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Role of Swami Vivekananda in Social Reform – Ramakrishna Mission

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  • Last Updated : 28 Mar, 2022

In the late nineteenth century, Swami Vivekananda was considered a pioneering figure in India who worked towards bringing massive social reforms to society. He contributed and worked in the fields of secularism, looking upon untouchables with compassion, educational reforms, socialism, women upliftment, and many more. He was popularly called the Social Reformer.

He was immensely influenced by the Brahmo Samaj and his guru Sri Paramahamsa Ramakrishna. Swami Vivekananda was deeply inclined towards spirituality and being influenced by his guru Ramakrishna, he learned that all human beings are images of Divine Shiva and one should see Lord Shiva through mankind’s services.  

In 1886, Sri Ramakrishna passed away leaving all his disciples and socio reforms work to be directed by Swami Vivekananda. In 1888, he founded the Ramakrishna Mission, one of India’s leading charitable institutions. The main teachings of the Ramakrishna Mission were about are social service regardless of any returns, unconditional love for mankind and nature, and considering all humans, religions, divisions, sects on equal grounds. The Ramakrishna Mission spreads the teachings and preaching of Ramakrishna. According to Sri Paramahamsa Ramakrishna whichever path one follows with sincerity and full devotion to reach God, that sincerity and Devotion will surely pave the way and reaches the ultimatum in finding God.  

Life Journey of Swami Vivekananda:  

The Preaching of Ramakrishna that lead to the transformation from Narendra to Swami Vivekananda; was born on 12 January 1863, Swami Vivekananda is known as a great Social Reformer, working in various social circles as well as in the Education field. He was born to Vishwanath Dutta and Bhubaneswar Devi and his childhood name was Narendranath Dutta. His father was an Attorney-at-law in the Calcutta high court and his mother was deeply religious and highly proficient in storytelling and she inculcated the same in his son. From childhood, Narendra was away from materialism and had a deep knowledge of Hindu scriptures, Sanskrit and he was quite proficient in English and Persian. The meeting with Ramakrishna came as a turning point in his life and he became Swami Vivekananda from Narendranath Dutta after his second meeting. Narendra had great passion and love for Ramakrishna Learning and principles. Sri Ramakrishna assigned all the responsibilities of his young disciples under Swami Vivekananda’s guidance and leadership. Lately, all his disciple under the leadership of Swami Vivekananda inaugurated the  Ramakrishna Mission to serve society and keep up with the teachings, principles, motto, and learning of Sri Ramakrishna.

Role of Swami Vivekananda in Social Reforms:

Swami Vivekananda, a renowned scholar, and philosopher of that time have worked in different fields as he was very much inclined to Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa of selfless work for mankind and humanity.

• Social Reforms for women Upliftment:

Swami Vivekananda held high for the rights of women and gloried them. He promoted women’s Upliftment and was deeply concerned about the right of women and oppression against them. According to Swami Vivekananda women had the power to build a nation and shape the Future thus should be given proper education. He had many literary works and documentaries speaking about Women’s upliftment and such as Swami Vivekananda On India and Her Problems. He considered women as “Shakti” the ultimate power.  

• Social Reforms on Religion:

Swami Vivekananda was highly influenced by Vedantic philosophy and was one of its great admirers. Though he considered Hinduism as the mother of all Religions, he also believes in monotheism- the concept of all God. He believed that all religions teach “PEACE, HARMONY, HUMANITY, through different ways but with one common goal”.

• Social Reforms on Education:  

Swami Vivekananda’s educational aspect was based on inculcating education as the fundamental right of all masses and believed in mass education. He was a modern thinker and tried instilling modern and western Education in women, rights of education for lower sections of the society and all. are more modern than the educationists that prevailed in ancient India. He paid more attention and focus in instilling Technical and industrial training as considering the economical prospect of the masses.

• Social Reforms On Poverty:

Although Swami Vivekananda was a meditational man. He has taken some pioneer steps in productivity and for the eradication of poverty.  Inspired by his Guru Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, has inspired people to come into action and do the welfare of society. Swamiji stimulated the culture of modern life in India by motivating the Rajasic virtues in the Indian citizens. According to Swamiji, religion can be the steering force in executing all the social changes in the country.

• On India’s Cultural History:

Swamiji took great pride in India’s cultural history in the past. But he was totally opposed to the fact, that almost everything that came from the past was worth appreciation or consideration. For him, Ideal India would be one that is for the masses. It means an India free of poverty, removal of illiteracy, dignity for all, with human liberty, Free from all monopolies with socially strong and culturally sound. These were all inspired by his Vedantic ideas. He stood against feudal and colonial oppression.

Foundation of Ramakrishna Mission – Its Purpose and Objectives:

The Ramakrishna Mission was established with the main goal of serving Mankind. Swami Vivekananda. It was established in 1897 in Belur. Carrying his work for nobility he visited many places and one being Chicago, were looking at his persona and charm of the young monk he was announced Man of the Parliament and this popularity helped him gain great support in his mission of spreading mankind and serving the Society.

  • The ultimate goal of the Ramakrishna Mission is “Atmano Mokshartham Jagat Hitaya Cha” which means soul salvation can be attained by serving Mankind selflessly and unconditionally.
  • The Ramakrishna mission taught and encouraged the Vedantic philosophy and worked for instilling the spiritual aspect in the society.
  • It worked towards carrying the philanthropic work at the time of natural disaster/calamity such as famine, earthquake, flood, epidemics, pandemics, etc., and other natural calamities.
  • Swami Vivekananda has worked with sheer sincerity and got success in establishing this mission not only in India but also set up its branches out of India as in England, Germany, spread its branches not only in India but also in America, Germany, England, Switzerland, and other European countries.
  • To propagate the harmony of all religions as Sri Ramakrishna’s preachings taught that all religions through different pathways but ultimately lead to the same goal of serving mankind and Humanity.
  • To impart the Gurukula system of Education where the Educational Institutions serve as Home to the Gurus and students and build a harmonious relationship between them.

Conclusion:

The Social reforms especially through Ramakrishna Mission impacted the Society and elated Swami Vivekananda’s essence in history. Swami Vivekananda’s teachings of Vedantism and Philanthropic ideas not only inculcated the Indian youth to work for the welfare of the society but also instill them with feelings of sacrifice, love for the country. Swami Vivekananda representative figure in Chicago gave him immense popularity as a monk and open the gates of India to the western world and made India findings its presence in the world.

Swami Vivekananda was not only a social reformer, philosopher but also a Monk of par excellence and this made him leave an epoch mark in History. With a short life of fewer than forty years, he inspired the youth to fight against social issues like Poverty, superstition, illiteracy, women’s upliftment untouchability, and tyranny of the society. In his life journey of a monk traveling from the Himalayas to Kanyakumari, mixed with all classes of people and treated them with humility and love, thus making a great place in their hearts and leaving a great mark and Footprint in History.

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