11 May 2014

Swami Vivekananda's Death - 4 July 1902

This is another special article of this website and here we'll focus on 4 July 1902 - the day Swami Vivekananda died.[1]

Raw information

Swami Vivekananda died on 4 July 1902, after 9 pm (different sources mention different time, we'll discuss it in this article, for now, let's say it "after 9 pm") at Belur Math, West Bengal, India.

Day details

  • English date: 4 July 1902
  • Date: Friday
  • Nakshatra: Mrigashirsha
  • Tithi: Chaturdasi Krishna Paksha
  • Karana: Visti
  • Yoga: Vridhi
  • Sunrise: 06:13 am
  • Sunset: 06:58 pm
  • Kala: Rahu Kala: 11:00 am - 12:36 pm; Gulika: 07:49 am - 09:24 am; Yamaghanda: 03:47 pm - 05:23 pm
[Information source: ProKerala]

    Swami Vivekananda and 4 July 1902

    Swami Vivekananda, Shillong 1901
    No image of Swamiji of 1902 has been found
    Image source: Wikimedia Commons
    Here you'll find details of Swami Vivekananda's last day. At the end of this article we'll mention the references we have consulted to prepare this section. 
    • Very early in the morning: Swami Vivekananda woke up very early morning on this day, went to temple. He was looking fresh, there was no sign of bad health, although he had been suffering from many diseases for last few years.
    • Breakfast: Swamiji took breakfast with other Sannyasis. He laughed and joked with others. In the breakfast he drank tea, coffee and milk, as usual.
    • Morning walk: Swamiji went for a morning walk with Swami Premananda. During the walk, Swamiji told Premananda,  "you should not imitate me, remember Thakur[2] said not to imitate anyone.
    • 8:30 am: Swamiji asked Swami Premananda to close the door and prepare the worship room for him. There he started meditating. 
    • 11:00 am: Meditation continued till 11:00 am. He started singing devotion songs— Ma ki amar kalo (Bengali: মা কি আমার কালো), Kalorupa elokeshi (Bengali: কালোরূপা এলোকেশী), Hridipadma kore alo (Bengali: হৃদিপদ্ম করে আলো)
    • 11:30 am: Swamiji took lunch with others. That day's menu was— rice, hilsa fish curry, vegetable fry, ambal (Bengali: ভাত, ইলিশ মাছের ঝোল, ভাজা, অম্বল). He said, "the observation of ekadashi has whetted my appetite. With difficulty I resisted the temptations to eat up the utensils."
    • 12:30 pm: Swamiji took a day-nap for 15-20 minutes. Then he told Swami Premananda, "let's go to the study room, being Sannyasi, we should not sleep during the day."
    • 1 pm—4 pm: Taught Brahmachari-s in the library room. Subject of his this days teachings were Sanskrit grammar of Panini.
    • 4 pm: Drank a cup of warm milk and went for evening walk with Swami Premananda. Swamiji and Swami Premananda walked almost 2 miles. Makarand Paranjape wrote in his book Penguin Swami Vivekananda Reader, Vivekananda had a lengthy conversation with Premananda and told him— "India is immortal if she persists in her search for God. But if she goes in for politics and social conflict, she will die."
    • 5 pm: Swamiji and Swami Premananda came back to Belur Math. They sat on a bench near a mango tree in the garden of Belur Math. Swamiji told, "I have not felt so well for may days." He talked to Ishwar Chandra Chakraborty (father of Swami Ramakrishnananda) for some time.
    • 6:30 pm:  Drank a cup of tea with a few monks.
    • 7 pm: The bell announced the evening worship time. Swamiji went to the worship room and attended the daily event. He asked to give him a prayer bead, and went to his own room, asking not to be disturbed.
    • 7:45 pm: Swamiji told Brajendra that he was feeling warm and asked to open the windows. He lied down on his bed on the floor.
    • 9:00 pm: Swamiji was lying on his back, now he turned on his right side. Brajendra noticed drops of sweats on Swamij's forehead. Then he wept/cried like a child for sometime.
    • 9:02 pm—9:10 pm: He breathed deeply. His hands trembled.
    • 9:30 pm: Everyone of the Math rushed to Swamiji's room. They were unable to decide that if it was a Samadhi. Swami Bodhananda tried to feel Swamij's pulse and then shouted, "go immediately and bring Doctor Majumdar." Considering it a Samadhi, Swami Premananda and Swami Nischayananda started chanting the name of Ramakrishna to bring back Swamiji's consciousness.
    • 10:30 pm:  Doctor Mahendranath Majumdar, Swami Brahmananda and Swami Saradananda came to Belur Math. Doctor Majumdar started examining Swamiji's body and found his heart was not pumping. He tried inducing artificial respiration but was unsuccessful.
    • 12:00 midnight: Doctor Majumdar announced Swamiji's death.He told, most probably heart attack was the cause of his death

    Exact time of Swami Vivekananda's death

    In the "Raw information" section above, we wrote, Swamiji died after 9 pm. Chaturvedi Badrinath, in his book Swami Vivekananda, the Living Vedanta, wrote Swamiji died at 9 pm. Manishankar Mukhopadhyay wrote in his book The Monk as Man: The Unknown Life of Swami Vivekananda, the time was 9:10 pm. K. S. Bharathi too stated in Encyclopaedia of eminent thinkers: the political thought of Vivekananda, Vivekananda died at 9:10 pm.

    Between 9:02 – 9:10 pm, he was breathing deeply and then his hand trembled. When everyone of the Math rushed to Swamiji's room after 9:30 pm, initially they were thinking, it was Samadhi. Dr. Majumdar officially announced Swamiji death at 12:00 midnight. Most probably, the exact time of Swamiji's death remained unknown.

    Did Swami Vivekananda choose the day and time of his own death?

    This portion might be surprising, but yes, some people believe that Swami Vivekananda chose the day and time of his own death.

    From Makarand Paranjape's book Penguin Swami Vivekananda Reader
    It is widely believed that he chose the day and time of this own death and that it was no accident that this happened to be the American Independence Day.


    The following books have been consulted—


    1. Some admirers of Ramakrishna-Vivekananda prefer the words Mahasamadhi, Mahaprayan etc. In this website, we try to use common and neutral words.
    2. Here "Thakur" means Ramakrishna

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    This page was last updated on: 11 May 2014, 8:31 am IST (UTC+5:30 hours)
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    1. Had tears in my eyes when I read the last para. India is very unfortunate that one of her greatest sons did not live longer.

      Long Live Swamiji


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