Swami Vivekananda, known in his pre-monastic life as Narendra Nath Datta, was born in an affluent family in Kolkata on 12 January 1863. His father, Vishwanath Datta, was a successful attorney with interests in a wide range of subjects, and his mother, Bhuvaneshwari Devi.
In 1893, Swami Vivekananda went to America to attend the Conference of World Religions in Chicago. His speeches made him famous as an ?orator by divine right? and as a ?Messenger of Indian wisdom to the Western world?. After the Parliament, Swamiji spent nearly three and a half years spreading Vedanta as lived and taught by Sri Ramakrishna, mostly in the eastern parts of USA and also in London.
During his travels all over India, Swami Vivekananda was deeply moved to see the appalling poverty and backwardness of the masses. The masses needed two kinds of knowledge: secular knowledge to improve their economic condition and spiritual knowledge to infuse in them faith in themselves and strengthen their moral sense. To change the present circumstances, swamiji found education as a tool for the crisis.
Vivekananda realizes that mankind is passing through a crisis. The tremendous emphasis on the scientific and mechanical ways of life is fast reducing man to the status of a machine. Moral and religious values are being undermined. The fundamental principles of civilization are being ignored. Conflicts of ideals, manners and habits are pervading the atmosphere. Disregard for everything old is the fashion of the day. Vivekananda seeks the solutions of all these social and global evils through education. With this end in view, he feels the dire need of awakening man to his spiritual self wherein, he thinks, lies the very purpose of education.
Swamiji attempts to establish, through his words and deeds, that the end of all education is man making. . He prepares the scheme of this man-making education in the light of his over-all philosophy of Vedanta. According to Vedanta, the essence of man lies in his soul, which he possesses in addition to his body and mind. In true with this philosophy, Swamiji defines education as ?the manifestation of the perfection already in man.? The aim of education is to manifest in our lives the perfection, which is the very nature of our inner self. This perfection is the realization of the infinite power which resides in everything and every-where-existence, consciousness and bliss .Hence education, in Vivekananda?s sense, enables one to comprehend one?s self within as the self everywhere. The essential unity of the entire universe is realized through education.
Swami Vivekananda accomplished another important task of his mission on earth. He founded on 1 May 1897 a unique type of organization known as Ramakrishna Mission, in which monks and lay people would jointly undertake propagation of Practical Vedanta, and various forms of social service, such as running hospitals, schools, colleges, hostels, rural development centers etc, and conducting massive relief and rehabilitation work for victims of earthquakes, cyclones and other calamities, in different parts of India and other countries.
You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself
In a day, when you don?t come across any problems -you can be sure that you are travelling in a wrong path
Never think there is anything impossible for the soul. It is the greatest heresy to think so. If there is sin, this is the only sin; to say that you are weak or others are weak
We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary .Thoughts live; they travel far