Swami Vivekananda

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As his father was a successful attorney and his mother bestowed with strong character, Narendra was as well a bright and talented boy always displaying signs of being a natural leader (Belur Math, 2008. Pettinger, 2005). In Calcutta University, Narendra was described as handsome, muscular, and agile (Nikhilananda, 1953). He took courses in music and gymnastics, but he especially stood out in his studies in the courses Western Philosophy and History at Calcutta University (Belur Math, 2008). As this boy at a tender age was drawn to western thinking and philosophy and disappointed with religious superstitions, Narendra joined the Brahmo Samaj, a modern Hindu movement that sought to revive life and spirituality in India through rationalism (Pettinger, 2005).At the ripe age of adolescence, Narendra underwent an internal spiritual crisis when doubts regarding the existence of God bombarded him. Narendra felt a very strong yearning to actually see God (Pettinger, 2005). Hearing about Sri Ramakrishna from one of his professors, Narendra sought him out at the Kali Temple in Dakshineshwar in November 1881 (Belur Math, 2008). Upon seeing Sri Ramakrishna, Narendra immediately asked if he had seen God. The master then answered him briefly, with Yes, I have. I see Him as clearly as I see you, only in a much intenser sense. God can be seen. One can talk to him. But who cares for God? People shed torrents of tears for their wives, children, wealth, and property, but who weeps for the vision of God? If one cries sincerely for God, one can surely see Him. (Belur Math, 2008. Nikhilananda, 1953).Apart from these remarks, Sri Ramakrishna impressed Narendra because despite his simple way of life, within him lay a deep spirituality that Narendra so aspired to possess (Pettinger, 2005). Thus began a five-year relationship of master and disciple.