Swami Vivekananda Jayanti 2024

12 January 2024
West Bengal    Regional holiday

Swami Vivekanand Jayanti is a regional holiday in the Indian state of West Bengal on January 12th each year. This holiday commemorates the birthday of an Indian Hindu monk on this day in 1863.

Swami Vivekananda was born as Narendranath Datta in Kolkata on January 12th 1863.

Showing an interest in spirituality from an early age, Narendranath would become the chief disciple of the 19th-century saint Ramakrishna, who practised Islam, Christianity and other religions to live his words: "many opinions, many paths." After Ramakrishnas death in 1886, Narendranath renounced the world and became a monk, adopting the name "Swami Vivekananda." He travelled across India and seeing the conditions of the people at first-hand, his compassion drove him to seek material help from the West. He later travelled to the United States, representing India at the 1893 Parliament of the Worlds Religions in Chicago.

Vivekananda became a celebrity in America and for three years he spread the Vedanta philosophy and religion in America and England. He returned to India to found the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission. His lectures and writings have been gathered into nine volumes of his Complete Works.

Vivekananda died unexpectedly on July 4th 1902 at the age of 39, fulfilling his prophecy that he would not live to reach 40. In 1984, the date of Swami Vivekanandas birthday was chosen by the Indian Government as National Youth Day. The Government stated that the philosophy of Swamiji and the ideals for which he lived and worked could be a great source of inspiration for the Indian Youth Day.