Swami Vivekananda's Chicago Speech was historic and highly praised.
New Delhi: Swami Vivekananda's Speech in 1893 at the World's Parliament of Religions in Chicago made the spiritual leader popular as "messenger of Indian wisdom to the western world". He was the chief disciple of the 19th-century Indian mystic Ramakrishna and founder of the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission. He was considered a major force in bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion in the late 19th century. On its 125th anniversary, here are some quotes from his historic speech that not only spoke at length about religious tolerance but also about promoted liberal sentiments among people.
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.
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.
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 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.