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Yoga and Swami Vivekananda

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Swami Vivekananda, known in his pre-monastic life as Narendra Nath Datta, was born in an affluent family in Kolkata on 12 January 1863. His father,Vishwanath Datta, was a successful attorney with interests in a wide range of subjects, and his mother, Bhuvaneshwari Devi, was endowed with deep devotion, strong character and other qualities. A precocious boy, Narendra excelled in music, gymnastics and studies. By the time he graduated from Calcutta University, he had acquired a vast knowledge of different subjects, especially Western philosophy and history. Born with a yogic temperament, he used to practise meditation even from his boyhood, and was associated with Brahmo Movement for some time.

Brahmo Samaj
Narendra became the member of a Freemason’s lodge and of a breakaway faction of the Brahmo Samaj led by Keshub Chandra Sen.[22] His initial beliefs were shaped by Brahmo concepts, which included belief in a formless God and deprecation of the worship of idols.[32] Not satisfied with his knowledge of philosophy, he wondered if God and religion could be made a part of one’s growing experiences and deeply internalised. Narendra went about asking prominent residents of contemporary Calcutta whether they had come “face to face with God” but could not get answers which satisfied him.[33][34] His first introduction to the saint Ramakrishna occurred in a literature class in General Assembly’s Institution, when he heard Hastie lecturing on William Wordsworth’s poem The Excursion.[35][36] While explaining the word “trance” in the poem, Hastie suggested his students to visit Ramakrishna of Dakshineswar to know the real meaning of trance. This prompted some of his students, including Narendra, to visit Ramakrishna.[22][37][38]

Founding of the Ramakrishna math
After the death of Ramakrishna, his devotees and admirers stopped funding the Cossipore math. The unpaid rents soon piled up and Narendra and other disciples of Ramakrishna had to find a new place to live.[51] Many of his disciples returned home and became inclined towards a Grihastha (family-oriented) life.[52] Narendra decided to make a dilapidated house at Baranagar the new math (monastery) for remaining disciples. The rent of the Baranagar Math was cheap and it was funded by “holy begging” (mādhukarī). In his book Swami Vivekananda: A Reassessment, Narasingha Prosad Sil writes, “the Math was an adult male haven, a counter–culture community of freedom–seeking youths on the fringe of society and the city”.[53] The math became the first building of theRamakrishna Math—the monastery of the first monastic order of Ramakrishna.[39] Narendra later reminisced about the early days in the monastery . In January 1887, Narendra and eight other disciples took formal monastic vows. Narendra took the name of Swami Bibidishananda. Later he was given the nameVivekananda by Ajit Singh, the Maharaja of Khetri.[55] In January 1899 the Baranagar Math was transferred to Belur in the Howrah district, now known as the Belur Math. Founding Of The Ramkrishna Mission

On 1 May 1897 at Calcutta, Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Mission—the organ for social service. The ideals of the Ramakrishna Mission are based onKarma Yoga .[115][116] Its governing body consists of the trustees of the Ramakrishna Math—the organ to carry out religious works.[117] Both Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission have their headquarters at Belur Math.[90][118] He founded two other monasteries—one at Mayavati on the Himalayas, near Almora, called the Advaita Ashrama and another at Madras. Two journals were started, Prabuddha Bharata in English and Udbhodan in Bengali.[119] The same year, the famine relief work was started by Swami Akhandananda at Murshidabad district.[90][1\ Visit To The Himalayas

In July 1890, accompanied by the fellow monk Swami Akhandananda (also a disciple of Ramakrishna), Vivekananda visited the Himalayas. This constituted the first phase of his journey that would encompass the West.[66][69] He visited Nainital, Almora, Srinagar, Dehradun, Rishikesh and Haridwar. During these travels, he metSwami Brahmananda, Saradananda, Turiyananda and Advaitananda. They stayed at Meerut for some days engaged in meditation, prayer and study of scriptures. At the end of January 1891, Vivekananda left his fellows and journeyed to Delhi. His Teachings

Vivekananda believed a country’s future depends on its people; his teachings focused on the development of the mass.[138] He wanted “to set in motion a machinery which will bring noblest ideas to the doorstep of even the poorest and the meanest.”[139] Vivekananda believed that the essence of Hinduism was best expressed in the Vedanta philosophy, based on the interpretation of Adi Shankara. He summarised the Vedanta’s teachings as follows:[140] His Books

* Karma Yoga (1896)
* Raja Yoga (1896 [1899 edition])
* Vedanta Philosophy: An address before the graduate philosophical society (1896)
* Lectures from Colombo to Almora (1897)
* Vedanta philosophy: lectures on Jnana Yoga (1902
* Addresses on Bhakti Yoga
* Bhakti Yoga
* Complete works. Vol 5

* The East and the West
* Inspired Talks (1909)
* Narada Bhakti Sutras – translation
* Lectures from Colombo to Almora (1904)
* Para Bhakti or Supreme Devotion
* Practical Vedanta
* Jnana Yoga
* Raja Yoga (1920)
* Speeches and writings of Swami Vivekananda; a comprehensive collection
* Vivekavani (1986) – Telugu
* Yoga (1987) – Telugu

His Death
On 4 July 1902, the day of his death, Vivekananda woke up very early in the morning, went to chapel and meditated for three hours. He taught Shukla-Yajur-Veda, Sanskrit grammar, and yoga philosophy to pupils in the morning at Belur Math.[131][132] He discussed with colleagues a plan to start a Vedic college in the RamakrishnaMath, and carried out usual conversation. At seven p.m. he went into his room and asked not to be disturbed.[131] Vivekananda died at ten minutes past nine p.m. while he was meditating.[133] According to his disciples, Vivekananda attained Mahasamadhi.[134] Rupture of blood vessels in the brain was reported as a possible cause of the death.[135] His disciples believed that rupture was on account of Brahmarandhra —the aperture in the crown of the head —being pierced when he attainedMahasamadhi. Vivekananda had fulfilled his own prophecy of not living to be forty years old.[136] He was cremated on sandalwood funeral pyre on the bank of Ganga in Belur. On the other bank of the river, Ramakrishna had been cremated sixteen y ears before.[137]

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