“Arise! Awake! And stop not until the goal is reached.”
Swami Vivekananda played an important role in the spiritual enlightenment of the Indian masses. He is also responsible for spreading Vedanta philosophy in the West and establishing the Ramakrishna Mission for service of the poor
Born and raised in Kolkata, he was originally called Narendra Nath Datta, and acquired the name, Swami Vivekananda, when he became a monk. Born in an affluent family, Swamiji was always intrigued by spirituality and philosophy.
When he reached the threshold of youth, Swamiji passed through a period of spiritual crisis when he was troubled by doubts about the existence of God.
At this time, he met his then guru and mentor Sri Ramakrishna, and straightaway asked him a question that no one had been able to answer for him till then: “Sir, have you seen God?” Without a moment’s hesitation, Sri Ramakrishna replied, “Yes, I have. I see Him as clearly as I see you, only in a much intense sense.”
After removing several doubts from Swamiji’s mind, Sri Ramakrishna won him over and thus began their guru-disciple relationship. After his guru’s death, Vivekananda became the chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and became the founder of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission.
Not only this, Swamiji dedicated his life to the country and longed for the progress of the poor, the helpless and the underprivileged. He was the first religious leader in India to understand and openly declare that the real cause of India’s downfall was the neglect of the masses.
He showed a beacon of light to a nation that had lost faith in its ability under the British rule and instilled self-confidence among Indians, who he believed were are second to none.
- “Who is helping you, don’t forget them. Who is loving you, don’t hate them. Who is believing you, don’t cheat them.”
- “Anything that makes you weak physically, intellectually and spiritually, reject as poison.”
- “Relationships are more important than life, but it is important for those relationships to have life in them.”
- “Like me or hate me, both are in my favor. If you like me I am in your heart, if you hate me I am in your mind.”
- “Fill the brain with high thoughts, highest ideals, place them day and night before you, and out of that will come great work.”