Swami Vivekananda at Chicago

Vivekananda House

Vivekananda House
Chennai, India

This photo is often referred to as probably at the Hale residence, Chicago, 1893. But “Mrs. Herbert E. Hyde (Mary Hale’s niece) could not recognize this as being a room in the Hale’s house or in the Walton Place flat—both of which places she knew very well as a child.”1 Sister Gargi (Marie Louise Burke) has speculated that if the photo were taken in 1893 before the Parliament of Religions, then it could possibly have been taken in the Lyon’s house in Chicago. The organizers of the Parliament of Religions lodged Swamiji in the home of Mr. and Mrs. John B. Lyon. When Swamiji first came to their home, Mrs. Lyon was a little apprehensive about how he would be received by their other guests. In those days there was strong racial prejudice. However, Mr. Lyon cleared the air. He had found Swamiji in his library one morning before breakfast. He later told his wife: “I don’t care a bit, Emily, if all our guests leave! The Indian is the most brilliant and interesting man who has ever been in our home and he shall stay as long as he wishes.” 2 ❊ ❊ ❊ Everybody is so kind here to me who am nothing—that it is beyond my power of expression. Glory unto Him in the highest in whose sight the poor ignorant monk from India is the same as the learned divines of this mighty land. And how the Lord is helping me every day of my life, brother— I sometimes wish for a life of million million ages to serve Him through the work, dressed in rags and fed by charity.” (Letters, 49)


  • Title: Swami Vivekananda at Chicago
  • Location: USA
  • Subject Keywords: Swami Vivekananda, Swami Vivekananda at Chicago,
  • Type: Photograph
  • Publisher: Ramakrishna Math & Mission, Belur Math
  • Rights: Ramakrishna Math & Mission, Belur Math
  • Accession ID: Photograph 13

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