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.
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..
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 Vivekananda — to make people aware of their inner divinity and to help them to manifest it in every moment of life.
Vedanta states that the underlying substance
behind all phenomena, names, and forms is one.
A few thousand years ago, the scriptures of India affirmed
Truth is one. The wise call it by
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."
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.
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.
The new issue of our e-zine Chicago Calling has been published. This month's issue has articles by Swami Sarvadevananda on Swamiji's message of “Spiritual Unity in Diversity” and by Swami Vidishananda on “Vedanta Movement in Russia.” The talks were given at our “Chicago Calling” program last year. The issue also contains inspiring stories of courage and strength, and 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
“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.
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
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
Meditation: Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali
September 7, 11 a.m.
September 9, 7:30 p.m.
September 5, 7:30 p.m.
Meditation: Yoga Aphorisms
"Is man an insignificant thing? He can think of God, he can think of the Infinite, while other living beings cannot." -
"The Kingdom of Heaven is within you." -
"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." -