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7 Amazing incidents in Swami Vivekananda's life: Stories from father to son
Publish Date: 2 years ago
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It is impossible to go into much detail about the life of this great 19th century saint, Swami Vivekananda. However, his short life of 39 years was very eventful making up for several interesting stories from his life.
So, we start with this one. Once Swami Vivekananda was traveling some place and he was in his typical monk robe, the orange color robe. Someone asked him, ‘Why don’t you dress like a gentleman?’ And the great monk replied, ‘Well, for you it is the tailor who makes a gentleman but for me it is the character that makes one. ‘What an awesome statement! And so profound!
Then one morning, after visiting a temple, Vivekananda was passing through a place which had a large tank of water on one side and a wall on the other. He was surrounded by a troop of large monkeys. The monkeys were not allowing him to pass and as he tried to walk past them, they howled, shrieked and clutched at his feet. Vivekananda started to run but as he ran, the monkeys got bolder and attempted to bite at him. When he felt it was impossible for him to escape, he just heard an old monk shouting out to him and saying: ‘Face the brutes!’
he stood his ground, turned back to face the monkeys. And when he did that, the monkeys took to their heels and fled. With gratitude, Vivekananda gave the traditional greeting to the other monk who smiled and walked away.
Like those monkeys in the story, all negative thoughts and fears chase us as long as we run away from them. We make them stronger but the day we confront these negative thoughts head on, we overcome them! Great lesson.

As a boy, Naren was strong minded and fearless. Once a teacher assaulted him for what he thought was a mistake Naren made in Geography. Naren, although insisted that he was in the right. This infuriated the teacher and he asked Naren to stretch out his hand and he struck him on his palm time and again. Naren stood his ground and did not murmur. Shortly after, the teacher realized that it was he himself who had been in error. He apologized to Naren and thereafter held him in high respect.
Naren narrated this incident to his mother, who told him, “If you are right my boy, what does it matter? It may be unjust and unpleasant but always do what you think is right, come what may.” This lesson which he learned from his mother, he always followed in his life. “Stick to your guns, dead or alive.” Amazing!

As a wandering monk, Swami Vivekananda once was roaming the forests of Himalayas. He had not eaten anything on one particular day and was starving. Tired and with sore feet, he decided to take rest under a tree in the dense jungle. And what does he see? A huge Bengal tiger shows up. The hungry monk thought: “Both of us are hungry. Let this body of mine be of some use to at least this tiger which can satiate its hunger by eating me!
Unbelievable! Even as he was staring at death, Vivekananda could think selflessly and think of giving a purpose to his life. He was that driven and perhaps the tiger realized that and quietly went in another direction.
Vivekananda traveled extensively in America after delivering his ground breaking speech in the Parliament of Religions in Chicago. Once in America, he was standing on a watching some young boys trying to shoot at egg shells floating on the river. The boys always missed the target. Vivekananda took the gun and aimed at the shells. He fired twelve times and each time, he hit the egg shell. The boys asked Vivekananda how he does it. Vivekananda told them: whatever you are doing, put your whole mind into it. If you are shooting, the mind should only be on the target. Then you will never miss.If you are learning your lessons, your mind should only be on the lessons. That focus is the secret of success in everything! Wise words for everyone.

Finally, before leaving India for the first time to deliver his speech in the Parliament of religions, Chicago, Vivekananda went to meet the wife of his Guru, Sarada Devi who he considered like his mother. He told her about his plans of going to America and sought her blessings for success in his noble mission. She was cooking in the kitchen at that time. After hearing Vivekananda, she asked him for the knife kept nearby. Vivekananda gave it to her. Then she smiled and said, ‘The way you gave me the knife, you will surely succeed in your noble mission. You held the sharp edge of the knife to your side and kept the wooden handle of the knife towards me. You took care of me. You first thought about my welfare before your own self. And the person who is selfless only has the right to preach to others. You have got that right and all success will be yours!’ So simple, so easy yet so profound!
So, these were some of the interesting stories from the life of Vivekananda. I hope you enjoyed listening to them and it brightens up your day. See you soon and keep that smile!