Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Swami Vivekananda Speech , Sept 11, 1893 :

Sisters and Brothers of
America,
It fills my heart with joy
unspeakable to rise in
response to the warm
and cordial welcome
which you have given
us. I thank you in the
name of the most
ancient order of monks
in the world; I thank you
in the name of the
mother of religions, and
I thank you in the name
of millions and millions
of Hindu people of all
classes and sects.
My thanks, also, to
some of the speakers
on this platform who,
referring to the
delegates from the
Orient, have told you
that these men from
far-off nations may
well claim the honor of
bearing to different
lands the idea of
toleration. I am proud
to belong to a religion
which has taught the
world both tolerance
and universal
acceptance. We believe
not only in universal
toleration, but we
accept all religions as
true. I am proud to
belong to a nation which
has sheltered the
persecuted and the
refugees of all religions
and all nations of the
earth. I am proud to tell
you that we have
gathered in our bosom
the purest remnant of
the Israelites, who
came to Southern India
and took refuge with us
in the very year in
which their holy temple
was shattered to
pieces by Roman
tyranny. I am proud to
belong to the religion
which has sheltered
and is still fostering the
remnant of the grand
Zoroastrian nation. I will
quote to you, brethren,
a few lines from a
hymn which I
remember to have
repeated from my
earliest boyhood, which
is every day repeated
by millions of human
beings: "As the
different streams
having their sources in
different paths which
men take through
different tendencies,
various though they
appear, crooked or
straight, all lead to
Thee."