Every year, the 4th of July is celebrated as the death anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, who is considered one of the finest spiritual and intellectual leaders India has produced. Vivekananda played an important role in introducing the philosophies of yoga and Vedanta to the West. He is best known for his address to the World Parliament of Religion in Chicago in 1893, which began with the opening remarks, “My Brothers and Sisters of America.”
Vivekananda is credited with raising interfaith awareness and bringing Hinduism to a global platform in the 19th century. He is also known for his extensive knowledge in science and religion. His teachings to the Western world demonstrated how the two could coexist in harmony.
He was born on January 12, 1863 to a Bengali family and was originally named Narendranath Datta. Her father was Vishwanath Datta, a lawyer in the High Court of Calcutta while her mother, Bhubaneswari Devi was a housewife. From an early age, Vivekananda was interested in spirituality and meditated before the images of Hindu gods and goddesses.
Here are some of Swami Vivekananda’s memorable quotes that are relevant even in today’s world:
> “You have to grow from within. No one can teach you, no one can make you spiritual. There is no other master than your own soul.
> “In a day, when you have no problems, you can be sure that you are going down the wrong path.”
> “Get up, wake up, don’t stop until the goal is reached.”
> “Take an idea. Make this idea your life; dream of it; think about it; live on this idea. Let the brain, the body, the muscles, the nerves, every part of your body be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, and this is how great spiritual giants are produced.
> “The fire that warms us can also consume us; it’s not the fire’s fault.
On Sunday, tributes began pouring in for Swami Vivekananda from the public and political spheres. Using #SwamiVivekananda on social media, people talked about his teachings, life and ideals.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted that everyone should read about Vivekananda to have peace and bring positive changes in life. “The life, ideals and teachings of #SwamiVivekananda fascinated me from my youth. I think everyone should read about him to have peace and bring positive change in life. Paying tribute to the great son of Bharat Mata on his punyatithi,” Sarma wrote on Twitter.
On the other hand, Mamata Banerjee, Supremo of Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Chief Minister of West Bengal, said, “On this day in 1902, Swami Vivekananda attained Mahasamadhi. We will forever be indebted to him for his teachings on individual freedom, social equality and justice in the Indian ethos. His thoughts and ideas are our guide even today.