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January 12 is celebrated as the National Youth Day in honour of Swami Vivekananda, who was born on this day. Swami Vivekananda was the man who took the Vedanta philosophy to the West and reformed Hinduism drastically.
He travelled to the USA to attend the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago, in spite of being almost a pauper. He revolutionised the Orient philosophy and persuaded the West to accept that the Hindu philosophy is far more superior than others.
Swami Vivekananda was born as Narendra Nath Dutta in an aristocratic Bengali family in Calcutta. Vivekananda toured the entire India and worked towards the upliftment of the poor and needy. He founded the famous Ramakrishna Mission and Belur Math in Calcutta that still dedicatedly works towards popularising Hinduism and helping the needy.
Swami Vivekananda was a man of great charisma. His address at the Chicago Parliament of Religions is a classic masterpiece which put India into the top list of countries where spirituality still thrives. He was an active participant in the Indian freedom struggle against the British. His charisma provoked the youth to arise to the call of the nation and do their duty to the country. But how much do we know the actual Swami Vivekananda? Not much.
So, here are 10 rare facts about Swami Vivekananda which is sure to blow your mind.
Vivekananda Was An Average Student
The world knows him for his eloquent speeches. But did you know that as a student, Swami Vivekananda was just average? He scored only 47 percent at the University entrance level examination, 46 percent in the FA (later this exam became Intermediate Arts or IA) and 56 percent in his BA exam.
Vivekananda Was An Acquired Name
Swami Vivekananda was the name he took up after he became a monk. Originally, he was named as Vireshwara by his mother and was often referred to as 'Biley'. Later, he was named Narendra Nath Dutta.
Vivekananda Never Got A Job
In spite of having a BA degree, Swami Vivekananda had to go from door to door in search of a job. He had almost turned an atheist as his belief in God was shaken.
Swamiji's Family Lived In Extreme Poverty
After the death of his father, Swamiji's family lived in extreme poverty. His mother and sisters had to struggle hard to get a meal a day. Often, Swamiji went without food for days together so that others in the family had enough.
A Guarded Secret
The Maharaja of Khetri, Ajit Singh, used to send 100 rupees to Swamiji's mother on a regular basis to help her cope with the financial problems. This arrangement was a closely guarded secret.
Vivekananda's Love For Tea
Vivekananda was a connoisseur of tea. In those days, when the Hindu pandits were opposed to drinking tea, he introduced tea into his monastery.
Swami & The Lokmanya
Swamiji once persuaded Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak to make tea at Belur Math. The great freedom fighter brought nutmeg, mace, cardamom, cloves and saffron with him and prepared Mughlai tea for all.
He Never Completely Trusted Ramakrishna
Ramakrishna Paramahansa was the guru of Swami Vivekananda. During the initial days of learning with his teacher, Vivekananda never completely trusted him. He kept on testing Ramakrishna for everything that he said until he finally got all his answers.
Swamiji Predicted His Own Death
It was to French operatic soprano Rosa Emma Calvet that Vivekananda had declared in Egypt that he would die on July 4. He passed away on July 4th, 1902.
Swamiji Had 31 Ailments Before He Passed Away
According to the book ‘The Monk as Man' by renowned Bengali writer Shankar, Swami Vivekananda suffered from 31 ailments. The books lists insomnia, liver and kidney disease, malaria, migraine, diabetes and heart ailments as some of the 31 health problems that Vivekanand faced in the course of his life. He even suffered from asthma which got unbearable many times.