WATCH | ‘Sisters and Brothers of America…’: Swami Vivekananda’s 1893 Chicago Speech

New Delhi: India has often been reckoned as the land of spirituality and enlightenment. Over the years, the soil of India has been blessed with leaders who embarked on journeys of knowledge, and spirituality and became symbols of World Peace.

Swami Vivekananda was one such figure who went on to mark the name of our country as a land of Spiritual enlightenment and higher presence. Swamiji delivered one of the most iconic speeches on September 11, 1893, at the first World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago.

“Dear Sisters and Brothers of America”, a greeting that grasped and struck a chord with the people of America on a personal level. Swamiji opened Hinduism to the world and added “ 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.”

Swamiji went on to explain the vibrants thoughts of Indians on religion to America through stories that were both engaging and thought provoking. Swamiji also highlighted the plague of poverty prevalent in India.

Swamiji concluded his speech with a verse from Bhagavad Gita and added “Whosoever comes to Me, through whatsoever form, I reach him; all men are struggling through paths which in the end lead to me.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter and added “September 11 has a special connection with Swami Vivekananda. It was on this day in 1893 that he delivered one of his most outstanding speeches in Chicago. His address gave the world a glimpse of India’s culture and ethos.”

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