Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chicago
Vivekanda Vedanta Society of Chicago

Spiritual unfoldment is attained by proper guidance from a spiritual teacher and sustained effort by the spiritual student. Through gradual flowering of the inner personality one reaches the goal, knowledge of the Self, realization of God, peace eternal.

Truly interested & sincere seekers of spirituality may contact Swami Ishatmananda, President, Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chicago to receive guidance from him.


Appeal for donations

Dear Devotees & Friends,

We have begun a basement development project that will include new guest rooms, and accommodate several new upcoming classes. We are appealing to you for donations and we hope you come forward and donate whatever you can for this noble cause. Details..

About us
Vivekanda Vedanta Society of Chicago

The Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chicago, established in 1930, is dedicated to bringing home the eternal message of Vedanta to humanity without discriminating about caste, culture, gender, language, nationality, or religion.

Through personal interviews, talks, lectures, seminars, inter-faith meetings, spiritual retreats, and religious celebrations we aim to translate into action the lofty philosophy of Swami Vivekanandato make people aware of their inner divinity and to help them to manifest it in every moment of life.

We are a branch of the Ramakrishna Order. Swami Ishatmananda, a monk of the Order, is the Minister and is available for interviews by appointment.

Vedanta
Religious Symbols

Vedanta states that the underlying substance behind all phenomena, names, and forms is one. A few thousand years ago, the scriptures of India affirmed that Truth is one. The wise call it by different names.

Vedanta asserts that we are in essence divine — that our Real Self is that One, Eternal, Divine Spirit. In the words of Swami Vivekananda,

Each soul is potentially divine.The goal is to manifest this divinity by controlling nature, external and internal. Do this either by work, or worship, or psychic control, or philosophy - by one, or more, or all of these - and be free. This is the whole of religion. Doctrines, or dogmas, or rituals, or books, or temples, or forms, are but secondary.

Vedanta does not ask us to believe in any particular form or idea of God, or subscribe to any particular religion — it only asks that we be bold and sincere in our search for the Truth. It says that religion is not dogma or doctrine, but must be verified and experienced and that this experience of the Truth, of one's real Self, is the ultimate goal of life.

"We want to lead mankind to the place where there is neither the Vedas, nor the Bible, nor the Koran; yet this has to be done by harmonising the Vedas, the Bible and the Koran. Mankind ought to be taught that religions are but the varied expressions of The Religion, which is Oneness, so that each may choose that path that suits him best."
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Ganges Branch Center
Ganges

Spread over 100 acres, the Vivekananda Retreat located in Ganges, Michigan, was established in 1971 as a retreat facility - a place for spiritual seekers who wish to withdraw into solitude and engage in prayer, study, and meditation.

Each month there are lectures by Swami Ishatmananda. In addition, between the months of May and October, there are spiritual retreats on various topics by monks from other Vedanta centers. The facility is also available to those who wish to organize their own events.
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We are happy to announce the inauguration of weekend Yoga classes at our center starting May 10th.

There are a variety of classes to choose from including a yoga program for children! Please see the yoga page for detailed information about the classes and how to register.

e-zine
ezine

The new issue of our e-zine Chicago Calling has been published. This month's issue has articles by Swami Shantarupananda on Swamiji's message of “ Help, Harmony, and Assimilation” from the tantra point of view, and by Swami Baneshananda on “ The Universal Vivekananda”. The talks were given at our “Chicago Calling” program last year. In addition, we continue the series of articles on Better Health Through Yoga and How To Be A Better Student. You can read the ezine online or download a pdf to read offline.

Do you have any comments, or suggestions for our ezine? Please email us

Chicago Calling Program
150th celebration
“Help and not fight. Assimilation and not destruction. Harmony and Peace and not dissension.”

It was 120 years ago that Swami Vivekananda gave this call to humanity from the platform of the World's Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893.

His 150th birth anniversary was celebrated in a grand manner from November 6th to 11th.
We thank you all for your cooperation, participation, and help.

For a detailed report of the historic event, look here.

Read views of the event from monastics, attendees, and volunteers. Write to us if you would like to share your experience.

A book “Chicago and Vivekananda” on the people and places associated with Vivekananda in Chicago is now available in our bookstore for $10. A commemorative fleece with the Chicago Calling logo is also available for $50.

We will be announcing soon the availability of DVDs of the program.

Though the celebration is over, the service is not. The call that Vivekananda gave is a unique one — a human by serving another human can become God.

This service is spiritual and not ordinary. Who can serve? In the words of Vivekananda:

A hundred thousand men and women, fired with the zeal of holiness, fortified with eternal faith in the Lord, and nerved to lion's courage by their sympathy for the poor and the fallen and the downtrodden, ...

And what type of service?

... go over the length and breadth of the land, preaching the gospel of salvation, the gospel of help, the gospel of social raising-up — the gospel of equality.

The masses must be awakened first. Let them have full meals and they will work out their own salvation.

And how shall we do this? Read here

History
Parliament Souvenir

Our history is inextricably tied with the history of Chicago and the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. It was the 1893 Columbian Exposition's Parliament of Religions that a young monk named Vivekananda burst upon the Western world and it was given to Chicago to first receive his ..message to the West as Buddha had a message to the East. Numerous places in and around Chicago are filled with his memories and footprints. Read here about places and people associated with Swami Vivekananda in Chicago.

To know more about the history of the Vedanta Society, look here. You can also view a brief documentary video.

Upcoming Talks
Sunday Service
Meditation: Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali
July 20, 11 a.m.
Swami Harinamananda

Panchama Veda
July 22, 7:30 p.m.
Swami Ishatmananda

Isha Upanishad
July 25, 7:30 p.m.
Swami Varadananda

Recent Talks
Isha Upanishad
July 18
Swami Varadananda
YouTube

Panchama Veda
July 15
Swami Ishatmananda
YouTube

Meditation: Yoga Aphorisms
July 6
Swami Ishatmananda
YouTube

Most Recent Video
"Is man an insignificant thing? He can think of God, he can think of the Infinite, while other living beings cannot." - Sri Ramakrishna

"The Kingdom of Heaven is within you." - Jesus Christ

"The Kingdom of Heaven is within us. God is within us. He is the Soul of our souls. See Him in your own soul. That is practical religion. That is freedom." - Vivekananda