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152Swami Vivekananda and a coincidence of dates

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  • Swami Jnaneshvara <swamijb@yahoo.com>
    Dec 31, 2002
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      Dear Friends,

      In recent history there have been great strides in bridging the
      spirituality of East and West. Notable among these was comments made
      by Swami Vivekananda at the World Parliament of Religions in 1893.
      The World Parliament of Religions was sponsored by the Unitarians and
      Universalists of the Free Religious Association, and was a part of
      the greater Columbian Exposition held for several months in 1893, in
      Chicago, which was attended by over 27 million people.

      Swami Vivekananda's talk is a benchmark, in that he was the first
      such teacher to visit America, and this was his first talk.

      After the welcome address of the opening of the World Parliament of
      Religions, Swami Vivekananda spoke, and started with these few
      words: "Sisters and Brothers of America." The 7,000 people in
      the audience, immediately feeling his sincerity, rose to their feet
      and "went into inexplicable rapture with standing ovation and
      clapping that lasted for more than three minutes." He went on,
      "It fills my heart with joy unspeakable to rise in response to
      the warm and cordial welcome which you have given usÂ…"

      Swami Vivekananda closed by saying, "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 civilization 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 honor 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."

      Most of us in spiritual pursuits know of the many
      "coincidences" that seem to come from time to time.
      Occasionally, one of these "coincidences" is so strong as to
      leave us momentarily speechless. Such a moment came to me as I
      realized the current significance of the date of Swami
      Vivekananda's message.

      In the East, the number 108 has been described as having great
      significance, as noted here:
      http://www.swamij.com/108.htm

      The first message of Swami Vivekananda in America, often said to be a
      key point of the bridging of Eastern and Western spirituality, and
      the coming of yoga to the West, was given on September 11, 1893,
      exactly 108 years, to the day, before the date September 11, 2001.

      Whether by coincidence or plan, it calls out for a closer reading of
      Swami Vivekananda's message and it's appropriateness for our
      current times.

      In loving service,

      Swami Jnaneshvara

      http://www.swamij.com