Introduction of Hinduism In America

The American public formally learned about Hinduism was through the World’s Parliament of Religions, a gathering of practitioners of different faith traditions, which took place in Chicago in 1893. It was at that time when the American public first saw and heard people from “Eastern” religions, including Hindus and Buddhists, on their own soil.

Vivekananda, a young monk representing Hinduism famously began his speech hailing his hosts as “brothers and sisters of America.” It was most unusual for an Indian monk to embrace the audience as a single family, at a time when societies were segregated and racial superiority was an accepted part of life. Vivekananda received a standing ovation. The appreciation continued as he journeyed through America after the talk.


Professor of Religion, University of Florida

The Conversation


  1. In the context of Author and Writer Promod Puri’s ( Hinduism and Hindutva) blog, the following comment is correct. “Real Hinduism is shrinking in India but spreading abroad. This happened with Buddhism as well.”


  2. In addition…..

    If an old or a young Monk in India addresses the gathering as ” Brothers and Sisters of India”, will the audience take his words seriously as the Americans were overwhelmed by Vivekananda?
    Today, a majority of Indian monks are doubted of their utterances.


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