Swami Vivekananda - Life

Swami Vivekananda [1863-1902]




“Talk of compassion for beings! Insignificant creatures that you are, how can you show compassion to beings?

Who are you to show compassion? You wretch, who are you to bestow it?

No, no; it is not compassion to Jivas but service to them as Siva.”

Sri Ramakrishna, in ecstasy

If the affirmation that one can indeed see God and even converse with Him is what attracted young Narendra, he, later Swami Vivekananda, experienced the zenith of Sri Ramakrishna’s teachings on hearing the above Gospel, the Gospel that is the genesis of Sri Ramakrishna Math and Mission that makes them strive for `one’s own Realisation and for the Good of the world’.

The iconic status of Swami Vivekananda, the foremost of Sri Ramakrishna’s disciples, has few parallels.  Inspiration incarnate, he was the vehicle that carried Sri Ramakrishna’s message the world over, the message that brought Vedanta out from abstract philosophy to practical life.

At the time when the national character and the collective Indian psyche were at their lowest, Swami Vivekananda, like a giant power station radiated energy and instilled confidence in the minds of his people, elevating them without injuring the other religions. He made them feel great about their lineage and taught them the true import of the teachings of their forefathers, the Great Rishis. Breathing new life into Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Jnana Yoga, he galvanized the whole of India, revitalizing the core of her strengths - ‘Spirituality’

Even while lecturing abroad, never did he condemn other faiths, but interpreted impersonal truths as revealed to the Seers of the East and to other global teachers.  He was open to rational and scientific investigation.  He offered the fruits of his efforts to one and all.  He easily transcended all the barriers of caste, colour, gender, sect, race, religion, symbols etc and also helped his followers achieve them. A symbol of harmony and love, and the giant intellect that he was, he ceaselessly worked for the awakening of the Soul towards attaining inner perfection leading to strength of character and absolute fearlessness.

The essence of his teachings finds eloquent expression in the following exhortation:

“Come up, O Lions, and shake off the delusions that you are sheep; You are souls immortal, spirits free, blessed and eternal…Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached.”














Sri Ramakrishna Math, Nattarampalli,Vellore.   All rights reserved.