By: Victor M. Parachin
"There is a proverb in our language: "If I want to be a hunter, I'll hunt the rhinoceros; if I want to be a robber, I'll rob the kings treasury. What is the use of robbing beggars or hunting ants? So if you want to love, love God."--Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) was a pioneering figure in introducing yoga and the wisdom of Hinduism to the West. A learned scholar and wandering monk, he traveled to Chicago in 1893 for the World Parliament of Religions, and there won immediate acclaim as a spiritual teacher whose wisdom transcended conventional boundaries. He established the first Vedanta centers in the United States and made a tremendous impression on a range of scholars, writers, and spiritual seekers. His central themes included openness to other religions, the quest for God-consciousness within ones own soul, and the relation between spirituality and social concerns. Returning to India, he died at the age of 39.
Victor M. Parachin is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). For the last 20 years he has studied and practiced Eastern spirituality, and serves on the faculty of a Yoga Teacher Training school. He is the author of Eastern Wisdom for Western Minds (Orbis, 2007).