February 14, 2013
"Brothers and sisters
Swami Vivekananda had just spoken these first five words of his great speech of 1893 when he was interrupted with a thunderous standing ovation that lasted two minutes! Why this overwhelming acceptance when he'd basically just said hello?
Actually, he'd already said a lot.
Imagine: we are in Chicago in 1893. And here is a man from the colonies, dressed in native garb, representing a heathen faith before mostly white Protestant clergy who considered interfaith dialogue as “preparing the way for... Jesus Christ” (page 33, January-February-March 2013 issue). Brothers and sisters must have seemed bold and daring—and most weighty.
Nonetheless, the words were welcomed with exuberance. "Yes, we ARE brothers," the applause seemed to say, "yes, we ARE ready for a new time of brotherhood!" Was it a historical moment? Probably so. Consider that the speech echoed 'round the world and into India where Swami would become the spark that lit the fire of national pride and yearning for independence. The rest is history. And the halting march toward greater brotherhood continues to this day.
Listen to an excellent simulated recording of the speech (note: it is a simulated recording). You'll be amazed how powerful and relevant it still is today.
The article. We have dwelled, here, on but two minutes of Swami Vivekananda's life. There is a lot more to tell, and it is all compacted into a powerful 17-page article in the January-February-March 2013 issue.
The Vivekananda-Hinduism Today connection is told on page 51 (or scroll down to Connections... ) Vivekananda's spirit in fearlessly proclaiming Hinduism's greatness, his grasp of its key features and ability to articulate them in clear, modern language, his mystical approach—all deeply impressed the young man who would become founder of Hinduism Today, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (Gurudeva). And many are those who, like Production Fund donor Subhash Choudhary, recognize that same Vivekananda spirit rolling through the magazine's pages.
"If it weren't for the magazine, we wouldn't even know who our heroes are," a reader recently observed.
Hinduism Today is indeed committed to bringing forward Hinduism's great souls, past and present—and does just that at every opportunity. We feel it is vital for Hindus and the world to know them and appreciate the source of their greatness. It is they who show the way and uplift and inspire us—and, here and there, transmit their spirit to a newer generation. Can there be a greater cause?
Read about other Hindu heroes covered by the magazine: search Hindu of the Year at hinduismtoday.com
The Production Fund subsidizes the Vivekananda article
We are grateful to all of you who have helped our Production Fund to grow to the point where it can now support key articles—such as the Vivekananda article—on a regular basis.
Will you send us over the top?
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