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Vedanta Societies

Vedanta Societies

American Vedanta Societies stem from the visit to the United States by Swami Vivekananda in 1893, when he lectured on Hinduism at the World Parliament of Religions held in Chicago. The Swami founded the Vedanta Society of New York in 1896, followed by the Vedanta Society of San Francisco in 1900.

Swami Vivekananda became the foremost interpreter of Yoga and Hinduism in Western countries, basing his teachings on the inspiration of his master Sri Ramakrishna.

Vedanta comprises the supreme wisdom of the Vedas, the ancient Sanskrit scriptures of India, together with the Upanishads, which derived from them. This wisdom is manifest as a revelatory experience after following spiritual disciplines (such as the various forms of yoga ) in conjunction with scripture study under the guidance of a qualified guru or teacher.

There are now some sixteen Vedanta Centres in the United States which form branches of the Ramakrishna Order of India. Addresses: Vedanta Society of Northern California, 2323 Vallejo St., San Francisco, CA 94123; Vedanta Society of Southern California, 1946 Vedanta Pl., Hollywood, CA 90068. There are also Vedanta Centre/Ananda Ashrama communities providing spiritual retreats in both Massachusetts and Southern California. Addresses: Vedanta Centre, 130 Beechwood St., Cohasset, MA 02025; Ananda Ashrama, 5301 Pennsylvania Ave., CA 91214.

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Vedanta Societies

Vedanta Societies, first and most influential Hindu organization in the West, founded by Swami Vivekananda (1863–1902), a disciple of Indian mystic Ramakrishna (1836–86). Vivekananda attended an international religious conference in Chicago (1893), and later established the Vedanta Society of New York (1894), an organization devoted to service and mysticism. Vivekananda returned to India and founded the Ramakrishna Order (1897) to administer the network of Vedanta societies and humanitarian and religious activities. There are 20 centers in the United States.

See J. Damrell, Seeking Spiritual Meaning (1977); C. Isherwood, My Guru and His Disciple (1988); C. T. Jackson, The Ramakrishna Movement in the United States (1994).

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Vedanta Society

Vedanta Society. A Hindu movement formed in New York in 1896 by Swami Vivekananda, a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna. It is the W. branch of the Ramakrishna Math (monastery), based at Belur near Calcutta, and was established for the purpose of acquainting the West with the spiritual heritage of India in return for the scientific, educational, and other material benefits of the West.

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