The speech of Swami Vivekananda at Chicago conference on September 11th, in 1893 was only for 6 minutes consisting of 887 words but what he stirred up with that has been echoing across continents for 120 years and will continue to echo for centuries to come.
Indians rediscovering India
This short speech recreated an interest about India in the west for the 20th century. It also helped Indians discover Swami Vivekananda and through him Indians were able to discover themselves, the strength of their tradition, culture and the respect for their own spirituality. The awakening of Indians among the American intelligentsia had resonance back in his homeland in India. This strength later paved the way for the Indian independence movement. In many a ways, 11th September is the day the Indians through Swami Vivekananda rediscovered their own strength.
Swami Vivekananda at the Parliament of Religions, Chicago, 1893
Harbinger of yoga and spirituality in the west
This speech also gave impetus to Indian yoga and spirituality. Today, yoga is a thriving industry in the west but its seeds were laid by Swami Vivekananda in the west.
People today talk of religious tolerance. The seed of this idea of religious tolerance and the idea of religious tolerance was sown by Swami Vivekananda at this speech.
4 years in America
After this speech, Swami Vivekananda kept getting invitations to speak at different occasions and was compelled to stay on in America for 4 years. This momentous speech catapulted Swami Vivekananda, an unknown swami of the orient to become one of the most powerful thought providers.
A true prajapathi, a thought leader in every sense!