Sept 11, 1893: Swami Vivekananda in Chicago

On this day, Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) spoke at the Parliament of the World’s Religions at Chicago in 1893. He addressed his audience as “Sisters and Brothers of America” and proceeded to introduce them to the dharma — the Sanatana Dharma which is also known as Hinduism. Here’s bit from that speech:

I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. We believe not only in universal toleration, but we accept all religions as true. I am proud to belong to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth. I am proud to tell you that we have gathered in our bosom the purest remnant of the Israelites, who came to Southern India and took refuge with us in the very year in which their holy temple was shattered to pieces by Roman tyranny. I am proud to belong to the religion which has sheltered and is still fostering the remnant of the grand Zoroastrian nation. I will quote to you, brethren, a few lines from a hymn which I remember to have repeated from my earliest boyhood, which is every day repeated by millions of human beings: “As the different streams having their sources in different places all mingle their water in the sea, so, O Lord, the different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee.”

The present convention, which is one of the most august assemblies ever held, is in itself a vindication, a declaration to the world of the wonderful doctrine preached in the Gita: “Whosoever comes to Me, through whatsoever form, I reach him; all men are struggling through paths which in the end lead to me.” Sectarianism, bigotry, and its horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful earth. They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilisation and sent whole nations to despair. Had it not been for these horrible demons, human society would be far more advanced than it is now. But their time is come; and I fervently hope that the bell that tolled this morning in honour of this convention may be the death-knell of all fanaticism, of all persecutions with the sword or with the pen, and of all uncharitable feelings between persons wending their way to the same goal.

I bow in deep respect to an illustrious son of India. I hope that someday Indians will actually understand his message.

4 thoughts on “Sept 11, 1893: Swami Vivekananda in Chicago

  1. Lok Sunday September 11, 2011 / 12:41 am


    To prove Swami Vivekananda wrong, the Govt. of India led by Revd. Manmohan Singh has introduced a communal violence bill. This is because the same Hindus who embraced these people from other cultures and faiths are now hounding for their blood and flesh every day. Hindus rape their daugheters and mothers everyday. They are the plunderers. They are the terrorists. They are the murderers. They are scoundrels. They are rogues. The minority communities aka muslims and christians are no longer safe in India. They will henceforth have the first right to recourse. They can allege any hindu and the state will hang him/her without any hearing.


  2. One Wednesday September 14, 2011 / 2:12 pm

    Is it coincidence OR copy-paste? Someone else (Narendra Modi, CM of Gujarat) thinks the same way you did on this topic. I doubt it that this is a coincident.


  3. Rajnish Pandey Thursday October 1, 2015 / 9:17 am

    Swami Vivekananda was a true BHARATIYA and a true Path teller(Teacher), his all the contributions to India and the whole world can are unforgettable. He was a true divine example of Spiritualism.


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