Swami Vivekananda is the name of a world famous monk. He was born as Narendra nath Dutta in Calcutta on 12 January, 1863. His father Viswanath Dutta was a learned lawyer at the High Court of Calcutta. Narendranath obtained his education irregularly. He at first read in a Primary School with other children of suburban area.
For fear of the bad influence of the rough children, he was then kept at home. Again he studied in the Metropolitan Institution, founded by Iswara Chandra Vidyasagar. He was a good scholar, a good actor, player and wrestler. He was very popular for his knowledge in Sanskrit. Above all, he was a speaker of truth. He was never known to tell a lie.
In 1877 he went to Raipur with his father. In Raipur there was no school where Bengali was taught. So he was forced to stay at home. He built up the habit of argument. He had self-confidence in it. Then his father came back to Calcutta. Narendranath resumed his study. After school examination, he studied at the Presidency College, Calcutta. Then he went to the General Assembly Institution, which was a Missionary College. He studied logic and philosophy.
Young Narendranath came in contact with Keshab Chandra Sen, Devendranath Tagore, the famous members of the Brahma Samaja. He was disturbed in his mind by his own question "Who can show me God?" Finally he met Sri Ramakrishna, a Priest in the temple of the goddess Kali at Dakshineswar. The spiritual influence of Sri Ramakrishna changed him. Soon after his father's death, Narendra discontinued his college-study and looked for jobs. Being disappointed to get any job, he again met Sri Ramakrishna and accepted him as his spiritual master. He was then called Swami Vivekananda.
After the death of Ramakrishna, as his disciple, Swami Vivekananda started the Ramakrishna Order. He attended the Parliament of Religions in Chicago on September, 1893. Of course he had to face enormous difficulties in Chicago. ‘“Here were other persons representing different religions. Often Vivekananda spoke on Hinduism; he was greeted and sheered by all the audience there. One of the newspapers »n New York said that Swami Vivekananda was the greatest figure in the Parliament of Religions.
Swami Vivekananda was a patriot. He was worried for the poverty in India. He also tried to remove poverty from this country. He died on 4 June 1902 only at the age of thirty nine. He was the greatest spiritual figure in India.