Biography of Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) was a prominent Indian Hindu monk and a key figure in the introduction of Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world. He played a crucial role in the spiritual awakening of India and inspired people across the globe with his teachings on spirituality, education, and the importance of selfless service. Here is a detailed biography of his life:

Early Life and Education - Chicago Speech and Global Recognition - Foundation of Ramakrishna Mission - Death of Swami Vivekananda
Biography of Swami Vivekananda

Early Life and Education:

Swami Vivekananda was born as Narendra Nath Datta on January 12, 1863, in Kolkata, India. He showed a deep inclination towards spirituality and meditation from a young age. He was greatly influenced by the teachings of his guru, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, a mystic and a devotee of the goddess Kali. Under Ramakrishna’s guidance, Narendra explored various spiritual practices and gained profound insights into the nature of reality.

Spiritual Quest and Renunciation:

After the death of his guru, Narendra, now known as Swami Vivekananda, embarked on a spiritual journey across India as a wandering monk. He meditated in the Himalayas, visited various holy sites, and experienced the poverty and suffering of the people. His travels deeply moved him and strengthened his resolve to work for the welfare of humanity.
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Every year 12 January is celebrated as National Youth Day in honor of Swami Vivekananda in India.

Chicago Speech and Global Recognition:

In 1893, Swami Vivekananda represented India at the Parliament of the World’s Religions held in Chicago. His opening speech, beginning with the famous words, “Sisters and brothers of America,” earned him a standing ovation and brought him international recognition. He spoke eloquently about religious tolerance, universal acceptance, and the spiritual unity of all beings.
Swami Vivekananda in Chicago in 1893 in the US

Foundation of Ramakrishna Mission:

After his return to India, Swami Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Mission in 1897, based on the principles of selfless service, education, and spiritual practice. The mission aimed to alleviate human suffering, promote education, and foster spiritual growth.
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Master of Swami Vivekananda:

Once Swami Vivekananda’s foreign friend urged him to meet his Guru Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and said that he wants to meet that great man who created a great personality like you. When Swami Vivekananda introduced that friend to his master, he was surprised to see the dress of the friend, Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and said – “How can this person be your Guru, he does not even have a way to dress.” Swami Vivekananda said very politely – “Friend does the creation of character in your country as a tailor, but in our country, the creation of character is ethics.”
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In his youth, he had to go through a deep duality due to the indisputable materialism of Western philosophers and the strong Indian belief in the existence of God. Jewelers like Paramhans tested the gem. The touch of that divine greatness changed Narendra. At the same time, he met his guru Ramakrishna, who first convinced him that God really is and that man can find God. Ramakrishna guided Narendra in attaining the highest realization of God in the form of omnipresence, and taught him that service should never be charity, but a conscious worship of God rooted in all humanity.
This sermon became the major philosophy of Vivekananda’s life. It is said that due to that power-force, Narendra remained frantic for a few days. He was surrendered by the Guru. At the age of twenty five, Narendra Dutt wore Kashyavastra. Inspired by his mentor, Narendranath took initiation to spend his life as a monk and became known as Swami Vivekananda. The light of life was to be presented to the wandering beings in the darkness of the world. Swami Vivekananda traveled all over India on foot.

Swami Vivekananda’s Legacy and Impact:

Swami Vivekananda’s teachings continue to inspire millions of people worldwide. His emphasis on the divinity of the soul, the importance of self-realization, and the unity of all religions has left a profound impact on the spiritual and cultural landscape of India and the world.


Swami Vivekananda’s life was tragically short. He passed away on July 4, 1902, at the young age of 39. Despite his short lifespan, his legacy lives on through the Ramakrishna Mission and the numerous individuals and organizations inspired by his teachings.
Swami Vivekananda’s birthday, January 12, is celebrated as National Youth Day in India, honoring his contributions to the youth and his vision for a spiritually enlightened and socially just society.
Visit Vivekananda Rock Memorial

Death of Swami Vivekananda:

Vivekananda Ojasvi and pithy lectures have gained worldwide fame. On the last day of life, he explained Shukla Yajurveda and said- “Need another Vivekananda, to understand what this Vivekananda has done so far.” According to his disciples, even on the last day of life, on July 8, 1902, he did not change his meditation routine and meditated for two to three hours in the morning and meditated on his Brahmarandhra and took Mahasamadhi. He was cremated on the pyre of Chandan on the banks of Ganga in Belur. His Guru Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was cremated on the other side of the Ganges coast sixteen years ago. His disciples and followers built a temple there in his memory and established more than 130 centers for propagating the messages of Vivekananda and his Guru Ramakrishna all over the world.
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