Swami Vivekananda on the Platform of the Parliament


Vivekananda House

Vivekananda House
Chennai, India

Swami Vivekananda on the Platform of the Parliament 5. From left to right: Virchand Gandhi, Hewivitarne Dharmapala, Swami Vivekananda, and (possibly) G. Bonet Maury. From all appearances this photo seems to have been taken on the afternoon of the opening day of the parliament, September 11, 1893. Swamiji appears apprehensive. “Through all this [the parliament proceedings] Swamiji remained seated, meditative and prayerful, letting his turn to speak go by time and again. It was not until the afternoon session, after four other delegates had read their prepared papers, that, urged by the kindly and scholarly French pastor, G. Bonet Maury, who was seated next to him, Swamiji, inwardly bowing down to Devi Sarasvati (the Goddess of Knowledge), arose to address the Congress and, through it, the world.”6 Sister Gargi has an interesting footnote on G. Bonet Maury which bears quoting in full: This information comes from a letter written by Swami Siddheswarananda to Miss Josephine MacLeod, dated June 11, 1946. The relevant passage reads: “For a long time I have been in contact with a man of science (Paul Bennet-Maury) . . . The other day the old mother of Paul Bennet-Maury came to see me. She is about 80 years old and she told me that her father-in-law, a Protestant pastor, was one of the delegates to the Chicago Parliament of Religions and a very close friend of Swamiji. In the dais of the Parliament Pastor Bennet-Maury [G. Bonet Maury] had his place next to Swamiji and she told me how she had heard from him that when Swamiji was each time giving his place to another to speak, it was Photograph 16 (continued) Bennet-Maury, the pastor, that encouraged Swamiji to get up and speak in spite of the hesitation that Swamiji had. And as the old lady told me the story she got up from her seat and with trembling emotion told me of what she had heard of the tremendous impression produced by Swamiji when he addressed the audience as ‘Sisters and Brothers of America.’ ” 7


  • Title: Swami Vivekananda on the Platform of the Parliament
  • Date Created: 1893-09
  • Location: Chicago, America
  • Subject Keywords: Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji with Virchand Gandhi, Hewivitarne Dharmapala,
  • Type: Photograph
  • Publisher: Ramakrishna Math & Mission, Belur Math
  • Rights: Ramakrishna Math & Mission, Belur Math
  • Accession ID: Photograph 16

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