Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902 C.E.) was a Hindu monk and a patriotic saint of India. According to English calendar he was born on 12th January 1863 into an aristocratic Bengali family of Calcutta. However his birthday is celebrated according to Hindu calendar and this day is known as Swami Vivekananda Jayanti. The Indian government has decided to observe Swami Vivekananda’s Gregorian date of birth as National Youth Day. Hence National Youth Day of India is celebrated each year on 12th January since 1985.
Vivekananda was born on Krishna Paksha Saptami after seven days of Paush Purnima. The birth anniversary according to Indian Panchang for 2018 is 8 January. In 1893 Swami Vivekananda went to the United States to join the Parliament of the World’s Religions where he got overwhelming success and public attention. For next four years, from 1893 to 1897, he travelled through various cities of the United States and England, and gave a series of lectures on religion and Vedanta. He came back to India in 1897 via Colombo. He then gave 17 lectures, Lectures from Colombo to Almora. In honour of Swami Vivekananda, we bring you the first lecture, given at Colombo, January 16, 1897.