Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remember 9/11 for Swami Vivekananda

WELCOME ADDRESS - Chicago, Sept 11, 1893




Sisters and Brothers of America,

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 the 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 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. I will quote to you, brethren, a few lines from a hymn which I remember to have repeated from my earliest boyhood, which is every day repeated by millions of human beings: "As the different streams having their sources in 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, through whatsoever form, I reach him; all men are struggling through paths which in the end lead to me." 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.


The World's Parliament of Religions has become an accomplished fact, and the merciful Father has helped those who labored to bring it into existence, and crowned with success their most unselfish labor.

My thanks to those noble souls whose large hearts and love of truth first dreamed this wonderful dream and then realized it. My thanks to the shower of liberal sentiments that has overflowed this platform. My thanks to this enlightened audience for their uniform kindness to me and for their appreciation of every thought that tends to smooth the friction of religions. A few jarring notes were heard from time to time in this harmony. My special thanks to them, for they have, by their striking contrast, made general harmony the sweeter.

Much has been said of the common ground of religious unity. I am not going just now to venture my own theory. But if any one here hopes that this unity will come by the triumph of any one of the religions and the destruction of the others, to him I say, "Brother, yours is an impossible hope." Do I wish that the Christian would become Hindu? God forbid. Do I wish that the Hindu or Buddhist would become Christian? God forbid.

The seed is put in the ground, and earth and air and water are placed around it. Does the seed become the earth, or the air, or the water? No. It becomes a plant. It develops after the law of its own growth, assimilates the air, the earth, and the water, converts them into plant substance, and grows into a plant.
Similar is the case with religion. The Christian is not to become a Hindu or a Buddhist, nor a Hindu or a Buddhist to become a Christian. But each must assimilate the spirit of the others and yet preserve his individuality and grow according to his own law of growth.

If the Parliament of Religions has shown anything to the world, it is this: It has proved to the world that holiness, purity and charity are not the exclusive possessions of any church in the world, and that every system has produced men and women of the most exalted character. In the face of this evidence, if anybody dreams of the exclusive survival of his own religion and the destruction of the others, I pity him from the bottom of my heart, and point out to him that upon the banner of every religion will soon be written in spite of resistance: "Help and not fight," "Assimilation and not Destruction," "Harmony and Peace and not Dissension."

By Swami Vivekananda

(Lets remember Swami Vivekananda once again in a world where every hand of each man is needed to make the world a better place to live in)

Courtesy :image http://www.acchikhabar.com/

12 comments:

pavani reddy said...

thank u for this shreya....

Shreya said...

All my pleasure pavani :)

suruchi said...

this is so crucial in present times as well...history is not there to fill up the space of a subject is school syllabus-it should also be used to learn what great thinkers have left us with!

nice to see someone appreciating it
:-)

Shreya said...

Hi suruchi .. so true dear it is indeed very crucial in present world. I agree there is umpteen number of problems in our school syllabus for which getting a degree is core but the problem also lies with our mindsets. We have lost faith on ourselves and have left our children directionless.
When you read speeches like these it gives a direct reflection of how strong minded and yet grounded that man was. Of course that came from years of hard work on self but it also came from the guidance he got from his Guru and Parents.

We all wish in making a India a better place to live in but we don't want to work on ourselves. We want to build palaces but want to leave rooms empty. How can we survive like this ? How long will we survive like this ?
It is a big question for us in coming years that Swami ji pointed long time back.
:)

Thanks for your comment dear :)

NIA said...

mere ghar k saamne vivekanand ashram hai...vaha aa jana...
dekh..i commented :)

Shreya said...

@Nia ... nice name huh!! ;) haa re agar wahan kuch dhang ka milta to :( wahan to books dekhke hi main upset ho gayi. :(
Guess that is the best raipur could afford as a library. :P
Nevertheless there are enough content on net to read and know about him than visit ashram.

Thank you for commenting dear :) see i replied :D

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Shreya said...

@Anonymous ... you are most welcome to read my posts all for free :) Thanks for your comment.

Soumyadeep said...

ooh Shreya thanks for picking that up....
we all were so engrossed in the 9/11-WTC that we all forgot hw much this day means to all Indians...
a gr8 thanks again...

http://ideas-forum.blogspot.com

Shreya said...

@Soumyadeep... see so true na we remember recent history so much.

Anyways no thanks to me thanks to internet though I did not remember it as well came to know about the day while reading about him on some context.

And i also visited your blog and dropped a comment.

Thank you for your appreciation.

Soumyadeep said...

thanks a lot for visiting my blog...
hope you would come again....

http://ideas-forum.blogspot.com

Shreya said...

@Soumyadeep... sure already following your blog.

Interesting posts to see

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