Swami Vivekananda Chicago Speech 1893: Iconic Quotes at the Parliament of World Religions
"Sisters and Brothers of America....." The phrase reminds us of the one man who took the entire US by surprise and that too in 1893. It was none other than Swami Vivekananda. His speech is till date the most remembered speeches of all time, not just in the United States of America or India but the entire globe. Let us know why is it so and all about Swami Vivekananda's Chicago Speech in the article below.
On one hand 11th September is condemned for the horrific attack on the World Trade Centre popularly called 9/11 attacks and on the other hand it also reminds us of the sanity and peace provided by the Indian culture through the iconic address of Swami Vivekananda at Chicago in 1893.
PM Modi tweeted about the same. He recalled both the incomparable events and justified the Indian culture beautifully. Take a look below at the tweet.
Recalling Swami Vivekananda’s iconic 1893 speech at Chicago, which beautifully demonstrated the salience of Indian culture. The spirit of his speech has the potential to create a more just, prosperous and inclusive planet. https://t.co/1iz7OgAWm3— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 11, 2021
Swami Vivekananda Chicago Speech: Original Recording
It is sad that the original speech in the original voice of Swami Vivekananda is not available as there is no recording of the speech available. Belur Math took to its social handle to clarify that the speeches available on social media platforms like Youtube and Facebook claiming to be in the voice of Swami Vivekananda are false impersonations.
The Ramakrishna Mission said, "the claims of these YouTube videos regarding Swami Vivekananda’s original voice are false. This is because there is no voice recording of Swami Vivekananda, let alone of his speeches at the World’s Parliament of Religions, available to us today, according to scholars. It is true that Swami Vivekananda’s voice was recorded a couple of times during his lifetime. But none of those recordings have been traced so far. Further, researches have proved that there was no arrangement for recording the speeches at the World’s Parliament of Religions."
Swami Vivekananda became famous after his speech in the western world as well. He was the chief disciple of Indian guru Ramkrishna and founded Ramakrishna Math and the Ramkrishna Mission after him.
However the speech made by Swamiji is available in full text and it can be read by the readers. It would bring out the original zeal it may have brought back in 1893 among the listeners.
Take a look at some most famous lines of Vivekananda's speech that showed his resilience, his tolerance and justifies why he is celebrated as the youth icon of India and the world as well.
Swami Vivekananda Chicago Speech: Iconic quotes
1. "I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance."
Swami Vivekananda was the most proud Hindu as one can see in the part of his speech mentioned above. He preached Hinduism as the most tolerant religion among all others and also prompted acceptance of all other religions as equals.
2. "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."
Vivekananda showed the world India's greatest nature of universal brotherhood through these lines. He said that he felt proud to be a part of the nation that provided shelter to the refugees from any land not barring them for the religion they followed or the land they came from. For Indians a refugee was a guest who needed a little place to live and survive.
3. He also talked about the sacred Bhagwat Gita in his speech. Swamiji quoted Lord Krishna in his speech, comparing the assembly as a platform to spread the word. He quoted, "Whosoever comes to Me, through whatsoever form, I reach him; all men are struggling through paths which in the end lead to Me."
4. "Sectarianism, bigotry, and it's horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful earth. "
Swami Vivekananda despised violence in all its forms and asserted that had such demons been away from humans the world would have been a better place to live in. He said that such vices had filled the Earth with violence which was the reason for the spilling of human blood senselessly. Such acts as per him were also responsible for destruction of human civilizations which could have been much ahead had it not been for wars.
5. He still had great hopes for the future. He hoped that the convention was 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."
From the speech above it must be clear to all that Vivekananda was way ahead of his time. Even in the 19th century he thought like a 21st century person.
His paper presented at the Convention in 1893 is available on the link given here.
Vivekananda's forward thinking can be justified by the words he shared on 20th September 1893. He justified that religion is never the crying need of India. In his words, " It is an insult to a starving people to offer them religion; it is an insult to a starving man to teach him metaphysics. In India a priest that preached for money would lose caste and be spat upon by the people." There is a reason we needed this man on Earth. This was it.
|Swami Vivekananda: Interesting facts about the philosophical genius of India||Early life and history of Swami Vivekananda|