Swami Vivekananda was a man who made Hindus proud on a world platform. Swami Vivekananda’s speech at the first Parliament of the World’s Religions, held in Chicago in Sept 1893, is considered among his and Hinduism’s most significant contributions to the world. The speech made him a hero in the US. His opening lines “Sisters and brothers of America!” earned him a 2-minute long standing ovation. Just imagine what effect the rest of his speech would’ve had…..
In September 2013, to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda – Guruji-Swami Ramdevji visited the United States and travelled to Chicago, where Swami Vivekananda delivered his historic lectures at the Parliament of the World’s Religions. Whilst in Chicago, Swami Ramdevji delivered a lecture in which he paid homage to Swami Vivekananda and discussed his contribution to Hinduism and to the world, his philosophy and his ideals.
Swami Ramdevji said:
“Swami Vivekananda said get up and rise and find the true meaning and keep moving until you find the destination. Hope is life and despair is death. Use enthusiasm and courage. There is darkness but always in your mind determine that bad days will go and good days will come. There is darkness in India and insecurity in the world but we have to sow the seeds of hope and trust here. We all have to see God in man and serve mankind – This was a big lesson Swami Vivekananda taught us and I feel this teaching will come true and what he saw as India’s future will come true and it will herald the beginning of a new era.
The world remembers this saint, who said I haven’t come to convert but give a teaching in Vedic and Hindu religion. One should see God in every human being. Humanity is the biggest religion. Amidst poverty, ignorance and power, Swami Vivekananda’s message is even more important today and we have to create an India that Swami Vivekananda dreamt of….
Swami Vivekananda’s speech beginning with ‘Sisters and Brothers of America’ has the whole message of Indian culture – because husband, wife, father come later, but brother, sister come first. There is an important bond between brother and sister. Although the world is going through political struggles, and becoming more modern and free and capitalistic, humanity is suffering. There is so much insecurity, today the whole world is suffering from corruption”.
Swami Ramdevji concluded: “We have to begin with a new mindset just as Swami Vivekananda had suggested”
Swami Vivekananda, introduced yoga as a practice of universal tolerance, as a gift for all humanity. Indeed, he gave his first yoga instruction in America. It is important to note that he chose yoga as the appropriate vehicle for the spiritual advancement of the West. Since then, many other Indian teachers have taught and spread yoga’s message around the world. They have in turn encouraged their western students to teach, knowing the power of the teachings to open our minds to new ideas and change our lives. From the point of view of many great yoga teachers, it is clearly not inappropriate or disrespectful for non-Indians to teach and practice yoga. In fact, we best honor the gifts these teachers gave us by continuing to practice and share their teachings with others.
Short Video about Swami Vivekananda:
Famous Speech by Swami Vivekananda in Chicago at the Parliament of World Religions:
Short Video of Swami Ramdevji speaking about Swami Vivekananda:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks about Swami Vivekananda:
Famous Quote by Swami Vivekananda:
“I am a Hindu. I am sitting in my own little well and thinking that the whole world is my little well. The Christians sit in their little well and think the whole world is their well. The Muslims sit in their little well and think that is the whole world….
‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ – a Sanskrit phrase which means……the whole world is one family” – Swami Vivekananda
Hindu Council UK