Swami Vivekananda was known as Narendra Nath Datta before achieving the monastic life. He was born in Kolkata in the year 1863 to a very affluent and well-to-do family. His grandfather was a scholar in the fields of Persian and Sanskrit. His father, Vishwanath Dutta, was an attorney at the high Court in Calcutta (Now Kolkata) and his mother, Bhubaneshwari Devi, was a pious housewife. At that time, Calcutta was the capital of India. He is one of his nine siblings and his family was quite traditional as his father had a liberal thought process whereas his mother had a religious bent of mind.
Swami Vivekananda was quite bright and intellectual since childhood. Though he was quite mischievous and naughty but he came out to be the only student to score the first division in the entrance exams of Presidency College. He liked reading history, religion, science, literature and art. He acquired the training in Indian Classical Music. He also read the Hindu Scriptures with great interest such as Upanishads, Vedas, Bhagavad Gita, Puranas, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana.
He is one of the most influential spiritual leaders that India is blessed with. Not only he was spiritual, he was a great thinker, a zealous patriot and a great speaker. He was one of the cherished disciple of Ramakrishna Paramhansa. It was in the year 1881 that he met Ramakrishna. This meeting turned out to be a major turning point of his life. Though he was usually not that impressed by the ideas of Ramakrishna but eventually he got attracted and started visiting him in Dakshineswar. After his father died in the year 1884, the family which was affluent at one time went bankrupt. Creditors and relatives all stood against the family. Narendra tried to find work but nothing much happened. Eventually he found true peace in Ramakrishna. Over a period of time, he began worshipping and asking the God for true wealth of knowledge and dedication. This was the time he took Ramakrishna as his teacher and renounced everything.
He always emphasized the importance of education. He felt that with education one can be independent and form a character. The intellect and strength of mind expands. He also believed that whatever an individual thinks, so shall he become. If you think you are weak or strong, so shall you be. He laid a very strong foundation of Hindu religion in the world and his philosophies are greatly appreciated in Western countries till this date. Vivekananda also laid the foundation of Ramakrishna Math as well as the Ramakrishna Mission.
He died on 4th July 1902. He was just 39 years old. But he contributed significantly towards the evolution of mankind and enlightened many people with his spirituality. Though the exact reason of his death are unknown but from a saint of his likes, we can conclude that he attained noble nirvana. He has been a great figure and has influenced the life of many people with his brilliant eloquence.