Swami Abhedananda went to the West in 18 at the clarion call of his beloved spiritual brother, Swami Vivekananda, for spiritual ministration which he continued for over a quarter of a century. He paid a short visit to India, his motherland, in 1906 after a hard toil of ten years in the West and for seven months he made an extensive tour throughout India, from Colombo to Calcutta and from Calcutta to Bombay. Everywhere people accorded him the heartiest welcome and receptions. The description of his tour, the address of welcome presented to him, and his lectures in reply to them, appeared in the then leading newspapers, The Hindu, The Mysore Standard, The Indian Mirror, The Bombay Chronicle, The Brahmavadin The Prabuddha Bharata, etc. he sailed again for London on November 10, 1996 on his way to America and finally returned to India in 1921.
This book contains the various lectures, welcome address and their replies by Swami Abhedananda during the said period of his short visit to India to India the year 1906.
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The Complete Works of Swami Abhedananda (Eleven Volumes)
The writings and speeches of Swami Abhedananda, a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, were spread over a long period of spiritual ministration both in America and in India. His deep philosophical insight and unfathomed spirituality attracted the learned and the intelligentsia. All his writings and speeches are available in one set of eleven volumes entitled The Complete Works Of Swami Abhedananda, the last volume being a Guide to the Completed Works, edited in full by the most renowned, philosopher and of Swami Prajnanananda. A direct disciple of Swami Abhedananda. We invite all lovers of philosophy, religion and culture to avail of the golden opportunity of collecting this set without delay.
Demy Octavo. Printed in good quality paper, cloth bound and covered with coloured jackets.
Swami Abhedananda, an apostle of Sri Ramakrishna-Born October 2, 1866-Spent his early among the brotherhood in Baranagar monastery near Calcutta in severe austerity-Travelled barefooted all over India from 1888-1895-Acquainted with many distinguished savants, including Prof. Max Muller and Prof. Deussen-Landed in New York and took charges of the Vedanta Society in 1897-Become acquainted with Prof. William James, Rev. R. H. Newton, Prof. Josiah Royce Of Harvard, Prof. Hyslop of Columbia, Prof. Lanmann, Prof. G. H. Howison, Prof. Fay, Mr. Edison, the inventor, Dr. Elmer Gates, Ralph Waldo Trine, W. D. Howells, Prof. Herschel C. Parker, Dr. Logan, Rev. Bishop Potter, Prof. Shaler, Dr. Jaynes the chairman of the professors of Columbia, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Barkeley and Clarke Universities-Travelled extensively all through the United states, Canada, Alaska and Mexico-Made frequent trips to Europe, delivering lectures in different parts of the Continent-Crossed the Atlantic seventeen times-was appreciated very much for his profundity of scholarship, intellectual brilliance, oratorical talents, charming personality and nobility of character-made a short visit to India in 1906-Returned to America-Came back to India finally in 1921-on his way home Jointed the Educational conference, Honolulu-Visited Japan, China, the Philippines, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Rangoon-started on a long tour and went as far as Tibet in 1922- Established centres at Calcutta and Darjeeling-left his moral frame on September 8,1939.
Swami Abhedananda returned to India, his motherland, once in 1906, after a hard toil of ten years in the West. For seven months he made and extensive tour throughout India, from Colombo to Calcutta and from Calcutta to Bombay. During his journey he was greeted by the people at every step. Everywhere the people accorded him the heartiest welcome and spontaneous reception. No other Indian except Swami Vivekananda received such a high honour from the people. The description of his tour, the address of welcome presented to him, and his lectures in reply to them first appeared in the columns of various newspapers, such as, The Hindu, The Mysore Standard, The Indian Mirror, The Bombay, Chronicle, The Brahmavadin, The Prabuddha Bharata, and several others.
Swami Abhedananda appeared before the public for the first time as a speaker in 1806. Prior to that he was an unknown Hindu Sannyasin who travelled throughout the length and breadth of Hindustan from the Himalayas down to Rameswaram and from Jagannathdham to Dwaraka, barefooted, without touching money, without thinking of the morrow and with one blanket as a his bed and garment. Before his appearance in London in 1896 as a speaker and teacher of Vedanta, his was a life of severe austerity, constant meditation and study.
His life took a new course when a call came from Swami Vivekananda to help him in his work in London. He threw away the loin-cloth of a Sannyasin, dressed himself in coat and turban, and sailed for England. A few days after his arrival in London, Swami Abhedananda gave an excellent address on the Philosophy of Panchadasi at the Christo-Theosophical Society at Bloomsbury Square on the 27th October, 1896. Swami Vivekananda was present on that occasion and was highly pleased at the success of his spiritual brother. "Even if I perish out of this plane, my message will be sounded through these dear lips and the world will hear it." These were the beautiful words with which Swami Vivekananda expressed his joy. The utterance was prophetic. Swami Vivekananda' s message is being sounded, since his absence from the west, through 'these dear' lips and the world is hearing it for over a quarter of a century.
In December 1896, Swami Vivekananda left England for India giving Swami Abhedananda the entire charge of his work in London. Swami Abhedananda held regular classes, delivered public lectures and devoted much time in answering question and objections "arising either" from the lecture or the position of Vedanta generally". Thus Swami Abhedananda ably carried out the Vedanta work in London during the absence of the revered of the beloved brother Swami Vevekananda.
When he was working hard to give a permanent footing to the London Vedanta Society, all of a sudden a call came to him from the other side of the Atlantic. He was obliged August 1897 he reached New York to organize the Vedanta there by the end of September, by holding regular classes and delivering public lectures every Sunday. In six months, he delivered ninety lectures in Mott Memorial Hall alone and made the Vedanta Society the self-supporting. He also opened a Bhagavad Gita, class for the first time in America and by his clear and highly instructive lectures on the philosophy and religion of the Bhagavad Gita, he created on absorbing interest among his students for the study of Sanskrit language to again the first-hand knowledge of the Bhagavad Gita and other Hindu scriptures.
After the end of the New York session, Swami Abhedananda went to Washington D.C. for a rest. But at the request of the people who were eager to hear him, he gave lectures and addresses in the public halls, parlours and studios. He was introduced to President McKinley of U.S.A. and was kindly received. He also met John Brady, the Governor of Alaska and was the guest of Dr. Elmer Gates, the celebrated scientist and psychologist. He then went to Boston to lecture before the Free Religious Association of America. At the invitation of Prof. William James, the great psychologist, he delivered a lecture before students of the Harvard University. Next he visited Milford, Newton Highland, Salem, Montclair and Eliot and delivered lectures in all those places. He stopped in Greenacre and worked there for four weeks. At last he went to the White Mountains in New Hampshire, where he enjoyed rest.
The New York session began again in November 1898. He lectured for five months during the session of 1898-99 and again spent the summer traveling and lecturing in New England and other parts of the country. In October 1899, the Head Quarters and the Office of the Vedanta Society of New York were established. This gave a new impetus to the work, the rooms being opended daily for the sale of Vedanta literature and for class instructions. The public lectures were given in Tuxedo Hall. The Vedanta Society was incorporated duly under the laws of New York State. On Ester Monday he initiated four American Brahmacharins among whom Brahmachari Gurudas (Swami Atulananda) is well-known in the Ramakrishna Mission.
His lectures made a deep impression upon the public. The best papers of the Sates such as The Sun, The New York Tribune, the Critic, the Literary Digest, The Times, The Intelligence and The Mind, Published highly appreciative accounts of his teachings and personality. He met representative thinkers in the world of arts, science and religion, and awakened a "friendly interest in his mission and teachings". His activities created an ever-growing interest in the Vedanta movement. He was widely known throughout the intellectual circles in U.S.A. He made acquaintances with many celebrities of the States such as Prof. William James, Josia Royce, Lanmann, Fay, Mr. Edison, the inventor, Dr. Elmer Gates, the celebrated scientist and psychologist Joseph Jefferson, the great actor, Mr. Sweat Waldo Trine, the great thinker, William Dean Howells, the novelist, Prof. Herchel, C. Parker, Howison, C.C. Everett D.D. Dr. Logan, Rev, R.H. Newton, Rev, Bishop Potter, and the professors of the Columbia, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Berkeley and Clarke Universities.
In the July of 1899 Swami Vivekananda reached New York. He was glad to learn that the Vedanta Society had permanent head Quarters and remarked: "Thrice I knocked at the door of New York but it did not respond. I am glad that you have established a permanent head quarters. This is the first I have found our own home in "New York" Swami Abhedananda, who was away from New York on lecture tour, was soon wired to meet him and report all about the Vedanta work in New York. He met Swami Vivekananda and made reports concerning his work in America. Swami Vivekananda learned with great satisfaction that Vedanta had made a striking progress during his absence. He insisted on years when the latter requested the Swami to make over the charge to somebody else, and to instruct him to return to Indian. In reply Swami Vivekananda wrote:
My dear Abhedananda,
Many thanks for your nice words. I am just where you left me as about health. I have no directions to give, I have the work entirely to you
In 1900-1901 Swami Abhedananda resumed the work in New York. The classes were held and public lectures delivered on Sundays. His speeches and writings made such a profound influence upon the minds of American people that he was invited to speak before the Societies, Churches, Associations, Clubs and Universities. During the session of 1900-1901, he spoke before the Council of Jewish Women in a Synagogue, on invitation, on the festivities of the ancient Hebrews. He was invited to speak before the Cremation Society, Spiritualistic Societies, free Religious Association of America, Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, the University of requested by the Council Board of Unity Church (California) to conduct the Sunday Service.
In the session of 1901-1902, besides holding classes and delivering public lectures every Sunday, Swami Abhedananda lectured in Boston, Washington, Eliot, Greenacre, Milford, Newton highlands, Salem, Worcester (Massachussets), New port, Chesterfield (Indian) and several other places.
A similar series of lectures began again in 1902-1903. He delivering twenty-two lectures in Carnegie Lyceum. During the month of April religious services were held on Sunday mornings in the Vedanta Society House and the attendance soon excelled the capacity of the room.
In the winter of 1903-04, Swami Abhedananda delivered twenty-two lectures in Carnegie Lyceum, followed through March and April by Sunday morning services with lectures in the Society house. At the request of some of the students two lectures were also given in the Assembly Hall during the month of March. In May, on invitation of one of the members, the Swami paid a visit to St. Louis Exhibition and the Society's publications were exhibited in the palace of Education in world's Fair. The result of the exhibition was especially gratifying since trough it hundreds from all parts of the county were made aware of the Vedanta work in America and led to recognize the practical value of its teachings. Later on Swami Abhedananda sailed for Europe and at the urgent solicitation or friends and students in England, he took the preliminary steps towards the re-establishment of a London Centre.
Early in 1904 more specious quarters were established at 62, west 71st Street. After taking possession of the new Head Quarters, the Swami carried the regular weekly classes and Sunday service. In 1905 Swami Abhedananda delivered a course of lectures on INDIA AND HER PEOPLE in the Brooklyn institute of arts and Sciences. As a result of the interest aroused by public lectures delivered in Brooklyn by the Swami, a Rajayoga class was organised there and regular weekly meetings were hald throughout the season. In the spring of the same year Swami Abhedananda was invited by some of the Associte of the members to lectors in Washington and preliminary steps were taken towards the formation of a new Branch in that city.
On May 16, 1906, Swami Abhedananda, after ten years of hard toils in the field of religion and philosophy in foreign land, sailed from New York to England and thence by the peninsular and Oriental Steamer S.S. Multan for Colombo in Ceylon where he landed on June 16, 1906. The felling of profound gratitude which he had awakened in the hearts of the many to whom he had brought new light and peace is significantly shown in the fare well address presented to him by the Vedanta Society on the eve of his departure from New York H.H. Maharaja and H.H. Maharani of Baroda were present when the farewell address was presented to the Swami.
"Revered and Beloved Swami,
"Although we hope that you will be with us again before the year is gone, it is none the less in a spirit of sadness and reluctance that we now come to offer you this farewell expression of our profound reverence, love and devotion.
"For nine years you have laboured tirelessly among us, enduring hardship, opposition, even enmity, yet pushing on your course undaunted and unchecked. When you came to New York, out of all those who had gathered so eagerly around Swami Vevekananda, you found scarcely a handful of earnest students. With these you began your labour. True to your Sannyasin spirit, in the heart of this commercial Metropolis, asking aid of on one, and with the infinite wisdom, patience, courage and tenacity which the have characterized your efforts at every step, you began to build stone by stone, the solid structure of the Vedanta Society as it stands today. Only those who know the conditions of New York can appreciate how great have been difficulties and noble is your achievement.
"You are now returning to India bearing with you the fruits of many years' experience in this new and more vigorous country, and we belive that your visit will prove rich in results, both for India and for America. It is this alone that makes it possible for us to look forward with some degree of courage to the long months of separation which stretch before us.
"You have been to us an ever wise and ever loving Master and Teacher. Many of us who came to you ill body and mind are today strong in limb and full of new life. Others despair, now walk with raised heads and joyful eyes. Not one has come to you in vain. Everywhere you have brought hope, gladness, strength and spiritual light. Never can we pay the mighty dept we owe to you, expect in striving day by day, nay hour by hour, to embody in our lives the lofty truths you have taught us, and to remain staunch and loyal to the work to which you have devoted your life. As you go forth to carry further your Mission, we can but pray own Divine Master, Bhagavan Sri Ramakrishna, that your journey may bring not only blessing to others, but to yourself a fresh store of peace, joy, strength and inspiration with which you may bear onward the banner of Vedanta in America and over the whole world".
Address of Welcome and Swami Abhedananda' s replies-cum-lectures delivered in reply to different addresses of welcome, will speak for themselves their voices and essence. The lectures delivered were the Aim of Religion, Female Education Vedanta Philosophy, The Caste System, Advice to the Young Men, Universal Religion, Universality of Vedanta Religion, Practical Vedantism, The Responsibilities of Indian Students etc. all the lectures and replies to welcome addresses were instructive and enriched with religious and philosophical were instructive and ideas. The last lecture in India in 1906 was delivered in Bombay and the subject matter was Practical Vedantism. In his lecture, Swami Abhedananda laid stress upon the study as well as on the universal ideal of the Vedanta philosophy of India. He said: "Vedanta will make you live the right kind of life, will bring freedom to your soul, and ultimately will make you happy throughout eternity". The Swami lived the life of Vedanta and so it was possible for him to intuit the real and sublime idea; of Vedanta.
On November 10, 1906 Swami Abhedananda, accompanied by Swami Paramananda, sailed again for London.
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