Swami Vivekananda spread Ramakrishna’s message of Universal oneness of all religions and the universal message of Vedanta.
He subscribed to the Vedanta which he considered a fully rational system with a superior approach.
The teachings of the Upanishads and the Gita and the examples of the Buddha and Jesus are the basis of Vivekananda’s message to the world about human values.
Thus he emerged as the preacher of neo-Hinduism.
His mission was to bridge the gulf between paramartha (service) and vyavahara (behaviour), and also between spirituality and day-to-day life.
Vivekananda believed in the fundamental oneness of God and said, “For our own motherland a junction of the two great systems, Hinduism and Islam, is the only hope.”
He pointed out that the masses needed two kinds of knowledge
Secular Knowledge: how to work for their economic uplift. Also he called upon his countrymen to imbibe a spirit of liberty, equality and free thinking.
Spiritual Knowledge: to have faith in themselves and strengthen their moral sense.
He lamented the isolationist tendencies and the touch-me-not attitude of Hindus in religious matters.
He frowned at religion’s tacit approval of the oppression of the poor by the rich.
He believed that it was an insult to God and humanity to teach religion to a starving man.
Vivekananda advocated the doctrine of service—the service of all beings. Life itself is religion. By service, the Divine exists within man.
Vivekananda was for using technology and modern science in the service of mankind.
At the Parliament of Religions held at Chicago in 1893, Swami Vivekananda made a great impression by addressing the need for a healthy balance between spiritualism and materialism.
Vivekananda helped nurture a sense of oneness that evolved to be called nationalism because he successfully infused into the new generation a sense of pride in India’s past, a new faith in India’s culture, and a rare sense of confidence in India’s future.
Ramakrishna Mission (Belur, Kolkata)
In 1897 he founded the Ramakrishna Mission. Vivekananda was a great humanist and used the Ramakrishna Mission for humanitarian relief and social work.
Ever since its inception, the Mission has been running a number of schools, hospitals, dispensaries. It offers help to the afflicted in times of natural calamities like earthquakes, famines, floods and epidemics.
The Mission recognises the utility and value of image worship in developing spiritual fervour and worship of the eternal omnipotent God, although it emphasises on the essential spirit and not the symbols or rituals
The monastic order is open to all men without discrimination on the basis of caste or creed.