Herald: Vivekananda’s Chicago speech echoes 125 yrs later

Vivekananda’s Chicago speech echoes 125 yrs later

14 Sep 2018 04:55am IST
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14 Sep 2018 04:55am IST

Rachol Seminary celebrates anniversary of the speech with a lecture; Vivekananda had stayed at the seminary on his way to Chicago

Team Herald

MARGAO: Rachol Seminary, in collaboration with Dakshinayan Abhiyan organised a public lecture on the teachings of Swami Vivekananda on Tuesday, the anniversary of the day Vivekananda gave his historic speech at Chicago, USA, 125 years ago. Before leaving for Chicago, Vivekananda had visited the Seminary and spend three days at the library of the Seminary researching Christianity. He had also met professors and seminarians to further understand the religious teachings of Christianity.

The program began with a welcome note by Fr Victor Ferrao. An audio recording of Vivekananda’s famous speech at Chicago was played followed by a lecture delivered by Datta Naik on the theme Many Paths One End.

Naik explained how the ideas of Swami Vivekananda were unique and different from what is propagated now by certain extremist sections of India. He said that Vivekananda preached that all religions are true and all move towards a common ocean. He also said Vivekananda preached the philosophy that “service to the poor is service to God” which he borrowed from Christianity. “Vivekananda was radically against Casteism”, Naik said and added that Vivekananda had high regard for Christianity. “Vivekananda was against superstition, child marriage, he rejected cow politics and he even said that in the Vedic times, people used to eat meat,” Naik said.

He stated that Vivekananda’s ideology was completely different and that the RSS and the right-wing groups are using Vivekananda as their ideological icon. “This is an insult to Vivekananda ,” Naik said and added that Vivekananda’s teachings are the best response to the hatred spread by right-wing groups.

A seminarian Sanford Fernandes compared Vivekananda metaphorically to a banyan tree in terms of his magnanimity and largeness of heart. “Vivekananda’s guru Ramakrishna had his student become a banyan tree to serve the nation,” he said. Fernandes narrated Vivekananda’s visit to the seminary library and encounter which Christians in America and how he was helped by the community in his travel.

Students from Carmel College, Nuvem and Don Bosco Engineering College, Fatorda attended the program along with teachers and the general public.

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