Friday 17 February 2017

Appreciation of Swamiji's work

Swamiji received letters from his Western disciples and from the Vedanta Societies in America and England, informing him of the progress of the work and congratulating him on his successful preaching there. He received also addresses or appreciative communications from societies or other groups of admirers in the West. That from the members of the Cambridge Conferences was signed by some of the most distinguished minds in the history of American thought. It ran as follows:


           To Swami Vivekananda, India


           Dear Friend and Brother,


           As members of the Cambridge Conferences, devoted to comparative study in Ethics, Philosophy, and Religion, it gives us great pleasure to recognize the value of your able expositions of the Philosophy and Religion of Vedanta in America and the interest created thereby among thinking people. We believe such expositions as have been given by yourself and your co-labourer, the Swami Saradananda, have more than mere speculative interest and utility, that they are of great ethical value in cementing the ties of friendship and brotherhood between distant peoples, and in helping us to realize that solidarity of human relationships and interests which has been affirmed by all the great religions of the world.

We earnestly hope that your work in India may be blessed in further promoting this noble end, and that you may return to us again with assurances of fraternal regard from our distant brothers of the great Aryan Family, and the ripe wisdom that comes from reflection and added experience and further contact with the life and thought of your people.


           In view of the large opportunity for effective work presented in these Conferences, we should be glad to know something of your own plans for the coming year, and whether we may anticipate your presence with us again as a teacher. It is our hope that you will be able to return to us, in which event we can assure you the cordial greetings of old friends and the certainty of continued and increasing interest in your work.


           We remain,


           Cordially and Fraternally yours,


           LEWIS G. JANES, D.D., Director         J. E. LOUGH


           C. C. EVERETT, D.D.          A. O. LOVEJOY


           WILLIAM JAMES                RACHEL KENT TAYLOR


           JOHN H. WRIGHT              SARA C. BULL


           JOIAH ROYCE               JOHN P. FOX


           Dr. Janes was Ex-President of the Brooklyn Ethical Association. Prof. G. C. Everett was Dean of Harvard Divinity School. Prof. William James, of Harvard University, was one of the leading psychologists and philosophers of his time. Prof. J. H. Wright was Professor of Greek, Harvard University. It will be remembered that he helped the Swami secure credentials for the Parliament of Religions. Prof. Royce, Professor of Philosophy, Harvard University, was an eminent metaphysician. He admitted that he owed much to the Swami. Professors Lough and Taylor were Presidents of the Harvard Graduate Philosophical Association and of the Radcliff Philosophical Club respectively. Mrs. Bull was the promoter of the Cambridge Conferences, and one of the foremost women in America and Norway. Mr. Fox was the acting honorary secretary of the Cambridge Conferences.


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