NEW - Vedic/Hindu Calendar for 2013

NEW - Vedic/Hindu Calendar for 2013
Shri Ramapir Mandir/Temple in Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Friday, January 15, 2010

Swami Vivekanand: spiritual leader of philosophies of Vedant and Yoga


Hindu Dharma has a glorious past of great Saints and Sages. Several Saints ascended to the state of Guru and showed the path of God realisation to many. They also taught spirituality to the society through their conduct and actions. Their mission was not just limited to spirituality but they also did substantial work for the defence of nation whenever it was in difficulties. Some of the Saints travelled all over the world and disseminated the spiritual knowledge of Bharat there without any personal expectations. Millions of people abroad are getting benefit of that. For last lakhs of years, the Sages took tremendous efforts to preserve the Vedic Knowledge which is the pride of Bharat. They also created many subjects connected with the human life and made it easy. The most important thing however is that the Saints of Bharat have donated the world the tradition of Guru-disciple.

The current scene however is different. The cricketers, movie heroes and heroines have become the ideals of Hindus. Also the two vices of selfishness and narrow mindedness have become dominant in Hindus which is causing lot of harm to Hindu society. Under such circumstances it has become essential to study and follow the life of Saints who have imparted the teaching of sacrifice, love. devotion to righteousness, devotion to nation, helping the society and kashtradharma( duty of a warrior). We are hereby publishing the matter related to them so that people should come to know about such great Saints. We pray at the feet of God that let Hindus get the inspiration to study and follow their biography and teachings.

Swami Vivekanand (12th January 1863 - 4th July 1902)

Swami Vivekanand
Swami Vivekanand

Swami Vivekanand whose pre-monastic name was Narendranath Dutta, was one of the most famous and influential spiritual leaders of the philosophies of Vedant and Yoga. He was the chief disciple of Ramkrushna Paramhans and the Founder of Ramkrushna Math and Ramakrushna Mission. He is also a major figure in the history of the Hindu reform movements.

Since his childhood, he had questions about God and the presence of God. Narendra met Ramkrushna Paramhans for the first time in November 1881. He asked Paramhans the same question he had so often asked of others, "Mahashaya (Venerable Sir), have you seen God?" The instantaneous answer from Paramhans was, "Yes, I see God, just as I see you here, only in a much intenser sense. God can be realised." He went on, "One can see and talk to Him as I am seeing and talking to you. But who cares? People shed tears for their wife and children, for wealth or property, but who does so for the sake of God? If one weeps sincerely for Him, He surely manifests Himself." Narendra could feel that the words were honest and uttered from a deep experience. He started visiting Paramhans frequently. At first he did not believe that such a plain man could have seen God, but gradually he started having faith in what Paramhans said.

Though Narendra could not accept Paramhans and his visions, he could not neglect Him either. It had always been in Narendra's nature to test something thoroughly before he could accept it. He tested Paramhans to the maximum, but the master was patient, forgiving, humorous, and full of love. He never asked Narendra to abandon reason, and He faced all of Narendra's arguments and examinations with patience. In time, Narendra accepted Paramhans whole-heartedly. While Ramkrushna Paramhans predominantly taught duality and Bhakti to His other disciples, He taught Narendra the Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy of non-dualism.

Swami Vivekanand Memorial, Kanyakumari
Swami Vivekanand Memorial, Kanyakumari

During the course of five years of his training under Ramkrushna Paramhans, Narendra was transformed from a restless, puzzled, impatient youth to a mature man who was ready to renounce everything for the sake of God-realisation. Swami Vivekanand was encouraged by a professor at Harvard University, to represent Hinduism in the 1893 'World Parliament of Religions' in Chicago. He was received well there, when he delivered a series of lectures. The audience arose in their seats and applauded loudly (for two minutes) when he started his first address with the famous words, "Sisters and brothers of America." A newspaper account described him as 'an orator by Divine right and undoubtedly the greatest figure at the Parliament.' Swami Vivekanand's arrival in the USA has been identified by many to mark the beginning of western interest in Hinduism, not as merely an exotic eastern oddity, but as a vital religious and philosophical tradition that actually had something important to teach the West.

Swami Vivekanand belonged to that branch of Vedant that held that no one can be truly free until all of us are. Even the desire for personal salvation has to be given up, and only tireless work for the salvation of others is the true mark of an enlightened person.

Swami Vivekanand advised his followers to be Holy, unselfish and have faith. He encouraged the practice of Brahmacharya (celibacy). In one of the conversations with his childhood friend, he attributed his physical and mental strengths, eloquence to the practice of Brahmacharya. He left his body after a session of prayer at Belur Math. He was 39. The monks of the Math were convinced that he had attained mahasamadhi, as Ramakrushna Paramhans had predicted. His Punyatithi falls on 4th July. We pay obeisance to this invaluable son of Bharat.

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