Key Points

Transformation Journey from Narendra Dutt to Swami Vivekananda

Hello, friends! Swami Vivekananda had given a speech in America. Following this, the American newspaper New York Herald had written "Vivekananda is undoubtedly the greatest figure in the Parliament of Religions. After hearing him we feel how foolish it is to send missionaries to this learned nation." 

Journey from Narendranath Dutt to Swami Vivekananda
From Narendra Dutt to Swami Vivekananda

We learn today from this article is that:

What did Swami Vivekananda suffered from?

Where from Swami Vivekananda did gained most of his knowledge?

Why did he respect so highly?

What was his ideology? And many more


Swami Vivekananda Childhood Story:

Swami Vivekananda Birth:

Let's find the answer to all these in today's article. First look at his story from the very beginning. On 12th January 1863, he was born into a rich family. He was named Narendranath Dutt and he was affectionately known as Naren. His grandfather Durgacharan Dutt was a scholar in Sanskrit and Persian languages.

Narendranath Dutt had studied law and left his home at the age of 25to become a monk. That's why the concept of becoming a monk wasn't unfamiliar or unheard of for Naren. On the other hand, talking about his father Vishwanath Dutt, he was also a lawyer in Calcutta High Court. His father was a well educated, liberal and progressive man.


Swami Vivekananda Father:

Vishwanath Dutt knew many languages like Sanskrit, Persian, English, Hindi, Urdu and Arabic. He had studied the Hindu scriptures in Sanskrit. The Bible in English and Deewan-e-Hafiz in Persian. The collection of poems of the Sufi poet Hafiz and it was his favourite book. Daily he used to recite poems to Naren and other members of the family. Because of this, Naren had a liberal outlook towards life since his childhood.

His brother, Bhupendranath Dutt had said that many people criticised their father Vishwanath because he respected the Bible and Deewan-e-Hafiz. But if it is a sin to be liberal in religious matters if comparing and respecting all religions is a sin then yes, Vishwanath was guilty of this sin.

Additionally, his father Vishwanath Dutt was a very charitable person. He generously donated his money to the poor. Later someone had asked Swami Vivekananda about why he gives money to the beggars that has a bad effect. Swami Vivekananda had also said that he inherited intellect and compassion from his father. Also, his interest in Indian classical music because of his father.


Swami Vivekananda Mother:

Swami Vivekananda’s mother Bhubaneswari Devi was a religious woman. Along with being a religious woman, she had inculcated good principles in her children. She had said that if one stands with the truth then one may have to suffer injustice.

There may be difficulties, but even then do not let go of the truth. She had also said something else related to this. "Naren, people will speak rubbish, so try to protect your dignity but while doing so, do not try to insult the other person."


Swami Vivekananda Schooling:

When Naren was 8 years old, he got admission to the Metropolitan Institution. The Head of this institution was Iswarchandra Vidyasagar also he was the social reformer. Because of him widow remarriage could be legalised. Today, this institution is named Vidyasagar College. Narendranath dutt did his schooling from here and he was good in both sports and studies from his childhood.


How Was Swami Vivekananda College Life?

After this, he joined the Presidency College in 1879. It was the Hindu College founded by David Hare and others, under the guidance of Raja Ram Mohan Roy. This was the college where Henry Derozio had inculcated the spirit of free-thinking into his students. These students were known as Derozians or Young Bengal and he played an important role in the Bengal Renaissance.

Naren studied at a place where students were encouraged to think freely and question everything. The spirit of Critical Thinking was instilled into them. Along with the college education, he studied the Hindu scripture and Western philosophers in detail. May you hear some famous Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer.

Swami Vivekananda was so impressed by Herbert Spencer that he translated Spencer's book education into bengali. By the time Swami Vivekananda came along this group of Brahmo Samaj, which was divided into several sects into various factions.


Swami Vivekananda Life After College:

After college, Naren joined one of these factions where he found people like himself with similar interests like religion and spirituality. Several years before this, Adi Shankaracharya gave the principles of Advaita Vedanta based on the Upnishads. 'Aham Brahmasmi Tvamcha', ‘I am Brahm and so are You’. Here they believe everything is made from the same Brahm, the soul and its creator isn’t distinct. Then question is here that why are there differences between people? Look at others how you look at yourself and look at yourself how you look at others.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy preached this principle from the Advaita Vedanta and founded the Brahmo Samaj and the Vedant College. Later on, Swami Vivekananda led it. He founded the Vedanta Society in New York. After which other centres opened up too. So obviously, you can now see that there is a deep link between Swami Vivekananda and Raja Ram Mohan Roy.

Rabindranath Tagore's father Debendranath Tagore connected the Brahmo Samaj with Western Esotericism. These are such ideas and ideologies that are not only different from science and rationalism but also much different from the religion Christianity. For example, Free Masonry; this is a system of morality wherein symbols are used. Consider it as a religion or a cult; there are many conspiracy theories on Free Masonry.


What Can a 20 Year Old Boy Achieve | What should you do in your 20s to be successful

Naren had also joined the Free Masonry Lodge in Calcutta and within the three months, he got the position of Master Mason. It is believed that when he was in Chicago, his Free Mason friends had helped him. What's shocking here is my friends; Swami Vivekananda had achieved all this by the age of 20.

Now come to our main question that Compare it with today, what can a 20-year-old boy achieve in his 20 years? He plays PUB-G, shows off on social media, vulgar roast videos are watched on YouTube.


Where Swami Vivekananda Did Gained Most of His Knowledge:

Naren had gained knowledge from so many different sources. He was open to all these experiences. Here, another interesting ideology to which Naren subscribed was Transcendentalism. This was a movement, an ideology that emphasized respecting nature.

It says that there is something like a personal spiritual experience that always thinking rationally doesn't work. We shouldn't look at the world only in a material sense. So you can see friends how Swami Vivekananda's ideologies were. Think of them as a mesmerizing painting on a canvas, scriptures of Hindu religion, Bible, Hafiz's poems, Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Vedant.

Western philosophy, western esotericism, Freemasonry, Transcendentalism mixing all these colors resulted in something so unique and beautiful that started to appeal to the masses instantly. His knowledge was so diverse that he went to America, England, Japan, Egypt but now here would he have felt that he is in a foreign place.


How Swami Vivekananda Did Became a Monk | How did Narendra became swami Vivekananda

When Swami Vivekananda in College:

One day he had a class in his college, in which Professor William Hastie was teaching a poem named The Excursion. This was a poem written by William Wordsworth. There is a word in this poem 'trance'. The professor then tried to explain the meaning of this word to the students but Naren and the other students couldn't understand its meaning. So the teacher asked them to go and look at Ramakrishna and then they would understand the meaning of the word.

Ramakrishna was at his home in Calcutta for giving a spiritual lecture. So Naren and his friends went there. The Bhajan (devotional songs) singer who was supposed to sing didn't show up. So Naren started to sing. Ramakrishna liked the song so he told him to visit Dakhineshwar. When Naren went there, Ramakrishna asked him to sing again. After hearing Naren's song, Ramakrishna told him that he could see Narayana (God) in him.

Naren had actually asked this question to many people that "Have you ever seen God?" People would either say no or would deflect from the question while answering it. Then he asked the same question to Ramakrishna. "Have you seen God?" To which Ramakrishna replied, "Yes, I have." "The way that I'm seeing you here I've seen God the same way." "More clearly than now."

Time and again Naren would go to visit Ramakrishna and one day he said that he wanted to test him. Ramakrishna wasn't angry at this. Rather, he said, "Yes sure, do test me." After that Naren accepted Ramakrishna as his spiritual teacher.


When Swami Vivekananda Was 21 Years Old:

In 1884, when Naren was 21 years old. He was about to complete his B.A. when he got the news of his father's death. His father had died. On top of it, it is discovered that there are several loans that need to be repaid. After that, his relatives file a court case regarding the ownership of the property.

Naren starts looking for work. But he couldn't find any. For the first time in his life, he experiences poverty. He experiences how it feels to live in poverty. Even though he was already very compassionate towards the poor, but now he could feel the pain himself.

The empathy that he had for the poor people increased manifold. Later, he said this while reminiscing about this time. During this period, there were times when Swami Vivekananda would get very frustrated and started questioning the existence of God. During this time his visits to Ramakrishna became more frequent and Ramakrishna helped calm him.

Naren used to meditate since childhood. But learning with Ramakrishna helped increased his expertise in meditation. One day he asked his teacher to teach him Nirvikalpa Samadhi, this the highest form of meditation. But Ramakrishna explains that it is only an inferior mind that wants to concentrate on meditating. Helping humanity is the most effective form of worshipping God.


When Swami Vivekananda Was 25 Years Old:

In the year 1888, Swami Vivekananda was then 25 years old. He left his Math (place for meditation) to travel across India. He had only his water bottle, a walking stick and two of his favourite books Bhagavad Gita and the Imitation of Christ. Somewhere he would ask for alms at other places, he would give donations.

During his travels, he went from Lahore to Kanyakumari, sometimes on foot sometimes by rail. He met many people and had many conversations, people of all race and religions, Hindus, Christians, Muslims. Kings and courtiers, Scholars and government employees. Like this, he saw India like never before.

In the year 1893, he attends a religious conference in Chicago and introduces the Vedanta philosophy to the rest of the world. As well as his ideologies and way of thinking also.


What Was Vivekananda Views on Patriotism, Meat-Eating and Cow Worshipping?

Swami Vivekananda was a Bengali, and 90% of the Bengalis are non-vegetarians. In childhood his family, specially his father used to eat fish, that’s most common non-veg food in West Bengal. Vivekananda neither preached against, nor preached towards non-vegetarianism.

Swami Vivekananda holds the view that food habits and dress have nothing to do with religion. In Childhood he used to eat meat, as it was common, but, as soon as Vivekananda started his spiritual journey he gave up non-veg. Vivekananda mused on his biography once, what if people know I ate meat they will be shocked a meeting sanyasi If you read his biography he explains the details.

When he went to the west, specially U.S. and U.K. initially he faced lots of problem for food and shelter he had to depend on others as being a monk he could not earn for himself. There he ate whatever is possible to keep himself alive, as his goal of life was much bigger than just following rules of food like an ordinary human being. 

Ramakrishna Mission Ashrams which founded by Vivekananda, where people join to become a monk and renounce the whole world, even there he did not keep very hard rules for food, In Ashrams monks can eat egg or fish if they want. They are only bound by renunciation of woman and money, not bound by any eating habits.

As per the Hindu philosophy different foods ignite different attributes in the body and mind. Eating non-veg food increases tamas and rajas attributes, which leads to anger, confusion and greed. So eating non-veg food can lead to hindrances in the meditation, that’s why eating non-veg is not considered good for body and mind.



After read this article I really hope that many of us are follow swami’s path and made our country as his dream. Remove caste, creeds and other virus thoughts from our mind and made this earth heaven. It is even more interesting to know why he tells the youth that instead of reading the Gita, playing football will increase their chances of being admitted to heaven. Because there is so much to tell you about Swami Vivekananda that it is not possible to summarize it in one article. I hope you liked this Article.

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