Swami Vivekanand's Experiences in China

  • By William Page
  • January 2013

Editor – This article was published in the January 2013 issue of Prabuddha Bharata. Insightful!

Excerpts from article
Swamiji visited China only once and spent three days there. He only saw Hong Kong and Guangzhou, then called Canton, so the glimpses he gives are fragmentary. While he was travelling to Chicago to attend the World Parliament of Religions, his ship, the P & O Peninsular, docked in Hong Kong for three days in June 1893. He took advantage of this time to travel the 80 miles up the Pearl River to Canton, where he managed to visit one of the Chinese Buddhist temples.

If Swami Vivekananda were to visit China today, he would find that, instead of trying to construct a phonetic approximation of his own name, which would probably come out as ‘Wei-wei-jia-nan-duo’, the Chinese have mercifully translated it as ‘Bianxi’, meaning ‘Discrimination-Happiness’. But one thing he would not miss is what he had said in connection with China: ‘I see before me the body of an elephant. There is a foal within. But it is a lion-cub that comes out of it. It will grow in future, and

China shall become great and powerful.’

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This article is courtesy and copyright Prabuddha Bharata (www.advaitaashrama.org). I have been reading the Prabuddha Bharata for years and found it enlightening. You can subscribe online at www.advaitaashrama.org. Cost is Rs 100/ for one year, Rs 280/ for three years, Rs 1,200/ for twenty years and Rs 2,000 for twenty five years.

The January 2013 issue of OUTLOOK magazine calls Swami Vivekananda a Hindu Supremacist – a response by Aravindan Neelakandan.

Also read
1. Address to Parliament of Religions 1893
2. Swami Vivekananda in Punjab
3. Travel to Mayavati Ashram Uttaranchal where Swamiji stayed and meditated

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