This fund was created by the City of Aurora’s Indian American Community Outreach Advisory Board (IACOAB).
IACOAB’s mission is to embrace, preserve and promote the heritage and contributions of Indian American’s while promoting civic engagement and encouraging Indian Americans to increase their involvement in Aurora’s growth.
The IACOAB identified a need within the Asian-Indian community in Aurora, IL to support college-bound high school seniors, who have demonstrated exemplary community service, with financial assistance to further their education in a field of their choice. As a result of this, the IACOAB created the Swami Vivekananda Scholarship Fund. We encourage you to donate to this fund to help the students of our community succeed.
About Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda was a Hindu monk who played a key role in the introduction of Indian yoga and Vedanta philosophy in the West.
Swami Vivekananda was born Narendra Nath Datta on 12th January 1863 in Calcutta, Bengal, India.
He taught a philosophy of traditional meditation and also selfless service (karma yoga). He is considered an important figurehead of India’s growing self-confidence and later nationalist leaders often said they were inspired by his teachings and personality.
He made a strong impression at the inaugural World Parliament of Religions in Chicago, giving a powerful speech on the underlying unity of world religions. On September 11th, 1893, Vivekananda gave a short speech on the opening day of the conference. After getting up on the stage, he began with the greeting “Sisters and Brothers of America!” – Something in Vivekananda’s address and persona, caused the crowd of seven thousand to stand in ovation for two minutes before he continued his speech.
“It fills my heart with joy unspeakable to rise in response to the warm and cordial welcome which you have given us. I thank you in the name of the most ancient order of monks in the world; I thank you in the name of the mother of religions; and I thank you in the name of millions and millions of Hindu people of all classes and sects,” Vivekananda said.
Vivekananda created an emerging sense of national pride and national fervor; he was an influential figure in the Indian Renaissance of the late nineteenth century. Later Indian leaders, active in the country’s freedom movement from the British, like Netaji Subhashchandra Bose, Mahatma Gandhi and Lokmanya Tilak would all pay tribute to the inspiration of Vivekananda.
In 1899, Vivekananda returned for another visit to America to continue spreading Vedanta societies. Vivekananda then returned to India and, after failing health, passed away on July 4, 1902.