Bridging the East and West

Bridging the East and West

The ancient teachings of the East can be expressed and grounded fruitfully in the West. By establishing the Samiti, we demonstrated our intention to bridge the East and the West.

Following the Parliament of the Worlds' Religions in 1893, Swami Vivekananda established the first two Vedanta Societies in New York and San Francisco. He declared, "I have a message for the West as Buddha had a message for the East". Vedanta came to America and continues to influence our culture, traditions, and spiritual practice. Swami Vivekananda made two visits to the West and traveled widely throughout the United States and Europe from 1893 through 1900. One can also make pilgrimage to America's sites associated with Swamiji's talks and classes.

In 1895, Swami Vivekananda went to London and there met Margaret Noble, a daughter of Ireland and an educator. During one of his parlour meetings, Swamiji thundered, "What the world wants today is twenty men and women who can dare to stand in the street yonder, and say that they possess nothing but God.... If this is true, what else could matter; if it is not true, what do our lives matter?" Miss Noble believed that she was one of those twenty. Attracted by the new ideal, she came forward to dedicate her life. Swamiji initiated her as
Sister Nivedita, the dedicated one. She became known to the Indian people as 'Lokamata Nivedita'. She was born on October 28th, 1867 and her 150th birthday shall be celebrated throughout the world beginning this year and continuing through 2017.

There are numerous pilgrimage sites in India associated with incarnations of God and significant spiritual teachers. These places of pilgrimages are located throughout the length and breadth of India. And each place has its own historical as well as mythological prominence in the story of India.