A MESSAGE FROM INDIA
(New Discoveries, Vol. 1, pp. 204-6.)
Vive Kananda, the Famous Hindoo Monk and Scholar,
Appears in Des Moines
[Iowa State Register, November 28, 1893]
A YOUNG MAN OF THIRTY YEARS
AND A BIG, ACTIVE BRAIN AND TRUE HEART
The people of Des Moines had a glimpse of Oriental life and thought at its best yesterday, from the lips of the famous Hindoo monk, Swami Vive Kananda. A central figure in the great Parliament of Religions at Chicago this summer, where he coped with some of the greatest minds of the country with honor to himself and his people, he gave those who heard him, and especially those who met him at Dr. Breeden’s, something new to think about. It was a message from over the sea, from another people of wholly different surroundings, training, customs and traditions, but as the monk says, the basic principles are the same in all religions. It is his doctrine that there is good in all religions and he preaches it with great power. . . .
Yesterday afternoon he met a large number of the brightest women in Des Moines, members of the various literary clubs, at the invitation of Mrs. H. O. Breeden, at her home, 1318 Woodland avenue, (An informal talk of which there is no verbatim transcript available.) and he talked to them for two or three hours about his religion, his view of Christianity, in which he heartily concurs, and of the manners and customs of his people. The thing which Vive Kananda most strongly insists upon is that the Hindoo religion is not to be blamed for all that is bad in India any more than Christianity is to be blamed for all that is bad in America. And he insists that it is absurd to give Christianity credit for all the marvelous undertakings and achievements of the people who cherish it. He joins in the praise of the sublime things in the bible [sic], but says that when Moses undertook to speak of the creation of the world, he was merely Moses, the Jew and nothing more.
This view from the other side, and a sympathetic side at that, is a most helpful and instructive and intensely interesting one. Vive Kananda uses the purest English, for he was well educated in the English university, Calcutta.
He praises the American women most enthusiastically.
I do not know what would have become of me if it had not been for your women,
he said to a reporter for The Register last night.
They took me up and took care of me and made all necessary arrangements for me. They are the best women in the world. They have been so kind to me,
[the Swami said] with a grateful smile.
. . . . . .