Swami Vivekananda Books: Remembering Vivekananda On His 159Th Birth Anniversary Through Books

On this day, 159 years ago an eminent Indian spiritualist, philosopher, monk and thinker Swami Vivekananda was born in Calcutta (present day Kolkata) in the Indian state of West Bengal (Bengal Presidency then). Today, Swami Vivekananda's 159th birth anniversary is commemorated as the National Youth Day or Rashtriya Yuva Diwas or Vivekananda Jayanti.

Swami Vivekananda Books: 159th Birth Anniversary

The Vivekananda Jayanti or National Youth Day is observed on January 12 every year since 1985 following an announcement by the Government of India which declared January 12 as the National Youth Day or Rashtriya Yuva Diwas in 1984. In addition to the historic speech of Swami Vivekananda held in Chicago on September 11, 1983 which is known in popular culture, the best way to understand Swami Vivekananda is through his works which are a reflection of his thoughts.

Swami Vivekananda Books

Let us explore some of the popular Swami Vivekananda books that will help us understand Swami Vivekananda and his reflections into diverse aspects of life. There are also various books on Swami Vivekananda penned by other authors exploring the spiritual leader's life and journey. Now, let us look at some of Swami Vivekananda books penned by him.

Karma Yoga

Swami Vivekananda Books: 159th Birth Anniversary

It is a book comprising of lectures by Swami Vivekananda which he had delivered while staying in New York City between December 1895 to January 1896. Karma Yoga was published in the year 1896 (February) in New York City after it was transcribed by Joseph Goodwin, who later became Swami Vivekananda's disciple. The book talks about the effect of Karma on one's character and the ideal of Karma-Yoga philosophy in attaining spiritual growth.

Raja Yoga

Swami Vivekananda Books: 159th Birth Anniversary

This book of Swami Vivekananda talks about his interpretation of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras based on the Astanga yoga, and his lectures on Raja Yoga which was published in the year 1896 in July. The book popularized the understanding of Yoga in the Western world and became an instant success. The book also talks about elements from traditional Hinduism, western scientific ideas, Idealism, Neo-Vedantic esotericism of the Brahmo Samaj and Western occultism.

Vedanta Philosophy: An address before the Graduate Philosophical Society

Swami Vivekananda Books: 159th Birth Anniversary

This work of Swami Vivekananda is a lecture given by him on March 25, 1896 at the Graduate Philosophical Society of Harvard University following which Vivekananda was offered a chair of Eastern Philosophy by the university. The book discusses the Vedantic philosophy, the history of Vedanta, the role of Vedanta in human life, Vedanta's different branches; dualism and non-dualism, human minds, etc. aspects and draws comparisons between the mentalities of people from the Eastern and Western worlds. This work of Vivekananda was first published in the year 1896.

Lectures from Colombo to Almora

Swami Vivekananda Books: 159th Birth Anniversary

This book of Swami Vivekananda is based on the lectures he delivered in Sri Lanka and India reflecting his journey of lectures from Colombo to Almora published in the year 1897. Following Vivekananda's return from the West, he went on to deliver lectures in Colombo and Jaffna, following which he came to South India and travelled extensively to many Indian states delivering lectures on a variety of topics. He reached Almora on 19 June 1897.

Jnana Yoga

Swami Vivekananda Books: 159th Birth Anniversary

This work of Swami Vivekananda is yet another of his lectures delivered primarily in New York and London dealing with concepts such as the necessity of religion, realization and god; nature of man; maya and illusion; the cosmos - micro and macrocosm, immortality; the Atman: its bondage and freedom; freedom of the soul, etc. In this work of his, Swami Vivekananda describes "knowledge" as the ultimate goal. In fact, according to Vivekananda, the object of Jnana Yoga is freedom.

Some of the other Swami Vivekananda books which can be read and referred to include Inspired Talks (1909), My Master based on lectures delivered by Vivekananda in 1901 in New York and London dedicated to Vivekananda's Guru aka Master Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, etc.

These are some of Swami Vivekananda's books. One can explore more books on Swami Vivekananda - on his thoughts, reflections, and journeys of life.

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