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Swami Vivekananda

Black and white image of an Indian man, facing left with his arms folded and wearing a turban
Vivekananda in Chicago, September 1893. On the left, Vivekananda wrote: "one infinite pure and holy – beyond thought beyond qualities I bow down to thee".

Personal

Born

Narendranath Datta
12 January 1863
Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India

Died

4 July 1902
Belur Math, Bengal Presidency, British India

Nationality

Indian

Signature

Swami-Vivekanda-Signature-transparent.png

Founder of

Ramakrishna MissionRamakrishna Math

Philosophy

Modern Vedanta, Rāja yoga

Senior posting

Guru

Ramakrishna
Disciples
  • Ashokananda, Virajananda, Paramananda, Alasinga Perumal, Abhayananda, Sister Nivedita, Swami Sadananda

Influenced

  • Subhas Chandra Bose, Aurobindo Ghose, Bagha Jatin, Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, Jawaharlal Nehru, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Jamsetji Tata, Nikola Tesla, Sarah Bernhardt, Emma Calvé, Jagadish Chandra Bose, Annie Besant, Romain Rolland, Narendra Modi, Anna Hazare

Literary works

Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga, My Master, Lectures from Colombo to Almora

Swami Vivekananda , born Narendranath Datta , was an Indian Hindu monk, a chief disciple of the 19th-century Indian mystic Ramakrishna. He was a key figure in the introduction of the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world and is credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion during the late 19th century. He was a major force in the revival of Hinduism in India, and contributed to the concept of nationalism in colonial India. Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission. He is perhaps best known for his speech which began with the words - "Sisters and brothers of America ...," in which he introduced Hinduism at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago in 1893.

Born into an aristocratic Bengali Kayastha family of Calcutta, Vivekananda was inclined towards spirituality. He was influenced by his guru, Ramakrishna, from whom he learnt that all living beings were an embodiment of the divine self; therefore, service to God could be rendered by service to humankind. After Ramakrishna's death, Vivekananda toured the Indian subcontinent extensively and acquired first-hand knowledge of the conditions prevailing in British India. He later travelled to the United States, representing India at the 1893 Parliament of the World's Religions. Vivekananda conducted hundreds of public and private lectures and classes, disseminating tenets of Hindu philosophy in the United States, England and Europe. In India, Vivekananda is regarded as a patriotic saint, and his birthday is celebrated as National Youth Day.

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Discover Swami Vivekananda Quotes and Sayings

Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life - think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success. - Swami Vivekananda

Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life - think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.

Swami Vivekananda

success life alone
If faith in ourselves had been more extensively taught and practiced, I am sure a very large portion of the evils and miseries that we have would have vanished. - Swami Vivekananda

If faith in ourselves had been more extensively taught and practiced, I am sure a very large portion of the evils and miseries that we have would have vanished.

Swami Vivekananda

faith
The moment I have realized God sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him - that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free. - Swami Vivekananda

The moment I have realized God sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him - that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free.

Swami Vivekananda

god
You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself. - Swami Vivekananda

You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself.

Swami Vivekananda

religion god
The more we come out and do good to others, the more our hearts will be purified, and God will be in them. - Swami Vivekananda

The more we come out and do good to others, the more our hearts will be purified, and God will be in them.

Swami Vivekananda

good god
Where can we go to find God if we cannot see Him in our own hearts and in every living being. - Swami Vivekananda

Where can we go to find God if we cannot see Him in our own hearts and in every living being.

Swami Vivekananda

god
As different streams having different sources all mingle their waters in the sea, so different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to God. - Swami Vivekananda

As different streams having different sources all mingle their waters in the sea, so different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to God.

Swami Vivekananda

god
God is to be worshipped as the one beloved, dearer than everything in this and next life. - Swami Vivekananda

God is to be worshipped as the one beloved, dearer than everything in this and next life.

Swami Vivekananda

religion life god
If money help a man to do good to others, it is of some value but if not, it is simply a mass of evil, and the sooner it is got rid of, the better. - Swami Vivekananda

If money help a man to do good to others, it is of some value but if not, it is simply a mass of evil, and the sooner it is got rid of, the better.

Swami Vivekananda

money good
The world is the great gymnasium where we come to make ourselves strong. - Swami Vivekananda

The world is the great gymnasium where we come to make ourselves strong.

Swami Vivekananda

strength great
External nature is only internal nature writ large. - Swami Vivekananda

External nature is only internal nature writ large.

Swami Vivekananda

nature
The Vedanta recognizes no sin it only recognizes error. And the greatest error, says the Vedanta is to say that you are weak, that you are a sinner, a miserable creature, and that you have no power and you cannot do this and that. - Swami Vivekananda

The Vedanta recognizes no sin it only recognizes error. And the greatest error, says the Vedanta is to say that you are weak, that you are a sinner, a miserable creature, and that you have no power and you cannot do this and that.

Swami Vivekananda

power
May He who is the Brahman of the Hindus, the Ahura-Mazda of the Zoroastrians, the Buddha of the Buddhists, the Jehovah of the Jews, the Father in Heaven of the Christians give strength to you to carry out your noble idea. - Swami Vivekananda

May He who is the Brahman of the Hindus, the Ahura-Mazda of the Zoroastrians, the Buddha of the Buddhists, the Jehovah of the Jews, the Father in Heaven of the Christians give strength to you to carry out your noble idea.

Swami Vivekananda

strength
You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul. - Swami Vivekananda

You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.

Swami Vivekananda

teacher
Our duty is to encourage every one in his struggle to live up to his own highest idea, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the Truth. - Swami Vivekananda

Our duty is to encourage every one in his struggle to live up to his own highest idea, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the Truth.

Swami Vivekananda

truth time
We are what our thoughts have made us so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live they travel far. - Swami Vivekananda

We are what our thoughts have made us so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live they travel far.

Swami Vivekananda

travel