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news details
World religious parliament of Chicago
E. Rajesh Pathak1/11/2019 9:22:23 PM
World religious parliament held in Chicago was started in 11th September and continued up to 27th September, 1893. In the parliament came together the greatest of proponents of different religions world over in order to present the tenets of their respective faiths. This event proved to be one of transforming the views regarding India, its antiquity, its ancestors, its religion in the eyes of the people outside and as well as inside the country. By joining the event one that succeeded in doing all by alone this seemingly impossible task was none other than Swami Vivekanand. In participating in the religious-parliament Vivekanand saw many missions to be fulfilled at one place at one time. Actually this was the time when having studied in Church sponsored mission schools and colleges Indian youths began to feel low about everything concerning 'self'. In the words of Swami Vivekanand- "When child is sent to school the first thing he learns that his father is fool; second, his grandfather crazy; third, his all religious masters fraud, and fourth that all of his scriptures are false and useless." These were the youths who were not ready to accept anything unless it came out of the mouths of Englishmen. And, most of all, no matter the declared purpose of the event at Chicago had been of bringing harmony among different religious faiths, Christian church was looking this as an opportunity when once knowing the tenets of Christianity the followers of all the faiths would concede the supremacy of it [Christianity] and grow excited to come under it. For they were of belief that it was only due to their ignorance of Christianity that the people of the world forgetfully embraced to their chests their respective faiths.
Against this backdrop when Swamiji attained the Religious-parliament he had to wait to the last to deliver his speech. But when he began to speak then before the splendor of his discourse composed of all-inclusive Hindu philosophy none could save from its spell. Then 10-12 speeches that he gave in later days they all were now kept at last only so that to hear him the audiences could be made to stay in the auditorium till the end of the event of the day. Seeing this many of the Newspapers then filled with his praise. The New York herald wrote- "In religious parliament the greatest personality is Vivekanand. After hearing his discourse all of a sudden a question raises how foolish is the idea of sending religious missionaries to reform such country of wisdom." World that had got to be habitual of seeing bloodshed in the name of crusade and jihad to that the discourse of Vivekanand composed of Gita's philosophy of religious co-existence and mutual harmony were beyond imagination- "Whoever comes to me- no matter from which of the ways- I get to meet him." Explaining this message of Krishna in Gita, when Vivekanand told that Hindus not only believe in tolerance but earnestly hold every religion true, for the audiences there this idea was something that appeared to have come to them from some alien world.
Vivekanand went only to attend Religious parliament but the response that he received there made him change his plan of returning India soon. In the words of Rashtrakavi Ramdhari Singh Dinkar-"Enthused with Religious-parliament, Swamiji stayed for three years in Europe and England, and living there spread the essence of Hinduism all over Europe and America. It was difficult to convince Hindu intellectuals who were deluded with learning English, but when they saw the men and women of Europe and America themselves being turned the disciples of Swamiji and got to engage in the service of Hindutva, their minds set right. Thus, the storm in the form of English language, Christianity and European intellectualism that brewed up to swallow Hindutva that went back colliding with Himalaya-like gigantic tree of Vivekanand."[Sanskriti ke chaar adhayay]
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