Swami Vivekananda (1863 - 1902)

Swami Vivekananda was a manifold personality - a spiritual giant, a world teacher, a leader, a philosopher and the patriot saint of modern India. Whatever actions he performed, whatever words he spoke, were all geared to revive the dormant national consciousness of India, to remove the miseries of the world and to uplift the downtrodden and destitute. This great sage, born on 12 January 1863, was loved and revered as the rejuvenator of Hinduism.

Swamiji's inspiring personality and message of strength, practical spirituality and service to humanity not only set India ablaze, but also had an irresistible appeal to the West. Swamiji became world renowned at the Parliament of the World's Religions held in Chicago, in 1893. He broadcast the humanistic teachings of the Vedanta philosophy and India's deep spirituality to the West. He became India's spiritual ambassador to the West and eloquently advocated a healthy synthesis of East and West, of religion and science

Using the spiritual principle of the Vedantic Oneness of existence, Swami Vivekananda promoted peace and unity on a national and international basis. As a mystic of the highest order, Swamiji's life encompassed the contemplation of God and service to humanity. Like his spiritual teacher, SriRamakrishna, the natural tendency of his mind was to soar above worldly existence and dwell onthe Absolute Reality or God. His love for humanity superceded his desire for liberation and his own salvation.

In the course of his short life of thirty-nine years, Swami Vivekananda delivered innumerable lectures, composed poems and was a spiritual guide to seekers of God. To ensure the propagation of Hindu religion and Indian culture, Swamiji organised the Ramakrishna Order of Monks. Even today, Swamiji's message of strength-giving and man-making religion reverberates with vigour and dynamism. Swamiji reminds us, 'All power is within you. You can do anything and everything. Do not believe that you are weak.' From the following teachings one can get a glimpse into the power and personality of this great soul: