I heard that Swami Vivekananda predicted he would not live beyond 40. Is this true? What were his exact words in this regard?

Also, since he was a master practitioner of yoga, what reasons (if any) did he offer for not prolonging his life through yoga?

  • Yes he prophesized
    – user9969
    Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 6:08
  • This news report mentions that he prophesied his death in a letter and quotes a line from the book Letters of Swami Vivekananda. Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 6:14
  • Swami Vivekananda prophesized his death to Swami Abhedananda 6 years before his death around August 1896.
    – user9969
    Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 6:19
  • To Sister Nivedita, the Wednesday before passing, he said, "I am making ready for death. A great tapasya and meditation has come upon me and I am making ready for death."
    – user9969
    Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 6:23

1 Answer 1


Yes it is quite well-known that he did. You can find it being mentioned in this PDF (Swami Vivekananda - A Biography by Swami Nikhilananda), on pp 190.

At the end of an hour his hands trembled a little and he breathed once very deeply. There was a silence for a minute or two, and again he breathed in the same manner. His eyes became fixed in the centre of his eyebrows, his face assumed a divine expression, and eternal silence fell. 'There was,' said a brother disciple of the Swami, 'a little blood in his nostrils, about his mouth, and in his eyes.' According to the Yoga scriptures, the life-breath of an illumined yogi passes out through the opening on the top of the head, causing the blood to flow in the nostrils and the mouth. The great ecstasy took place at ten minutes past nine. Swami Vivekananda passed away at the age of thirty-nine years, five months, and twenty-four days, thus fulfilling his own prophecy: 'I shall not live to be forty years old.' The brother disciples thought that he might have fallen into samadhi, and chanted the Master's name to bring back his consciousness. But he remained on his back motionless. Physicians were sent for and the body was thoroughly examined. In the doctor's opinion life was only suspended; artificial respiration was tried. At midnight, however, Swami Vivekananda was pronounced dead, the cause, according to medical science, having been apoplexy or sudden failure of the heart. But the monks were convinced that their leader had voluntarily cast off his body in samadhi, as predicted by Sri Ramakrishna.

As regards your 2nd question, i don't really know whether he gave any reasons or not.


From pp 105 of the book "A short life of Swami Vivekananda by Swami Tejasananda":

The Swami was thirty-nine years and a few months, thus fulfilling a prophecy which was frequently on his lips, ‘I shall never live to see forty.’

So, he must have said that to many people and on many occasions.

  • 4
    the reason he did not use any yogic powers were the same reasons as to why Ramakrishna refused to use yogic powers on himself. He refused to identify with his body, and only identified his true being with the Atman. Commented Dec 30, 2017 at 5:45
  • Okay. But is there any source at what age he predicted this?
    – Vikas
    Commented Dec 14, 2021 at 17:26
  • 1
    May be someone can find at what age he made this prediction from his biographies or other books on him but I don't know that. @Vikas
    – Rickross
    Commented Dec 15, 2021 at 5:58

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