Swami Vivekananda on Conversions

Brief quote from a biography of Swami Vivekananda.

There were on the boat, among other passengers, two Christian missionaries who, in the course of a heated discussion with the Swami, lost their tempers and savagely criticized the Hindu religion. The Swami walked to one of them, seized him by the collar, and said menacingly, ‘If you abuse my religion again, I will throw you overboard.’

‘Let me go, sir,’ the frightened missionary apologized; ‘I’ll never do it again.’

Later, in the course of a conversation with a disciple in Calcutta, he asked, ‘What would you do if someone insulted your mother?’ The disciple answered, ‘I would fall upon him, sir, and teach him a good lesson.’

‘Bravo!’ said the Swami. ‘Now, if you had the same positive feeling for your religion, your true mother, you could never see any Hindu brother converted to Christianity. Yet you see this occurring every day, and you are quite indifferent. Where is your faith? Where is your patriotism? Every day Christian missionaries abuse Hinduism to your face, and yet how many are there amongst you whose blood boils with righteous indignation and who will stand up in its defense?’

Swami Vivekananda’s love for Bharath and its people should not be under dispute from any patriotic person regardless of current religious affiliation. It would serve us well to think why he thought conversions were bad and how he advocated holding our faith.

Read the biography. Perhaps our dormant faith and energy would wake up.

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  1. Inspiring ……..

  2. Did Swami Vivekananda really say that??? Disappointing. Did not know he was that attached to religion….

    • Sorry to give cause for your disappointment. What made Vivekananda was his religion, Hinduism in his case, and his Guru Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa a devotee of Kali. There is more to Vivekananda than can be assessed by a simple quote as this post, or taking in what popular media likes to propagate about Hinduism. Religion as practiced by most is prime cause for dividing society, as the westerners and other conquerors have done for many hundred years in our country..not to mention our own half-baked practitioners too!

      In Vivekananda you will see a God-Lover and God-Knower, given to uplifting our enslaved nation from the yoke of foreign rule and this terrible habit of thinking of ourselves what foreigners want us to think. I would recommend you read his works and decide for yourself, trust neither me nor the popular media.

      Thanks for your comment.

  3. Thank you for this wonderful post, it is so good to see such a wise Being helping us understand how we should always be mindful to discriminate from such things! Just as Arjuna upon the battlefield had to discriminate and follow his duty…we also have a duty to protect our families from outside forces which could potentially harm them. <3

  4. Vidyasagar A says:

    I dont think this is true. Can some one recheck. I dont think he did these kind of things.

    • Mahesh CR says:

      Vidyasagar – Well, guess you have to read Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda and other works by his Indian and Western disciples to understand what Hinduism and India meant for Swami. Or even better aspire intently and ask the question of Swami himself, he will respond. Standing up for ones own religion/culture/country in the face of abuses/attacks by an alien people is nothing to be ashamed of.

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