All Paths

By Glenda | December 6, 2010

A quote from Vivekananda in 1893 at his address to the Parliament of Religions in Chicago:

“…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…I fervently hope that the bell that tolled this morning in honor of this convention may be the death-knell of all fanaticism, of all persecutions with the sword or with the pen, and of all uncharitable feelings between persons wending their way to the same goal.”

Topics: Quotes | 1 Comment »

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  1. David Weber - 12/6/2010 at 10:20 am

    My very first reaction to Vivekananda’s expressed hopes, is to feel some irony and sadness since these words preceded the bloodiest, most earth-ravaging century in human history.

    But..we are reading the words again today, here, and almost certainly there are others reading them in other forums, too. The words have remained alive, passed on- desirable to share. Because Vivekananda’s vision remains alive, it is valid and vital, and every bit as true today as it was 117 years ago.

    So looking at the universe with an imagination about Time that transcends my own limited years, I arrive at this hope: That there is that child or grandchild of one of us reading this, who may be the one who has the right words, education, charisma, blessings, or great DNA to gather more persons and communities to the ones which exist today and will tomorrow. And there will come to those persons and communities – all over the world- the collective knowledge of ancient sentient beings that it is “Us,” not “Me” that must be first.

    In the meantime, as many of us as possible must live that way, because none of us knows which child, which grandchild it will be that sees confirmation through us of the visions already pulsing in their hearts and imaginations..

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