Swami Sarvadevananda at IPN meeting

12/20/2018 6:30 PM

Swami Sarvadevananda at IPN meeting Swami Sarvadevananda at IPN meeting

Swami Sarvadevanandaji, Head Minister of Vedanta Society of Southern California, will visit.
"Why is Swami Vivekananda so relevant today?"

In English.

2018 happens to be the 125th year Swami Vivekananda delivered his remarkably famous Chicago Speech that is still remembered, even after 125 years, around the world. He is one of the prominent Indian monks who carried the Indian philosophies to the West including Vedanta and Yoga. In 1893, his iconic speech won all the people that listened to it. He was a disciple of Ramakrishna, from whom he learned of the Divine and spiritual part of oneself as well as the importance of kindness and service to mankind.
 
Swami Vivekananda started a dialogue between the east and west that has continued to this day. He wants to bring the spiritual treasures of India to the west and the scientific achievements of the west to India. It has been said that India had a beautiful jewel, her religion; but it was lying in the mud. The west had a beautiful case, her technological advancement; but it was empty inside. Swami Vivekananda wanted to bring the two together. It is well known the great impact he had on America.
 
Every Indian schoolchild seems to be told that an Indian sannyasin, Swami Vivekananda, went to America and made a sensation at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893 and that this has something to do with the rejuvenation of India. About the antecedents of Vivekananda, they may know almost nothing — his Western-type education, the years of preparation at the feet of Sri Ramakrishna and the wanderings through nearly every part of India to gain his practical experience; nor do they know much of what happened in the rich remainder of his brief life. If you are one so deprived, you may want to know that volumes have been written detailing all of the above.
 
The average resident of the U.S.A. today has never even heard his name nor knows what the Parliament of Religions was. Such is the fate of a minority faith, in a society raised totally on secular lines. We do not teach our people the history of ideas or philosophies, generally: only of battles and presidents and movie stars. If any ordinary American knows Swamiji’s name, it is likely to be from reading his only widely-known book, Raja Yoga — one of the least typical and representative of his productions.
 
Why America?
 
What motivated Swami Vivekananda to come to America? It is usually thought that he had a command from his Master, Sri Ramakrishna, to do so, or that he came to “bring the message of Vedanta to the Western world.” But that was nothis view of it at the time. Rather, it is our reading, our understanding as we look back through history. “I did not go to America for the Parliament of Religions,” he wrote; “I wanted to get experience and mix.” And that he did. He met some of the prominent figures of that day, whose names would mean little to us now. His most important contacts with the famous include those with philosopher and psychologist William James; Nicola Tesla, engineer and inventor; Mme. Calve, an opera soprano; actress Sarah Bernhardt; poet Ella Wheeler Willcox and Robert Ingersoll, the country’s most popular orator and agnostic.
 
Date: Thurs, Dec 20, 2018

Time: 6:30pm
Venue: Ashiana Restaurant, Global Mall, 5675 Jimmy Carter Blvd., Norcross, GA 30071
Cost: $10 incl dinner
Contact: 404-644-7521 Ravi Ponangi

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