For transcription of the speech, please visit the site http://www.esamskriti.com/essay-chapters/Address-Par...
For transcription of the speech, please visit the site http://www.esamskriti.com/essay-chapters/Address-Parliament-of-Religions-1893-by-Swami-Vivekananda-2.aspx
For Part II of Swamiji's speech, pl follow the link
Swami Vivekananda travelled by foot and covered the most of India. The world started looking at India after his famous speech in Chicago during the year 1893. His 'sisters and brothers of America' got an overwhelming ovation from all the 'ladies and gentlemen' in the gathering.
"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 the 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 places all mingle their water in the sea, so, O Lord, the different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee."
The present convention, which is one of the most august assemblies ever held, is in itself a vindication, a declaration to the world, of the wonderful doctrine preached in the Gita:
"Whosoever comes to Me, through whatsoever form, I reach him; all men are struggling through paths which in the end lead to Me."
Sectarianism, bigotry, and its horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful earth. They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilization, and sent whole nations to despair.
Had it not been for these horrible demons, human society would be far more advanced than it is now."