Gandhi and Vivekananda

B. R. Nanda

in In Search of Gandhi

Published in print October 2004 | ISBN: 9780195672039
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081417 | DOI:
Gandhi and Vivekananda

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This essay identifies the similarities and differences between Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda. It explains how the two men vastly differed in their family background and the educational and social milieu in which they grew up. Vivekananda was a religious leader and the proclaimed heir of the great saint of Bengal, Sri Ramakrishna, while Gandhi plunged into the political arena at the age of twenty-four, and for the next fifty years, led struggles against racialism and imperialism. Vivekananda rejected politics, while Gandhi believed that religion could not be separated from politics. Despite these differences, they both responded to Western influences with judicious discrimination, accepting what was life-giving and rejecting what was deleterious.

Keywords: Mahatma Gandhi; political arena; Swami Vivekananda; Sri Ramakrishna; religious leader; racialism; imperialism; Western influences

Chapter.  2690 words. 

Subjects: Indian Politics

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