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Swami Vivekananda, known for his spiritual genius, is an inspiring personality who is widely known for introducing Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world. He is also famous as the founder of Ramakrishna Mission. Swami Vivekananda (known in his pre-monastic life as Narendra Nath Datta) was born to Vishwanath Datta and Bhuvaneshwari Devi, in Kolkata on 12th January, 1863. He not only excelled in studies but had keen interest in music and gymnastics too. During his education in the Calcutta University, he acquired vast knowledge of various subjects, especially Western philosophy and history.

Since his childhood, he was inclined towards spirituality. His Guru, Ramakrisna Deva had great influence in his early life. His Guru taught him that all living beings were an embodiment of the divine self; therefore, service to God could be rendered by service to mankind. During his travels all over India, Swami Vivekananda was deeply moved by the backwardness and the meagre conditions that the Indians lived in. He realized the need to provide basic necessities to the people including, but not limited to food. In order to fight the backwardness, Swami ji realized how important it was to instill self-faith and belief in one’s capacity in the minds of those who have been downtrodden since ages. He decided to educate the masses, inspire them to improve their living conditions and to strengthen their moral sense through spiritual knowledge.

Swami Vivekananda realized that in order to materialize his plans for the education of masses, upliftment of women and development of poor, he needed an
efficient organization of dedicated people. Hence  Ramakrishna Mission came into existence. His speech representing Hinduism, at Chicago's Parliament of Religions in 1893, won him instant fame in America and a ready forum for his spiritual teaching. He interpreted Hindu sculptures and Hindu way of life to the Western people and thus helped in building bridges between the East and the West.  He was India’s first great cultural ambassador to the West.
He was a major force in the revival of Hinduism in India. He was the first religious leader to speak fervently about the common bases of Hinduism and the common ground of all sects. When Hinduism was challenged by the materialistic life of the West and false propaganda by the Christian missionaries, he came to the defense of Hinduism challenges by integrating the best elements of Western culture in Hindu culture.

In the course of a short life of thirty-nine years (1863-1902), he wakened India to a new national consciousness. He delivered innumerable lectures, wrote inspired letters to his disciples, composed numerous poems, and acted as spiritual guide to the many seekers. He also organized the Ramakrishna Order of monks, which is the most outstanding religious organization of modern India. It is devoted to the propagation of the Hindu spiritual culture not only in the Swami's native land, but also in America and in other parts of the world. In his own words: ‘This life is short, the vanities of the world are transient, but they alone live who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive.’
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