Among all young generation monks in world, the name of Swami Vivekananda flashes bright and clear. He was one of the most influential monks of all times. Hailing from India, Swami Vivekananda’s life was not a smooth ride at all. As a matter of fact, he had to sail through tremendous difficulties in life. In this article titled 20 interesting Swami Vivekananda facts, we are going to explore some of the most interesting facts about this inspiring monk who inspired millions of men and women across the world.
Interesting Swami Vivekananda Facts: 1-10
1. Swami Vivekananda’s pre-monastic name was Narendra Nath Datta. He was born with a temperament of yogis and used to meditate at a very early age.
2. He was born in a financially well-off family. His father, Vishwanath Datta was an attorney who excelled in his career. His mother’s name was Bhuvaneshwari Devi.
4. When it came to academics, Narendra Nath Datta wasn’t great at scoring marks. He scored a mere 47% in the entrance level examination of university, followed by just 46% in FA, which was later named as IA or Intermediate Arts. In B.A. however, he performed slightly better by scoring 56%.
5. Swami Vivekananda’s father died suddenly when he was young. This broke the financial backbone of his family and the whole family was pushed into poverty.
6. Because of financial instability and scarcity of food, Narendra Nath Datta would often lie to his mother about lunch invitation from his friends. In reality there were no such invitations and he would simple get out of house so that the other members of his family could eat his share of food. He used to literally starve himself.
7. Coming back to academics, we need to mention that the though Narendra Nath Datta failed to score high marks, he was no less than a brilliant student. Back in those days, it was really difficult to score marks and what he scored was considered as brilliant.
8. Despite being a good student, he failed to get a job for a very long time. That’s when he went through a period of spiritual crisis.
9. Swami Vivekananda used to ask for job from door to door. When he failed to get a job, he gradually turned into an atheist and would openly say that there was no such thing as god.
10. Many people considered him to be a very proud person because he held a BA degree. Not only that, because he had a BA degree and because he was a proud person, he would literally smoke cheroot in front of elders. He was also arrogant.
Interesting Swami Vivekananda Facts: 11-20
11. He was a very handsome man and many wealthy women tried to woo him knowing that he was spending his days in poverty and even literally starve. However, he always turned them down stating that such worthless temptations and desires are meaningless and that he preferred to starve rather than to fall for such things.
12. There was an arrangement between Narendra Nath’s mother and Ajit Singh – the Maharaja of Khetri. This arrangement was a closely guarded secret. Ajit Singh used to send rupees 100 every month to Narendra Nath’s mother as a financial aid.
13. Swami Vivekananda went through a phase of spiritual crisis when he was unemployed. That’s when he was introduced to the name ‘Shri Ramkrishna Paramhansa’ by one of his English professors. In 1881, Narendra Nath met with Shri Ramkrishna at Dakshineshwar’s Kali temple.
14. It was Shri Ramkrisha who managed to remove all the doubts young Narendra Nath had and showed him the path of spiritual clarity and he became Ramkrishna’s disciple.
15. The financial crisis for Swami Vivekananda’s family started in 1884 after the death of his father. That’s when the wealthy women tried to woo him but he would say them, ‘shun these worthless desires and call upon God’.
16. Swami Vivekananda and his family were thrown out of the ancestral house by Gyandasundari – wife of Vivekananda’s parental uncle – Taraknath. A lawsuit followed that Vivekananda fought for 14 years and on June 28, 1902 – on the last Saturday of his life, Vivekananda decided to end the court case by paying financial compensation.
17. Jogendrabala – sister of Swami Vivekananda committed suicide. That’s when Vivekananda commented to Yogen Maharaj that the Datta’s (he was speaking about his own family) are really good at thinking because they are whimsical and that his family has this history of suicidal deaths. He said that Datta’s don’t think before acting and they are least worried about the consequences that will follow after their actions.
18. After meeting with Shri Ramkrishna, Swami Vivekananda literally worshiped women but weirdly enough, no woman was ever allowed inside his monastery. He even became furious on his own disciples once when they allowed his mother to enter after he fell ill.
19. Swami Vivekananda has amazing concentration power. He was a voracious reader and would borrow many books from library and return them on the very next day. This continued for some time when the librarian eventually decided find out whether he actually read those books or not. So, the librarian asked him a question from one of the pages of a random book. Vivekananda did not only answer the question but also managed to even quote several lines from the book.
20. His amazing concentration power was also displayed in America. In America, he was sitting near a water body when he saw two young American guys attempting to shoot egg shells floating on water. The boys failed in every attempt when they noticed Vivekananda smirking. They were annoyed and asked Vivekananda to try. Amazingly enough, Vivekananda shot 12 times and every time he managed to hit his target. The amazed guys asked him the secret to which Vivekananda said that all they have to do is concentrate only and only on the targets and forget everything else in vicinity.