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Swami Vivekananda and his Influence in the United States
A photo of Vivekananda taken in 1893 and bearing his own writing which says: "One infinite pure and holy – beyond thought beyond qualities I bow down to thee".

Swami Vivekananda and his Influence in the United States

One fine afternoon in Calcutta, on the 12th of January 1863, a child was born, the son of a lawyer. His name was Narendranath Datta but he became known as Swami Vivekananda. In his childhood he was brilliant in his studies.

As a young adult he became a disciple of Guru Ramkrishna Paramhansa. Later he had a significant role in the spread of Hinduism and Hindu culture worldwide. His speech at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago on Hinduism stunned the entire audience. Vivekanand advocated that men of all religions must assimilate the spirit of others and yet preserve their own individuality and grow according to their own law of growth.

Vivekanand made an in-depth study of both Indian and Western philosophy and had a great command of them. Swami Vivekananda was a social reformer and a spiritual leader. He worked to eliminate child marriage and to spread education amongst women and the lower castes. He was the first person to boldly proclaim the superiority of Hindu culture, civilisation and heritage.

Vivekananda was an international figure. Not only did he represent Hinduism at the World’s Parliament of Religions at Chicago in 1893 - he was an active force behind the Vedanta Movement in the United Kingdom and the United States of America and he established a Vedanta institution in San Francisco, USA. In 1857, the Ramakrishna Mission was also founded by him.

Self-perfection and service for the benefit of mankind were his main ideals. Through his mission the weaknesses of Hindu religion were severely criticised. He even travelled the entire country on foot to work towards his objective.

On the 4th of July 1902 he met with his death whilst meditating. His disciples believed that he obtained Mahasamâdhi (when the soul leaves the body after gaining enlightenment). The anniversary of his birth is celebrated as National Youth Day in India.

1.
'My boy, you have the eyes of a yogi.' - Whose eyes are being described here?
Narendranath
Narendranath's son
Sri Ramakrishna
Narendranath's nephew
Narendranath's eyes were believed to be his most attractive body part, though this compliment was to his insight rather than his looks
2.
'Lord, I know you are that ancient sage, Nara, the Incarnation of Narayana, born on earth to remove the miseries of mankind.' - Who said this to whom?
Sri Ramakrishna to Narendranath
Narendranath to Sri Ramakrishna
Sarada Devi to Narendranath
Sashi to Narendranath
3.
Who said these words to Narendranath - 'O my Naren! I can do anything for you, even beg from door to door!'
His wife
Swami Ramakrishnananda
His mother
Sri Ramakrishna
Sri Ramakrishna always believed that Swami Vivekananda was born to do something special and was his most loyal patron as well as his Guru
4.
Vivekananda is said to have foreseen his own death, saying that he would not reach what age?
30 years old
40 years old
50 years old
60 years old
His prediction was right. He died on the 4th of July 1902 at the age of 39
5.
Who described Swamiji to Romain Rolland (the French writer and mystic) with these words - 'He had a beautiful voice like a violoncello, grave without violent contrasts, but with deep vibrations that filled both hall and hearts'?
Mother Theresa
Josephine Macleod
Sister Nivedita
J.J.Goodwin
In one of her famous meetings with Romain Rolland, Sister Nivedita was all praises for Naren. She later became one of the most influential saints of India
6.
Who said, 'I'm indebted to my mother for the efflorescence of my knowledge'?
Guru Ramkrishna
Swami Vivekananda
Guru Granth Sahib
Swami Brahmananda
Swami Vivekananda has always been known to be a very obedient and ideal son
7.
One evening Bileh (a nickname of Narendranath) ventured into a grove of banana trees to meditate expecting which god to appear there?
Vishnu
Kali
Rama
Hanuman
In his childhood Bileh was a devout worshipper of Hanuman, an incarnation of Lord Shiva
8.
What was the special name given to Narendranath by his mother in his boyhood?
Vireswar
Gadai
Viswanatha
Tarak
Every mother in India calls her offspring by a special name. The name chosen by Swamiji's mother for her son was Vireswar
9.
Disgruntled at his father's spendthrift habits, Narendranath once asked him, 'What have you done for me?' What did his father say in reply?
'Go, look at yourself in the mirror'
'Be you always a man, my son'
'Remain pure all your life'
'Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life'
This sentence is believed to have changed the course of Swami Vivekananda's life
10.
Sri Ramakrishna once compared the two saints Keshav and Naren. He said that Keshav had one sign of greatness but Naren had how many?
7 signs of greatness
18 signs of greatness
1001 signs of greatness
Infinite signs of greatness
Sri Ramakrishna always favoured Naren to Keshav. When he was once asked his opinion in the Meeting of the Great Saints in Kolkata, he said "'If Keshav is possessed of one sign of greatness which has made him famous, Naren has eighteen such signs to the fullest degree"

 

Author:  Siddarth Bhattacharjee

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