Essential Vivekananda by Mukul Kanitkar and Anoop A J- Analysis

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Swami Vivekananda, the phenomenon that all Indians are proud of. The speech that begins with "Brothers and Sisters of Chicago" is known to any Indian beyond the age of 13. A lot of literature could be available on this legend but which one to go for is always confusing. Mukul Kanitkar and Anoop.A.J have compiled these for the ease of the readers and provided a concentrated smoothie of information.

Dare to be free, dare to go as far as your thought leads and dare to carry that out in your life- Swami Vivekananda

The first part of the book is his journey from Narendra to Vivekananda. It is endearing to read how an ordinary boy with extraordinary thoughts managed to pave his way into the life of Sri Ramkrishna Paramhansa to become his prime disciples and finally ended up being a bigger person that his Guru. Calling him a celebrity would be nothing less than a blasphemy. He is an undefinable source of intellect. The anecdote on how he gave a new definition to idol worship proves his intellect as well as power of comprehension.

The blurb says- " Essential Vivekananda is the compact concise representation that unveils all the shdes of his personality and give the reader and essential understanding of Swami Vivekananda.

The second part of the book is about his messages and these form the crux of the book. Many topics are covered like women empowerment, gender equality, caste discrimination etc But what excited me on a personal level and what have been unknown to me, was that he professed the consumption of non vegetarian food.

All the mischief to women has come because men undertook to shape the destiny of women.

The book touches the thin line of hagiography but for a human being as great as Swami Vivekananda, it could not be written off so. How Swami have been attacked by different interested groups especially against his speeches on how Hindus were converted covertly is written without any inhibition.
Overall the book is a first class addition into anyone's personal library.

Review copy from Rupa Publications