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Swami Yatidharmananda Addresses the Community Plenary

Swami Yatidharmananda addressed the Community Plenary at the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago, USA.

Do you have prayer? [Sanskrit chants] Radiant immortal atman, blessed children of the divine. This humble servant of merciful saint, Swami Chidananda of Chivarnathasamrishikesh, India, offers you respectful salutations and extends to your noble self his most heartfelt and loving greetings.

Through prayers, ancient followers of sanatan dharma that we refer to as Hinduism today, have sought to bring home to mankind the lofty message of unity of existence. The oneness of all life. We have the declaration in the Vedas. Duality is the cause of all sorrow. From duality springs fear, great fear. The one without a second that alone appears as the entire universe. The entire universe that we see is nothing other than the universal reality.

And that alone is, if we live in this awareness, we shall feel oneness spontaneously, from which springs real happiness, from which our conscience can become clear, and our Viveka, that is discernment, may arise. Let us pray. May we all awaken our conscience, establish ourselves in our Viveka discernment. May we all think and feel the spirit of oneness. May we all talk about the true fundamental oneness of spirit in mankind

May we all propagate this great ideal of oneness through our lives individually and collectively. May we radiate oneness in thought, word and deed. May we daily pray that all mankind may soon awaken to the glorious realization of the fundamental unity of mankind in the spirit, in the Atman. Though we may be different in body, in mind, in intellect, in the spirit, we are all one and one alone. Ekam sat, one is truth. May we be established in this awareness and be free.

The great intuitive wisdom of ancient Upanishadic shares and sages of transcendental experience has always been a message of oneness and unity. If all creation indeed is the virat swaroop, the mighty manifest form of the supreme reality, the great reality, these great luminaries are verily the matchless diamonds, pureless gems.

And I was lucky to witness such a veritable gem, my Guru Sri Swamichh Dhanaji Maharaj, the humble Syrian saint of Sivananda Ashram Rishikesh, India, fondly referred to as the Saint Francis of India, is one of the greatest interfaith pioneers that the world has seen. Being acknowledged as an authority to speak on Christianity by Pope John Paul II, helping people rebuild a mosque in Orissa, India, he extended his full faith, vision, and support to the Council of Parliament of the World’s Religions when it revived itself in 1993. He was one of the 12 honorary presidents of the 1993 convening. His life and teachings are perfectly aligned with the theme of this Parliament, and especially relevant at this juncture, where the insensitive blind forces bent on profit and purely selfish means are misleading generations and generations of human society towards chaos.

Universal concepts and the right type of education are construed, corrupted, and replaced with education that instills fear, greed, jealousy, and competition which create differences and spread hatred. 

Let us make a pledge that we will turn our attention from such wrong examples and turn our gaze towards these authentic ones for inspiration.

Let us all take their life and their teaching seriously and with earnest determination emulate in every detail the lofty examples of their lives. 

Let us all become the living spirit of Chidananda and radiate onto all parts of the earth the light of nishkama karma, motiveless service, bhakti, devotion, sadhachara, righteous conduct, dhyana or spiritual meditation and dhyana, wisdom of the self. 

Let us all pray that from this convening, life-giving waters of knowledge of oneness from the ancient yoga and Vedanta shall stream forth to nourish the coming generations of human society and make fertile the garden of human hearts so that in them may blossom forth the flowers of goodness of kindness and compassion of selflessness and sympathetic service of noble virtue and simplicity.

Let us pray that the Parliament’s activities ever strive to inspire, urge, and encourage people everywhere to take to selfless altruistic activity for common will.

Let the Parliament continue to work in fulfillment of a central aim of propagation of the most precious living idealism of oneness and serving the global human family for their ethical enlightenment and moral uplift.

I bow down to you to the divinity that is within you. Hari Om Tatsat. Thank you very much.

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