was born on
12th January 1863
in Kolkata to
Bhuvaneshwari had many
daughters and longed for a son. And it is said that a son was born after long
worship of Lord Shiva. Bhuvaneshwari believed that her son was gift from
Vireshwar Shiva and so named him Bireshwar.
As the name was too long,
began calling Biley.
As a child, Vivekananda was strong-willed but restless.
Vivekananda was always fascinated by the sanyasis (monks) in their
saffron dress. He would give anything to them which was handy. He would love to
play with his friends "king and court" where he would always become
king. Sometimes they would play the game of meditation. Whenever he used to do
this, he used to forget everything and would only think of God.
Vivekananda was a sharp boy and before he was
six, he knew all the stories of
Ramayana and Mahabharta
by heart. Vivekananda
used to remember everything that he heard once. This was because he used to give
complete concentration to it. Vivekananda always told the truth and always
wanted to test the truth of what he was told. In times of danger, Vivekananda
always kept a cool head and did his duty.
Swami Vivekananda became one of India's
leading social reformers
of the modern era and
humanitarianism and service to God through service to others. He is
revered both in the East and West as a rejuvenator of mankind through
the eternal truths of Hinduism. He spoke widely on Hinduism and its true
meaning as written in the vedas and founded the Ramkrishna Mission, one
of India's leading charitable institutions.
In America Vivekananda's mission
was the interpretation of India's spiritual culture,
especially in its Vedantic
setting. He also tried to enrich the religious consciousness of the Americans
through the rational and humanistic teachings of the Vedanta philosophy. In
America he became India's spiritual ambassador
and pleaded eloquently for better
understanding between India and the New World in order to create a healthy
synthesis of East and West, of religion and science.
In the course of a short life of
thirty-nine years (1863-1902),
of which only ten were devoted to public
activities-and those, too, in the midst of acute physical suffering-he left for
posterity his four classics: Jnana-Yoga, Bhakti-Yoga, Karma-Yoga, and
all of which are outstanding treatises on Hindu philosophy. In addition, he
delivered innumerable lectures, wrote inspired letters in his own hand to his
many friends and disciples, composed numerous poems, and acted as spiritual
guide to the many seekers, who came to him for instruction. He also organized
the Ramakrishna Order of monks, which is the most outstanding religious
organization of modern India. It is devoted to the propagation of the Hindu
spiritual culture not only in the Swami's native land, but also in America and
in other parts of the world.