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Swami Vivekananda: How Yoga reached the West

 Swami Vivekananda

On 11th September, 1893; Swami Vivekananda created a stir in the west. Thanks to his famous speech at Chicago in the Parliament of religions. As it was a, powerful oration of Vivekananda on the spiritual superiority of Indian religious traditions, won the Americans.  Overtime, he realized Yoga was the best way to introduce spirituality to the West.

His Life and the spread of Yoga to the west

Born on 12th January, 1863 and named Narendranath Datta by his parents. He was a chief disciple of the 19th-century Indian mystic Ramakrishna. After Ramakrishna died, Narendranath took the vows of a monk and became Swami Vivekananda.

He then, traveled throughout the United States and England giving the Western world a taste of Yoga and Vedanta. His first book on the yoga, meditation was assembled and published as Raja Yoga. Followed by his collection of books on Jnana yoga, karma yoga and bhakti yoga.

As a large number of people in America craved for a personal experience of Indian spiritualism. He went on to establish the Vedanta society in New York in 1895 which continues to thrive till day. Further, Vivekananda drew that Yoga was not an ‘Indian’ tradition or a Hindu one. It was the concept of  humanitarianism that  made Yoga popular around the world.

Famous Yoga quotes 

“The whole theory of Yoga is to go beyond the mind.”

“To every action there is equal reaction…. If a man strikes me and wounds me it is that man’s actions and my body’s reaction. … Suppose I have so much power over the body that I can resist even that automatic action. Can such power be attained? The books say it can. … If you stumble on [it], it is a miracle. If you learn it scientifically, it is Yoga”

“You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.”

” The world is the great gymnasium where we come to make ourselves strong.”

“Arise, awake, stop not till the goal is reached.” 

“Do one thing at a Time, and while doing it put your whole Soul into it to the exclusion of all else.”

Compiled by Iti Jain

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Swami Vivekananda: How Yoga reached the West


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