A LECTURE ON “INDIA AND HINDUISM”
(New Discoveries, Vol. 2, p. 42.)
[New York Daily Tribune, April 25, 1894]
Swami Vivekananda lectured before Mrs. Arthur Smith’s conversation circle last evening at the Waldorf on “India and Hinduism.” (Of which no verbatim transcript is available.) Miss Sara Humbert, contralto, and Miss Annie Wilson, soprano, sang several selections. The lecturer wore an orange-colored coat and the accompanying yellow turban, which is called a beggar’s suit. This is worn when a Buddhist has given up “everything for God and humanity.” The theory of reincarnation was discussed. The speaker said that many clergymen who were more aggressive than learned asked: “Why one is unconscious of a former life if such a thing had been?” The reply was that “It would be childish to lay a foundation for consciousness, as man is unconscious of his birth in this life, and also of much that has transpired.”
The speaker said that “no such thing” as “a Judgment Day” existed in his religion, and that his god neither punished nor rewarded. If wrong was done in any way, the natural punishment was immediate. The soul, he added, passed from one body to another, until it had become a perfect spirit, able to do without the limitations of a body. . . .