Many renowned scholars and veterans have spoken widely on religion and culture, but there’s only one who stands out amongst them, a man known for introducing Hinduism and Indian spiritualism in many western countries in the 1890's. An Indian Hindu monk, a perfect yogi and one of the chief disciples of Ramakrishna Paramahansa...He’s none other than Swami Vivekananda!
Born on 12th January in 1863 in Bengal, he was a key figure in introducing the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the western world. He also was a major force in reviving Hinduism and creating awareness among the Hindus. Through his debates and discussions, he preached Hinduism and brought it to a status of a major world religion. He also contributed to the concept of nationalism in colonial India.
In honour of such a legendary personality, India Post and the India Government Mint issued a set of commemorative stamps (INR 2, INR 5) and coins (INR 150, INR 5) in 2013 to celebrate the 150th Birth Anniversary. India Post has also released a new definitive stamp series depicting Swami Vivekananda of INR 5.
India is not the only place where he left a mark. He is remembered and honoured in other countries as well. Sri Lanka and Malaysia too have issued commemorative stamps.
On 15th January 1997, Sri Lanka issued a stamp to mark the 100th year anniversary of his visit to Colombo. This two and a half rupees stamp shows Swami Vivekananda with a world map in the background, portraying that his teachings were accepted and held in high regard worldwide.
Yet another stamp of denomination LKR 25 was issued by Sri Lanka to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. Malaysia too has issued a 30 Sen stamp in his honour.
His address at Chicago kindled a surge of reawakening in India. Had he been alive today his ideas on tolerance would have surely made the world harmonious and happy. Though he died at a young age, his message is eternal –“Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached”.