BY Pranab Kumar Chakravarty
Swami Vivekanand is undoubtedly among the towering and inspiring savants born in undivided 19th century Bengal who is credited for shaping socio-religious philosophy of millions of people. Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) had carried forward through the Ramakrishna Mission the visions of his Guru Ramakrishna Paramhans and dedicated himself and the RKM to servitude of the society. Swami Vivekanand born Narendra Nath Datta in a respectable and educated family, aluminous of Calcutta university, well versed in Sanskrit and English and a prolific writer, had not preached any new faith. In the 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions held in Chicago, he allayed misconceptions about Hinduism in America and called for religious tolerance and ending fanaticism. He had firm faith in one God. His mission was to establish link different faiths. ‘’Poverty, lack of self-respect, and education pained him’’. He was for restoring dignity and self-respect of the underprivileged people. He had never taught his following to defame any religion and worship only a deity for salvation within the four walls of his or her house. He popularized modern interpretation of Indian traditions which harmonized Tantra, Yoga and Advaita Vedanta. Vivekananda is still considered as the patriot saint of modern India. Through RKM, he advocated for charity, social work and education. He hated bigoted Indians through preachings in India and abroad besides numerous writings. William James, Harvard philosopher, Paul Deussen as well as Sister Nivedita born Margret Elizabeth in Ireland who arrived in Kolkata to dedicate herself for woman empowerment inspired by Vivekanand, are among the dozens of foreigners, who heaped praises on Swami Vivekanand.He was indeed the “paragon of Vedantists.” Swami Vivekanand, who passed away on July 4 at 39 in Belur Math in Howrah, devoted himself to enrich the religious consciousness of the westerners through rational and humanistic teachings of the Vedanta philosophy. ’As Swami Nikhilananda, Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, New York, said ‘’In America, he became India’s spiritual ambassador and pleaded eloquently for better understanding between India and the New World to create a healthy synthesis of East and West, of religion and science’’. His birth anniversary on January 12 is aptly celebrated as The Youth to promote rational thinking among the youth, considered the country’s future. How can we be forgetful that that he championed national integration and a firm believer in unity in diversity! Unarguably as President of India Ram Nath Kovind says Swami Vivekananda still continues an inspiration for the entire humanity, for the youth particular.