Swami Vivekananda: Achievements
Swami Vivekananda is popular for his works in reforming Hinduism in our country. There are many such works that he did in the 19th Century which led to the Vedanta movement in India. During the period of 1893, Swamiji started introducing Hinduism in the Parliament of the World’s Religion at Chicago followed by many other books that lead to the revolution of Ramakrishna movement.
His Guru Ramakrishna Deva had a great influence on Swami Vivekananda’s life. This philosopher was born on 12 January 1863 had a lifespan of 39 years. He was from an Aristocratic family in Calcutta.
The Vedanta Movement
The Chief Disciple of Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda started this movement on first may 1897 with the mission of promoting higher education, health care, tribal welfare, disaster relief, and rural management. The Vedanta movement is the Ramakrishna Mission and there many centers in more than 20 countries of the world.
He had a strong influence of Hinduism in his Vedanta philosophy and believed in the truth of Nationalism. Vivekananda gave a modern representation to the oldest Vedanta culture. He also revolutionized raj yoga and taught on various forms of meditation in New York and other parts of the world.
Publications before his death
He was a powerful orator and a great writer too. He had a list of publications in his name while he was alive such as:
•Vedanta Philosophy: Lectures on Jnana Yoga
•Vedanta: An address before the Graduate Philosophical Society
•Lectures from Colombo to Almora
Publications after his death
•Speeches and writings of Swami Vivekananda
•Para Bhakti or Supreme Devotion
•Narada Bhakti Sutras
•The east and the west
•Addresses on Bhakti Yoga
The Ramakrishna Math
With mass popularity of the Vedanta teachings by Vivekananda, he started opening spiritual organisation titled as Ramakrishna Math. It mainly consists of disciples who believe in serving others in order to serve the living god. There are thousands of disciples actively participating in providing extensive health care and many other services for the needy.
Visits to the West
It was on the 31st May 1893, he started his journey to the west. The places such as Japan, China, Canada and the USA were part of his journey. He then, went on give a fantastic speech at the Parliament of World’s Religion that started on 11 September 1893. In this historic speech, he got an opportunity to represent India and Hindu culture.
Second Visit to the West
It was 1899, that he again visited the west with two more disciples Sister Nivedita and Swami Turiyananda. He got a chance to visit San Francisco and New York to establish Vedanta Societies and Shanti Ashram to promote the authenticity of Bhagavad Geeta.
Swami Vivekananda passed away during meditation on the 4th July 1902 night at 9:10 pm due to natural causes. With that, India lost its most popular and influential personality.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s early morning tweets on Monday paid tributes to Swami Vivekananda on his birth anniversary. He also asked his followers to tweet the thoughts and quotes that influenced them, some of which the Prime Minister retweeted in the evening.
This mix of interactive politics targeting young Indians using Vivekananda’s potential appeal on the one hand and social media on the other, is characteristic of Mr. Modi’s politics, political analysts and observers said.
The idea of the hardworking activist-ascetic as a model is important for Mr. Modi, an OBC in a “largely Brahmin dominated organisation,” said P.K. Datta, Professor of Political Science at Delhi University. “Vivekananda was himself not a Brahmin. He stood for Hindu unity and upholding Brahminism as an ideal.”
For Mr. Modi, Vivekananda may be a better icon to attract young voters with his international appeal based on his famed address in Chicago in 1893 at the Parliament of World Religions, compared to the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh’s guiding lights – Keshav Baliram Hedgewar and M.S. Golwalkar. “Vivekananda is possibly the glue that Modi needs to sustain the middle class’s interest in Hindutva-based politics that the RSS cannot,” another analyst said.
Between the 2009 and 2014 Lok Sabha elections, India added about 10 crore first time voters. One of Mr. Modi’s key target areas is the youth. The Swami’s birth anniversary is celebrated as National Youth Day.
Mr. Modi underlined the importance of this connection for him in one of his tweets: “Swami Vivekananda is revered as one of the most prolific thinkers & a guiding light who took India’s message to the entire world…Let us pledge to leave no stone unturned to integrate our youth in India’s progress & ensure youth-led development across the Nation.”
Mr. Modi’s admiration for Vivekananda (born Narendra Nath in an aristocratic family) is no secret. An old associate who has observed Mr. Modi closely, said he has modelled several aspects of his life on Vivekananda’s.
In April 2013, when he was the Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr. Modi had gone to the Belur Math near Howrah. He requested to be allowed into Vivekananda’s room, which is kept locked. He meditated for nearly half an hour. He said then he had wanted to live a monk’s life when he first visited Belur as a teenager. “On his birth anniversary, I bow to Swami Vivekananda. He is a personal inspiration, whose thoughts & ideals have influenced me deeply,” Mr Modi wrote in his first tweet for the day.