On this very day, prominent Hindu monk Swami Vivekananda delivered his famous speech at the ‘Parliament of the World’s Religions’ in Chicago.
The event that was held on September 11 in the year 1893, gave a new dimension to the exchange of religious ideologies between the Oriental and the Occidental.
Swami Vivekananda who was born as Narendranath Datta in Calcutta received a traditional British-style education.
In his speech, the Hindu monk Swami Vivekananda, introduced Hindu philosophy to the world that propagates a message of tolerance. He said, “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.”
Swami even enlightened the world about the fact that India is a country where all religion and culture despite their differences live together and how India has been a shelter for many religions across the world. He said, “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 the southern India and took refuge with us in the very year in which their holy temple was shattered to pieces by Roman tyranny.”
These lines from his speech talks about how secular and socialist he was, “The Christian has not to become Hindu or Buddhist, nor a Hindu or Buddhist to become Christian. But each must assimilate the spirit of the other, and yet preserve his individuality and grow according to his own law of growth. Every religion has produced men and women of most exalted character. If in the face of this evidence, anybody dreams of the exclusive survival of his own religion and destruction of the others, I pity him from the bottom of my heart.”
On the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s Chicago speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a students’ convention at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi. In his address, PM Modi invoked Swami Vivekananda as a person who raised his voice against the social evils that has entered our society.
Listen to Swami Vivekananda’s speech here: