Swami Vivekananda also popularly known as Narendranath Dutta was born on 12 th January 1863 in a Kayastha family in Shimla Pally at Kolkata, during the festival of Makar Sankranti. His father Vishwanath Dutta was an attorney of Calcutta High Court and his mother Bhuvaneshwari Devi was pious and devotional. One of her sayings, which her son frequently quoted, was “Remain pure all your life; guard your own honor and never transgress the honor of others. Be very tranquil, but when necessary, harden your heart.“
Narendranath started his education at home, but later he joined Metropolitan Institution of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar in 1871 and in 1879 he passed the entrance examination for Presidency College, Calcutta. In 1881 he passed the Fine Arts examination and in 1884 he passed the Bachelor of Arts.
Narendranath took an active interest in physical exercise, sports, and other organizational activities since boyhood. He was absolutely against superstitions, caste systems and discriminations based on castes. Swami Vivekananda was the chief disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, the founder of Ramakrishna Mission. His inspiring speech that started with “Sisters and Brothers of America” at Parliament of the World’s Religions at Chicago in 1893 made him an idol to millions. He was very spiritual and religious from his childhood. He conducted several public as well as private lectures and classes, propagating Vedanta and Yoga in America, England and a few other countries in Europe. When he came back he founded Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, the spiritual institutions to impart education and provide all round development to the young generation.
Swami Vivekananda, in the beginning could not accept the ideologies of Sri RamKrishna but gradually Narendra had to accept him as his Guru.Narendra took the name of Swami Vivekananda after the death of Sri Ram Krishna as he was suffering from throat cancer. Swami then travelled throughout India to improve the conditions of the poor and neglected. His favourite books were Bhagavad-Gita and The Imitation of Christ. Since then he visited different places throughout the world establishing Hinduism as one of the major religions at the end of 19th century. His contributions in every sphere of our society are still regarded incomparable.
Swami Vivekananda died at ten minutes past nine P.M. on July 4, 1902 while he was engrossed in meditation. The Vedantaâ€™s teachings were interpreted according to him, which included â€œServing man is serving Godâ€, the philosophy, which has still influence on thousand hearts. Swami Vivekananda will be there in our memories for his unsurpassable contributions from India’s freedom struggle movement to upliftment of the society, from improving the conditions of the poor to removing discrimination on the basis of castes.
There are several missionaries, schools and colleges which are run following his ideologies and principles.Vivekananda Setu (Bally Bridge) named after him links Howrah at Bally to its twin city Kolkata at Dakshineshwar.He has made innumerable contributionsÂ to enrich our society.Swami Vivekananda is still alive and fresh in our memories along with his ideologies and beliefs, which still inspires us to face life as a challenge with truth and right principles as our guide.
By : Adriza Chakraborty.Â Konnagar, Hooghly.