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Life and Thoughts of Swami Vivekananda

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Item Code: NAK208
Author: J. C. Dua
Publisher: Delta Book World
Language: English
Edition: 2015
ISBN: 9788192624471
Pages: 221
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.0 inch X 5.5 inch
Weight 450 gm
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Book Description
About the Book

Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)also called Narendranath Datta was a Hindu Philosopher, born and died in Calcutta. He attempted to combine Indian spirituality with Western materialism, and became the main force behind the Vedanta Movement in the West.

This book has very vividly, comprehensively and yet very concisely dealt with the life and thoughts of Swami Vivekananda. His commendation of the citizens of Japan while his visit to that place and his exhortation to our countrymen to emulate their virtues is a special feature of this book. Swami Vivekanand won first prize and a silver butterfly in boxing-such information has been given in this book in the form of objective Question-Answers to know more about him from very close.

About the Author

Dr. J.C. Dua is well-known figure in the field of tourism and history. Formerly he was the principal of NBGSM College, (M.D. University), Sohna (Haryana).

Dr. Dua has extensively contributed on both Tourism and History of south India and Punjab. He was awarded Research Fellowship by the Andhra Pradesh State Archives, Hyderabad (1966-1969). In 1983, he was awarded a Gold Medal by the government of Bulgaria. In 1989, Dr. Dua acted as Programme Co-ordinator for the orientation of Programme (History) conducted by the Centre for Professional Development in Higher Education, University of Delhi, Delhi. In 1995, he was invited to deliver the prestigious Dr. Kalaignar Thiru M. Karunanidhi Endowment Lectures, Madras University, Madras.

Apart from contributing a large number of research papers in both tourism and history at the national and international seminars, Dr. Dua has several books to his credit.


Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) also called Narendranath Datta was a Hindu philosopher, born and died in Calcutta. Educated in a Western-style university, he first joined the Brahmo Samaj, attracted by its policy of social reform.

The personality and thoughts of Swami Vivekananda have evoked writing of many books and literature on him in the past. Ever since his historic and much celebrated address in the World Parliament of Religions in 1893 which continues to resonate the world over to this day and shall continue to do in the times to come, the concept of spirituality and divinity with central theme as universal tolerance and brotherhood has not been revisited even in the remotest sense by any of the religious thinkers all these years.

This book has very vividly, comprehensively and yet very concisely dealt with the life and thoughts of Swami Vivekanan da. The initial years of life of this great man, the tempest he underwent on meeting his to-be Guru, Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa who stirred up intense spiritual yearning in him by his mere touch and unraveled the eternal truth the knowledge of which eludes even the greatest of seers, has been brought our succinctly. The sequence of events that followed as an offshoot of the Swami's wanderings across the length and breadth of this country after assumption of samadhi of Sri Ramakrishna which saw him addressing the Chicago Parliament of Religions in 1893 where he propounded the tenets of the Vedantic Philosophy in all its entirety of which, hitherto, the Westerners were largely ignorant, which at the same time, instilled in the Indians a sense of pride in their heritage and tremendous self-confidence, has been nicely brought out.

The import of the lectures and the discourses given by him in various cities of America and in other European countries which captivated the audience comprising people from diverse fields of knowledge and disciplines will marvel the readers. The Swami's commendation of the citizens of Japan while his visit to that place and his exhortation to our countrymen to emulate their virtues is a special feature of this book.

Swami Vivekananda was simple in the ways of the world and in his lifetime had attracted many European followers including his brother monks who avowed by his ideology. But, how during the later years of his earthly sojourn, he got deeply pained by skepticism, acts, and beliefs of some of these followers which bruised his tender heart and immensely hurt his soul is an aspect touched upon by this work which will give a rare insight to the readers of the true colours and worldly ways of the people who did not spare even this godlike person and the mental agony underwent by him there of tending him to desperately yearn for communion with the Supreme Soul, a wish he forsake in his youth days for amelioration of the downtrodden and emancipation of the spiritually famished.

Though the causes this divine figure strived all along his life seem to have been lost and defeated in the present times, but it is hardly disputed that he arrested the rapid process of spiritual decadence and uplifted the spirit of mankind in the crucial stage of human history thereby changing the course of humanity to a large extent by inspiring and producing enlightened brilliant souls, with initiation of thought process as an undercurrent, that shall continue to guide the humanity till its end.

It is said that thoughts make a man, and for this, the ideas and views of a great person motivate the people utmost. Taking this fact into consideration, this work sets it apart from all others of this genre. For all those who wish to know more about Swami Vivekananda from very close should not give this piece of work a miss.


Socio-Religious life in India during 19rh century has produced many social reformers. During this time, on one side, India was suffering from stagnating traditional culture and society at very low ebb; while on the other hand, India possessed a still traditional society in the throes and the creative excitement of modernising and of emerging as a new nation. The nineteenth century initiated this process of transformation in the religious, social, economic, political, and cultural spheres. The impact of the British Empire influenced administration, legislation, trade, network of communications, industrialisation and urbanisation in India, affecting not only society as a whole, but also the traditional patterns of life. British scholars, educators and missionaries also impacted the cultural field. The reformers consciously reacted to the new situation and advocated deliberate changes in social and religious attitudes and customs.

Swami Vivekananda, known in his pre-monastic life as Narendranath Datta, was born in an affluent family in Culcutta 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. Narendra by the time he graduated from Calcutta University, he had was associated with Brahmo Movement for some time.

At the threshold of youth Narendra had to pass through a period of spiritual crisis when he was assailed by doubts about the existence of God. It was at that time he first heard about Sri Ramakrishna from one of his English professors at college. Apart from removing doubts from the mind of Narendra, Sri Ramakrishna won him over through his pure, unselfish love. Thus began a guru-disciple relationship which is quite unique in the history of spirirual masters. Narendra now became a frequent visitor to Dakshineshwar and, under the guidance of the Master, made rapid strides on the spiritual path.

After a few years two events took place which caused Narendra considerable distress. One was the sudden death of his father in 1884. This left the family penniless, and Narendra had to bear the burden of supporting his mother, brothers and sisters. The second event was the illness of Sri Ramakrishna which was diagnosed to be cancer of the throat. In September 1885 Sri Ramakrishna was moved to a house at Shyampukur, and a few months later to a rented villa at Cossipore.

After the Master's passing on 16th August 1886, fifteen of his young disciples, rejoined the began to live together in a dilapidated building at Baranagar in North Kolkata. Under the leadership of Narendra, they formed a new monastic brotherhood, and in 1887 they took the formal vows of sannyasa, thereby assuming new names. Narendra now became Swami Vivekananda, although this name was actually assumed much later.

After establishing the new monastic order, Vivekananda heard the inner call for a greater mission in his life. This question and the awareness of his own inherent powers urged Swamiji to go out alone into the wide world. So in the middle of 1890, after receiving the blessings of Sri Sarada Devi, the divine consort of Sri Ramakrishna, known to the world as Holy Mother, who was then staying in Kolkata, Swamiji left Baranagar Math and embarked on a long journey of exploration and discovery of India.

During his travels all over India, Swami Vivekananda was deeply moved to see the appalling poverty and backwardness of the masses. He was the first religious leader in India to understand and openly declare that the real cause of India's downfall was the neglect of the masses. Swamiji found this message in the principle of the Atman, the doctrine of the potential divinity of the soul, taught in Vedanta, the ancient system of religious philosophy of India. He saw that, in spite of poverty, the masses clung to religion, but they had never been taught the life-giving, ennobling principles of Vedanta and how to apply them in practical life.

One thing became clear to Swamiji to carry out his plans for the spread of education and for the uplift of the poor masses, and also of women, an efficient organization of dedicated people was needed. As he said later on, he wanted "to set in motion a machinery which will bring noblest ideas to the doorstep of even the poorest and the meanest." It was to serve as this 'machinery' that Swamiji founded the Ramakrishna Mission a few years later.

It was when these ideas were taking shape in his mind in the course of his wanderings that Swami Vivekananda heard about the World's Parliament of Religions to be held in Chicago in 1893. His friends and admirers in India wanted him to attend the Parliament. Swamiji, however, wanted to have an inner certitude and divine call regarding his mission. Both of these he got while he sat in deep meditation on the rock-island at Kanyakumari. With the funds partly collected by his Chennai disciples and partly provided by the Raja of Khetri, Swami Vivekananda left for America from Mumbai on 31 May 1893.

His speeches at the World's Parliament of Religions held in September 1893 made him famous as an 'orator by divine right' and as a 'Messenger of Indian wisdom to the Western world'. After the Parliament, Swamiji spent nearly three and a half years spreading Vedanta as lived and taught by Sri Ramakrishna, mostly in the eastern parts of USA and also in London. He returned to India in January 1897. In response to the enthusiastic welcome that he received everywhere, he delivered a series of lectures in different parts of India, which created a great stir all over the country. These were inspiring and profoundly significant lectures.


1Early Life19
2Impact of Ramakrishna30
3Wandering Monk42
4Speeches at the Parliament of religions64
5Vedantic discourses in America88
6Reconciliation of East-West Cultural Values119
7Influence of Japan on Swami Vivekananda and His Other Expositions135
8Back to the Motherland149
9Final Years of the Life174
10Know More about Vivekananda (Question-answer)199

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