Answer in detail
Evaluate the contributions of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Swami Vivekananda to regenerate Indian society.
Ramakrishna Paramhamsa: He was a simple priest of Dakshineshwar near Calcutta. He gained popularity in the latter half of the nineteenth century. He emphasised the spiritual union with god through ecstatic practices such as singing bhagan. He was an ardent worshipper of goddess Kali. In his view, all religions contain the universal elements which, if practised, would lead to salvation. He said, “Jiva in Siva” (all living beings are God). They need service not mercy service for man, must be regarded as God. He attracted educated youth who were dissatisfied with the rational orientation of religious reform organisations such as the Brahmo Samaj.
Swami Vivekananda: He was the prime follower of Ramakrishna Paramhamsa. He emphasised a cultural nationalism and made a call to Indian youth to regenerate Hindu society. His ideas bred a sense of self-confidence among Indians who felt inferior in relations to the materialistic achievements of the west. He suggested that the lower castes should be allowed to engage in the Hindu rituals from which they were traditionally excluded. His activist ideology rekindled the desire for political change among many western educated young Bengalis. Many of the youths who were involved in the militant nationalist struggle during the Swadeshi Movement were inspired by Vivekananda.