SWAMI VIVEKANANDA (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – History)

News-CRUX-10     6th July 2024        
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Context: Recently, the Prime Minister of India paid homage to Swami Vivekananda on his Punya Tithi.

Swami Vivekananda

  • Birth and Background: Born as Narendranath Datta on January 12, 1863, in an aristocratic Bengali Kayastha family in Calcutta (now Kolkata), India.
  • Disciple: Became a disciple of the revered 19th-century mystic, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, and served as his chief disciple.
  • Monastic Life: Embraced monastic life and renounced worldly pursuits, adopting the name Swami Vivekananda.
  • Introduction of Vedanta to the West: Played a pivotal role in introducing Vedanta and Yoga philosophies to the Western world through his speeches and writings.
  • Parliament of the World's Religions: Delivered a historic speech at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago in 1893, where he introduced Hinduism and its principles of tolerance and universal acceptance.
  • Ramakrishna Math and Mission: Founded the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission in 1897, with the mission of self-perfection and service to humanity.
  • Adaptation of Vedantic Ideals: Adapted and modernized the highest ideals of Vedantic philosophy to suit the needs of the 20th century, emphasizing practical spirituality and social welfare.
  • Vivekananda Rock Memorial: Situated in Kanyakumari, India's southernmost tip, the Vivekananda Rock Memorial stands atop one of two rocks located approximately 500 meters off the Vavathurai mainland.
  • Legacy and Influence:

o Hailed as a Dhyana Sidha, a meditation expert, by his guru Ramakrishna Paramhamsa

o Considered a patriotic saint in India, and his birthday is celebrated as National Youth Day.

o Died on July 4, 1902, when he was just 39 at Belur Math in West Bengal.  

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