kids encyclopedia robot

Swami Vivekananda facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Black and white image of Vivekananda, facing left with his arms folded and wearing a turban
Vivekananda in Chicago, September 1893. On the Left note, Vivekananda wrote: "One infinite pure and holy – beyond thought beyond qualities I bow down to thee".
Birth Date (1863-01-12)12 January 1863
Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India
(present-day Kolkata, West Bengal, India)
Died on 4 July 1902(1902-07-04) (aged 39)
Belur Math, Bengal Presidency, British India
(present-day West Bengal, India)
Birth name Narendranath Datta
Guru/teacher Ramakrishna
Philosophy Advaita Vedanta
Rāja yoga

Swami Vivekananda ( 12 January 1863 – 4 July 1902), born Narendranath Datta, was an Indian Hindu monk, philosopher, author, religious teacher, and the chief disciple of the Indian mystic Ramakrishna.

He introduced Hindu philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga in Europe and America. He brought Hinduism to the status of a major world religion during the end of the 19th century. Vivekananda is considered to be a major force in the revival of Hinduism in modern India. He is perhaps best known for his inspiring speech beginning with "Sisters and Brothers of America". Through this he introduced Hinduism at the Parliament of the World's Religions at Chicago in 1893.

Vivekananda was one of the most influential philosophers and social reformers in his contemporary India, and the most successful missionaries of Vedanta to the Western world. He was also a major force in contemporary Hindu reform movements and contributed to the concept of nationalism in colonial India. He is now widely regarded as one of the most influential people of modern India and a patriotic saint. His birthday in India is celebrated as National Youth Day.


Swami Vivekananda was born into an aristocratic family. He was named Narendranath Datta. His father, Vishwanath Datta, was an attorney at the Calcutta High Court. His mother was Bhuvaneshwari Devi. Vivekananda was one of nine siblings.

Young Narendra was an expert in meditation and could enter the state of samadhi very easily. He saw a light while falling asleep. Once he had a vision of Buddha during his meditation. During his childhood, he had a great fascination for wandering ascetics and monks. Even in his young age he showed remarkable leadership qualities.

In his youth he found his guru Ramakrishna and became a monk. After the death of Ramakrishna, Vivekananda extensively toured the Indian subcontinent acquiring first-hand knowledge of the living conditions of Indian people in then British India. Moved by their plight, he resolved to help his countrymen and found a way to travel to the United States, where he became a popular figure after the 1893 Parliament of Religions in Chicago at which he delivered his famous speech beginning with the words: Sisters and brothers of America... while introducing Hinduism to Americans.

After great success at the Parliament, Vivekananda delivered hundreds of lectures across the United States, England and Europe, disseminating the core tenets of Hindu philosophy, and founded the Vedanta Society of New York and the Vedanta Society of San Francisco (now Vedanta Society of Northern California), both of which became the foundations for Vedanta Societies in the West. In India, Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Math, which provides spiritual training for monastics and householder devotees, and the Ramakrishna Mission, which provides charity, social work and education.


Indian film director Utpal Sinha made a film, The Light: Swami Vivekananda as a tribute for his 150th birth anniversary. Other Indian films about his life include: Swamiji (1949) by Amar Mullick, Swami Vivekananda (1955) by Amar Mullick, Birieswar Vivekananda (1964) by Modhu Bose, Life and Message of Swami Vivekananda (1964) documentary film by Bimal Roy, Swami Vivekananda (1998) by G. V. Iyer, Swamiji (2012) laser light film by Manick Sorcar. Sound of Joy, an Indian 3D-animated short film directed by Sukankan Roy depicts the spiritual journey of Vivekananda. It won the National Film Award for Best Non-Feature Animation Film in 2014.

Famous Quotes

  • You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself.
  • So long as even a single dog in my country is without food my whole religion is to feed it and serve it, anything excluding that is unreligious.
  • Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached.
  • Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man.
  • Religion is the manifestation of the divinity already in man.
  • Civilization is the manifestation of the natural strength in man.
  • Service to man is the true service to God.
  • Strength is life, Weakness is death.
  • The brain and muscles must develop simultaneously. Iron nerves with an intelligent brain—and the whole world is at your feet.


Vivekananda's books on the four Yogas (Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Jnana Yoga) are still seen as fundamental texts for anyone interested in the Windfall practice of Yoga. He was also considered a very good singer and a poet. By the time of his death, he had composed many songs including his favorite song "Kali-The Mother". He used humor for his teachings and was also an excellent cook.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Swami Vivekananda para niños

kids search engine
Swami Vivekananda Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.