Plalguni G T
Swami Vivekananda was an Indian Hindu monk and philosopher who lived from 1863 to 1902. He was a disciple of the Indian saint Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and was instrumental in introducing Indian spirituality and philosophy to the Western world.
Vivekananda is known for his powerful oratory skills and his ability to inspire people with his teachings. He traveled extensively throughout India and the West, delivering lectures on Vedanta philosophy, Hinduism, and spirituality. His famous speech at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago in 1893, where he began with the words “Sisters and Brothers of America,” is considered a landmark event in the history of interfaith dialogue.
Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, a spiritual organization dedicated to the propagation of Vedanta philosophy and the welfare of society. He is also credited with helping to revive Hinduism in India, which had been in decline due to British colonialism.
Today, Swami Vivekananda is remembered as a spiritual giant and an inspiring figure who worked tirelessly for the betterment of humanity. His teachings continue to influence people around the world, and his legacy lives on through the Ramakrishna Math and Mission and other organizations dedicated to his teachings.
Achievements of Swami Vivekenanda
Swami Vivekananda was a spiritual leader, philosopher, and social reformer who made significant contributions to Indian society and culture. His achievements include:
- Introducing Indian spirituality to the Western world: Swami Vivekananda played a key role in introducing Vedanta philosophy, Hinduism, and Indian spirituality to the Western world. He delivered lectures and speeches on these subjects throughout India and the West, inspiring thousands of people to take an interest in Indian spirituality.
- Promoting interfaith harmony: Swami Vivekananda believed in the unity of all religions and worked to promote interfaith harmony. His famous speech at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago in 1893 is considered a landmark event in the history of interfaith dialogue.
- Founding the Ramakrishna Mission: Swami Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Mission, a spiritual organization dedicated to the propagation of Vedanta philosophy and the welfare of society. Today, the organization has branches all over the world and continues to carry out humanitarian and social welfare activities.
- Reviving Hinduism in India: Swami Vivekananda played a key role in reviving Hinduism in India, which had been in decline due to British colonialism. He emphasized the importance of self-reliance, education, and social reform as a means of empowering the Indian people and promoting their cultural and spiritual heritage.
- Inspiring generations of spiritual seekers: Swami Vivekananda’s teachings and example have inspired generations of spiritual seekers around the world. His message of self-realization, social service, and spiritual freedom continues to resonate with people of all backgrounds and faiths.
Inspiring Stories of Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda’s life was full of inspiring stories. Here are a few short ones:
- The Power of Determination: When Swami Vivekananda was studying at the University of Calcutta, he was once told by a professor that it was impossible for him to learn the entire syllabus in the given time. However, Swamiji was determined to prove the professor wrong. He worked day and night and not only completed the syllabus but also stood first in the class. This incident taught him the power of determination and hard work.
- The Compassion of a Saint: Once, a poor widow came to Swami Vivekananda asking for help. She had no food to feed her hungry children. Swamiji had nothing to give her, so he asked her to wait while he went out to beg for alms. When he returned, he found that the widow had fallen asleep, exhausted from hunger. Swamiji then sat beside her, keeping watch, until she woke up. This incident shows Swamiji’s deep compassion for the poor and needy.
- The Power of Faith: Swami Vivekananda once visited a poor farmer who was facing a severe drought. The farmer had tried everything to bring rain, but nothing worked. Swamiji told the farmer to pray to Lord Indra, the god of rain. The farmer did as he was told and soon it started raining heavily. This incident shows the power of faith and the importance of believing in something greater than oneself.
- The Importance of Education: When Swami Vivekananda was traveling across India, he met a group of poor children who were unable to attend school due to poverty. He decided to teach them himself and started a school under a tree. This incident shows Swamiji’s commitment to education and his belief that education is the key to empowering the poor and marginalized.
- The Unity of All Religions: During his visit to the United States, Swami Vivekananda was once asked whether he believed in Jesus Christ. He replied, “I love him more than any of your priests do.” This incident shows Swamiji’s belief in the unity of all religions and his respect for the teachings of Jesus Christ.
- The Power of Focus: Once, Swami Vivekananda was given a book to read by his teacher. His teacher asked him to read the book and then tell him what he had learned from it. Swamiji read the book but when he was asked about it, he couldn’t recall anything. His teacher then told him that the book was not important, but the ability to focus and concentrate was. This incident taught Swamiji the importance of focus and concentration.
- The Power of Meditation: Swami Vivekananda once went to a forest to meditate. He meditated for days without any food or water. When he opened his eyes, he saw a cobra drinking water from a bowl that was next to him. Swamiji realized that even animals respect and protect those who meditate deeply.
- The Power of Kindness: Swami Vivekananda once came across a group of boys who were throwing stones at a dog. He stopped them and told them that hurting animals was not the right thing to do. He then took the dog with him and gave it food and shelter. This incident taught the boys the importance of kindness and compassion towards animals.
- The Power of Gratitude: Swami Vivekananda once met a poor woman who was grateful for everything she had. She had nothing, but she was happy and content. Swamiji realized that gratitude was the key to happiness.
- The Power of Prayer: Swami Vivekananda once visited a king who was suffering from a disease. The king asked him to pray for his recovery. Swamiji prayed and the king recovered. This incident shows the power of prayer.
- The Power of Sacrifice: Swami Vivekananda once saw a mother bird feeding her young ones. He realized that a mother’s love was unconditional and that she was willing to sacrifice everything for her children.
- The Power of Unity: Swami Vivekananda believed in the unity of all religions. He once said that all religions were like different paths that led to the same destination.
- The Power of Self-Realization: Swami Vivekananda once said that the goal of life was to realize one’s true self. He believed that this was the ultimate goal of human existence.
Swami Vivekenanda’s Inspirational quotes
Swami Vivekananda was known for his powerful and inspiring words. Here are some of his famous quotes:
- “Arise, awake, and stop not until the goal is reached.”
- “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.”
- “In a day, when you don’t come across any problems – you can be sure that you are travelling in a wrong path.”
- “The greatest religion is to be true to your own nature. Have faith in yourselves.”
- “We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.”
- “Stand up, be bold, be strong. Take the whole responsibility on your own shoulders, and know that you are the creator of your own destiny.”
- “The more we come out and do good to others, the more our hearts will be purified, and God will be in them.”
- “You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself.”
- “All power is within you; you can do anything and everything. Believe in that, do not believe that you are weak.”
- “Be not afraid of anything. You will do marvelous work. It is fearlessness that brings heaven even in a moment.”