Before we dive into another round of Swami Vivekananda facts, we need to mention that his life was no less turbulent than a stormy ocean. He went through many ups and downs which eventually forged his spiritual clarity and his character. The man became known not only in India but also around the world and today, people from all over the world often follow his teachings. He was definitely the most well-known young monk of his time and today, over hundred years after his death, he still continues to inspire millions of people worldwide. Let us now learn another round of 20 interesting Swami Vivekananda facts that will surely leave you amazed.
Interesting Swami Vivekananda Facts: 1-10
1. Swami Vivekananda absolutely loved tea and he was an expert in taste. During time when he lived, tea was a strict NO for Hindu pandits. Despite this fact, Vivekananda actually introduced this beverage in his own monastery.
2. Swami Vivekananda’s monastery was in Belur that fell under Bally municipality. Because he introduced tea there, the municipality levied heavy taxes on Belur stating that the place was no more than a private garden house where the prohibited beverage was served.
3. Swami Vivekananda wasn’t happy about the increased taxes and ended up with a lawsuit against the municipality in Chinsurah Zilla District Court. The magistrate came for investigation where Vivekananda served his tea. The British magistrate appreciated the tea so much that all charges on Belur were removed and taxes lowered.
4. He loved tea to such an extent that once he managed to convince India’s one of the greatest freedom fighters – Bal Gangadhar Tilak to come and make tea at Belur Math. Tilak turned up with cardamom, mace, saffron, cloves and nutmeg and prepared tea for everyone. The tea prepared by Tilak was Mughlai tea.
5. One of Swami Vivekananda’s mottos in life was that since everyone has to die someday, it is always better to wear out rather than rusting out. It is this motto that led him to totally disregard his health.
6. Serving God and mankind, this great monk of India eventually suffered from a host of diseases. Actually, 31 diseases in all. He suffered from tonsillitis, asthma, malaria, typhoid, diphtheria, migraines, persistent fevers apart from malaria, indigestion, liver problems, unusual heating up of the body after dinner, dyspepsia, diarrhea, dysentery, water accumulation in stomach, gastroenteritis, lumbago, gallstones, abdominal pain and dropsy, kidney problems, chronic insomnia, acute nephritis or Bright’s disease, premature hair graying, vision loss in right eye, bloodshot eyes, albuminuria, excessive fatigue, neurasthenia, inability to tolerate heat, diabetes, heart problems, sunstroke, sea sickness and neck pain.
7. Though Swami Vivekananda had a very unusual motto, in the last few days before he died at the age of 39, he actually told his disciples that it is very important to stay fit and healthy and that they should learn a lesson from his own experiences.
8. One of the most amazing Swami Vivekananda facts is that he predicted his very own death. He said that he will not survive beyond the age of 40 and it turned out that he actually died at the age of 39.
9. He also predicted one more thing. He said that in coming 50 years, India will gain her freedom. That happened too as India earned her independence 45 years after his death.
10. His death remains a mystery till date. It was found that he died because the blood vessels in his brain ruptured. However, his disciples claim that he went into Mahasamadhi, which can be attained only if Brahmarandhra – aperture in head’s crown is pierced. So, whether it was a Mahasamadhi or just a natural death caused by ruptured blood vessels still remains a mystery.
Interesting Swami Vivekananda Facts: 11-20
11. Swami Vivekananda strongly believed that a sanyasi should not stay in a single place. He believed that by doing so, a sanyasi will be affected by the societal ills and the only way to avoid this is to roam around from one place to another. It is because of this, he walked across the length and breadth of the whole country.
12. Vivekananda was in Varanasi in 1887 and was taking a walk along the streets of Varanasi with Swami Premananda. That’s when the two were chased by some monkeys. When the two sanyasis ran, another old sanyasi saw that and asked them to halt and face the animals. The two men did the same and the monkeys stopped. That’s when Swami Vivekananda learned that it is very important to stand up against adversities and face them with courage. He told this story later to American audience in New York.
13. He attended the World Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1983. He left India in 1893 on May 31 and delivered his first speech on September 11 the very same year.
14. Ajit Singh Bahadur – the Maharaja of Khetri was the person who proposed the name Vivekananda to Narendra Nath Datta before he left for America.
15. While traveling all over India, Swami Vivekananda used two names as his identification – Satchidananda and Vividishananda. Vividishananda was the name that he chose to take when he took sanyas.
16. In 1894 and 1899, Swami Vivekananda started the Vedanta Society in Chicago and New York respectively.
17. Dr. Jagadish Chandra Bose – the famous Indian scientist met Swami Vivekananda at Paris during the World Congress of Religion that was held in year 1899. That’s when Bose said that Swami Vivekananda was ‘Pride and Joy of Bengal’.
18. One of the most famous foreign disciples of Swami Vivekananda was Sister Nivedita. Her real name was Margaret Noble. She changed her name after becoming and sanyasan.
19. After Swami Vivekananda delivered his speeches in World Parliament of Religions, he became famous by the names ‘orator by divine right’. People also started calling him as ‘Messenger of Indian Wisdom to the Western World’.
20. Swami Vivekananda’s most important contribution was to reconcile science and religion and showed that religion is also scientific. He eventually said that religion is the science of consciousness and that science and religion complement each other.
Bonus Fact: Swami Vivekananda founded the famous Ramakrishna Mission.