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Why are we offering this show on the 150th anniversary of 
Swami Vivekenanda’s birth?

One hundred twenty years ago, on September 11, 1893, Swami Vivekananda in his legendary speech in the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago proclaimed the validity of every great religion of the world merely as pathways to God and forcefully denounced against all forms of faith-based intolerance. “Sectarianism, bigotry, and its horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful earth,” he said. “They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilization and sent whole nations to despair. Had it not been for these horrible demons, human society would be far more advanced than it is now?” As BBC’s Tully notes: – New York Herald said, “Vivekananda is undoubtedly the greatest figure in the Parliament of Religions. He was relevant then and is relevant today for his constant affirmation that all religions are paths to God, and his call for tolerance.”

A century later and more, we live in a world today where sectarian violence and wars between world’s dominant religions inter-mingled with political demonism continue to cause bloodshed, destroy lives of innocent children, men and women, destroy families, disenfranchise communities and bring unbearable miseries to humanity. At the root of this carnage is “religious intolerance” which he foresaw like a prophet and spoke out against it at the world stage. The world today needs to follow what he said 120 years ago for a universal brotherhood and global citizenry that could live in peace and harmony through tolerance and acceptance.

It is our small effort to bring out his message once again to as many people in our community as we can by staging this show.

© Copyright 2013, Vedanta Society of North Carolina