A Short Life of Swami Vivekananda

During his last illness, when Sri Ramakrishna could not talk, he wrote on a piece of paper that Swami Vivekananda (then known as Narendra Nath) should have to work for the good of humanity. But Swami Vivekananda did not relish this idea, since he was yearning to remain absorbed in meditation and enjoy perennial Bliss. Sri Ramakrishna then remarked that if Swami Vivekananda would not willingly plunge into work, the Divine Mother would force him to do it. Afterwards, when Swami Vivekananda was in the ceaseless turmoil of work, moving like a meteor from the East to the West, and the West to the East, he used to say, “Something has possessed me and is giving me no rest.” The period of his active work was short, but posterity will some day be able to assess at its true value all that he has done for his motherland as well as for the world.

Meantime, one is concerned with the fact that the life and message of Swami Vivekananda are a source of great inspiration to many in their individual as well as collective life. His words give courage to a drooping soul, his message brings new hope for a sinking nation. Swami Vivekananda was the embodiment of strength, and if all his teachings were to be summed up in one word, that word would be STRENGTH – a dynamic strength. It is for the want of strength that individuals fail in life, nations suffer, and the world is in torment. As such, the number of persons who are eager to know about Swami Vivekananda or are likely to be benefited by his message is legion. The present short biography is intended to meet the needs of those who, with all their earnestness, have neither the time nor the opportunity to read longer works about the Swami. A versatile genius as Swami Vivekananda was, and many-sided as were his activities, it is idle to hope or to expect that a complete picture of that mighty soul could be given in such a small compass. The attempt is here made only to give a glimpse, so that people may become interested to know more about him. In preparing this book, we have utilized the materials found in the Advaita Ashrama publications about Swami Vivekananda.