Happy Birthday, Swami Vivekananda

            Swami Vivekananda
            12 Jan 1863 -- 4 July 1902

Swami Vivekananda was born on this day, January 12th, in 1863 in Kolkata. Here is a quote from the wiki entry on him.

Swami Vivekananda was born in an aristocratic Bengali family of Calcutta in 1863. Swami’s parents influenced his thinking—the father by his rational mind and the mother by her religious temperament. From his childhood, he showed inclination towards spirituality and God realization. While searching for a man who could directly demonstrate the reality of God, he came to Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa and became his disciple. As a guru, Ramakrishna taught him Advaita Vedanta (non-dualism) and that all religions are true, and service to man was the most effective worship of God. After the death of his Guru, Vivekananda became a wandering monk, touring the Indian subcontinent and getting first-hand knowledge of India’s condition. He later sailed to Chicago and represented India as a delegate in the 1893 Parliament of World Religions. An eloquent speaker, Vivekananda was invited to several forums in the United States and spoke at universities and clubs. He conducted hundreds of public and private lectures and classes, disseminating Vedanta and Yoga in America, England and a few other countries in Europe. He also established the Vedanta societies in America and England. Later he sailed back to India and in 1897 founded the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, a philanthropic and spiritual organization.

A deep bow of reverence to this great son of India.

Here’s his Sept 11, 1893 speech he delivered in Chicago. He was only 30 years old. His speech starts with “Sisters and brothers of America, …”

Here are a couple of quotes from him.

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.

~ ~ ~ ~

The will is not free – it is a phenomenon bound by cause and effect – but there is something behind the will which is free.

4 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Swami Vivekananda

  1. Amit S Thursday January 13, 2011 / 12:37 pm

    Interestingly, both of the quotes below the video go against Christian philosophy that “you are born in sin” or that you sin by doing this and that, and that you have this “free will”, for which you are responsible.

    I think the reality is somewhere in between on both these aspects. Some acts are sinful (e.g. murdering someone in cold blood for personal gain), although when I say sinful, I only mean in the sense of anti-civilization, and has nothing to do with heaven, hell or rebirth. Also, there is will that is at least partially free such that people are responsible for their actions, although they are influenced by this and that.


  2. pranav Friday January 14, 2011 / 12:40 am

    thanks for sharing this video atanu!!
    its great to listen it again!
    i hope all of us (those who are part of this blog spot)can get inspiration from this great man (which we really need in this socio-politic situation)and try hard to save our motherland from corrupted tyrants.
    we must not feel ourselves helpless
    we must fight against all odds to make this world better living place


  3. Angela Noble Sunday February 6, 2011 / 11:28 pm

    Thanks for sharing this video atanu!!


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