The most famous disciple of Ramakrishna was Nerendranath Dutta. Who became renowned as Swamin Vivekananda.
After the death of Ramakrishna in 1866 Vivekananda came forward to fulfill his mission.
Vivekanand was born in Calcutta in 1863 in a Kayasta family. He was well educated in school and college. First he was attracted towards Brahmo samaj and then drank deeply the philosophy of john Stuart Mill, Hume and Herbert Spencer. Then he was persuaded to visit Ramakrishna.
His Interview with Ramakrishna and his subsequent frequent visits to him attracted Vivekananda to be the dearest disciple of Ramakrishna. He possessed a charming personality, unbounded energy and deep spiritual vision. He became a symbol of new spirit for India in the 19th Century.
Vivekananda travelled over the length and breadth of India to preach the people, the greatness of their spiritual culture. He roused a new spirit among all individuals to search for their own divinity. He also asked the people to re-discover the soul of mother India. He attended the parliament of Religions at Chicago in 1893. His most significant address on Hinduism propounded the real meaning world’s most ancient religion.
The West came to understand the value of Indian liberalism, universality, cosmopolitanism and spirituality. His mission proved a great success. For his eloquent speech and talented exposition the American papers described him as “an orator by divine right.” He became the central figure of the parliament of Religions.
Vivekananda realized the value of western materialism. The scientific achievements and the material happiness of the West impressed him deeply. He desired for the combination of Indian spiritualism and Western materialism for a happier life of a man. He then made it a mission of his life to awaken the Indians from the slumber to a new life. He believed that man had divinity and the spark of spirituality in him.
Every individual therefore should give up fear and rise from degradation and be a noble man. By preaching about spiritual unity he advocated for a sense of national unity which attracted millions of Indians to his side. To organize social service and to infuse a sense of unity among men he founded an order to the sanyasis or monks called Rammakrishna Mission in 1897.
Vivekananda condemned blind beliefs. He wanted to see every Indian as a modern man with a modern and rational outlook. He therefore said that I would rather see every one of your rank atheists than superstitious fool, for atheist is alive and you can make something of him. But if superstition enters, the brain is gone, the brain is softening, and degradation has seized upon the life.”
Vivekananda told his countrymen to be tolerant towards each other. “We reject none, neither thesit, not pantheist, monist, polytheist, agnostic, nor atheist, the only condition of being a disciple is modeling a character at once the broadest and the most intense”, he said.
He further said, “I shall enter to the mosque of the Mohammedan; I shall enter the Christian’s church and kneel before the crucifix; I shall enter the Buddhist temple where I shall take refuse in Buddha and his law, I shall go into the forest land sit down in meditation with the Hindu who is trying to see the light which enlightens the heart of everyone. Not only shall I do these but I shall keep my heart open for all that may come in the future.” Through these words he could impress upon every Indian a sense of brotherhood that resulted in strengthening the unity of Indians.
Vivekananda condemned the Indian orthodox in harsh terms “Our religion is in the kitchen, our God is in the cooking-pot, our religion is do not touch me, I am holy.” He narrated that superstitions had destroyed much of Hindu spirituality. By reminding those of their spiritual value Vivekananda generated the spark of self-confidence among the Indians which indirectly infused a sense of democratic consciousness as democracy rested on self-respect and individuality of every man.
Vivekananda drew the attention of Indians towards the values of Western ways of life. He opened the link between Indian minds and external things. The West appeared to him as the land of material civilization. The spirit of that civilization to him was essential for Indian progress.
Therefore he declared “From the great dynamo of Europe, the electric flow of that tremendous power vivifying the whole world, we want that energy, that love of independence, that spirit of self-reliance, that immovable fortitude, that dexterity in action, that bond of unity of purpose that thirst for improvement”.
His vision thus inaugurated a European society with Indian religion. Vivekananda therefore appeared on the Indian scene as a messiah ofv3 new age, a symbol of a new spirit and source of strength for the future.
At the age of 39 in 1902, the great man Swami Vivekananda passed away but his life and action inspired millions of Indians. His name remained as a source of national inspiration. The Ramakrishan Mission the brain child of Swami Vivekananda has been doing splendid and monumental humanitarian and social service by opening schools and colleges, libraries and orphanages all over the country.