Why is the Indian Rupee Depreciating? (A Student’s Perspective)

Why is the Indian Rupee Depreciating? (A Student’s Perspective)

The Indian rupee has been on a downward spiral, and today it hit a record low of 81.26 against the US dollar. The rupee is down nearly 6 per cent since January this year.

Union Finance Min­is­ter, Nirmala Sithara­man, recently said that the rupee is rel­a­tively better-placed than other global cur­ren­cies against the greenback.

The value of the Indian rupee to the US Dollar works on a demand and supply basis. If there is a higher demand for the US Dollar, the value of the Indian rupee depre­ci­ates, and vice-versa.  If a coun­try’s import is more than it’s export then this kind of con­di­tion takes place. The rupee’s fall these days is mainly due to high crude oil prices, a strong dollar over­seas, and foreign capital out­flows. As money flows out of India, the rupee-dollar exchange rate gets impacted, depre­ci­at­ing the rupee.

How does a weak rupee impact you and the economy?

Since India mostly depends on imports (includ­ing crude oil, metals, elec­tron­ics to name a few), the country makes pay­ments in US dollars. Now if the rupee is weak, it has to pay more for the same quan­tity of items. In such cases, the cost of raw mate­ri­als and pro­duc­tion goes up which gets passed on to the consumers.The falling rupee’s biggest impact is on infla­tion. The global crude prices have sus­tained at over $100 a barrel since Rus­si­a’s inva­sion of Ukraine in Feb­ru­ary this year. High oil prices and a weaker rupee will only add to infla­tion­ary pres­sures in the economy.

Last week, RBI Deputy Gov­er­nor, Michael D Patra, inter­vened and said, “We will stand for its sta­bil­ity and we are doing it. We are there in the market and we will not allow dis­or­derly move­ment of the rupee. We have no level in mind, but we will not allow jerky move­ment. That is for certain.”

Depre­ci­a­tion in the rupee does not only affect your foreign travel. It can also pinch your pocket with higher fuel prices, higher inter­est rates on your loans, and so on.  If the rupee con­tin­ues to depre­ci­ate, then to cover the economy, the RBI increases its repo rate due to which a common man’s loan inter­est increases. It also results in increase in petrol prices.  For example, if a taxi driver pur­chases petrol for ₹115 per litre one day, then after the rupee depre­ci­ates further,
he might get the same quan­tity of petrol for ₹120 per litre.

Article written by Shiv­ansh Agra­hari on behalf of the SNHS Student Website Team.

A Teacher’s Day Tribute:  An Homage to Our Teachers.  Our Guiding Lights.

A Teacher’s Day Tribute: An Homage to Our Teachers. Our Guiding Lights.

Teacher's Day 2022Teachers.  They the light of the world.

A beacon in the dark, and the hope that gives us strength to survive.  Teachers add value to our character and make us the ideal citizens to make a better country.  Teachers are the building blocks of our lives.  They are the ones who motivate the students to do better in every way.  Teachers are the builders of a better future.

The bond between a teacher and student is like a potter and the clay.  Teach­ers shape the life of the student by teach­ing them about broth­er­hood, kind­ness, and sim­plic­ity.   And stu­dents are the clay, who even­tu­ally become a vessel through the artis­tic and caring hands of the potter.

In whose memory is Teacher’s Day cel­e­brated, and why?  On the aus­pi­cious occa­sion of Dr. Rad­hakr­ish­nan’s birth­day, his stu­dents requested him to allow them to cel­e­brate his birth­day, but in reply Dr. Rad­hakr­ish­nan said that “The cel­e­bra­tion should not only be for me; I would feel proud if it would be a cel­e­bra­tion for all the teachers”.

Teacher’s Day was first celebrated in India on 5 September, 1962.

Once, Pt. Jawa­har­lal Nehru said that he has served his country in many capac­i­ties, so he is con­sid­ered as a great teacher.

How do we cel­e­brate Teacher’s Day at our school?  This day is one of the most mem­o­rable in the rela­tion­ship between teacher and student.  On this special occa­sion, we give choco­lates, gifts, cards, and espe­cially respect to our teach­ers.  We also orga­nize a party ded­i­cated to teach­ers.  That year’s Class 12 does all the plan­ning.  First, they go into every class and intro­duce their juniors to that year’s planned party, and they ask for funds from each student to help pay for the party.

Tra­di­tion­ally, the stu­dents orga­nize games for the teach­ers to play, and there is dancing, and some great food — all orga­nized by the Class 12 stu­dents.  It is a party for the stu­dents as well as the teach­ers because of all the mem­o­ries that are being created and shared from years of inter­ac­tions.  At the end of the party, the stu­dents give a “Thank You” speech, showing appre­ci­a­tion to the teach­ers for putting in years of effort into these balls of clay that will soon go off into the larger world.

Teachers are a precious gift who God has given to students.  Their impact on our lives goes beyond cost.

We, the stu­dents of our school, want to thank our teach­ers for always guiding us and showing us the right path for our life.   You always try your best, even in difficult

times and sit­u­a­tions, and you have high hopes for us.  We are blessed to have you in our lives, and we are grate­ful for you sharing your knowl­edge and life-wisdom and expe­ri­ence with us.  We will forever remem­ber our teach­ers because of the immen­sity of their con­tri­bu­tion to our life.

In Sanskrit, there is an auspicious mantra dedicated to teachers:  “Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru Dev Maheshwara; Guru Sakshat, Param Brahma, Jasmai Shri, Gurney Mamah.”

Guru is truly rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva.  Parambrahma means eternal lord whose world is never being destroyed, that lord who had no day or night.  He creates, sus­tains knowl­edge, and destroys the weeds of ignorance.

The guru (the teacher) guides us and makes efforts to push us to the road of success.  We salute all of you great teachers.

Indian Parents, Indian Children:  A Modern Approach to Education and Career Paths

Indian Parents, Indian Children: A Modern Approach to Education and Career Paths

The bond shared between parents and chil­dren is some­thing which is very typical across cul­tures and is some­what inde­scrib­able.  Irre­spec­tive of every­thing, it is true that no one in this whole world loves and cares about chil­dren more than their parents.  But, par­ent­ing differs from family to family.  Indian parents have always believed in being over­pro­tec­tive of their chil­dren, which is a good thing most of the time, but this good men­tal­ity becomes over­done when parents absolutely control and dom­i­nate their chil­dren’s life at every stage.  The over-pos­ses­sive, con­trol­ling nature of Indian parents affects the chil­dren both pos­i­tively and negatively.

Within the Indian family struc­ture, chil­dren are raised with the under­stand that their parents know what’s best for them, and hence will be the sole author­ity that decides their future — edu­ca­tion and career.  The biggest problem with Indian parents is that they are not able to adapt their minds with the dynam­i­cally chang­ing world.  We are not saying all parents are like that, but espe­cially in rural India, many parents still don’t want to adapt their minds to modern approaches and methods.

Parents believe that “smart” kids should auto­mat­i­cally belong to the science and tech­nol­ogy field, while “average” kids should go for com­merce, and “below-average” kids can go for arts or sports.  In this modern world, this way of think­ing and plan­ning should no longer be hap­pen­ing.  It is called pigeon-holing when kids are pre­de­ter­mined by adults into career paths that they may not want to follow or feel are right for them.

One of the main reasons for this pre­de­ter­mi­na­tion and pigeon-holing is that parents believe that success is mea­sured by mate­ri­al­is­tic gains.  Money.  But, our new gen­er­a­tion is more con­cerned with making a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence in the world from our heart, and not judging every­thing by money, mate­ri­al­ism, and power.

India’s parents gen­er­ally do have an incli­na­tion towards encour­ag­ing their chil­dren obtain­ing a gov­ern­ment job.  Parents believe that there is more job-secu­rity, higher salary, less job-strain, and more respect in society for gov­ern­ment workers as com­pared to workers in other fields.  More­over, it seems that parents believe that getting a gov­ern­ment job is a smoother and easier path than the strug­gle of entre­pre­neuri­al­ism.   In India’s urban centers, this way of parental think­ing is chang­ing and adapt­ing to modern needs and dis­cov­er­ing what is newly avail­able to younger Indians now than in the past, but in rural sectors, the men­tal­ity still has not adapted and grown.

One reason that we believe parents do not support careers in the arts and sports is the uncer­tainty which the feel is asso­ci­ated with those careers.  Middle-class Indian parents think a child should go for grad­u­a­tion and post-grad­u­a­tion instead of going for pro­fes­sional sports, dance, music, or their own start-ups.

Our society has a mind-set that imposes unfair restric­tions on girls.  Girls still have to face a lot of hurdles whether it is about going to school, going out for studies, or for a career.  Even if a female grad­u­ates, some parents say, “What is the need of a job for you when we are here to fulfill all your needs”.  This neg­a­tive and restric­tive atti­tude towards girls is mostly seen in rural India, but we if are to move forward as a modern country, we need to erad­i­cate this men­tal­ity from our thinking.

Many exam­ples of dis­crim­i­na­tion exists between males and females, sons and daugh­ters in India.  There is undoubt­edly a pref­er­ence for sons over daugh­ters.  Some people don’t want to spend a rupee on girls’ edu­ca­tion because the parents think that the girls will anyway marry and go away to do house­hold chores in their in-laws’ house.  So, as the think­ing goes, “What’s the use of spend­ing time and money edu­cat­ing the girl-child?”

Addi­tion­ally, parents also face peer pres­sure from friends and family.  Parents are afraid of what people might say if they adopt a more modern men­tal­ity towards sup­port­ing their child’s inter­ests and per­sonal strengths.Parents tend to take a back seat with their girls because of the taunt­ing reac­tions of society and older cul­tural thinking.

Yet another reason which we believe neg­a­tively affects the men­tal­ity of parents in rural India is that they are simply not aware of the current pos­si­bil­i­ties, acces­si­bil­ity, and support for these new, modern career paths.  More­over, they believe that these modern career paths require a more expen­sive and risky invest­ment than the straight-forward, age-old career paths and ways of think­ing.  Parents feel they cannot take the risk of sup­port­ing their chil­dren’s desire to follow their heart and their own unique abil­i­ties, so they play it safe by retreat­ing into old ways of think­ing, which, we feel is pre­vent­ing rural India from advanc­ing towards moder­nity as it has in other parts of the world or in India’s urban centers.

Indeed, there are cost-effec­tive systems and ways of helping their chil­dren follow their unique gifts towards a mean­ing­ful career, but it may perhaps take many years for our parents to fully under­stand these path­ways.  Perhaps they don’t want to expend the effort or take the time to break out of the old mould. Instead of taking the risk, parents retreat into old think­ing and easier path­ways because they don’t want to adjust and adapt to the modern world.

In con­clu­sion, parents in rural areas of India must be made aware of the modern edu­ca­tion system and how the subject differ from each other.  The stu­dents must improve their capac­ity to lean new tech­nolo­gies and become mod­ern­ized with the current state of what is avail­able to them.  But they need the support of their parents to do this.

Stu­dents must con­vince their parents that fol­low­ing their heart and unique abil­i­ties is a viable and actual path forward.  Living a “suc­cess­ful” life is pos­si­ble in modern times, but we must not con­tinue to be stuck in the old ways of think­ing and plan­ning.  Times have changed.  We are behind the times.  We must adjust and mod­ern­ize our think­ing, open our eyes and   minds.  India can only mod­ern­ize and improve to meet the future when our chil­dren are freed to become what they were meant to be.  Higher edu­ca­tion and mate­r­ial pos­ses­sions are not the only def­i­n­i­tions of “success”.  Times have changed.  The new gen­er­a­tion must be allowed to develop in their own way for the good of India.

Thank you for reading our article.

The Satya Niketan Higher Sec­ondary School Website Edi­to­r­ial Team and Student Leadership.

(The views expressed in this article are not nec­es­sar­ily the same as the school man­age­ment.  These are the views of the stu­dents, and we support free speech and open opin­ions for discussion)



Online Shopping:  A Craze Among the Masses (but with what effect?)

Online Shopping: A Craze Among the Masses (but with what effect?)

Shop­ping has always been an activ­ity in which cus­tomers browse the shelves for avail­able goods or ser­vices at various phys­i­cal retail outlets — actual shops.  Since the begin­ning of known history, humans have directly exchanged goods and ser­vices with one another in a system of trading (barter — this service or product for that service or product).  As civ­i­liza­tions grew, the system of barter was replaced with retail trade involv­ing coinage.  Money.  That is the system in which we have been famil­iar for the last few cen­turies — the system of our parents and grand­par­ents, includ­ing most of our lives.

However, cus­tomers now can simply access the “mar­ket­place” via the inter­net by using their com­put­ers or smart­phones.  No need for our phys­i­cal pres­ence, phys­i­cal prod­ucts to be seen and touched, or travel outside the home.  This new form of market is the emerg­ing mode of busi­ness known as e‑business.  It has been active in “devel­oped” coun­tries for decades, but it is now oper­at­ing in full force in India, and there are def­i­nitely serious effects on our way of life and the land­scape of phys­i­cal shops that fam­i­lies have spent decades invest­ing them­selves in.

In the present-day context, learn­ing and ana­lyz­ing con­sumer behav­ior is extremely vital for the success of a busi­ness.  The fun­da­men­tal issue which arises in front of a con­sumer when he/she embarks on a shop­ping endeavor is now, which mode of shop­ping should they choose to satisfy their own needs.  Should they pur­chase online or offline?  Go to a tra­di­tional mar­ket­place or a virtual one?  Who will they reward with their pur­chase:  The actual shop-owner in their town, or an unseen, virtual one that they don’t know?

The ques­tion facing us is whether or not online shop­ping is better than offline.  Who should we reward with our pur­chase?  What kind of ripple effects happen to our phys­i­cal town and local stores when we make our pur­chased online from far-off vendors?  How are we hurting our local economy, and there­fore ourselves?

The online shop­ping indus­try has flared up to a point where people prefer to shop online due to ease of pur­chase, con­ve­nience, variety of prod­ucts, and tech savvy con­sumers able to effec­tively surf the net for exactly what they want.  People can shop 24/7 from wher­ever they want, and the world is at their fin­ger­tips.  There is no hustle and bustle, no rushing, no crowded shops.

But, the fact is that our online habits of pur­chas­ing goods is affect­ing our local busi­ness-owners, our towns, our way of living.  Or is it?

The tra­di­tional way of offline is still con­sid­ered best by many.  People want to phys­i­cally check the prod­ucts and have face-to-face com­mu­ni­ca­tion (bar­gain­ing, etc.).  It is also rel­a­tively easier to return prod­ucts in person than online.  If we have product com­pli­ca­tions after an online shop­ping expe­ri­ence, we face more prob­lems when trying to nego­ti­ate or return the product.  There are also higher chances of ship­ping issues, pack­ag­ing prob­lems, mis­han­dling by the deliv­ery company, and risk of fraud if we enter the wrong website marketplace.

The inter­net was opened to the public in 1991, and soon after­wards online shop­ping became pos­si­ble.  Since that time, the online shop­ping expe­ri­ence has become much smoother and enjoy­able for the con­sumer.  People have become less skep­ti­cal of online shop­ping over the years.

In con­clu­sion, it is the opinion of our student edi­to­r­ial group that BOTH tra­di­tional and online shop­ping are impor­tant to us.  Despite the rapid growth of online sales in India, and the pro­jected expo­nen­tial growth of that indus­try, the major­ity of con­sumers in India still prefer tra­di­tional shop­ping — espe­cially since a huge portion of Indians don’t hav access to online shop­ping methods, nor the where­withal to under­stand how to nav­i­gate the inter­net shop­ping expe­ri­ence.   People want to see the shop-owner and touch and try on the product in real time.

Both online and offline expe­ri­ences have their good and bad points, prob­lems and ben­e­fits.  There is a trust issue for us when dealing with money online.  However, the allure of a better product assort­ment and easy shop­ping expe­ri­ence is a benefit for the online pro­po­nents.  There are serious respon­si­bil­i­ties we have of taking care of our towns and local shop­ping centers by con­tin­u­ing to shop offline so that we reward our local vendors and their fam­i­lies — making our towns strong.  Also, ques­tions of what is better for the envi­ron­ment — offline or online?

In any event, how we spend our money is extremely impor­tant.  Every rupee we spend is a reward to someone for some­thing.  We need to take many issues into account when we buy some­thing either online or offline.  Time marches on, and we have to adjust to moder­nity and yet remain true to our values.


“Where Women are Respected, There Angels Will Reside”

“Where Women are Respected, There Angels Will Reside”

Finally, More Females than Males in India

A recent census shows that there are remarkably more females than males in India for the first time in over one thousand years!

One of the most impor­tant struc­tural aspects of a society is the rel­a­tive number of males and females who compose it.  Accord­ing to the Fish­er’s Prin­ci­ple, gender ratio is defined as the pro­por­tion of females rel­a­tive to one thou­sand males in a pop­u­la­tion.  In India, we are now seeing, for the first time since the onset of modern record-keeping, the gender ratio as tipped in favor of females.  Now, for the first time since the Vedic Period, over 1,000 years ago, for every 1,000 males, there are 1,020 females accord­ing to the National Family Health Survey‑5.

During the Vedic Period in India (1,500 BCE — 50 BCE), women enjoyed absolute eco­nomic and soci­etal status, and equal­ity and freedom (although it wasn’t perfect as a boy-child was still pre­ferred over a girl-child).  The Vedic Period is known as the “Golden Age” for women in India.  That era was char­ac­ter­ized by the absence of the purdah system (the prac­tice of keeping men and women sep­a­rate), no dis­crim­i­na­tion for edu­ca­tional oppor­tu­ni­ties between the genders, equal rights in selec­tion of part­ners, polygamy being rare, and widows being able to marry again.

In the post-Vedic period, the status of women fell:   women suf­fered many set­backs when various restric­tions were put on women’s rights and priv­i­leges.  It became increas­ingly unten­able to birth a girl-child instead of a boy-child.  Edu­ca­tion, which had been an accepted norm for women, was neglected, and later on, girls were totally denied access to edu­ca­tion.  The Medieval Period was the darkest era in the history of India for women.  The status of women in society further dete­ri­o­rated when  child mar­riage, a ban on re-mar­riage for widows, the purdah system, polygamy, Jauhar, and sati Pratha (throw­ing women onto her her hus­band’s funeral pyre) became a regular part of cul­tural life.

A gender ratio which is not in favor of women is a dan­ger­ous sign for any society because it indi­cates a high female fetal mor­tal­ity rate, selec­tive abor­tions, and excess female deaths.  India is a patri­ar­chal society where there is active gender selec­tion by parents, which means that many girls are killed before they are even born.  Parents expect sons, not daugh­ters, to provide finan­cial and emo­tional care, espe­cially in their old age:  Sons add to family wealth and prop­erty while daugh­ters drain it through dowries; sons con­tinue the family lineage while daugh­ters are married away to another house­hold.  People often have a belief that a girl is a lia­bil­ity while a boy is an asset.  Misuse of advanced parental diag­nos­tic tech­niques (sono­grams) has led to gender selec­tion with the wide­spread ter­mi­na­tion of female fetuses which con­tributes to a rapidly declin­ing girl-to-boy ratio.

In recent years, India has enacted several gov­ern­ment ini­tia­tives (see adden­dum below) to address these impor­tant issues in order to begin the process of cre­at­ing a more opti­mistic future for females in India from birth through­out all of life by pro­tect­ing them more holis­ti­cally and fully.

The status of women improved during the wave of fem­i­nism in India in the last few decades.  The Fem­i­nist Move­ment (also known as the Women’s Lib­er­a­tion Move­ment) refers to a series of polit­i­cal cam­paigns that aim to define and estab­lish the polit­i­cal, eco­nomic, per­sonal, and social equal­ity between the sexes.  The focus was on insti­tu­tional reforms which resulted in reduced gender dis­crim­i­na­tion, giving women access to male-dom­i­nated spaces, and pro­mot­ing equal­ity.  However, despite all of that, evils such as domes­tic vio­lence, female infan­ti­cide, sexual abuse, and abor­tions for gender selec­tion still exist in our society and must be addressed openly with mean­ing­ful reforms taking place.

Despite the con­tin­ued issues of gender inequal­ity, good news is indeed good news, and we should discuss it and cel­e­brate it.  The ratio of females to males in India has indeed equal­ized for the first time in over a thou­sand years.  Our country is finally begin­ning to appre­ci­ate the deep value that females bring to the table to make India a world leader.  The impor­tance of pro­tect­ing the equal rights, safety, and health and welfare for females of all ages is a foun­da­tional aspect upon which we can build a modern culture and be a world leader.

This turn of events is largely due to the increas­ing life-expectancy of females as well as the changes that have been made in the public con­scious­ness as well as the various gov­ern­ment ini­tia­tives.  Although safe spaces for open con­ver­sa­tions are hap­pen­ing on an increas­ing basis, we still need to make con­stant assur­ances that we will acknowl­edge the dignity of women.  Laws that protect women are on the books, but they need to be enforced, and perhaps we need even more laws to ensure that the life of all females is pro­tected and safe from inequal­ity, dis­crim­i­na­tion, child mar­riage, abor­tion, vio­lence, rape, beat­ings, verbal abuse, muti­la­tion, torture, “honor” killings, and trafficking.

Gender equal­ity must be dis­cussed, encour­aged openly, and pro­tected in our country in order for us to become the world leader that India is capable of.

Thus, it is imper­a­tive to put even more focus on improv­ing the exist­ing poli­cies, laws, and pro­grams to ensure the sur­vival and utter respect for all females in Indian society.  We must con­tinue to protect females from harm and dis­re­spect.  We must build upon these ideas and not slide back­wards once again.

“Yatıra nariyasthu puly­athe reman­the ththra devethha”:  The meaning of this San­skrit sloka is “Where women are respected, there angels will reside”.

* Gov­ern­ment Initiatives

  1.  Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) aims to gen­er­ate aware­ness and ensure pro­tec­tion, sur­vival, and edu­ca­tion for the girl-child.
  2. Working Women Hostel (WWH) pro­motes the avail­abil­ity of reli­able accom­mo­da­tion and ensures the safety and secu­rity for women.
  3. Balika Sam­ridhi Yojana (BSY) focuses on helping girls and moti­vat­ing them to take up income-gen­er­at­ing activ­i­ties for their own welfare.
  4. Sukanya Sam­ridhi Yojana focuses on secur­ing a daz­zling future for the females.
  5. Women’s Helpline Scheme focuses on pro­vid­ing 24-hour emer­gency response to women affected by violence.

Thank you for reading our blog!

The Satya Niketan Higher Sec­ondary School Student Lead­er­ship Website Edi­to­r­ial Team

Today is the Birthday of Swami Vivekanand.

Today is the Birthday of Swami Vivekanand.

Swami Vivekanand: A Hero of Humanity

(by Sanjana Agrawal)

Swami Vivekanand’s birth as Naren­dranath Dutta was an Indian monk, reformer, philoso­pher, and one of the most cel­e­brated spir­i­tual leaders of India.  He was an inspir­ing per­son­al­ity and is well known both in India and America since the last decade of the nine­teenth century.  He is an example of a person who despite having a short life, lived it to the fullest.  He taught uncon­di­tional love, how to be a better person, and rein­forced the impor­tance of giving back to society.

Naren­dranath Dutt was born into an afflu­ent Bengali family on January 12,1863 in Cal­cutta (now known as Kolkata), in West Bengal.  His parents were Vish­wanath Dutt and Bhu­vanesh­wari Deri.  His father was a suc­cess­ful attor­ney and his mother was a strong, endowed, woman with a God-fearing mind who had a great impact on her son.

He went to Cal­cutta Met­ro­pol­i­tan School for his early edu­ca­tion and later enrolled the Pres­i­dency College of Cal­cutta.  IN 1880, he joined Keshab-Chandra Sen’s Nava Vidhan and also became a member of Sad­ha­ran Brahma Samaj led by Keshab Chandra Sen and Deben­dranath Tagore. In 1881, he passed the fine arts exam­i­na­tions and com­pleted a Bach­e­lor of Arts degree in 1884. he was a sharp, intel­lec­tual student and was inter­ested in music as well as excelling in studies. He also scru­ti­nized Hindu scrip­tures — the Upnishads on one hand while on the other hand he studied western phi­los­o­phy and spirituality.

As he grew up, his knowl­edge led him to ques­tions about the exis­tence of God. Inves­ti­gat­ing this, he met many monks but none  of them could provide answers to his deep ques­tions. As he met Ramakr­ishna Paramhansa at Dak­shi­nesh­war kali temple he asked him the same ques­tion: ” Have you seen the God? ” He was given a simple answer, ” Yes,I have seen. I have seen God as clearly as I see you, only in a much deeper sense. ” This inspired Vivekanand to con­tinue meeting him.

In 1884, when his father died, there were many finan­cial crises in his family and that was the turning point in his life as he accepted Ramakr­ishna Paramhans as his life-mentor.  One year later, In 1885, Ramakr­ishna suf­fered from throat cancer and was trans­ferred to Cal­cutta. His dis­ci­ples took care of him. Ramakr­ishna gave up his life on 16 August, 1886. After this inci­dent they all started to live together and they per­formed math, Yoga and med­i­ta­tion. But, after some time he left this and decided to tour around the world to know about several soci­eties and cul­tures, and also under­stand and prac­tice what is common in their daily life.  Vivekanand carried out his “free-think­ing” phi­los­o­phy into a new par­a­digm.   He went off to Chicago USA to attend the meeting of the World Par­lia­ment Organization.

On 11 Sep­tem­ber 1893, in Chicago, Swami Vivekanand gave an out­stand­ing speech full of wisdom.  He started his speech by address­ing the audi­ence as “broth­ers and sisters of America”.  in his speech, he described the prin­ci­ples of Vedanta.  This led to a huge silence amongst the crowd, and at the end he received a stand­ing ovation.

When he returned to India in 1897, he founded Ramakr­ishna Mission in Belur Math, Cal­cutta.  The main vision of the mission was to love life, focus on the sig­nif­i­cance of the indi­vid­ual — his pres­ence and abil­i­ties.  A school, college, and hos­pi­tal was estab­lished under this.  In the mission, his teach­ing was pur­posely based on the Vedanta and spir­i­tual teach­ing of Ramakrishna.

On the evening of 4 July, 1902, he died at the age of 39 while per­form­ing medi­a­tion at Belur Math, Cal­cutta.  He attained Mahasamadhi, and was cre­mated on the banks of the river Ganga.

Here are some addi­tional stories and facts about Swami Vivekanand:

  1.  He was a very naughty and angry boy during his child­hood.  His mother poured cold water on him and said “Om Namah Shivay” to make him calm down.
  2. When his father died, his family faced finan­cial hard­ship.  He went to Ramakr­ish­nappa to ask for help, but was refused because he was too to pray for himself, not for wealth, but for a deeper con­science and reclu­sion.  That was a turning point for him.
  3. Once when Swamiji went to America, a woman expressed her desire to marry him because she wanted a son like him.  So he answered her by saying that he was a monk which pre­vented him from mar­ry­ing, but she can always think of him as her son.
  4. His birth­day, 12 January, is also cel­e­brated on National Youth Day start­ing in 1984 out of respect and acknowl­edge­ment of his phi­los­o­phy and ideas for which he lived and worked.

This essay was written by Sanjana Agrawal (who also cel­e­brates her birth­day today ;^).  Thank you Sanjana for sharing your article with us.