Photograph of the book 'Vivekananda The Man & His Message' by His Eastern and Western Disciples
Swami Vivekananda was born on 12 January 1863 who was then named as Narendranath Datta, was an Indian Monk who followed Hinduism. He was a philosopher, author, religious teacher and the one of the key disciple of Swami Ramakrishna.
Narandranath’s birth took place in to the well-known family of the Dattas of Calcutta (now known as Kolkata). It was said that Rammohan Datta, the great grandfather of the Swami was a flourishing lawyer in the city of Kolkata. His Son was Durgaprasad who later followed Spiritual line leaving behind a Son Viswanath to perpetuate the line. Narendrath’s father was Viswanath and his mother’s name was Bhuvaneswari. Narendranath’s father was a very generous human and had a passion for music and poetry. It was said during those times, since the family was devoid of any male child, Bhuvaneswari Devi did a special worship of Lord Vireswara (Siva) of Kasi and Narendra Nath was born of a prayer.
Narendranath in his younger days showed very high nature of generosity. However, he use to have a high temper for which his mother use to pour cold water on him and used to make him to take the name of Shiva. His disciples saw him as an ascetic who has seen that reality cares nothing for the attraction of lust and gold. Swami Vivekananda showed that the monk who understands the riches of this infinite cares nothing about joys and treasures of the world, which are just like dust and ashes to him.
His disciples said that Swami Vivekananda cared nothing for name or fame or success or money. On many occasions, it was felt that Swami Vivekananda would leave everything and run to the Cave to meditate. On many occasions he could recite this prayer for Ramakrishna, who was his guru:
‘The Guru is Brahma, The Guru is Vishnu, The Guru is Deva Maheswara. Verily the Guru is Para-Brahman. Unto Him, The Guru, my Salutation.’
His disciples use to say that he was a man of passionate purity that he could associate with all people and may also take food which was regarded as forbidden or tainted and yet remain untarnished. In much times, his disciples would verily the radiance of Shiva in him.
Swami Vivekananda extolled celibacy and he denounced his senses for any sensual pleasure. He was very pure from heart and he himself believed that without purity and renunciation, the higher spiritual life was impossible. Many of us who are not aware, Swami Vivekananda was an excellent Singer and an exceptional musician, in so far as the music of his country was concerned. He also knew the general technique of European music, particularly that of French.
It was Swami Vivekananda who once said that:
‘You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself.
You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.
If money help a man to do good to others, it is of some value; but if not, it is simply a mass evil, and the sooner it is got rid of, the better.’
It was in 1887, the brotherhood took the vows of sanyasi, thereby changing their names: Narendra became Swami Vivekananda. It was in 1890, he finally left for discovering India and was in deep distress to witness the deprivation of this society. To eradicate poverty, he understood the ideal of Atman i.e the divinity of the soul, which can be achieved through education, especially to masses. It was in 1897, He established the Ramakrishna Mission.
This book details about Swami Vivekananda and a closer look into the Divine Personality of this great Monk. Swami Vivekananda was a manifold personality and his entire life was dedicated towards elevation of human soul, for the removal of misery of the world and to help humans reach divinity. He was a truly Karma Yogi and He once said:
Karma-Yoga teaches us how to work for work’s sake, unattached, without caring who is helped. And what for. The Karma yogi works because it is his nature, because he feels it is good for him to do so, and he has no object beyond that. His position in this world is that of a giver, and he never cares to receive anything. He knows that he is giving and does not ask for anything in return and therefore he eludes the grasp of misery.
Swami Vivekananda passed away on 4th July, 1902. He was just 39 years old when he left for his heavenly abode. This book is wonderfully written and had many things to learn about the great personality of Swami Vivekananda.
If you like reading Spiritual Books and Thoughts about great souls in this world, this book may help you learn many facets of life from one of the greatest monks, Swami Vivekananda.
I read the book and if I have to rate the book on 10 Stars and 10 being the highest, I will give the book 9 stars.
(Please Note: The above are my own personal thoughts based on reading this book. Your views, facts, and opinions after reading the book may differ)
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