If the World’s 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 exclusive possessions of any church in the world, and that every system has produced men and women of the most exalted character.
The World’s Parliament of Religions
Topic: Interfaith Pathways
“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 one must assimilate the spirit of the others and yet preserve one’s individuality and grow according to one’s own law of growth.
If the World’s 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.””
— Swami Vivekananda [Address at the Final Session, Chicago, September 27, 1893].
Swami Vivekananda (Bengali: [ʃami bibekanɔnd̪o] (About this sound listen); 12 January 1863 – 4 July 1902), born Narendranath Datta, was an Indian Hindu monk, a chief disciple of the 19th-century Indian mystic Ramakrishna. He was a key figure in the introduction of the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world and is credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion during the late 19th century. He was a major force in the revival of Hinduism in India, and contributed to the concept of nationalism in colonial India. Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission. He is perhaps best known for his speech which began, "Sisters and brothers of America ...,"in which he introduced Hinduism at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago in 1893.
The World's Parliament of Religions
Swami Vivekananda, Final Address at The World's Parliament of Religions (Chicago: The Parliament Publishing Co., 1893).
Copyright © 2017 – 2023 LuminaryQuotes.com About Us