Swami Vivekananda, born Narendranath Dutta, was born on 12 January, 1863. He is to date, one of the greatest religious scholars and Hindu preachers in history. If Indian culture and Hindu religion is existent in the international world and is a major world religion, it is due to the efforts of this man. He also played a key role in the Hindu Reforms Movement in India.
Due to his unimaginable contributions made to the Hindu religion and its presence in the western world, Swami Vivekananda’s birthday is celebrated as National Youth Day every year. The life of a man so great is bound to have been interesting.
Interesting Facts About Swami Vivekananda’s Life
1. Great Orator But Poor At English In Academic Education
Swami Vivekananda is known around the world for his marvelous oratory skills. Throughout his life, he delivered revolutionary speeches at various prestigious stages and influenced people all over the world but you would be blown away to know that during his Bachelor of Arts education, he barely scored 50% marks in English.
2. Lost Faith In God Once
There was a time when Swami ji had lost his faith in God! Yes, the man who preached the world about religion, interfaith and god, had himself lost it at one point of his life. As soon as Swamiji completed his BA, his faith in God was lost and he even started doubting its existence. “God Does Not Exist”, he used to say. Unemployment was the major reason behind it. Despite being an intelligent man, he wasn’t hired by anyone
3. Sister Committed Suicide
Little do people know that Swami Vivekananda’s Sister, Jogendrabala committed suicide in 1890. She was married and the couple was living in Shimla at the time she committed suicide. While the reason behind her suicide remains unclear as she did not leave a note behind, it is believed that marital discord was the reason why she chose to end her life.
4. No Woman Allowed At Monastery
No woman was allowed to enter Swamiji’s monastery. Not even his own mother! Once, a disciple of Swamiji brought in his mother inside the monastery reverently. On seeing his mother, Swami ji became very angry because no woman was allowed in the monastery, not even his mother.
5. Faced Diseases Throughout His Life
Swami ji dedicated his whole life to serving the needy and amidst that, he forgot to pay attention to himself. In his short life of just 39 years, Swami Vivekananda faced about 31 diseases including asthma, diabetes, liver and kidney diseases and many more.
6. First Speech – The Most Iconic Speech
“Sisters and brothers of America”, was how Swami Vivekanada started his first ever speech on Hindutva in the US and the words went on to become history. It was delivered by him at the World Religion Conference on 11 September 1893. Upon hearing it, the whole crowd of about 7 thousand people, gave a standing ovation to the great scholar.
7. Once Denied To Give Speech
In 1893, at the World Sarva Dharma Sammelan, Chicago, Swami Vivekananda wanted to deliver a speech but he was denied permission to do so due to some reasons. But later, with the help of Professor John Henry, he was finally given a chance to deliver his speech on stage.
8. Changed Name Twice
Many people believe that when Swamiji became a monk, he changed his name to Vivekanada at the same time but this is not true. Born Narendra, he first changed his name to Vividishanand. But before moving to Chicaho, he changed it again to Swami Vivekananda which would go on to give him world recognition.
9. Influenced Great Leaders
The list of people influenced by Swami Vivekananda would go on forever. Legendary freedom fighters and prominent world figures were influenced by his speeches when he returned to India in 1897. The list includes Mahatma Gandhi, Subhas Chandra Bose, Rabindranath Tagore, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and more.
10. Used To Lie So That His Family Could Eat
We all know Swami ji dedicated his life to helping others, but this trait started at home itself. When his father passed away, his family was pushed into a state of extreme poverty. When the food was served at his home, he would lie to his family that he was invited somewhere and would eat there, so that his family could avoid the burden of his food.
His life was surely an inspiration for millions. World leaders were influenced by him and the way modern Indian society has framed itself is a big result of the teachings and preachings of Swami Vivekananda.