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.

Mother Kali – MahaKali – Kalika

Mother Kali

Mother Kali – MahaKali – Kalika
Who can comprehend the Divine paradox of Mother Kali? Fierce, black in color, large, shimmering eyes, destructive, triumphantly smiling amidst the slaughter of billions of demons, wearing a necklace of skulls and a skirt of severed arms, glowing effulgently like the full moon in the night sky, holding the head of a demon, a Trident that flashes like lightning and a knife etched with sacred mantras and infused with Divine Shakti, Kali stands peaceful and content, suffused with the fragrances of jasmine, rose and sandlewood!

Kali is the Guardian. The Protectress. The Mother. Kali is Dharma and Eternal Time. Kali shines with the brilliance of a Million Black Fires of Dissolution and Her body is bathed in vibuthi (sacred ash). Shiva is under Her Feet and the Great Devotee, Ramprasad, envisioned Kali as stepping upon a demon that was transformed, by Kali’s touch, into Lord Shiva Himself!

Just as the night sky appears black due to it’s fathomless depth and as the ocean appears deep blue due to it’s fathomless depth~ so too Kali appears dark due to Her Infinite depth. Kali assumes the form that reflects the attitude and bhava (emotion) of the person who approaches Her. If Kali is appraoched with the bhava of Motherly Love, She assumes the form of Lakshmi. If Kali is approached as the Guru, embodying Wisdom, Art and Education, She assumes the form of Saraswati. The demons approached Kalika with the bhava of destruction and evil. Consequently, the Divine Mother assumed the form of their Destruction by reflecting, in form, their own Evil. In truth, Kali is all of these forms and beyond them.

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