A Short Essay on Swami Vivekananda-The Wandering Monk-His Works & Philosophy for International Brotherhood.

 Swami Vivekananda- The Curator of Nava Vedanta-The Spirituality for all. His Principles, Religious Philosophy  &international delegation at Parliament of Religion in Chicago. 

India, the mother of religions was represented by Swami Vivekananda, the orange monk who exercised the most wonderful influence over his auditors- John Henry Barrows. 
               India, the land of religious harmony. These essences are strengthened time to time with the appearances of noble son of mother India. This spirit of Indian communal harmony were garlanded with the born of such a noble soul called Swami Vivekananda.

               He raised the Indian religious philosophy to a global acceptances. This essay is about his universal attitude towards the uniform and liberal approaches of humanity. His simplification theology made him Vivekananda means the ultimate delight of hearts or hearty delighters.

                      Today on 12th of January, We are here remembering the Birth  Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda formerly known as Narendranath Datta. He was born on this day in the year of 1863 in an aristocrat kayashtha family of Calcutta. He was later distinguished as the spiritual leader of India and was inclined to equality among human beings. His aim & activities were to sprout the Hinduism as a world religion. He realised the cause of social discrimination of different parts of Hindu disciples. He worked hard to eliminate the diversities of the Hindu theology. His best contribution was to simplify the religious  philosophy to enroot the diversities into a single  religious concept so that he could bring the whole communities under the uniform theology to worship God as love & service to humanities without any division of caste & communities. His belief was every living creations are derivatives of God. 

His early life & Education:

Earlier it is mentioned that Narendranath alias Naren was born & brought up in an aristocrat family in Calcutta. His father, Viswanath Datta was an attorney in Calcutta High court. His grandfather, Durgacharan Datta was a Sanskrit & Persian scholar. His mother, Bhubaneswari Devi was a devout housewife. The progressive attitude of his father & the religious temperament of his mother helped to shape his thinking & personality. 

      By his childhood, Narendranath was a restless & naughty enough so his mother was in trouble to control him. Once his mother said, "I prayed to God Shiva for a son and he sent one of His demon." In a folklore, it is heard that Naren was missing in the evening. His parents along his neighbors  were awfully searching him. After their long efforts, he was found riding on the top of a big banyan tree pretending to be a Brahmbodoyta, the horrible demon. This was an example of his fearless  behavior. Another folktale mentioned his attitude towards equality. He sat on his room taking Hookah, the tobacco inhaler collecting from different peoples of his surroundings. He believed in equality of all human beings and according to him, " all are my brothers & sisters, however they are poor or illiterate."

His Education:

         In 1871, at the age of eight, he was admitted to Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar Metropolitan Institute. He studied there till 1877. Then his family shifted to Jaipur. So he studied in Jaipur and after two years he returned back to Calcutta. In the year, 1879 he got his distinction with first class in Presidency college entrance examination. Vivekananda was a vivid reader. Within a short span, he grasped a wide range of subject including Philosophy, Religion, History, Literature & Social Science. His most interested subject was in the fields of  Hindu Scripture including Vedas, Upanishad, Bhagwat Geeta and Ramayana, Mahabharat & Puranas. In 1881, he passed fine Arts examination & in 1884 he completed his Bachelor degree from Christian College. He further studied the works of several Philosopher & Social thinker like as David Hume, Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill & Charles Darwin. Gradually he became fascinated with the evolutionism of Herbert Spencer's book, "Education." Later he needed the translation of this book in Bengali version. He had completed his through study on western Philosophy & Sanskrit Scripture. Earlier it was mentioned that Narendranath had a n ingenious capacity of vivid speed reading. He could read several pages at a glance. For his exceptional aptitude once the principle of Christian college narrated as below:

Narendranath is really a genius I have travelled far and wide but I have never come across a lad of his talents and possibilities, even in German universities, among Philosophical students. He is bound to make his mark in life.


Stories & Tales about his Memory & Speed Reading Capacity:        

         There are lots of stories on his exceptional memories and speed reading capabilities. Once he quoted verbatim three pages from Pickwick Papers, Charles Dicken's first novel. There are very interesting story about his memory. While he was sitting by a Swedish national, Narendranath was discussing about Sweden history. Some information seemed to be wrong to him so he  contradicted him. The Swedish was frightened to him. But Vivekananda was very calm & brought him to Sweden National Library. He showed him the necessary documents & chuckled to him. The Swedish astonished to the stranger.
                  There is an another story about his speed reading. While he was in Germany, he attended Dr. Paul Denssen's Classes on literature. He was asked for feedback of his classes. Vivekananda did not reply to him. Later he apologized to professor explaining that he was too absorbed in reading so that he could hear him. Dr. Paul Denssen was not satisfied with his explanation. Vivekananda quoted & interpreted verses from the text that professor left. It made professor dumbfounded about his feat of memory.

       There is the most frequent tales of his memory & his truthiness. Once he was interested about Sir John Lubbock. So he requested some of his books. He borrowed one book & returned it next day morning. Again he asked for another one that was also returned on the same day evening. This way he read most probably the great books of his favorite author. Librarian asked him whether he had read or just borrowed whimsically. Vivekananda chuckled to him and told mildly that he read all about the subject. The librarian refused to belief him. He then asked context from the books he borrowed. Vivekananda explained all the topics with references that were asked him. The librarian was spellbound to his memory & truthfulness. So he was called the Shrutidhara, person with prodigious memory.

His Social & Religious Activism- Fellow of Brahmo Samaj:

           Keshab Chandra Sen & Debendranath Thakur founded Brahmo Samaj. The motto of this society was to accomplish the traditional Hindu to ethnicity of modern Hinduism that might be the adaptive of modern society with the belief of Unitarianism. Narendranath became one of the active member of Brahmo Samaj. He already studied about European esoterism. But he still confused about the existence of God. He asked several intellectual to conceptualise the God's theology. But none could satisfied him. He assured with reality of God when he met Sri Ramakrishna, the Bengali religious preachers of Hindu ethnicity. Ramakrishna truly explained as "Yes I see him as I see you only in an infinitely intense sense." With the contiguous religious speaking & lecture of Ramakrishna, Narendranath found the truth of religion. He started to realise that the love, equality& good willing of others benefit and upliftment. The service to all animal beings is the true love to God. He started his journey to the service of all animal being. Human beings are the apex of all living organism. He devoted all his life to the service of humanity.

Fellowship & Disciple of Shri Ramakrishna:

          In late 1881 or early 1982 Narendranath went to Dakhineswar with his friends & met Ramakrishna. He primarily believed Ramakrishna thoughts, life style, visions & ecstasies as "mere figments of imagination & hallucination." As a member of Brahmo Samaj, he opposed his worship of idol & his concept of polytheism. Narendranath asked many question about his religious orthodoxies,  Ramakrishna calmly replied, " Try to see the truth from all angles."
In the year, 1884 Narendranath's  father died and his family fell in bankruptcy. His creditors demanded repayments of loan & his relatives threatened to evict his family from their ancestral home. He could not manage to have a job. He had again the question of existence of God. He came to Ramakrishna for a prayer to God for his relief of his hardship. Ramakrishna suggested him to go to Kali temple & pray himself. He went to the temple & meditate to Goddess of Kali but he could not ask for any materialistic alms rather he prayer for true knowledge & devotion. He returned to Ramakrishna who asked him Narendranath," Have you beg for your poverty." Narendranath astonished to Ramakrishna," I have got the true need of human beings." He got in touch more intensely as he realised the existence of God & power of spirituality. Narendranath gradually grew to renounce everything for the sake of realising God. He accepted Ramakrishna as his Guru, the master of his spiritual life. Within a short span, Narendranath  became the most faithful disciple of Ramakrishna. In 1885, Ramakrishna suffered from his throat cancer and assumed he could not survive for a long, he adopted Narendranath  as his next philosophical leader to take care of his other disciples, on contrary he advised his follower to accept Narendranath's leadership. On 16th August, 1986 Ramakrishna died in Cossipore. Meanwhile most of his follower returned to their home to enter into family life called it Grihastha. Cossipore math had been closed with unpaid rent, Narendranath with rest of the follower  shifted to Baranagar Math that was a less rented home. It was the first building of Ramakrishna Math, the monastery. This year in 1986, on the day of Christiania, at village, Antpur in the district of Hooghly Narendranath with other eight disciples took the monastic vows that they decided to live as their master lived. Narendranath took the name, Swami Vivekananda means the delighted soul of God. They started their journey to serve human beings irrespective of caste, nationality & Social division.

His Life as a Wandering Monk-A Travelling Theologist. 

         Vivekananda truly realised that human beings are affectionately attached to their family life in spite of devoting themselves to monastic life. But they need the true religious accomplishment for their enlightenment with discipline & thoughts of humanities. Only knowledge can eradicate the darkness of their soul. He decided to spread the knowledge & awareness of his philosophy globally, he left his monastic lifehood. He then became  a Paribrajaka, the wandering monk, the travelling preacher. He had only a Kamandalu, a Brass kettle like pot & his two favourite books, one is Bhagwat Geeta & other is "the imitation of Christ". Within five years he extensively travelled all over India, met several Institution & delivered his lectures in tune of his philosophies & uniformities of religious liberty. In 1893, he left Mumbai for a world consignment to spread his vow to humanities. He travelled several parts of Japan, China & Europe. Finally on 30th July he reached to Chicago, America where the "parliament of Religion" was took place. Vivekananda was highly ambitious to take part of such assembly to express his vision & thoughts. Vivekananda started his lecture echoing the tune universal brotherhood by saying," Sisters & Brothers of America".
These two words presented him two minutes standing ovation for seven thousands crowds of global conglomerates. He further quoted two passages from Shiva Mahima Strontium follows as below:

As the different Streams having their sources in different places all mingle their water in sea, so, O Lord the different path which men take, through different tendencies, various thoughts they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Jheel. and whosoever comes to me, through whatsoever from, I reach him, all men are struggling through paths that in the end lead to me.

             It was a short speech but it voiced the spirits of the parliaments. This made him the most favorable preachers in Parliament. After returning from Chicago religious Parliament, he delivered his speeches in different assembly globally. While his European visit in 1895, he met an Irish women, Margarette Elizabeth noble. She became the most intensive follower. Even she was all time companion while he returned back to his homeland, India. Later she was known as Sister Nivedita. Vivekananda on his return journey to India came to Colombo, Srilanka then Tamilnadu. Throughout his journey he was spouting his lectures on philosophy of divine concept. He mostly spoke about Indian great spiritual heritage. He repeatedly addressed social issues uplifting the people, eliminating the caste system, promoting science & industrialization, addressing widespread poverty &ending of colonial rule. He realized the establishing educational & awakening of the slept Indian. He then thought for foundation of Ramakrishna mission for social service. In 1897, he found the first mission. It's ideas were based on karma yoga that means the wok or service for society. He founded another establishment called Ramakrishna Math for spiritual activities.

His Teachings & Philosophy- His idealism for Nationalism.

Vivekananda summarized the Vedanta as follows giving it a modern simple & universalistic interpretation of Indian religion ethology. He simplified the Hinduism as it can be acceptable inline of the western philosophy. He expressed as follows:

Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this divinity within by controlling nature, external and internal. Do this either by work, or worship, mental disciple, or philosophy-by one or more or all of these-and be free. This is whole of religion. Doctrines or dogmas, or rituals or books, or temples or forms are but secondary details.
    Vivekananda emphasised the control of lifestyle, daily habits & systematic leading of ideas. He advised that success is an outcome of a focus thoughts and action. He said in his Raj Yoga, "Take up one idea, make that one idea your life-think of it, dream of it, live on that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success. It is very useful & effective inspirational key to success.
Most importantly it can be said that Gandhi was an implementer of non violence movement but Swami Vivekananda was the pioneer of this idealism.

His Literary Composition- Books & Lectures Manuscript.

  Vivekananda was a powerful orator and writer in English & Bengali. He was not a through scholar and most of his published work composed of his speeches in different assemblies in school, college, educational institutes and even to social gatherings globally. Bartaman Bharat (Present day India) is an erudite Bengali language as first Bengali magazine of Ramakrishna Mission. It was published in March, 1899. It later was compiled in the fourth volume of the books, "The complete works of Swami Vivekananda". He composed several songs & lucid, most importantly referred as "Kali the mother". He was spiritually worshiped the Goddess Kali since on meeting his religious master, Shri Ramakrishna. 

His Death & Cremation:

               On July, 1902, Vivekananda woke up early in the morning & went to Belur Math. He met to his followers & Discuss several future planning. On evening he reached to his Prayer room. At 9.20 PM he died while his meditation. He was cremated in Belur Math on the bank of river Ganga just opposite  Ramakrishna.


Post a Comment