Swami Vivekananda – One who introduced Indian philosophies to the western world

Swami Vivekananda’s speech in Chicago stunned the audience as he spread the essence Indian philosophies.

Updated: Jan 12, 2017, 08:07 AM IST
Swami Vivekananda – One who introduced Indian philosophies to the western world
Pic courtesy: Thinkstock image for representation purpose only.

When Swami Vivekananda, addressed the audience at the Art Institute of Chicago on September 11, 1893, in the Parliament of the World's Religions, as “Sisters and brothers of America!”, the audience was taken by surprise. This humble and humane gesture commanded a standing ovation from the crowd of 7000 for about two minutes.

Such was the aura of his saint-like personality and charisma! His speech in Chicago stunned the audience as he spread the essence Indian philosophies. His words voiced the sentiments of people from varied religious backgrounds and attracted attention from one and all. His words have left an indelible impact on spiritual seekers across all sections of the global community.

Born as Narendranath Dutta, Swami Vivekananda was a disciple of Ramakrishna Paramhansa. Interestingly, Vivekananda, who is now popular across the globe for his teachings and philosophies, had opposed his ‘Guru’ Ramakrishna’s views and his approach towards spirituality.

Initially, Vivekananda dismissed Ramakrishna’s vision as "mere figments of imagination" and “hallucinations”. He opposed idol worship and ridiculed the idea of Advaita Vedanta. But there was something about Ramakrishna’s personality that drew Vivekananda closer to him. And this proved to be a turning point in Narendra’s life.

From being a non-believer, he got inclined towards the spiritual aspects of one’s existence and thus began the journey of his transformation from Narendranath to Swami Vivekananda.