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Swami Vivekananda's Full Speech in Chicago and some more life incidents

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Published on Oct 14, 2012

Portions of Speech Swami Vivekananda Speech in Parliament of Religion in Chicago in 1893 and some more incidents.

Swami Vivekananda at the World Congress of Religions, September 11, 1893

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). 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."

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