Vivekananda, which in Sanskrit means "bliss of discrimination", it was suggested to him Maharajas Khetri before sending it to the United States.

During this period of wandering Vivekananda stayed as in the palaces of the Maharajas, and in the huts of the poor. He came into close contact with the culture of other regions and different classes of people in India. Vivekananda observed the imbalance in society and tyranny of the upper castes with respect to the lower castes. He realized the need for the rejuvenation of the nation, to India survived as such. He reached Kanyakumari, Cape Comorin, the most southerly point of the Indian subcontinent December 24, 1892 There are allegedly his followers, he swam across the strait and began to meditate on a rock standing alone. So he meditated for three days and, as he said later, he was thinking about the past, present and future of India. Who is this rock in Kanyakumari is a memorial dedicated to Swami Vivekananda.

Vivekananda went to Madras (Chennai) and talked about his plans for India and Hinduism Madras youth. They were impressed by the personality and ideas of young monk and tried to persuade him to go to the United States to represent Hinduism at the World Parliament of Religions. Thus, with the help of his friends from Madras, Raja of Ramnad and Maharajas of Mysore and Khetri, Vivekananda set out on his journey to America.

In the West

Vivekananda eclipsed all the other speakers in 1893 at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago, Illinois, where he was given a standing ovation at the beginning of his speech, he appealed to all the famous words: "Sisters and brothers of America". Arrival Vivekananda in the US is called by many the starting point at the beginning of interest in Hinduism in the West is just as exotic oriental strangeness, but as a living religious and philosophical traditions, which could really be something important that could teach the West. Within a few years after Parliament he founded the Vedanta Centers in New York and London, lectured at major universities and everywhere, wherever he came, kindled the interest of the West to Hinduism. His success has not been without conflict, most of which were associated with the Christian missionaries, to which he was harshly critical attitude. After four years of constant touring, lecturing and retreats in the West, he returned to India in 1897

Back to India

His admirers say that he was overwhelmed by the reception he received on his return. In India, he gave a series of lectures, and considered that this series of lectures, known as the "Lectures from Colombo to Almora `, raised morale depressed at the time of the Indian society. In 1897 he founded the Ramakrishna Mission. This organization is now one of the largest monastic orders of Hindu community in India and now enjoys a special prestige and respect among the many religious and public and charitable organizations.

The principles and philosophy

Vivekananda was a well-known and original thinker. One of his most important contributions to the world of philosophical thought is to show how the ideas of Advaita Vedanta can be not only philosophically lofty and spiritual, but also highly practical and have public, even political significance. He claimed that he had received one important idea of ??Sri Ramakrishna - one that "Jiva is Shiva" (each person is divine in itself). This idea became his mantra, and he created the concept of "daridra Narayana seva" - serving God, seeing His presence in the poor people. If the basis on which there is indeed a unity of Brahman underlying all phenomena, then we feel better or worse, or better or worse than others? That was the question he asked himself. In the end he decided that these differences dissolve into nothingness in the light of unity that the yogi experiences samadhi. What arises then - compassion for those "individuals" who remain unaware of this oneness and a determination to help them. Vivekananda did not advocate arose while parapsychology, astrology, etc. (One example of this can be found in his speech, "The man - the creator of his own destiny", MSS, Volume 8).. Saying that this form of curiosity does not help in spiritual progress, but actually hinders it.

Swami Vivekananda belonged to that stream of Vedanta, which argued that no one can be truly free until then, until all are free. Even the desire for personal salvation has to be abandoned, and only tireless work for the salvation of others can be a true sign of an enlightened person. He founded the Math (monastery) and the Ramakrishna Mission based on the principle of "atma Mokshartham Dzhagaddhitaya Cha" (& # 2310; & # 2340; & # 2381; & # 2350; & # 2344; & # 2378; & # 2350; & # 2379 ; & # 2325; & # 2381; & # 2359; & # 2366; & # 2352; & # 2381; & # 2341; & # 2350; & # 2381; & # 2332; & # 2327; & # 2342; & # 2381; & # 2343; & # 2367; & # 2340; & # 2366; & # 2351; & # 2330;) (for their own liberation and for peace).

Vivekananda advised to acquire holiness, be selfless and have faith in yourself. It is strongly recommended that the practice of brahmacharya (celibacy). In one of the conversations with his childhood friend Sri Priya Nath Singh, he attributes his physical and mental strength and eloquence practice brahmacharya.

However, Vivekananda also insisted on a strict separation between religion and state (church and state), and this ideal firmly adheres to the organization he founded. Although social traditions have been formed in the past under the influence of religion, now religion must not interfere in such matters, such as marriage, inheritance and so on. An ideal society should be a mixture of Brahman knowledge, Kshatriya culture, efficiency and the egalitarian nature vaisyas Sudra. The predominance of any of them leads to the appearance of various types of one-sided development of civil society. Vivekananda did not believe that religion or any other force of this kind should be used to build an ideal society, because it was something that should develop naturally with the change at the individual level, when appropriate will come to terms.