Swami Vivekananda (12th January 1863 - 04th July 1902)


The World will celebrate the birthday of Swami Vivekananda on January 12, 2012 and the Ramakrishna Math and Mission will begin a four-year-long celebration to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda and carry out various projects in several states to commemorate the occasion. 

It is known to everyone about this monk who first introduced Hinduism to the western world. His ‘Ramkrishna Math’ was founded by him in a house in Baranagar, West Bengal, India. The ‘Math’ was later shifted to Belur in Howrah which is now known as the Belur Math. Two other monasteries were founded by him- one at Mayavati on the Himalayas, near Almora called the Advaita Ashram and another one in Chennai.


(Belur Math)


(Advait Ashram)

Chicago’s Art Institute happens to be one of the great art museums of the world. It hosts collections spanning nearly 5000 years of artistic creations. Exhibitions are held all the year round, showcasing unique paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs and many more.
The Art Institute also happens to be the place where Swami Vivekananda addressed the Parliament of the World’s Religions in 1893. He introduced Hinduism to the World and opened the way for the dialogue between Eastern and Western Religions. A bronze plaque, notes and other memoirs are put up in the institute to commemorate this achievement.  The Fullerton Hall, where Swamiji delivered his lecture is open to visitors and quite obviously attracts Indian tourists.  Even though the Art Institute is located on South Wabash Avenue, it is also named as Swami Vivekananda way to honor the great monk.


(Fullerton Hall- Chicago Art Institute)


(The Plaque)


Sri Ramkrishna used to say, "Whenever you have leisure, go into solitude for a day or two. At that time, don't hold any conversation on worldly affairs. Live either in solitude or in the company of the holy."  The Vivekananda Monastery and Retreat at Ganges, Michigan was thus set up to provide a place for spiritual seekers to engage in prayer, meditation and stay away from the distractions of daily life.


(Vedanta Society, Ganges, Michigan)

The Vedanta Society is spread around the World and each will have its own way to celebrate the birthday of Swamiji.
Visit the tip of India's mainland, Kanyakumari, to see the waters of the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal meet and its main attraction, the Vivekananda Rock Memorial. The breathtaking structure stands silhouetted against the Bay of Bengal, with waves mercilessly lashing its walls. But it has withstood it all - even the tsunami of 2004. Regular ferry services operate between the shore and the memorial. The rock, a couple of hundred metres from the shore is considered sacred as Hindus believe it was blessed by Kanya Kumarika, the virgin goddess. Swami Vivekananda had come there in 1892 to meditate before he set out on his famed tour to spread the message of Hinduism to the western world. There are two pavilions on the rock, one of which is for Swami Vivekananda. It comprises a meditation and an assembly hall built in traditional Indian temple style. There is also a beautiful statue of him inside. Photography is prohibited inside the Vivekananda Memorial


(Vivekananda Memorial, Kanyakumari)