Swami Vivekananda is known as the founder of Ramakrishna Mission and Ramakrishna Math. Perhaps he is best known for his great speech in Chicago in 1893 at the Parliament of the World’s Religions for introducing Hinduism to the world.
1. Birth Name
Swami Vivekananda was born on 12th January 1863 in Kolkata. His pre-monastic name was Narendra Nath Datta. He was born with a temperament of yogis and used to meditate from a very early age.
When it comes to scoring marks, Swami Vivekananda was not a great student in that. He scored a mere 47% at the entrance level examination of the university, followed by just 46% in FA, which was later named as IA or Intermediate Arts. In B.A. however, he performed slightly better by scoring 56%.
3. Amazing Concentration
His amazing power of concentration was also displayed in America. In America, he was sitting near a water body when he saw two young American guys attempting to shoot egg shells floating on the water. The boys failed every time and then they noticed Vivekananda smirking. They were annoyed and asked Vivekananda to try. Amazingly enough, Vivekananda attempted 12 times and every time he managed to hit the target. The amazed guys asked him the secret to which Vivekananda said that all they have to do is concentrate only on the targets and forget everything else in the vicinity.
4. What Is Education According to Vivekananda!
According to Vivekananda education is the manifestation of perfection already present in men. He thought it a pity that the existing system of education did not enable a person to stand on their own feet, nor did it teach them self-confidence and self-respect.
5. The Chicago Seminar
In the year 1893, Swami Vivekananda went to the Parliament of World Religions. He delivered a speech for introducing Hinduism to the world. His speech, which began with “Sisters and brothers of America…” won everyone’s heart there.
6. Connoisseur Of Tea
Vivekananda was a connoisseur of tea. In those days, when the Hindu pandits were opposed to drinking tea, he introduced tea in his monastery. When the Bally municipality increased taxes on Belur on the grounds that it was a ‘private garden house’ where tea was served, Vivekananda sued the municipality in Chinsurah Zilla District Court. The British magistrate came on horseback to investigate; the charges were dismissed.
7. Forced To Say The Saddest Of Lies!
After the death of his father Narendra Nath and his mother faced financial instability. He often lied to his mother about lunch invitation from his friends. In reality, there were no such invitations and he would simply get out of the house so that the other members of his family could eat his share of the food. He used to literally starve himself.
8. The Spiritual Crisis
Swami Vivekananda went through a phase of spiritual crisis when he was unemployed. That is when he was introduced to ‘Shri Ramkrishna Paramhansa’ by one of his English professors. In 1881, Narendra Nath met Shri Ramakrishna at Dakshineshwar’s Kali temple.
9. ‘Khichuri’ was Vivekananda’s Favorite Dish
In 1900, two years before his death, when he arrived in India from the West for the last time, Vivekananda hurried to Belur to be with his disciples or Gurubhais. He heard the dinner gong but found the gate locked. He climbed over it and quickly made his way to the dining area to eat his favourite dish, khichuri which is made with rice and lentil. No one suspected his rapidly failing health.
10. Where did Vivekananda Die
He died on 4th July 1902 at Belur. He died while he was meditating. According to his disciples, Vivekananda attained mahasamādhi. The rupture of a blood vessel in his brain was reported as a possible cause of death.
Features Image Courtesy: Balamurugan Srinivasan
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