Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

Swami Vivekananda (Narendranath Dutta)

This individual is not a direct affiliate of the Berkley Center.

Swami Vivekananda was a Hindu revivalist and missionary to the West. Born Narendranath Dutta in Calcutta in 1863, Vivekananda became the leading disciple of Sri Ramakrishna and was designated his successor upon the mystic’s death. He wandered across India and, in 1893, took his first trip to the West to speak at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago. While there, he delivered a celebrated speech for which the Parliament would be primarily remembered, stressing religious universality. He lectured widely and founded Vedanta Societies in several Western cities. He promoted the divinity of all individuals and the separation of church and state, applying religious lessons to society and politics. In 1897, he founded the Ramakrishna Math and Mission to provide education, medicine, and other assistance to those in need. He died in 1902 at the age of 39.
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