Rabindranath Tagore – A Verse From Gitanjali

Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore


Gitanjali
Old and New
Rabindranath Tagore

Thou hast made me known to friends whom I knew not. Thou hast given me seats in homes not my own. Thou hast brought the distant near and made a brother of the stranger.

I am uneasy at heart when I have to leave my accustomed shelter; I forget that there abides the old in the new, and that there also thou abidest.

Through birth and death, in this world or in others, wherever thou leadest me it is thou, the same, the one companion of my endless life who ever linkest my heart with bonds of joy to the unfamiliar.

When one knows thee, then alien there is none, then no door is shut. Oh, grant me my prayer that I may never lose the bliss of the touch of the one in the play of many.

Swami Vivekananda Remembered : January 12th 1863 – July 4th 1902

Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda


Swami Vivekananda Remembered – January 12th 1863 to July 4th 1902

Swami Vivekananda (January 12th 1863 – July 4th 1902), born Narendranath Dutta, was the chief disciple of the 19th century mystic Ramakrishna and the founder of Ramakrishna Mission. Vivekananda was the Hindu missionary to the West. He is considered a key figure in the introduction of Vedanta and Yoga in Europe and America and is also credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a world religion during the end of 19th Century. Vivekananda is considered to be a major force in the revival of Hinduism in modern India. He is best known for his inspiring speech beginning with “sisters and brothers of America”, through which he introduced Hinduism at the Parliament of the World’s Religions at Chicago in 1893.

Swami Vivekananda was born in an aristocratic family of Calcutta in 1863. His parents influenced the Swami’s thinking (the father by his rational mind and the mother by her religious temperament). From his childhood, he showed inclination towards spirituality and God realisation. While searching for a man who could directly demonstrate the reality of God, he came to Ramakrishna and became his disciple. As a guru, Ramakrishna taught him Advaita Vedanta and that all religions are true, and service to man was the most effective worship of God. After the death of his Guru, he became a wandering monk touring the Indian subcontinent and getting a first hand account of India’s condition. He later sailed to Chicago and represented India as a delegate in the 1893 Parliament of World religions. An eloquent speaker, Vivekananda was invited to several forums in United States and spoke at universities and clubs. He conducted several public and private lectures, disseminating Vedanta, Yoga and Hinduism in America, England and few other countries in Europe. He also established Vedanta societies in America and England. He later sailed back to India and in 1897 he founded the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, a philanthropic and spiritual organization. The Swami is regarded as one of India’s foremost nation-builders. His teachings influenced the thinking of other national leaders and philosophers, like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose, Aurobindo Gosh, Radhakrishnan.

Remembering Vivekananda

Remembering Vivekananda

On this day (Swami Vivekananda’s birthday), January 12th 2009, we reverently remember the inspiration, passion and brotherhood that Vivekananda evoked and still evokes in India and throughout the world today.