Vivekanada

Swami Sri Vivekanada Vedanta

Swami Sri Vivekanada Vedanta

Born: January 12, 1863
Died:
July 4, 1902
Achievements:

Played a major role in spiritual enlightenment of Indian masses; Spread Vedanta philosophy in the West; established Ramakrishna Mission for the service of the poor.

Swami Vivekananda was one of the most influential spiritual leaders of Vedanta philosophy. He was the chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahansa and was the founder of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission. Swami Vivekananda was the living embodiment of sacrifice and dedicated his life to the country and yearned for the progress of the poor, the helpless and the downtrodden. He showed a beacon of light to a nation that had lost faith in its ability under British rule and inspired self-confidence among Indians that they are second to none. His ringing words and masterful oratory galvanized the slumbering nation.

Swami Vivekananda real name was Narendranath Dutta. He was born on January12, 1863 in Calcutta. His father’s name was Vishwanath Dutta and his mother’s name Bhuvaneswari Devi. Narendranath acquired the name of Swami Vivekananda when he became a monk.

As a child Narendra was very lively and naughty. He was good in studies as well as in games. He studied instrumental and vocal music and also practiced meditation from a very early age. Even when Narendra was young he questioned the validity of superstitious customs and discrimination based on caste and religion. As a child Narendra had great respect for sanyasis (ascetics). He would give away anything to anybody if asked for. Whenever a beggar asked for alms, he would give him anything he had. Thus from childhood Narendra had the spirit of sacrifice and renunciation.

In 1879, Narendra passed matriculation and entered Presidency College, Calcutta. After one year, he joined the Scottish Church College, Calcutta and studied philosophy. He studied western logic, western philosophy and history of European nations. As he advanced in his studies, his thinking faculty developed. Doubts regarding existence of God started to arise in Narendra’s mind. This made him associate with the Brahmo Samaj, an important religious movement of the time, led by Keshab Chandra Sen. But the Samaj’s congregational prayers and devotional songs could not satisfy Narendra’s zeal to realise God.

During this time Narendra came to know of Sri Ramakrishna Pramahans of Dakshineswar. Sri Ramakrishna was a priest in the temple of Goddess Kali. He was not a scholar. But he was a great devotee. It was being said of him that he had realized God. Once, Narendra went to Dakshineswar to with his friends see him. He asked Ramakrishna, whether he had seen God. The instantaneous answer from Ramakrishna was, “Yes, I have seen God, just as I see you here, only in a more clear sense.” Narendra was astounded and puzzled. He could feel the man’s words were honest and uttered from depths of experience. He started visiting Ramakrishna frequently.

It was in Narendra’s nature to test something thoroughly before he could accept it. He would not accept Ramakrishna as his guru without a test. Ramakrishna used to say that, in order to realize God, one should give up the desire for money and women. One day Narendra hid a rupee under his pillow. Sri Ramakrishna, who had gone out, came into the room and stretched himself on the cot. At once he jumped up as if bitten by a scorpion. When he shook the mattress, the rupee coin fell down. Later he came to know that it was the doing of Narendra. Narendra accepted Sri Ramakrishna as his guru and took training under him for five years in the Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy of non-dualism. Sri Ramakrishna passed away in 1886 and nominated Narendra as his successor. After his death Narendra and a core group of Ramakrishna’s disciples took vows to become monks and renounce everything, and started living in a supposedly haunted house in Baranagore.

In 1890, Narendra set out on a long journey. He covered the length and breadth of the country. He visited Varanasi, Ayodhya, Agra, Vrindavan, Alwar etc. Narendra acquired the name of Swami Vivekananda during the journey. It is said that he was given the name Vivekananda by Maharaja of Khetri for his discrimination of things, good and bad. During his journey, Vivekananda stayed at king’s palaces, as well as at the huts of the poor. He came in close contact with the cultures of different regions of India and various classes of people in India. Vivekananda observed the imbalance in society and tyranny in the name of caste. He realised the need for a national rejuvenation if India was to survive at all.

Swami Vivekananda reached Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of the Indian subcontinent on December24, 1892. He swam across the sea and started meditating on a lone rock. He meditated for three days and said later that he meditated about the past, present and future of India. The rock is presently popular as Vivekananda memorial and is a major tourist destination.

In 1893, Swami Vivekananda went to America to attend the Conference of World Religions in Chicago. He earned wild applause for beginning his address with the famous words, “Sisters and brothers of America.” Swamiji mesmerized everyone in America with his masterful oratory. Wherever he went, he dwelt at length on the greatness of Indian Culture. He spoke with spontaneous ease on every topic, be it History, Sociology, Philosophy or Literature. He deplored the malicious propaganda that had been unleashed by the Christian missionaries in India. Swami Vivekananda also went to England. Many people became his disciples. Most famous among them was Margaret Nivedita’. She came to India and settled here.

Swami Vivekananda returned to India in 1897 after four years of touring in the West. He started disseminating the message of spiritual development among Indians. He realized that social service was possible only through the concerted efforts on an organized mission. To achieve this objective, Swami Vivekananda started Sri Ramakrishna Mission in 1897 and formulated its ideology and goal. During the next two years he bought a site at Belur on the banks of the Ganga, constructed the buildings and established the Ramakrishna Mutt. He once again toured the West from January 1899 to December 1900.

Swami Vivekananda died on July4, 1902 at Belur Mutt near Calcutta.

Swami Sri Vivekananda Vedanta

Secretary General U. Thant of the United Nations giving keynote address,(seated Swami Nikhilananda, Spiritual Leader of the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York).


United Nations Secretary General
U Thant
- Giving keynote address

A letter from India’s Prime Minister

Some of the Golden Quotes of  Swami Sri Vivekananda:

“I am the thread that runs through all these pearls,” and each pearl is a religion or even a sect thereof. Such are the different pearls, and God is the thread that runs through all of them; most people, however, are entirely unconscious of it.
“I do not want to get material life, do not want the sense-life, but something higher.” That is renunciation. Then, by the power of meditation, undo the mischief that has been done.
“Stand up, be bold, be strong. Take the whole responsibility on your own shoulders, & know that you are the creator of your own destiny”
“They alone live who live for others, rest are more dead then alive”
“Arise! Awake! And stop not till the goal is reached”
“To be good and to do good – that is the whole of religion”
“Strength is life, Weakness is death”
“All the power is within you; you can do anything and everything. Believe in that; don’t believe that you are weak. Stand up and express the divinity with in you”
“What ever you think, that you will be. If you think yourself weak, weak you will be; if you think yourself strong; strong you will be”
“Stand and die in your own strength; if there is any sin in the world, it is weakness; avoid all weakness, for weakness is sin, weakness is death”
“Neither money pays, nor name pays, nor fame, nor learning; it is CHARACTER that cleave through adamantine walls of difference”
“He is an atheist who does not believe in himself. The old religion said that he was an atheist who does not believe in God. The new religion says that he is an atheist who does not believe in himself”
“The greatest sin is to think yourself weak”
“Help if you can; if you cannot, fold your hands and stand by and see things go on. Do not injure, if you cannot render help”
“Three things are necessary to make every man great, every nation great”

1. Conviction of the powers of goodness

2. Absence of jealousy and suspicion

3. Helping all who are trying to be and do good

“Are you unselfish? That is the question. If you are, you will be perfect without reading a single religious book, without going into a single church or temple.”
“Misery comes through attachment, not through work. As soon as we identify ourselves with work we do, we feel miserable; but if we don’t identify ourselves with it, we do not feel that misery”
“Nature wants us to react, to return blow for blow, cheating for cheating, lie for lie, to hit back with all our might, then it requires a super divine power not hit back, to keep control, to be unattached”
“Always first learn to be a servant, and then you will be fit to be a master. Avoid this jealousy, and you will do great works that have yet to be done”
“You must have an iron will if you would cross the ocean. You must be strong enough to pierce mountains”
“Take up one idea, make that one idea your life, think of it, dream of it, live of it, let the brain, muscle, nerves, every part of your body be full of that idea and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way great spiritual giants are produced, others are mere talking machines”
“Your country requires heroes; be heroes; your duty is to go on working, and then everything will follow of itself”
“Comfort” is no test of truth; on the contrary, truth is often far from being “comfortable.”
“Face the brutes.” That is a lesson for all life—face the terrible, face it boldly. Like the monkeys, the hardships of life fall back when we cease to flee before them.
“I do not want to get material life. I do not want sense-life but something higher.” That is renunciation. Then, by the power of meditation, undo the mischief that has been done.
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and everything else shall be added unto you.” This is the one great duty, this is renunciation. Live for an ideal, and leave no place in the mind for anything else.
“The earth is enjoyed by heroes”—this is the unfailing truth. Be a hero. Always say, “I have no fear.”
All is the Self or Brahman. The saint, the sinner, the lamb, the tiger, even the murderer, as far as they have any reality, can be nothing else, because there is nothing else.
All knowledge that the world has ever received comes from the mind; the infinite library of the universe is in our own mind.
All power is within you. You can do anything and everything. Believe in that. Do not believe that you are weak; do not believe that you are half-crazy lunatics, as most of us do nowadays. Stand up and express the divinity within you.
All that is real in me is God; all that is real in God is I. The gulf between God and human beings is thus bridged. Thus we find how, by knowing God, we find the kingdom of heaven within us.
All truth is external. Truth is nobody’s property; no race, no individual can lay any exclusive claim to it. Truth is the nature of all souls.
Always discriminate—your body, your house, the people around, and the world are all unreal like a dream. Always think that this body is only an inert instrument. And the Atman within is your real nature.
Anything that brings spiritual, mental, or physical weakness, touch it not with the toes of your feet.
As soon as I think that I am a little body, I want to preserve it, to protect it, to keep it nice, at the expense of other bodies; then you and I become separate.
Avoid excessive merriment. A mind in that state never becomes calm; it becomes fickle. Excessive merriment will always be followed by sorrow. Tears and laughter are near kin. People so often run from one extreme to the other.
Be a hero. Always say, “I have no fear.” Tell this to everyone—“Have no fear.”
Be brave! Be strong! Be fearless! Once you have taken up the spiritual life, fight as long as there is any life in you. Even though you know you are going to be killed, fight till you “are killed.” Don’t die of fright. Die fighting. Don’t go down till you are knocked down.
Be not afraid, for all great power throughout the history of humanity has been with the people. From out of their ranks have come all the greatest geniuses of the world, and history can only repeat itself. Be not afraid of anything. You will do marvelous work.
Be perfectly resigned, perfectly unconcerned; then alone can you do any true work. No eyes can see the real forces; we can only see the results. Put out self, forget it; just let God work, it is His business.
Bless people when they revile you. Think how much good they are doing by helping to stamp out the false ego. Hold fast to the real Self. Think only pure thoughts, and you will accomplish more than a regiment of mere preachers. Out of purity and silence comes the word of power.
Brave, bold men and women, these are what we want. What we want is vigor in the blood, strength in the nerves, iron muscles and nerves of steel, not softening namby-pamby ideas. Avoid all these. Avoid all mystery. There is no mystery in religion.
By the Vedas no books are meant. They mean the accumulated treasury of spiritual laws discovered by different persons in different times. Just as the law of gravitation existed before its discovery, and would exist if all humanity forgot it, so is it with the laws that govern the spiritual world
Desire, ignorance, and inequality—this is the trinity of bondage.
Desire, want, is the father of all misery. Desires are bound by the laws of success and failure. Desires must bring misery. The great secret of true success, of true happiness, is this: the person who asks for no return, the perfectly unselfish person, is the most successful.
Do not hate anybody, because that hatred which comes out from you must, in the long run, come back to you. If you love, that love will come back to you, completing the circle.
Do you think these sannyasi children of Sri Ramakrishna are born to simply to sit under trees lighting dhuni-fires? Whenever any of them will take up some work, people will be astonished to see their energy. Learn from them how to work.
Don’t look back—forward, infinite energy, infinite enthusiasm, infinite daring, and infinite patience—then alone can great deeds be accomplished.
First get rid of the delusion “I am the body,” then only will we want real knowledge.
Go on saying, “I am free.” Never mind if the next moment delusion comes and says, “I am bound.” Dehypnotize the whole thing.
Him I call a Mahatma (“great soul”) whose heart bleeds for the poor, otherwise he is a Duratma (“wicked soul”). Let us unite our wills in continued prayer for their good.
I hate this world, this dream, this horrible nightmare, with its churches and chicaneries, its books and blackguardisms, its fair faces and false hearts, its howling righteousness on the surface and utter hollowness beneath and, above all, its sanctified shopkeeping!

For More Quotes: http://en.thinkexist.com/

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