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Swami Vivekananda

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1.1 MB

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Publish Date:

1 January 2015

Swami Vivekananda, a spiritual genius with towering intellect and force, poured enormous work and success into his brief life (1863–1902). Vivekananda was born Narendranath Datta and was captivated by the agnostic Western schools of philosophy as a child.

Simultaneously, zealous in his pursuit of the truth about God, he questioned holy individuals, asking them if they had seen God. Sri Ramakrishna, who became his teacher and allayed his fears, guided him on the spiritual path, and converted him into a sage and prophet with the power to teach, was just such a person.

Vivekananda abandoned the world after Sri Ramakrishna’s death in 1886 and wandered across India as a travelling monk. His growing concern for the people of India prompted him to seek material assistance from the West. In 1893, he accepted an invitation to represent Hinduism in the Chicago Parliament of Religions.

He spent three years in America and England spreading the Vedanta philosophy and religion before returning to India to create the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission. After a brief second trip to the West, he died on July 4, 1902. His Complete Works, which span nine volumes, contain his lectures and publications.

Swami Vivekananda or those who heard him lecture from 1893 to 1900 are directly responsible for the majority of Vedanta Societies that were formed in America and Europe up to the 1930s.