As a boy Vishwanath Datta was proficient in his studies, which included English and Persian, and finally adopted law as a profession and was enrolled as an Attorney-at-Law in the High Court of Calcutta. His career was a notable one, for aside from his intellectual attainments he was endowed with many qualities of character which made him respected and endeared him to all. His keen understanding of his fellowmen was the origin of his deep compassion for the afflicted and wide charity and sympathy. His ample means he spent without thought of the morrow, giving to all who asked. Here it was that he showed a lack of discrimination, for he maintained some of his relatives in idleness—and even drunkenness. Criticised at one time by his eldest son Naren for bestowing charity upon such worthless persons, Vishwanath replied in his easy-going way, “How can you understand the great misery of human life? When you realise it, you will sympathise with the poor creatures who try to forget their sorrows in the momentary oblivion obtained through intoxicants!”
Vishwanath was a great lover of music and had a very good voice. He it was who insisted that Naren should study music, for he looked upon it as the source of much innocent pleasure. He took great delight in the study of the Bible, and in reciting the poems of the Persian poet, Hafiz, to his family.
In his attitude towards his children he showed considerable wisdom. If any of them misbehaved he did not reprimand him, but rather, in order to produce the required reform, exposed him to the ridicule of his friends.To cite an instance: One day Naren behaved very rudely to his mother. The father, instead of scolding the boy, wrote on the door of the room where Naren received his friends: Naren Babu said these words today to his mother—followed by the words actually said. Every time Naren or any of his friends entered that room they were confronted with this statement. It was not long before Naren showed signs of repentance.
Vishwanath Dutta wrote a semi autobiographical novel, entitled “Sulochona.”
Swami Vivekananda said, speaking of his father in his later days, “Wherever my father’s blood went, there was greatness.”