The cyclonic monk from India- Swami Vivekananda

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     “Arise! Awake! and stop not until the goal is reached”

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Revived hinduism; made Hindu philosophies reach West- Swami Vivekananda, born as Narendra Nath Datta, in Kolkata on January 12,1863 is the one who introduced Hindu Vedanta philosophy and the philosophy of Yoga to the West. Also, he is the one accredited for bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion during the 19th century. He was one of the pioneers who revived hinduism in India and took it to another level.

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Founder of Ramakrishna Math – Chief disciple of the 19th-century saint Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda founded Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission. After Ramakrishna’s death, when many of his disciples started returning to their ‘Grihastha’ life, it was Swami Vivekananda who converted a dilapidated house into a Math, raised by holy begging. The Math then became the first building of the Ramakrishna Math. The remaining disciples started practising meditation and religious austerities and that is considered as a prominent part of the Hindu Reform movements.

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His remarkable Speech at the Harvard university– He started his journey to the West on May 31, 1893 and was invited to speak at Harvard University by Professor john Henry Wright. Swami Vivekananda was however disappointed to learn that one without credentials from a bona fide organisation would not be accepted as a delegate. Professor wright, on learning that Vivekanana lacked credentials to speak at the Chicago Parliament, said, “To ask for your credentials is like asking the sun to state its right to shine in the heavens.” He is till date remembered for his excellent speech which even got him two-minutes standing ovation from the crowd of thousands present there.

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The orange monk of India-greatest figure in the Parliament of Religions– Parliament President John Henry Barrows said, “India, the Mother of religions was represented by Swami Vivekananda, the Orange-monk who exercised the most wonderful influence over his auditors. ” Vivekananda attracted widespread attention and the Press reffered to him as the cyclonic monk from India. Making a huge impression as an eminent orator he was noted by numerous American newspapers as “the greatest figure in the Parliament of Religions.” Emphasising on universality and religious tolerance he spoke several more times at the Parliament on Budhism, Hinduism and harmony among religions. Despite the brevity of of his speech, it voiced the spirit and sense of universality of the Parliament.

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Lectured over thousands of disciples in the US- Vivekananda spent nearly two years lecturing in the eastern and central united States. He is also the founder of the Vedanta Society of New York. During a question-answer session at Brooklyn Ethical Society, he remarked, “I have a message to the West as Buddha had a message to the East.” He was offered academic positions in two American Universities- Harvard university and Columbia university, however he declined both as his duties with conflict with his commitment as a monk.

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An inspiration– A singer, a painter, a wonderful master of language and a poer. Vivekananda was a complete artist. His lucid language, his splendid oration and his devotion and missionary zeal has been an inspiration to many. “It may be that I shall find it good to get outside my body, to cast it off like a worn out garment. But I shall not cease to work. I shall inspire men everywhere until the whole world shall know that it is one with God,” he wrote to a Western philosopher before his Mahasamadhi.