Swami Vivekananda

 Swami Vivekananda (1863–1902) was a prominent Indian Hindu monk and a key figure in the introduction of Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world. He played a significant role in the revitalization of Hinduism in India and the spread of its core principles globally. Here are some key points about Swami Vivekananda:

Vivekananda was born as Narendranath Datta on January 12, 1863, in Kolkata, India. His parents were Vishwanath Datta and Bhuvaneshwari Devi. From a young age, he showed an interest in spirituality and a compassionate concern for the suffering of humanity.

Vivekananda became a disciple of the mystic saint Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. He spent several years under Ramakrishna's guidance, absorbing his teachings and practicing spiritual disciplines.

One of Vivekananda's most famous events was his speech at the World's Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893. He addressed the gathering as "Sisters and Brothers of America" and spoke about the universal values of tolerance, acceptance, and the harmony of religions. This historic speech received a standing ovation and brought him international recognition.

After the Parliament of Religions, Vivekananda returned to India and founded the Ramakrishna Mission in 1897. The mission aimed at the spiritual, social, and economic upliftment of society. The mission continues to be a major organization involved in various humanitarian and educational activities.

Vivekananda's teachings emphasized the universality of all religions and the importance of direct personal experience of God through meditation and self-realization. He advocated the synthesis of science and religion, stating that both were essential for human progress.

Swami Vivekananda believed in the concept of "Daridra Narayana" (the divine in the form of the poor and downtrodden) and considered service to humanity as a means of serving God. He encouraged the idea of selfless service (seva) as a spiritual practice.

Apart from his famous speech in 1893, Vivekananda gave several other lectures and addresses during the Parliament of World's Religions. His talks covered topics such as tolerance, the universality of religions, and the need for religious harmony.

Swami Vivekananda's teachings and legacy continue to inspire people around the world. His birthday, January 12, is celebrated in India as National Youth Day. The Ramakrishna Mission and its sister organization, the Ramakrishna Math, have branches globally, contributing to education, healthcare, and social welfare.

Swami Vivekananda's teachings and ideas left a profound impact on the spiritual and cultural landscape of both India and the world.

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