THE PARLIAMENT OF RELIGIONS

(Vivekananda in Indian Newspapers, p. 4.)

BY H. R. HAWEIS

[The Indian Mirror (from The Daily Chronicle),

November 28, 1893]

. . . Vivekananda, the popular Hindu monk, whose physiognomy bore the most striking resemblance to the classic face of the Buddha, denounced our commercial prosperity, our bloody wars, and our religious intolerance, declaring that at such a price the "mild Hindu" would have none of our vaunted civilisation. . . . "You come," he cried,

with the Bible in one hand and the conqueror's sword in the other — you, with your religion of yesterday, to us, who were taught thousands of years ago by our Rishis precepts as noble and lives as holy as your Christ's. You trample on us and treat us like the dust beneath your feet. You destroy precious life in animals. You are carnivores. You degrade our people with drink. You insult our women. You scorn our religion — in many points like yours, only better, because more humane. And then you wonder why Christianity makes such slow progress in India. I tell you it is because you are not like your Christ, whom we could honour and reverence. Do you think, if you came to our doors like him, meek and lowly, with a message of love, living and working and suffering for others, as he did, we should turn a deaf ear? Oh no! We should receive him and listen to him, and as we have done our own inspired Rishis (teachers). . . .