Pandit Vivekananda born as Narendranath Datta (in short, Narendra) in Calcutta- Bengal, the capital of British India, on 12 January 1863. He belonged to a traditional Bengali Kayastha (a caste of Hindus) family and was one of nine siblings. His father, Vishwanath Datta, was an attorney of Calcutta High Court, Durga charan Datta. Narendra’s grandfather was a Sankrit and Persian scholar who left his family and became a monk at the age of twenty five. Narendra’s mother Bhuvaneswari Devi was a religious housewife. The progressive rational approach of Narendra’s father and the religious temperament of his mother helped shape his thinking and personality.
B) Narendra was interested in spirituality from a young age, and used to play by meditating before the images of deities such as Shiva, Rama, and Sita. He was fascinated by the wandering ascetics and monks. His mother told— “I prayed to Shiva for a son and he has sent me one of his demons.” Narendra was an avid reader, and was interested in a wide range of subjects such as philosophy, religion, history, social science, art, and literature. He evinced interest in the Hindu scriptures such as the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Puranas. He was trained in Indian classical music, and regularly participated in various forms of physical exercises, sports, and organizational activities.
C) Narendra also reportedly studied western logic, western philosophy, and European history at the General Assembly’s Institution, now known as the Scottish Church College. In 1881 he passed the Fine Arts examination and in 1884 he completed a Bachelor of Arts degree. He studied the works of David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Baruch Spinoza, Georg W. F. Hegel, Arthur Schopenhauer, Auguste Comte, Herbert Spencer, John Stuart Mill, and Charles Darwin. Narendra became fascinated with the evolutionism of Herbert Spencer and had correspondence with him; he translated Spencer’s book Education (1861) into Bengali. While studying Western philosophers, he thoroughly acquainted himself with Sanskrit scriptures and Bengali literature, Dr. William Hastie, principal of General Assembly’s Institution, wrote, “Narendra is really a genius. I have traveled far and wide but I have never come across a lad of his talents and possibilities, even in German universities, among philosophical students.” Some accounts regard Narendra as a srutidhara; a man with prodigious memory.
D) Narendra became the member of a Freemason’s lodge and of a breakaway faction of the Brahmo Samaj led by Keshub Chandra Sen and Debendranath Tagore. His initial beliefs were shaped by Brahmo concepts, which included belief in a formless God and the deprecation of idolatry. At this time Narendra met Debendranath Tagore, the leader of Brahmo Samaj and questioned if he had seen God. Instead of answering his question, Tagore said, “My boy, you have the Yogi’s eyes.” Not satisfied with his knowledge of philosophy, Narendra wondered if God and religion could be made a part of one’s growing experiences and deeply internalized. He asked several prominent residents of contemporary Calcutta if they had come “face to face with God”, but none of their answers satisfied him.
E) Narendra in 1888, left the monastery as a Parivrâjaka— the Hindu religious life of a wandering monk, “without fixed abode, without ties, independent and strangers wherever they go.” His sole possessions were a kamandalu (water pot), staff and his two favorite books—Bhagavad Gita and The Imitation of Christ. Vivekananda traveled extensively in India for five years, visiting centers of learning, acquainting himself with the diverse religious traditions and different patterns of social life. He developed sympathy for the suffering and poverty of the masses and resolved to uplift the nation. Living mainly on bhiksha (alms), Vivekananda traveled on foot and railway tickets bought by his admirers whom he met during the travels. During these travels it has been reported that he made acquaintance and stayed with Indians from all walks of life and religions—scholars, dewans, rajas, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, pariahs (low caste workers) and government officials. Punjab historians failed to understand how the KNOWLEDGE OF SIKH GURU PERIOD developed not given adequate credit by brilliant -intelligent minds of Pandit Daya Nanda (Tiwari) ( Bombay province) & Pandit Narendra Nath Dutta (Bengal Province) while displaying innovative chapters of them.
An eminent historian expressed that Hindus living in U.P./ BENGAL/ BOMBAY British rule times were baffled for ground level reformist movements shaped up in PUNJAB ( 1499-1849) being latest – best form of north Indian HINDUISM in the shape of model SIKHISM. They woke up (1875 NGO Arya Samaj) to filter out feasible model Sikh reforms for application on non Muslim/Christianity and avoided gratitude reference to the role of Guru Nanak Dev to Guru Granth Sahib. The literature brought out on two eminent personalities provided considerable references for their study on Muslim / Christianity faith and intentionally avoided positiveness derived from the RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENTS of humanity rules for the platform for Sikhism. They feared adoptions of direct philosophy on rest of Hindu diaspora may dilute their own identity being IDOLATERS.
F) The remodeled philosophy in an intellectual methodology, Pandit Vivekananda ji is conveyed to have believed that a country’s future depends on its people; his teachings focused on the development of the masses. He wanted “to set in motion machinery which will bring noblest ideas to the doorstep of even the poorest and the meanest.” Vivekananda believed that the essence of Hinduism was best expressed in the Vedanta philosophy, based on the interpretation of Adi Shankara. He presented summarized Vedanta’s teachings such as : “ Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this Divinity within by controlling nature, external and internal. Do this either by work, or worship, or mental discipline, or philosophy by one, or more, or all of these and be free. This is the whole of religion. Doctrines, or dogmas, or rituals, or books, or temples, or forms, are but secondary details.
G) When Swami Vivekananda went to USA, a lady asked him to marry her. When Swami asked the lady about what made her ask him such question. The lady replied that she was fascinated by his intellect. She wanted a child of such an intellect. So she asked Swami, whether he could marry her and give a child like him. He said to that lady, that since she was attracted only by his intellect, there is no problem. “My dear lady, i understand your desire. Marrying and bringing a child in to this world and understanding whether it is intelligent or not takes very long time. More over it is not guaranteed. Instead, to fulfill your desire immediately, I can suggest a guaranteed way. Take me as your child, you are my mother. Now on Your desire of having a child of my intellect is fulfilled.” The response given is alleged to have been widely appreciated by his believers. But it has other meaning in between that a lady who saw in her imagination to be her husband and responding her to be his mother appears to have been a similar human conduct what his Guru Rama Krishna did while marrying in the age of 23 to 5 year old child. When the lady to whom Rama Krishna married reached to the age of 18, he positioned her in a Mandir by declaration as a holly mother. Hence the response by Sh Vivekananda to the proposal for marriage though highly publicized but has not been a great act of appreciation in the eyes of Punjab culture. Punjab believe that his response conveyed questionable position for he running away from natural Martial responsibilities. Therefore he acted in an identical way to the actions for the life of his GURU Sh Rama Krishna who declared his wife to be Devi instead of performing natural conduct for being husband & wife. He & his Guru in technical sense displayed disrespect for the imaginations of ladies/ women who perceived thought process & proposed natural marital relationship but denied disrespectfully.
H) The history conveys few abnormalities in approach in the circumstances for a young lady who was imaging to marry but being responded to be accepting her as mother! The lady is referred to have become speechless. The conditions for being speechless may not be for appreciation on his intellectual part but for abnormal thought process in the personality. Sh Vivekananda attributed his phenomenal mental powers to a lifelong observance of brahmacharya shrugging off family responsibilities. He renounced the world and took up Sanyasa, passing his entire burden onto his mother. His mother did not complain him because he had quit the responsibilities of the family in times of deep despair. Despite of being left to manage her own economics, she would be proudly talked of her son saying, “My son took up Sanyasa at an age of 24”. After Vivekananda’s demise, she lived for another eight years in tremendous trouble, sustaining only on the monthly grant of a hundred rupees from the King of Khitri. The Indian populations glorifying and celebrating him were of no use when he was alive. He had also once lamented, “Should I always beg to the foreigners”. He died on 4 July 1902; he had fulfilled his own prophecy of not living to be forty years old.
The lessons of life laid were reportedly in follow up for the teachings of Sikh Guru Sahibabans, practiced by a Sikh faith believers, though not publicized GLOBALLY but appears to have been followed by Sh. Narendranath Datta (famed as Swamy Vivekananda) when he declined marriage proposal for reasons of being a sanyasi !
The stories of one’s ancestors make the children good children. They accept what is pleasing to the Will of the True Guru, and act accordingly. (Guru Granth Sahib Ji – 951) Bhali Karre kartaar!!!!! Sakhi Series: 33 (Hari Singh Nalwa & Begum Bano)
During the times of Sher-e-Panjab, Raja Ranjit Singh, the Sikh Raaj (kingdom) stretched from Delhi to Kabul (in Afghanistan). Raja Ranjit Singh’s key general was Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa, who was a Rehatvan (strict observant) Sikh of the Guru. Once Hari Singh Nalwa had set up camp with his army in Jamraud in Afghanistan. A local Muslim woman called ‘Bano’ watched the Sikhs set up camp. She found Hari Singh Nalwa very handsome and attractive, and wished to have an illicit relationship with him.