Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chicago

Please note that from May 1 through October 31, the evening Arati (vesper) service will be at 7 p.m.

Spiritual Unfoldment
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.

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.

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...

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.

Vivekananda Retreat 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.

"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

Chicago Calling DVDs Now Available

Chicago Calling DVDs now available

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Program Reports

Report: Sri Buddha Smarana

Buddha Jayanti

Report: Mother's Day

Mother's day was observed in our center on Sunday, May 10, through a special discourse by Swami Ishatmanada on “Mother: The Highest Ideal of Humanity.”

The talk focused on the history & the significance of the day right from the Vedic age to the modern time. The lecture is available online on our YouTube channel. A good number of people attended the program and Swami Ishatmananda presented all the ladies a rose and candies on behalf of the Vedanta Society of Chicago and prayed to almighty God to keep our Mothers healthy & happy.

Report: Sri Ramakrishna Tithi Puja

Report: Sri Rama Navami

Past Events ...


The new issue of our e-zine Chicago Calling has been published. This month's issue has an editorial on the story of Chicago, which rose like a queen from the ruins of the Chicago Fire, an insightful article by Pravrajija Brahmaprana on “Swami Vivekananda as an Embodiment of Devotion”, and an enlightening article by the late Professor of the University of South Carolina, Dr. Hal French, about the “Vedanta Movement in America”. In the regular sections there are Yoga tips to combat winter depression and Information for students on how to learn more efficiently. Last but not the least, inspiring stories of two people, one from a remote village of a developing country, and another a famous professor from the USA. You can read the ezine online or download a pdf to read offline.

The printed compilation of the 2014 e-zine (4 issues) is now available for pickup from our bookstore for only $3

Chicago Calling Program
150th celebration 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 in 2013 was celebrated in a grand manner from November 6th to 11th.

Now, the DVDs of the historic “Chicago Calling” are available for order! Please visit the DVD release page for details and ordering information.

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.