Swami Vivekananda death anniversary: Tributes pour in for one of India’s finest minds
Every year, July 4 is observed as the death anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, who is regarded as a one of the finest spiritual leaders and intellects India has produced. Vivekananda played an important role in introducing the philosophies of yoga and Vedanta to the West. He is best known for his speech at the World Parliament of Religion in Chicago in 1893 which started with the opening remarks, “My brothers and sisters of America.”
Vivekananda has been credited with raising interfaith awareness and bringing Hinduism to a global platform in the 19th century. He is also known for his deep knowledge in science and religion. His teachings to the Western world demonstrated how the two could co-exist in harmony.
He was born on January 12, 1863 in a Bengali family and was originally named Narendranath Datta. His father was Vishwanath Datta, an attorney at the Calcutta high court while his mother, Bhubaneswari Devi was a housewife. From a very young age, Vivekananda was interested in spirituality and would meditate in front of the images of Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
Here are some of the memorable quotes of Swami Vivekananda which are relevant even in today’s world:
> “You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.”
> “In a day, when you don’t come across any problems - you can be sure that you are travelling in a wrong path.”
> “Arise, awake, stop not till the goal is reached.”
> “Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life; dream of it; think of it; live on that idea. Let the brain, the body, muscles, nerves, every part of your body be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, and this is the way great spiritual giants are produced.”
> “The fire that warms us can also consume us; it is not the fault of the fire.”
On Sunday, tributes started pouring in for Swami Vivekananda from public and political spheres. Using #SwamiVivekananda on social media handles, people spoke about his teachings, his life and his ideals.
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted that everyone should read about Vivekananda to have peace and bring positive change in life. “The life, ideals and teachings of #SwamiVivekananda fascinated me right from my young days. I feel everyone should read about him to have peace and bring positive change in life. Paying homage to the great son of Bharat Mata on his punyatithi,” Sarma wrote on Twitter.
On the other hand, Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said, “On this day in 1902, Swami Vivekananda attained Mahasamadhi. We shall forever remain indebted to him for his teachings on individual freedom, social equality and justice into the Indian ethos. His thoughts & ideas are our guiding light, even today.”