Swami Vivekananda

Year of birth : 1863
Parents : Vishwanath Datta, Bhuvaneswari Devi
Teacher/Guru : Ramakrishna
Education : B.A., Sanskrit Scriptures, Bengali Literature, Trained in Indian Classical Music
Website : www.vivekananda.org , www.sriramakrishna.org , www.vedanta.org , www.belurmath.org


“ Arise, awake, stop not until your

goal is achieved. ”

“ Be not Afraid of anything.

You will do Marvelous work.

It is Fearlessness that brings Heaven even in a moment. ”

“ Dare to be free, dare to go as far as your thought leads,

and dare to carry that out in your life. ”

Books by the Master

" The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda " ... " Seeing Beyond the Circle " ... " Living at the source " ...

" Lectures from Colombo to Almora " ... " Karma-yoga " ... " Raja Yoga: Conquering the Internal Nature " ...

" Way of the Saint: The Lectures of Swami Vivekananda on a Universal " ... "

" Complete Works of the Swami Vivekananda - Part V (1919) " ... " Letters of Swami Vivekananda " ...

" Way of the Sage: The Lectures of Swami Vivekananda on a Spiritual and Universal Approach to Reason " ...

" Raja-yoga: Or, Conquering the Internal Nature " ... " Secrets of Raja Yoga " ... " Jnana-yoga " ... " Women of India " ...

" Inspired Talks by Swami Vivekananda " ... " My Master " ... " Practical Vedanta " …

" Rousing Call to Hindu Nation " ... " Swami Vivekananda on himself " ... " Vedanta Philosophy: Lectures on Raja Yoga "

" The One Infinite Being " ...  " Lectures on the Bhagavad Gita " ... " The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali " ...

" Advaita Vedanta : The Scientific Religion " ...   " The Science of Breathing " ... " Vedanta: Voice of Freedom " ...

" Words of Inspiration " ... " The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda( 9 VOLUMES) " ... " Bhakti-Yoga " ...


Swami Vivekananda was an Indian Hindu monk and chief disciple of the 19th-century saint Ramakrishna. He was a key figure in the introduction of the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world and is credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion during the late 19th century. He was a major force in the revival of Hinduism in India, and contributed to the concept of nationalism in colonial India. Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission. He is perhaps best known for his inspiring speech which began, "Sisters and brothers of America ...," in which he introduced Hinduism at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago in 1893.

Born as Narendra into an aristocratic Bengali family of Calcutta, Vivekananda was inclined towards spirituality. Narendra was interested in spirituality from a young age, and used to play by meditating before the images of deities such as Shiva, Rama, and Sita. He was fascinated by wandering ascetics and monks. Vivekananda was an avid reader and was interested in a wide range of subjects, including philosophy, religion, history, social science, art and literature. He was also interested in Hindu scriptures, including the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Puranas. He was trained in Indian classical music, and regularly participated in physical exercise, sports and organised activities. He was influenced by his guru, Ramakrishna, from whom he learnt that all living beings were an embodiment of the divine self; therefore, service to God could be rendered by service to mankind. 

After Ramakrishna's death, Vivekananda toured the Indian subcontinent extensively and acquired firsthand knowledge of the conditions prevailing in British India. He later travelled to the United States, representing India at the 1893 Parliament of World Religions. Vivekananda conducted hundreds of public and private lectures and classes, disseminating tenets of Hindu philosophy in the United States, England and Europe. In India, Vivekananda is regarded as a patriotic saint and his birthday is celebrated as National Youth Day.

Vivekananda was a powerful orator and writer in English and Bengali; most of his published works were compiled from lectures given around the world. He was a singer and a poet, composing many songs and poems. While in the West, Vivekananda spoke about India's great spiritual heritage; in India, he repeatedly addressed social issues: uplifting the people, eliminating the caste system, promoting science and industrialisation, addressing widespread poverty and ending colonial rule. Vivekananda's speeches influenced contemporary and future Indian leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Bipin Chandra Pal, Balgangadhar Tilak and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

On 1 May 1897 in Calcutta, Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Mission for social service. Its ideals are based on Karma Yoga, and its governing body consists of the trustees of the Ramakrishna Math. Both Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission have their headquarters at Belur Math. Vivekananda founded two other monasteries: one in Mayavati in the Himalayas (near Almora), the Advaita Ashrama and another in Madras. During this visit to west, Vivekananda established Vedanta Societies in San Francisco and New York and founded a shanti ashrama (peace retreat) in California.