Swami Vivekananda and Asian Consciousness

  • By Niraj Kumar

Editor  excerpts from article – “Swami Vivekananda  should be credited with inspiring intellectuals to work for and  promote Asian integration. He directly and indirectly influenced most  of the early proponents  of pan-Asianism. Okakura, Tagore, Sri Aurobindo, and Benoy Sarkar owe  much to Swamiji for their pan-Asian views.

Swamiji’s  marvelous and enthralling speech at the World Parliament of Religions  in Chicago on 11 September 1893 and his subsequent popularity in the  West and India moulded him into a spokesman for Asiatic civilization.

Huston  Smith, the renowned author of The  World’s Religions,  which sold over two million copies, views Swamiji as the  representative of the East. He states: Spiritually  speaking, Vivekananda’s words and presence at the 1893 World  Parliament of Religions brought Asia to the West decisively.

For,  reading correctly the spiritual hunger of the West that his words and  presence brought to the surface, Vivekananda went on to found the  Ramakrishna Mission whose centres in almost every major city of  Europe and America launched the influx of Asian spirituality that has  changed the religious complexion of those continents permanently.  Buddhism, Sufism, Sikhism, Baha’i and others have followed, but Vedanta  was the pioneer.

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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.

Also read
1. Buddha and his Message
2. Swami Vivekanand’s experiences in China
3. Swami Vivekanand – Vedanta comes to the West
4. Address Parliament of Religions 1893

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