Swami Vivekananda (Bengali: [ʃami bibekanɔnd̪o] ( listen); 12 January 1863 – 4 July 1902), born Narendranath Datta (Bengali: [nɔrend̪ronat̪ʰ d̪ɔt̪o]), was an Indian Hindu monk, a chief disciple of the 19th-century Indian mystic Ramakrishna. He was a key figure in the introduction of the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world and is credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion during the late 19th century. He was a major force in the revival of Hinduism in India, and contributed to the concept of nationalism in colonial India. Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission. He is perhaps best known for his speech which began, "Sisters and brothers of America ...," in which he introduced Hinduism at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago in 1893.
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We say that if a temple, or a symbol, or an image helps you to realize the divine within, you are welcome to it. Have two hundred images if you like. If certain forms and formulas help you to realize the divine . . . have, by all means, whatever forms, temples, whatever ceremonies you want to bring you nearer to God. But do not quarrel about them: the moment you quarrel, you are not going Godward; you are going backward toward the brutes.