Swami Vivekananda (1863–1902), a monk of India is well known to the whole World for his exemplary speech to the 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions at Chicago. The first World’s Parliament of Religions took place from 11 to 27 September 1893. India’s contribution to this Parliament of religion was very significant due to the memorable speech addressed by Swami Vivekananda. It was on September 11, 1893 when Swami Vivekananda gave a speech full of wisdom by addressing the audience as ‘Sisters and Brothers of America’. The paradigmatic speech that blew everyone’s mind, Swami Vivekananda had introduced Hinduism and called for religious harmony and universal brotherhood.
The exemplary speech, which was delivered by Swami Vivekananda on September 11, 1893
He started his speech after bowing to Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of learning. At that time, he felt that his body was occupied by someone or something else. He felt that he possessed the voice of the soul of India, the echo of the rishis, the voice of Ramakrishna, the mouthpiece of the resurgent time spirit”.
He addressed his speech with a humble “Sisters and brothers of America '', which received an overwhelming response from the audience.
After restoration of silence, he began his ground-breaking speech where he represented the culture, the tradition, the religion, the ancient monks and the people of India in a very heart touching way. Swami Vivekananda introduced Hinduism, which believes and respects other
Prevailing religions of the world. He also explained how Hindus opened their arms to refugees of other religions such as Israelites and Zoroastrians.
Swami Vivekananda responded to the warm and cordial welcome of the Parliament on behalf of the entire India. He thanked the Parliament on behalf of the most ancient orders of monks in the world; He thanked the Parliament in the name of the mother of religions; He thanked the Parliament in the name of the millions and millions of Hindu people of all classes and sects.
As per the views of Swami Vivekananda Hinduism has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. It believes in universal toleration and accepts all religions as true.
Speech delivered by Swami Vivekananda on September 15, 1893.
In the speech of 15th September, Vivekananda tried to explain the reason for disagreement among various sects and religions. He narrated a story of a frog where the frog used to live in a well. The frog was born there and brought up there and used to think the well where he is residing is the biggest water land of the world. One day, a frog from the sea came to that well and said that the sea is much bigger than that well. The frog of the well did not believe the other frog's words. It drove the frog of the sea from his well. He explained the theme of the story by taking into consideration the human mind-sets about his own religion.
Vivekananda concluded that humane thinking is like the thinking of the frog, where a Hindu is saying my little well is the whole world. A Christian is saying the same thing, my little well is the whole world and the Muslim sits in his little well thinks that his little well the whole world.
Speech delivered by Swami Vivekananda on September 19, 1893.
In the speech of 19th September, Vivekananda gave an introduction about Hinduism and the meaning of the Hindu religion to the people of America through the Parliament of religion. He then proceeded and shared his knowledge about Vedanta philosophy, the concept of god, the meaning of soul and body in Hinduism.
Speech delivered by Swami Vivekananda on September 20, 1893.
In the speech of 20th September, Vivekananda presented his view that there should not be conversion of religions or the overpowering of one religion over another. Rather, every
religion follows its own path and grows without hindering the journey of another. Each religion must assimilate the spirit of the other religion and yet preserve its own identity.
He also said that religion is not an important need of Indians as poverty has been a much more important issue for us.
Speech delivered by Swami Vivekananda on September 26, 1893.
In the speech of 26th September, Swami Vivekananda talked about Buddhism and concluded that Hinduism and Buddhism are not separate but interrelated. He also talked about the origin of Buddhism and the relation between Brahmanism and Buddhism, and how Buddhism related to Vedas.
Speech delivered by Swami Vivekananda at the Final session i.e. on September 26, 1893.
Swami Vivekananda in his final address at the Parliament of World's religion, thanked the “noble souls' ' for organising the Parliament. He felt the Parliament of Religions has led the world towards harmony and peace among religions, assimilations of spirits of other religions.
In his speech, he concluded that it has proved to the world that holiness, purity and charity are not the exclusive possessions of any one religion in the world.
No religion should dream of the exclusive survival of his own religion and the destruction of the others. He appealed to the Peoples of all religions to cooperate, to integrate with other religions and not choose the path of fight and destruction. He requested the Parliament to maintain peace and harmony among religions.