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Swami Vivekananda speech of September 11, 1893

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  • Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
    From the article: Swami Vivekananda at the World Congress of Religions September 11, 1893 http://www.swamij.com/swami-vivekananda-1893.htm In this famous
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1, 2005
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      From the article:
      Swami Vivekananda at the
      World Congress of Religions
      September 11, 1893
      http://www.swamij.com/swami-vivekananda-1893.htm

      In this famous speech, Swami Vivekananda spoke of his vision for an
      end to violence and fanaticism. His message of the 1800's is as
      timely and fitting now, in the 2000's, as it was then, over 100 years
      ago.

      COINCIDENCE OF DATES: Most of us involved in spiritual pursuits know
      of the many mysterious coincidences that seem to come from time to
      time. Occasionally, one of these so-called coincidences is so strong
      as to leave us momentarily speechless. Such a coincidence exists with
      the date of Swami Vivekananda's message. In the East, the number 108
      has been described as having great significance (See the article on
      the meanings of the number 108: http://www.swamij.com/108.htm ) This
      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, the date
      of the bombing of the World Trade Center. Whether by coincidence or
      precognition, it calls out for a closer reading of Swami
      Vivekananda's message and it's appropriateness for our current times.

      WORLD PARLIAMENT OF RELIGIONS IN 1893: In recent history there have
      been great strides in bridging the spirituality of East and West.
      Notable among these was the message given 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 STANDING OVATION: Swami Vivekananda's opening
      talk is a benchmark, in that he was one of the earlier teachers to
      come to America from the East, and the first swami to visit America.
      Most notably, this was his first talk in America. 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 the depth of his sincerity, rose to their feet
      and according to reports, "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 us..."

      CALL FOR THE END TO FANATICISM: Swami Vivekananda closed by speaking
      of humanity's history of violence and his hopes for it's
      end, "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."

      SWAMI VIVEKANANDA'S MESSAGE
      on September 11, 1893:

      "Sisters and Brothers of America. [At this moment came the three
      minute standing ovation from the audience of 7,000] It fills my heart
      with joy unspeakable to rise in response to the warm and cordial
      welcome which you have given us. I thank you in name of the most
      ancient order of monks in the world; I thank you in the name of the
      mother of religions; and I thank you in the name of millions and
      millions of Hindu people of all classes and sects.

      "My thanks also to some of the speakers on this platform who,
      referring to the delegates from the Orient, have told you that these
      men from far-off nations may well claim the honor of bearing to
      different lands the idea of toleration.

      "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 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 childhood, 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,
      though whatsoever form, I reach him; all men are struggling through
      paths which in the end lead to me.'

      "Sectarianism, bigotry, and it's 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."

      http://www.swamij.com
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