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Posted by on Sep 18, 2010 in Podcasts, TG Roundup

The Famous Speech That Rendered Me Speechless

I am sure you have heard about the famous speech by Swami Vivekananda at the Congregation of World’s Parliament of Religions in September 1893. We have been told how great the speech was! I had my doubts about the superlatives that are used to express how great the speech was. Yes, I was skeptical only until I heard the actual speech delivered by the Swami himself.

I am enthralled by the clarity, confidence, eloquence and the charisma in his voice. I have never heard more effective speaker than Swami (I think Swami is a better speaker than even Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Indira Gandhi, NTR and Obama).  I had goosebumps as I heard it.

The famous speech (in fact a series of speeches) started with the words, “Sisters and brothers of America” and with thunderous applause.

I am born a Hindu. But like a true Buddhist, I am an agnostic. I believe that more killings and suffering have happened in the name of religion than the damage done by any famine or disease. Oddly enough, I follow a handful of simple principles of life preached in the Gita. None of my beliefs really changed after listening this famous speech. But, I did get more clarity on my “I don’t know” philosophy. (Listen at 15-17 min mark: “I don’t know”)

If you are a Hindu – practicing or not – you MUST listen to this. If you are a person of Indian origin, this mp3 file is a must in your audio library. Heck, even if you are neither of Indian origin nor  a Hindu, you must listen to this. Get ready to get some goosebumps as you listen.

Yes – this is the original and authentic audio of the speech – all in English – from the original gramophone record of 1893.


  1. Excellent speech. It made my day. thanks for introcuing this website to me through TORI .

  2. Gramphone was invented in 1870s. This recording was in 1893. People deny a lot of things – including Obama’s birth in US. We shouldn’t waste our time with those flat earthers.

  3. Mohan garu,
    Nice posting this. Sometime ago, I have seen a YouTube link too.

    It may be my personal opinion, but I cannot any great personality, visionary of all, who had the utmost urge to lift his fellow brethren and humanity.

    I do not think there is any controversy on the speech text per se. But about the voice. Some argued that there was no such popular technology of audio recording in those days of Swami, and so how could there be a voice.

    As you have stated in your introduction that this is authentic, appreciate if you can share any clarifications that you have read on the audio coming down from those 1890s.

    Of all, Swami Vivekananda’s message in total appeals to me ih the 2 following quotes:

    1. Man is guided by stomach. He walks. His stomach goes first. Then his head. Have you not seen that?
    It will take ages to make the head go first!

    2. Men, men, these are wanted: everything else will be ready,
    but strong, vigorous, believing young men,
    sincere to the backbone, are wanted.
    A hundred such and the world
    becomes revolutionized.

    • There is a small correction, for the 2nd para.
      It shall be read as:

      It may be my personal opinion, but I cannot find any great personality, visionary, of all, who had the utmost urge to lift his fellow brethren and humanity than Swami Vivekananda in modern times.

  4. Thank you for posting this article. Heard a lot about name Vivekananda. Now I got a chance to know him by listening his speech. His speech shows great wisdom. His speech shows great character, vision.

  5. Mohan garu,
    I shall congratulate you for publishing the rare speech of one of the famous personolities who remained mysterious for us many years.Swami’s photo pictures are common in many households of Indian families.By just listening to him we can visualize his great potential talent.

  6. @kumar, thanks for sharing the link. Good one.

  7. Direct Quotations from Swami Vivekananda
    “Religion is not in books, nor in theories, nor in dogmas, nor in talking, not even in reasoning. It is being and becoming.”

    “Infinite power and existence and blessedness are ours, and we have not to acquire them; they are our own, and we have only to manifest them.”

    “Be an atheist if you want, but do not believe in anything unquestioningly.”

    “I do not believe in a God or religion which cannot wipe the widow’s tears or bring a piece of bread to the orphan’s mouth.”

    “In judging others we always judge them by our own ideals. That is not as it should be. Everyone must be judged according to his own ideal, and not by that of anyone else.”

    “He who has no faith in himself can never have faith in God.”

    “The first sign that you are becoming religious is that you are becoming cheerful. When a man is gloomy, that may be dyspepsia, but it is not religion.”

    “The living God is within you.”

    “Manifest the divinity within you and everything will be harmoniously arranged around it.”

    “He alone is worshiping God who serves all beings.”


  8. Mahatma Gandhi
    “I have gone through Swami Vivekananda’s works very thoroughly, and after having gone through them, the love that I had for my country became a thousand-fold. . . . His writings need no introduction from anybody. They make their own irresistible appeal.”

  9. William James
    “The pagaron of all Unity systems is the Vedanta philosophy of India, and the paragon of Vedanta missionaries was the late Swami Vivekananda. The man is simply a wonder for oratorical power. . . . The swami is an honor to humanity.”

  10. I have this audio with me for a long time.To be honest I was lazy to listen, I totally overlooked about it. And of all the places I ended up listening it on Teluglobe !!.

    Thanks Mohan garu, people weren’t exaggerating when they wrote about it. Stunning , to the point and boy talk about confidence.

  11. Superb Audio. Who said time passes. Nice moments capsuled even after a century. Unfortunately this society is still struck in the same problems. Hope some good souls follow his work and revive his thoughts and teachings.

  12. Thank you very much Mohan garu for posting this.