Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday recalled Swami Vivekananda’s iconic speech at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago on September 11, 1893 and said it beautifully demonstrated the importance of Indian culture.
Speaking to Twitter, the prime minister said the spirit of his speech has the potential to create a fairer, more prosperous and more inclusive planet. “Recalling the iconic speech of Swami Vivekananda in 1893 in Chicago, which beautifully demonstrated the importance of Indian culture. The spirit of his speech has the potential to create a more just, prosperous and inclusive planet, ”he tweeted.
Recalling the iconic speech of Swami Vivekananda in 1893 in Chicago, which beautifully demonstrated the importance of Indian culture. The spirit of his speech has the potential to create a more just, more prosperous and more inclusive planet. https://t.co/1iz7OgAWm3
– Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 11, 2021
On September 11, 1893, Swami Vivekananda made his first speech at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago. He is remembered for bringing philosophies such as Vedanta and Yoga to the West.
Here is the full text of Swami Vivekananda’s speech in Chicago:
Sisters and Brothers of America,
It fills my heart with unspeakable joy to rise up in response to the warm and cordial welcome you have extended to us. I thank you on behalf of the oldest order of monks in the world; I thank you in the name of the mother of religions; and I thank you on behalf of millions and millions of Hindus of all classes and sects.
My thanks also to some of the speakers in this rostrum who, referring to the delegates from the East, told you that these men from distant nations could well claim the honor of bringing the idea of tolerance to different lands. I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. We not only believe in universal tolerance, but we accept all religions as true. I am proud to belong to a nation that has sheltered the persecuted and refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth. I am proud to tell you that we have gathered into our bosom the purest remnant of the Israelites, who came to southern India and took refuge with us in the same year that their holy temple was torn to pieces by Roman tyranny. I am proud to belong to the religion which housed and still nourishes the remains of the great Zoroastrian nation. I will quote to you, brethren, a few lines from a hymn that I remember having repeated from my earliest childhood, and which is repeated every day by millions of human beings: the water in the sea, so, O Lord, the different paths that men take through different tendencies, however diverse they may seem, crooked or straight, all lead to you.
This convention, which is one of the most august assemblies ever held, is in itself a justification, a declaration to the world, of the wonderful doctrine preached in the Geetha: “Whoever comes to me in any form whatsoever. either, I reach it; all men struggle on the paths that ultimately lead to Me. ‘ Sectarianism, sectarianism and its horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful land. They filled the earth with violence, flooded it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilization and sent entire nations to despair. Without these horrible demons, human society would be far more advanced than it is now. But their time has come; and I ardently hope that the bell which rang this morning in honor of this convention may sound the death knell of all fanaticism, of all persecutions with the sword or with the pen, and of all the not very charitable feelings between people who strive for the same goal.