The Press Information Bureau (PIB) of India’s verified Twitter handle shared pages from the latest issue of the government’s fortnightly e-Magazine New India Samachar.
The text on one of the pages speaks about the ‘Bhakti Movement‘ in India and how it “heralded” the freedom struggle in India.
Naming religious leaders and saints, it goes on to say that Swami Vivekananda and Ramana Maharishi were concerned about the country’s “spiritual consciousness”. It then adds that the movement served as a precursor to the revolt of 1857.
However, both of them could not have had any influence on the revolt of 1857, both of them were born after 1857.
Biography of Swami Vivekananda titled Vivekananda: A Biography, writer and thinker Swami Nikhilananda noted
Swami Vivekananda was born as Narendranath Datta on 12 January 1863, a few minutes after sunrise in Calutta in India.
Belur Math’s website carries a profile of Vivekananda, which also states his birth year as 1863.
Sri Ramana Maharishi
A book titled ‘Face to Face with Sri Ramana Maharishi,’ an anthology of over 200 stories about the sage. Its preface mentions that the Maharshi was born in 1879 and died in 1950.
Web version of a book titled Ramana Maharshi: The Sage of Arunachala, which also noted that he was born on 30 December 1879 at one in the morning.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was a 15th century monk, who was born in Mayapur in 1486, as per information available on the website of Sri Radha Raman Sena Charitable Trust.
What was the Bhakti Movement?
The Bhakti movement was an important historical religious movement in medieval Hinduism that sought to bring religious reforms to all strata of society by adopting the method of devotion to achieve salvation. It was prominent in eighth-century south India (now Tamil Nadu and Kerala states), and spread northwards. It swept over east and north India from the 15th century onwards, reaching its zenith between the 15th and 17th century CE.
So clearly, while the movement may or may not have played a role in the Revolt of 1857, neither Swami Vivekananda nor Ramana Maharshi’s actions could have acted as a precursor, as they were both born after the rebellion against the British rule.
DNI Fact Checked by Tanmoy & Dipankar