Swami Vivekananda’s 150th Birth Anniversary (1863-2013)


January 12, 2013, marked the sesquicentenary of the birth of one of India’s most revered spiritual figures — Swami Vivekananda. Born Narendra Nath Datta in Calcutta in 1863, Vivekananda grew up in a comfortable Bengali household, but after the death of his father the family lived in abject poverty. At the age of 18, his natural spiritual inclinations led him to a life-changing meeting with the great spiritual master Sri Ramakrishna. Immediately, Ramakrishna saw something extremely special in the young Naren and, although Ramakrishna only remained on earth for another 5 years, it was Vivekananda who would take the teachings of his Master to the entire world. 

SEPTEMBER 11, 1893Swami Vivekananda came to international prominence when he spoke of the innate oneness of all religions to an enraptured audience at the inaugural World’s Parliament of Religions, held in Chicago in 1893. Vivekananda was the first to bring India's age-old message of Vedanta to the West. Listen to a recreation of the original speech...

Sri Chinmoy called Swami Vivekananda “the patriot-saint of India”. His profound love and respect for him were boundless and he honoured this immortal son of India in poetry and song; in lectures and concerts; and in prayer and meditation:



Swami Vivekananda, who commanded India’s silence-flooded heart to speak and who begged America’s sound-oriented mind to listen.”  — Sri Chinmoy



• In 1962, Sri Chinmoy wrote a series of essays in honour of Swami Vivekananda’s Birth Centenary, which were later published in 1970 by the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in India as The Disciple And The Master. In 1993, the essays were incorporated into a new book published in America by Agni Press as Vivekananda: An Ancient Silence-Heart And A Modern Dynamism-Life. The book also contains 39 new poems and aphorisms and 4 short stories. Read more stories about Vivekananda...

AUGUST 28, 1993• In 1993, on the 100th anniversary of the first World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago where Swami Vivekananda electrified the audience with his soul-stirring speeches, another Bengali, Sri Chinmoy, was invited to offer the opening meditation. View video...

• A dramatisation of Vivekananda’s early life with Sri Ramakrishna can be found in Sri Chinmoy’s highly-acclaimed 1973 play, Drink, Drink My Mother’s Nectar.


• Throughout 1993 Sri Chinmoy performed 39 Peace Concerts in honour of Swami Vivekananda’s 39 years on earth. At the beginning of each concert, Sri Chinmoy recited a dedication to Vivekananda.

Selections from Sri Chinmoy’s performances were released on cassette entitled Vivekananda—An Ancient Silence-Heart And A Modern Dynamism-Liffe and can be heard on Radio Sri Chinmoy.

Sri Chinmoy Sings Vivekananda Songs

• In 1993, a songbook containing 30 of Sri Chinmoy’s songs entitled Vivekananda: An Ancient Silence-Heart was published.