1. Swami Vivekananda- January 12, 1863
Swami Vivekananda, born Narendranath Dutta was one of the most admired spiritual leaders of India whose invaluable life and teachings enthralled the whole world. Born in an aristocratic middle-class Bengali family of Calcutta, this blithe spirit garnered the portrait of an inspiring Hindu monk in the world and was one of the main representatives of Neo-Vedanta, a modern interpretation of selected aspects of Hinduism.
Vivekananda manifested the idea of freedom in the pre-independent India, trapped in communal disharmony and sectarianism. He advocated that all sects within Hinduism (and all religions) are different paths to the same goal.
America’s Bicentennial Celebration in 1976 witnessed the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D C, mounting a large portrait of Swami Vivekananda as part of its exhibition ‘Abroad in America: Visitors to the New Nation’.
In his 39 years of life, Vivekananda suffered from various ailments as a result of tireless service to man and God. His motto was, “One has to die…it is better to wear out than to rust out.” (picture courtesy: indiawires.com)