Swami Vivekananda and Sri Sathya
The following is an article
published in an online forum:
Swami Vivekananda, the
great soul of humanity was born at 6:33, a few minutes before
sunrise, on Monday, January 12,1863. It was the day of the
great Hindu festival Makarasamkranti, (Makara Sankranti) when
special worship is offered to the Ganga by millions of devotees.
Swami has turned in His
Works to Vivekananda as the great soul of humanity
"Note that Buddha, Jesus Christ, Sankaracharya and
Vivekananda, great Sages and Saints and Devotees of the
Lord, all these are treasured in the memory of man even unto
this day. What quality made them all memorable for all time?
I say, it is the character of each one of them. It is the
fragrance of the flower; it gives value and worth.
Among the qualities that make up a
flawless character, Love, Patience, Forbearance,
Steadfastness, Charity - these are the highest, these have
to be revered." (Excerpts from: Sathya Sai Baba.
Prema Vahini. Noble Qualities from the Path for the
Aspirant. Page 1).
from his life and mission of the great saint has
Before Vivekananda was
born, his mother, like many other pious Hindu mothers,
had observed religious vows, fasted, and prayed so that
she might be blessed with a son who would do honour to
the family. She requested a relative who was living in
Varanasi to offer special worship to the Vireswara Siva
of that holy place and seek His blessings; for Siva, the
great god of renunciation, dominated her thought. One
night she dreamt that this supreme Deity aroused Himself
from His meditation and agreed to be born as her son.
When she woke she was filled with joy.
Bhuvaneswari Devi, accepted the child as a boon from
Vireswara Siva and named him Vireswara. The family,
however, gave him the name of Narendranath Datta,
calling him, for short, Narendra, or more endearingly,
Naren. The family of naren was well known for its
affluence, philanthropy, scholarship, and independent
Born Narendranath Dutta, in Kolkata, India, he
became famous as Swami Vivekananda, when he became
the chief disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.
He studied philosophy at the Scottish Church
College, Calcutta. He examined the histories of
different countries and various philosophical
systems. Aristotle and Plato, Kant and Hegel,
together with Sankaracharya and Buddha, Ramanuja and
Madhva, Chaitanya and Nimbarka, were thoroughly
discussed. The Hindu philosophical systems of Jnana,
Bhakti, Yoga, and Karma, each received a due share
of attention, and their apparent contradictions were
reconciled in the light of Sri Ramakrishna's
teachings and experiences.
life, he never let them forget the goal of the
monastic life: the complete control of the lower
nature, the realization of God within as Oneness
with Atmic reality and equality of all things and
objects in Maya reality.
"Before realising the need for equal mindedness,
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa* was attaching importance to
things like wealth and position. On one occasion,
with a view to test Ramakrishna, a disciple called
Narendra or Vivekananda kept gold coins under the
bed of Ramakrishna. Immediately Ramakrishna got up
because he felt as if his body was burning. The
inner meaning of this story is that Ramakrishna was
still seeing the distinction between gold on the one
hand and mud on the other and so on. It means that
he had not got over these differences. At that
moment he was still distinguishing one thing from
another, but later, Ramakrishna held mud in one hand
and gold in the other and kept on exchanging them,
till he lost the sense of distinction between them.
He had then realised the equality or the oneness of
them." (Excerpts from:
Sathya Sai Baba. Divine Discourses "Seek Work,
Worship and Wisdom-Avoid Wealth, Wine and Women."
Summer Showers in Brindavan, May 1973).
(* Sri Ramakrishna
Paramhansa (1836 - 1886) was a great teacher of
Advaita Vedanta Hinduism. He declared that all
religions lead to the same goal, placing
spiritual religion above blind ritualism).
Vivekananda (1863 - 1902) has remained in the
memory of spiritual seekers as one of the most
famous and influential saint of the Hindu
religion of the nearest past.
innumerable lectures, wrote inspired letters in his own
hand to his many friends and disciples, composed
numerous poems, and acted as spiritual guide to the many
seekers who came to him for instruction. He also
organized the Ramakrishna Order of monks, which is the
most outstanding religious organization of India. It is
devoted to the propagation of the Hindu spiritual
culture not only in India, but also in America and in
other parts of the world. He found that it is his duty
to teach the youth and develop the broad outlook to
social problems. His main contributions about Advaitin
thinking (consciousness) are not only philosophical
but showed how Advaita philosophy also has social, even
political, consequences. His own life was an example of
"The path that has been described in the context of a
monkey and the path that has been described in the
context of a cat, seem to be all right in common
parlance and so far as ordinary persons are concerned
and in their daily life, they are not so in the case of
a person who is devoted and who wants to know the real
inner meaning of Atma or the soul. Such a person will
have to find a path which is different from these two
and superior to these two. To give you the meaning and
the character of this devotion, Vivekananda had a good
example." (Excerpts from: Sathya Sai Baba. Divine
Discourses "Lessons From The Gita." Summer Showers in
Brindavan, May 1972).
Vivekananda taught the
branch of Vedanta what declared that no one could be
truly free without detachment. Even the desire for
personal salvation has to be given up, and only tireless
work for the salvation of others is the true mark of the
"The aspect of Brahman is
something which is beyond time and easy reach and if we
want to understand it, we ourselves must adopt methods
which are above and beyond time. It is in this context
that our ancients have said 'Brahmavit Brahmaiva
Bhavathi' meaning that one who knows the aspect of
Brahman will himself become Brahman.
Vivekananda once said that
if anyone wants to understand his sagacity and his
ability, he must first himself become an able and
sagacious person. The result of your effort would
depend on the extent of your effort and your
sacrifice. The final result will only correspond to
the effort that you put in. This power of strength
which we attempt to describe by the word Brahman is
not something which is external to and is outside
you. It is present in you and is in your own self.
If you acquire some good or bad and if you are in
the misapprehension to think that Brahman outside is
causing good or bad to you or that he is giving some
punishment to you, this is not the right attitude."
(Excerpts from: Sathya Sai Baba. Divine Discourses
"Brahman Denotes The Totality Of Prajna In The
World." Summer Showers In Brindavan, May/June 1974).
Each soul is
The goal is to manifest this divinity within
what is the whole of religion. Doctrines, or dogmas, or
rituals, or books, or temples, or forms, are but
His books (compiled
from lectures given around the world) on the four Yogas
are still remained as fundamental texts for anyone
interested in the Hindu practice of Yoga.
At the 1893 World
Parliament of Religions in Chicago, Vivekananda earned
"When Swami Vivekananda introduced a new form of address
at the Congress of Religions in Chicago, instead of
addressing them as 'Ladies Gentlemen', he addressed them
as 'Brothers and Sisters'. It was quite new to the
foreigners and they were so much touched and moved by
that gesture that they applauded him incessantly for 15
minutes. Of course, nowadays too, we are addressing the
audience as sisters and brothers, but that feeling is
not there in our heart even for the time we are on the
platform. What we do not feel in our heart should not be
expressed outwardly. We must give place to true feelings
in our heart and we must try to practice good things in
our life." (Excerpts from: Sathya Sai Baba.
Divine Discourses "Destiny and Divine Grace." Summer
Showers in Brindavan, May 1972).
Within a few years of
the Parliament, he had started Vedantic centres in New
York and London, lectured at major universities and
generally kindled western interest in Hinduism. After
this, he returned to India. Swami Vivekananda was the
first Asian to be invited to accept the chair of
Oriental Philosophy at the Harvard University.
In his honour the Indian National Youth Day is
celebrated on his birthday.
"If you want to know
India, read Vivekananda". Rabindranath Tagore
Vivekananda strove to promote peace and human
brotherhood on the spiritual foundation of the Vedantic
Oneness of existence. Vivekananda had a direct and
intuitive experience of Reality. He derived his ideas from
that unfailing source of wisdom and often presented them in
the soul-stirring language of poetry.
The natural tendency of Vivekananda's mind, like that of
his Guru Ramakrishna, was to soar above the world and forget
itself in contemplation of the Absolute. But another part of
his personality bled at the sight of human suffering in East
and West alike. It might appear that his mind seldom found a
point of rest in its oscillation between contemplation of
God and service to man. Be that as it may, he chose, in
obedience to a higher call, service to man as his mission on
References and sources of proper information:
The ribirth of Swami
From Mrs. Edith Allan?s
SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: I have to come back once more. The Master
said I am to come back once more with him.
MRS. ALLAN: You have to come back because Shri Ramakrishna says
SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: Souls like that have great power, Madam.
The story about the rebirth of Swami Vivekananda and his future
involvment in the Sai Mission is well documented in the book "Sai
Inner Views and Insight" by Howard Murphet, the well know and
renowned worldwide author and devotee of Bhagavan Baba.
Here are some brief notes.
In the late 1960's Howard Murphet was in India with his wife Iris
in one of the Sai ashram. In that occasion, Baba told Murphet and
his wife: "Vivekananda has been reborn in Sri Lanka. When his
education and training are complete, he will help me with my
mission." The same announcement has been made by Swami to Andrew
Schartz and to a few of his friends.
In March of 1987 a young man from Sri Lanka, whose name is Nalin
Sedera, visited Prashanti Nilayam along with a group of people
from his own country. An Australian devotee, Elvin Gates, was in
the interview room with this group of Lankan people. Elvin Gates
told that Sathya Sai Baba made the revelation to the young man the
he was Vivekananda reborn. This took place on two successive days
during two interviews in the private interview room. After the
interview the news quickly spread throughout the ashram and crowds
began to follow the young man.
Two years later, in 1989, Howard Murphet had the opportunity to
talk to Nalin himself and had numerous information regarding the
two interviews that he has had with Sai Baba.
Nalin said that before meeting Sathya Sai Baba he had a dream in
which Swami, wearing a white dress, showed him an old couple,
saying that they was his parents in a previous incarnation. When
Nalid asked Swami to speak about his parents, Swami replied:
"Forget about that. I am your father and your mother." In the
interview room Swami asked him: "What is your name?" Nalin
replied: "Nalin." Swami said: "Your are not Nalin, you are Naren."
Narendra was the name of Swami Vivekananda and Naren was the name
that Ramakrishna akways used for his beloved disciple, Narendra.
Then Swami said: "In your previous birth you were a great saint.
Do you know who Narendra was?" Nalin replied: "No, Swami, I
don't." Sai Baba went on: "Narendra was the name of Vivekananda."
"I have been waiting for you for eighty-five years.", Swami said.
Vivekananda left his body in 1902 and the interviw was in 1987,
exactly eighty-five years later.
Swami said to Nalin that he will come to live in the Prashanti
Nilayam ashram in the year 2021. That is the year in which Sathya
Sai Baba has announced he will leave His body.
Howard Murphet also says that Nalin has been back later to the
ashram secretly and in incognito more than once.
More information and details in the book:
"Sai Inner Views and Insight", Chapter 10: "The Rebirth of
Vivekananda" by Howard Murphet, Faber, VA, Leela Press, 1996, pp.
Books by Howard Murhpet:
- Sai Baba. Man od Miracles
- Sai Baba Avatar
- Sai Baba. Invitation to Glory (Walking the Path with Sai Baba)
- The Lights of Home
- Sai Inner Views and Insight
- The Way to Love Divine (with Dr. R. Farmer)
Jai Sai Ram