So one “Indian fakir” as was attributed to him by the western world, surprised the world with his intellect and his words and they were merely these,“Brothers and Sisters of America”. The thundering applause that followed was only a small impact made by the great Yogi on the minds of many.
The journey of Narendra Nath Dutta to Swami Vivekanand is an amazing story of a man who with his intellect, righteousness and spirituality inspired millions and showcased the culture, civility and modernity of the Indian society to the world. Today marks his 150th and his story and his teachings are something every human being must know and read about. To write about him in one article would be like the task of trying to fit the universe into one atom. So instead, I write about some of the most amazing short stories of this man.
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During his childhood, Swamiji sat for meditation with his friends and a huge cobra was spotted around. On seeing that, his friends ran away and tried to warn Vivekanand about the same. But Swamaji did not stir, lost in his own world meditating peacefully. The cobra passed from where he was sitting and only later did he realise what had happened.
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While walking to a theater a person behind him commented “Look at that man. He doesn’t even have proper clothes to be a gentleman.” He said it loudly, thinking Swamiji wouldn’t understand English. After a few who heard it laughed at his comment. Swamiji turned back and retorted, “In your country, tailor makes gentlemen. In my country, character makes gentleman”. The face of that guy upon hearing this must have been priceless.
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While Swamiji was in Chicago, he would borrow many books from a library and return it the very next day. The librarian thought the man, who did not look like he was educated, was faking it and was trying to look smart. So she mocked him one day saying, “Why do you take out so many books when you can’t possibly read them all in one day?” Swamiji told her to test him. The librarian randomly opened a page of a book and asked him to tell what was written. Swamaji stunned her and those present by reciting each paragraph word to word. The astounded librarian conducted more tests and Swamiji passed with flying colours each time. The man would definitely have cracked CAT, CA, GRE or any exam in the world by studying only for a day, and not only crack, he would top them all.
The man is also known to have memorized the Bhagvat Gita at age 8 and is also said to have swam 500 meters from mainland Kanyakumari to a rock, now named Vivekanand Rock Memorial. A portion of Michigan Avenue in front of Art Institute of Chicago is now called Swami Vivekanand Boulevard since November 11th 1995. His birthday is also celebrated as National Youth Day as well.
A salute to the great man from the Punekar.