Everlasting contributions of swami vivekananda


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This power point presentation was prepared and presented at various locations in New York City and New Jersey in commemoration of 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. Dr. Prasad thanks the Society of Indian Academics in America, KCO Brindavana, the World Brahman Federation, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America, the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center and the Hindu Temple and Cultural Society for arranging his presentation. Those who would like to receive the recorded audio lecture can send an email to mgprasad@comcast.net

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Everlasting contributions of swami vivekananda

  1. 1. Everlasting Contributions of Swami Vivekananda Dr. M.G.Prasad (www.taranga.us) mgprasad@comcast.net
  2. 2. Topics                  Early years Major Events in his Life Travels (in India) Travels (in the West) Some Anecdotes in Swami Vivekanandaʼs Life Contributions to revival of Hinduism Contributions to development of India At the Parliament of Religions (Text of first speech) Contributions to Global harmony Some quotes from Swami Vivekananda Swami Vivekanandaʼs message to youth Comments by famous personalities about the work of Vivekananda A poem “Peace” by Swami Vivekananda Acknowledgements References Some pictures of Swami Vivekananda Some additional information
  3. 3. Early years   Narendranath (Naren) was born on January 12, 1863 for Vishwanath Datta and Bhuvaneshwari Devi Father Vishwanath Datta was a noted lawyer and proficient in English and Persian, studied Hindu scriptures, progressive and rationalistic outlook, very charitable  Mother Bhuvaneshwari Devi was traditional and religious and told the stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata to Naren, which highly influenced him at an early age.  Even in his early years in discussions he demanded convincing arguments.  At young age, he also acquired an unusual method of reading a book and acquiring the knowledge of its subject matter. In his own words, “I could understand an author without reading every line of his book…………..”  In college days as a handsome youth he was muscular and agile. He enjoyed serious studies. He specialized in western philosophy. His memory was prodigious. Professor Hastie once remarked about Naren, “He is a real genius I have traveled far and wide but, have not yet come across a lad of his talents and possibilities even among the philosophical students in German universities. He is bound to make his mark in life”.  In a lecture on Wordsworthʼs poem The Excursion (to Narenʼs class) when referring to trances as religious ecstasies resulting from purity and concentration, Prof. Hastie had referred to Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.
  4. 4. Major Events in Life • • • • • • Born  Jan  12,  1863      (Hindu  fes6val:  Makara  Sankran6) Meets  Sri  Ramakrishna  at  age  18 Father  passes  away  at  21 Sri  Ramkrishna  Samadhi  at  23 Delivers  famous  addresses  in  Chicago  at  30 Samadhi    July  4,  1902  at  age  of  39
  5. 5. Travels-India • • • • • • • • • • • Sets  up  Baranagore    Math  in  1886  (at  age  23) Goes  on  Pilgrimage  twice  (at  age  25) Travels  to  North  India  (at  age  27,  28) Travels  to  Rajasthan  (famous  episode  with  Maharaja  Mangal  Singh  on  worship  of  image)  , Gujarat,  Maharashtra  and  South  Of  India    up  to  Kanyakumari  &  Vivekananda  Rock  (at  29) Away  In  the  west  for    3-­‐1/2  years  from  age  30-­‐34, • Sets  up  Vedanta  Society  in  New  York  in  1896  (age  33) Sets  up  Ramakrishna  Mission  in  1897  in  Calcu]a  (at  age  34) North  India-­‐Kashmir,  Amarnath,  Almora    in  1898  (at  35) Sets  up  Ramakrishna  Math  in  1899  (at  age  36) Again  in  West  for  1-­‐1/2  yrs  age  36-­‐37 Sets  up  Belur  Math  in  1900  (at  age  37) To  Assam,  Dacca  in  1901  (age  38)
  6. 6. Travels-West • First  visit  to  West  sailing  from  Bombay  May  31,  1893  6ll    Jan  1897 • For  3-­‐1/2  yrs  at  his  age  30-­‐34  mainly  in  USA  and  Bri6sh  isles • Delivers  famous  addresses  in  Chicago  at  30 • Sets  up  Vedanta  Society  in  New  York  in  1896  (age  33) • In  USA  visits:  Chicago,  Detroit,  New  York  City,  Thousand  islands  in  New  York  State,  Boston • In  Bri6sh  Isles,  visits  London  comes  back  to  NY  and  then  again  on  way  to  India • Second  visit  from  July  1899  6ll  Nov  1900 • 1-­‐1/2  yrs  at  his  age  36-­‐37 • Bri6sh  Isles:  London, • USA:  Ridgely  Manor,  NY,  California • Europe:  Paris,  Vienna,  Cairo
  7. 7. Some Anecdotes in Swami Vivekanandaʼs Life  Encounter with prince of Alwar about question of vigraha pooja - portrait of father of the prince.  Ability in concentration - (1) in Belur Math: example of reading encyclopedia of Britannica - questions by Sharatchandra Chakravarti (2) during 2nd tour of USA: some young men on the bank of a river missing the shooting of eggshell - swamiji was able to aim and shoot first time.  Simplicity of Swamiji - in alwar station lot of people cam to receive him - Swamiji recognized an unassuming old friend of him - Ramamsnehi.  Inspiring nature - when Rockefeller came to meet Swamiji when told him to donate Rockefeller was annoyed and left - came back again - told that Swamiji should thank but Swamiji told Reckefeller that “it is for you to thank me”  Swamiji felt the shock once in the night at Belur math at 2 am. Swamiji had felt the shock of suffering of large number of people in a volcanic eruption near Fiji .  Gratitude - once Swamiji almost collapsed due to hunger and exhaustion - a muslin fakir has fed him cucumber - seven years later in a meeting swamiji recognized muslim fakir.  Josephine MacLeod asked how she can help Swamiji for which he said “Love India”
  8. 8. Contributions to Revival of Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma)  Identity of its integral nature - He showed the common bases of Hinduism and the common ground of all sects. Its vision that views of all Hindu philosophers and different sects as different aspects of One Total view of Reality.  Unity in Diversity - Hinduism has rich diversity. It has external expressions of rituals and traditions with a solid core of philosophy and spirituality.  Importance of Upanishads (Vedanta) - Realization of Atman in all. This is the basis of unity and equality. They are the source of strength. Yoga as a spiritual practice - Yoga is not limited to postures but to achieve higher states. It is complimentary to Vedanta. Yoga emphasizes harmony. Four approaches in Yoga namely Jnana (Knowledge), Raja (control of mind), Karma (selfless work) and Bhakti (Love of God).  Practical Vedanta - Brahman (Atman) as Omnipresent. Man-making approach.-The approach to see Atman everywhere brings morality, develops inner strength and brings love and service. “Shiva Jnaane Jeeva Seva” Service to realize Lord Shiva (Sri Ramakrishna), “Atmano mokshaartham Jagaddhitaaya cha” Self-realization as well as doing good for the world (Swami Vivekananda)- Head to think, Heart to feel and Hands to work.
  9. 9. Contributions to Revival of Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma)  Vedanta and Science - Unity of existence or the oneness of matter and energy or the oneness of God, man and nature. The Supreme Reality Brahman is the substratum of all phenomena. Swami Vivekananda and Nikola Tesla met to discuss on Vedantic concept of unity. Prana as force and Akasha as matter.  In 1896 Swamiji said “ …It is out of mind, the Mahat, the universally existing thought-power, that these two (Akasha and Prana) have been produced. Thought is a still higher manifestation of of being than either Akasha or Prana. It is thought that splits itself into these two. The universal thought existed in the beginning, and that manifested, changed, evolved itself into these two Akasha and Prana: and by the combination of these two the whole universe is produced.” (C.W., II: 265)  New Ideal of Monasticism - In this major contribution of Swami Vivekananda is rejuvenation of Hindu monasticism. New monastic ideals, followed in the Ramakrishna order, the ancient principles of renunciation and God-realization are combined with service to God in man. (Shiva Jnane jiva seva) (Atmano mokshartham Jagaddhitaya cha)
  10. 10. Contributions to Development of India  Swami Vivekananda is referred as a Patriot-Saint. He traveled extensively throughout India and had first hand experience of the people and the land.  India (Bharata) in spite of her linguistic, ethnic and regional diversities has had a sense of cultural unity. However, Swami Vivekananda revealed the true foundations of the culture and thus clearly defined and strengthened the sense of unity as a nation.  Swami Vivekananda says “ We have yet something to teach to the world. This is the very reason raison dʼetre, that this nation has lived on, in spite of hundreds of years of persecution, in spite of nearly a thousands of years of foreign rule and foreign oppression. This nation still lives; the raison dʼetre is, it still holds to God, to the treasure-house of religion and spirituality.”  Again Swami Vivekananda says “ And I challenge anybody to show one single period of her national life when India was lacking in spiritual giants, capable of moving the world. But her work is spiritual, and that cannot be done with blasts of war trumpets or the march of cohorts. Her influence has always fallen upon the world like that of the gentle dew, unheard and scarcely marked, yet bringing into bloom the fairest flowers of the earth.”
  11. 11. Contributions to Development of India Swami Vivekananda identified some of the causes of downfall of India. They were: (1) neglect of masses - “ The one thing that is at the root of all evils in India is the condition of the poor…..” (2) Monopoly of education - “The chief cause of Indiaʼs ruin has been the monopolizing of the whole education and intelligence of the land, by dint of pride and royal authority, among a handful of men.” (3) Laziness and meanness - “We would do nothing ourselves and would scoff at others who try to do something - this is the bane that has brought downfall as a nation.” (4) Lack of organization - “Our nation is totally lacking in the faculty of organization. It is this one drawback which produces all sorts of evil. We are altogether averse to making common cause for anything. The first requisite for organization is obedience.” (5) Neglect of womenfolk - “It is very difficult to understand why in this country so much difference is made between men and women, whereas the Vedanta declares that one and the same conscious Self is present in all beings.”
  12. 12. Contributions to Development of India  Swami Vivekananda contributed immensely to regeneration of India in various aspects. Some of them are: (1) For the upliftment of masses he said, “Keep the motto before you - Elevation of the masses without injuring their religion.” (2) “ In religion lies the vitality of India, so long as the Hindu race do not forget the great inheritance of their forefathers, there is no power on earth to destroy them.” (3) Education for self-reliance: “All the wealth of the world cannot help one little Indian village if the people are not taught to help themselves. Our work should be mainly educational, both moral and intellectual. ” (4) “The uplift of the women, the awakening of masses must come first, and then only can any real good come about for the country for India.” (5) Global exchange of ideas- “..that we did not go out, that we did not compare notes with other nations…Therefore we must go out, and the secret of life is give and take.”
  13. 13. At Parliament of Religions, Chicago (September 11-27, 1893)
  14. 14. Text of the speech (September 11, 1893) Click to hear Simulated Speech Sisters and Brothers of America, It fills my heart with joy unspeakable to rise in response to the warm and cordial welcome which you have given us. I thank you in the name of the most ancient order of monks in the world; I thank you in the name of the mother of religions; and I thank you in the name of millions and millions of Hindu people of all classes and sects.  My thanks, also, to some of the speakers on this platform who, referring to the delegates from the Orient, have told you that these men from far-off nations may well claim the honour of bearing to different lands the idea of toleration. I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. We believe not only in universal toleration, but we accept all religions as true. I am proud to belong to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth. I am proud to tell you that we have gathered in our bosom the purest remnant of the Israelites, who came to Southern India and took refuge with us in the very year in which their holy temple was shattered to pieces by Roman tyranny. I am proud to belong to the religion which has sheltered and is still fostering the remnant of the grand Zoroastrian nation. I will quote to you, brethren, a few lines from a hymn which I remember to have repeated from my earliest boyhood, which is every day repeated by millions of human beings: “As the different streams having their sources in different places all mingle their water in the sea, so, O Lord, the different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee.”
  15. 15. Contributions to Global Harmony  Universality of Religion Interpretation of religion as an universal experience of transcendent Reality. Complimentary relationship between science and religion. Religion as a Science of Consciousness.  Manifestation of Divinity Concept of “potential divinity of the soul” Basis for Spiritual Humanism  New Principle of Morality and Ethics Based on intrinsic purity and oneness of Atman. Love and service to all because we are all one in Brahman  Mutual understanding of East and West Interpretation of Hindu scriptures and philosophy in the language of the west. Showed the relevance and application of western humanism to the East. Establishment of Vedanta Societies around the world. Extensive contribution through writings in English and lectures around the world.
  16. 16. Some Quotes from Swami Vivekananda On 23 June 1894, Swami Vivekananda gave this message to the then Maharaja of Mysore. “My noble prince, this life is short, the vanities of the world are transient, but they only live who live for others, the rest are dead more than alive. One such noble minded Royal Son of India as your Highness can do much towards raising India on her feet again. That the Lord may make your noble heart feel intensely for the suffering millions of India sunk in ignorance…….” is the prayer of Vivekananda ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------“The faculty of organization is entirely absent in our nature, but this has to be infused. The great secret is - absence of jealousy. Be always ready to concede to the opinions of your brothers, and try always to conciliate. That is the whole secret.” ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------“Infinite power is within you. If you can think Infinite power, Infinite knowledge and indomitable energy lie within you and if you can bring out that power you can also become like me.” 
  17. 17. Some More Quotes from Swami Vivekananda  "Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this divinity within, by controlling nature, external and internal. Do this either by work, or worship, or psychic control, or philosophy - by one, or more, or all of these - and be free. This is the whole of religion. Doctrines, or dogmas, or rituals, or books, or temples, or forms, are but secondary details."  "The one theme of the Vedanta philosophy is the search after unity. The Hindu mind does not care for the particular; it is always after the general, nay, the universal. "what is it that by knowing which everything else is to be known.That is the one search."  "All power is within you, you can do anything and everything. Believe in that, do not believe that you are weak... You can do anything and everything, without even the guidance of any one. All power is there. Stand up and express the divinity with you... Arise, awake, sleep no more. With each of you there is the power to remove all wants and all miseries. Believe in this, that power will be manifested.”  "When there is conflict between the heart and the brain, let the heart be followed… It is the heart which takes one to the highest plane, which intellect can never reach; it goes beyond intellect and reaches to what is called inspiration.… Always cultivate the heart; through the heart the Lord speaks and through the intellect you yourself speak."  "It may be that I shall find it good to get outside of my body -- to cast it off like a disused garment. But I shall not cease to work! I shall inspire men everywhere, until the world shall know that it is one with God."
  18. 18. Swami Vivekanandaʼs message to youth  Whatever you think, do well on it. All your actions will be magnified transformed deified by the very power of the thought.  Whatever you think, you will be, you think yourself weak, weak you will be. You think yourself strong, strong you will be.  Vedanta and modern science both posses a self evolving cause, physical science is to find out facts, metaphysics is the thread to bind the flowers into a bouquet.  My whole ambition in life is to set in motion a machinery which will bring noble ideas to the door of everybody.  Each nation has a main current in life; in India it is religion. Make it strong and the waters on either side must move along with it.  "We are ever free if we would believe it, only have faith enough. You are the soul, free and eternal, ever free, ever blessed. Have faith enough and you will be free in a minute. Everything in time, space, and causation is bound. The soul is beyond all time, all space, all causation. That which is bound is nature, not the soul.”  "ARISE! AWAKE! AND STOP NOT TILL THE GOAL IS REACHED!"
  19. 19. Some comments by famous personalities about the work of Swami Vivekananda        “Here is a man who is more learned than all our learned professors put together .” Professor John Henry Wright of Harvard University “…addressed the meeting a representative of Hinduism, and captured everyone by his magnificent presence, his gospel of the unity of all religions, and his simple ethics of human service as the best worship of God..” Will Durant “His words are great music, phrases in the style of Beethoven, stirring rhythms like march of Handel choruses. I cannot touch these sayings of his, scattered as they are through the pages of books at thirty yearsʼ distance, without receiving a thrill my body like an electric shock. And what shocks, what transports must have been produced when in burning words they issued from the lips of the hero!” Romain Rolland “Vivekananda was a soul of puissance if ever there was one, a very lion among men, but the definite work he has left behind is quite incommensurate with our impression of his creative might and energy. We perceive his influence still working gigantically.” Sri Aurobindo “I have gone through his works very thoroughly, and after having gone through them, the love that I had for my country became a thousand-fold.” Mahatma Gandhi “Vivekanandaʼs message lights up for manʼs consciousness the path to limitless liberation from the trammels and limitations of the self.” Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore “He gave us fortitude in suffering; he gave us hope in distress; he gave us courage in despair..Renunciation, courage, service, discipline - these are the mottoes which we can learn from his life.” Dr. S. Radhakrishnan
  20. 20. A poem “Peace” by Swami Vivekananda Peace Behold,  it  comes  in  might, The  power  that  is  not  power, The  light  that  is  in  darkness, The  shade  in  dazzling  light. It  is  joy  that  never  spoke, And  grief  unfelt,  profound, Immortal  life  unlived, Eternal  death  unmourned. It  is  not  joy  nor  sorrow, But  that  which  is  between, It  is  not  night  nor  morrow, But  that  which  joins  them  in. It  is  sweet  rest  in  music, And  pause  in  sacred  art; The  silence  between  speaking; Between  two  fits  of  passion It  is  the  calm  of  the  heart. It  is  beauty  never  seen, And  love  that  stands  alone, It  is  song  that  lives  un-­‐sung, And  knowledge  never  known. It is death between two lives, And lull between two storms The void whence rose creation, And that where it returns. To it the tear-drop goes, To spread the smiling form, It is the Goal of Life, And Peace - its only home! ----------------------------------------(Composed at Ridgley Manor, N.Y. 21 September 1899)
  21. 21. Acknowledgements The author acknowledges the help of Chetan and Pallavi Bhatt Harsh and Kanan Jani Seshadri Prativadi M.G. Sampath Kumar K.V. Varadaraja Iyengar Geetha Prasad during the preparation of this presentation. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Also, Dr. Prasad thanks Society of Indian Academics in America, World Brahman Federation, Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America, Hindu American Temple Cultural Center and Hindu Temple and Cultural Society for arranging his presentation in New York City and New Jersey in commemoration of 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Swami Vivekananda during 2013.
  22. 22. References 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. http://www.belurmath.org Vivekananda - A Biography by Swami Nikhilananda Viveka Prabha (A special 150th birth anniversary issue), Mysore. January 2013. http://www.vedantany.org (Articles by swami Tathagatananda) What Religion is (in the words of Swami Vivekananda) Advaita Ashrama, 1978 Chronological record compiled and edited by Terrance Hohner and Carolyn Kenny (Amala) of the Vedanta Society of Portland (Primary Source: Marie Louise Burkeʼs 6-volume set, Swami Vivekananda in the West: New Discoveries. Posters published by Ramakrishna Mission, Fort, Belgaum, Karnataka-590016 The Life of Swami Vivekananda by His Eastern & Western Disciples – Vol2 Swami Vivekananda – The Prophet of India compiled by Dr. P. Jayaraman My India – The India Eternal by Swami Vivekananda, R.M. Institute of Culture, July 2000 Swami Vivekananda in India: A Corrective Biography  By Chattopadhyay Rajagopal Life and Philosophy Of Swami Vivekananda  By Gopal Shrinivas Banhatti Swami Vivekananda by Prakasarao V Velagapudi, PhD http://www.vivekananda.net/ Swami-Vivekananda-History by (Ms Sharma) Swami Vivekananda - India Condensed, Compiled and edited by K. Surynanarayana Rao Complete works of Swami Vivekananda
  23. 23. Some pictures during later years
  24. 24. Calcutta-1897
  25. 25. London-1896
  26. 26. Colombo-1897
  27. 27. Madras-1897
  28. 28. Thousand Islands Park~1898
  29. 29. San Francisco-1900
  30. 30. Kashmir ~1901
  31. 31. Room at Belur Math
  32. 32. With Tesla
  33. 33. Contemporaries of Swamiji
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  37. 37. Swami Vivekananda, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Sharada Devi
  38. 38. More Maps (see References #5)  USA          British Isles   Massachusetts Boston & Cambridge Chicago & Vicinity Detroit Northern California San Francisco – Oakland/Alameda Southern California Los Angeles/Pasadena & Vicinity London & Vicinity Europe  Paris
  39. 39. Illustrating 40 day duration for letters from Swamiji to reach India
  40. 40. Family Tree
  41. 41. Route to the West
  42. 42. Places in Europe
  43. 43. Places visited while in America
  44. 44. Places Visited while in New York
  45. 45. Places visited while in British Isles
  46. 46. Places Visited while In Europe