Chicago: Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that tolerance and universal acceptance have been two of the most noteworthy aspects of the Indian culture.
Naidu's remarks came while addressing the concluding ceremony of the 2nd World Hindu Congress, which was organized on the eve of 125th Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda's Historic Speech at the Parliament of the World's Religions in 1893 at Chicago.
Speaking on the occasion, Naidu said, "As Swami Vivekananda said in his inaugural speech at Chicago on September 11, 1893, ours is a country that has "taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance." India believes "not only in universal toleration but we accept all religions as true."
Asserting that India is a treasure house of ideas, values, and attitudes, Naidu said that the country could provide honey of wisdom in this bitter world.
"We have inherited a treasure house of ideas, values, and attitudes. In a world of unprecedented changes, we need a sheet anchor and a spiritual compass. India could offer those to the world. In a world that is filled with bitterness, India could provide the honey of wisdom gathered from different flowers by different bees," he added.
Naidu further said that people from all religions are well received in India.
"As Swami Vivekananda said, "From the high spiritual flights of the Vedanta philosophy, of which the latest discoveries of science seem like echoes, to the low ideas of idolatry with its multifarious mythology, the agnosticism of the Buddhists and the atheism of the Jains, each and all have a place in Hindu's religion, the Vice President stated..
"We Hindus accept every religion, praying in the mosque of the Mohammedans, worshipping before the fire of the Zoroastrians, and kneeling before the cross of the Christians, knowing that all the religions from the lowest fetishism, mean so many attempts of the human soul to grasp and realize the infinite, each determined by the conditions of its birth and association, and each of them making a stage of progress. We gather all these flowers and bind them with the twine of love, making a wonderful bouquet of worship," he added.
Paying rich tributes to Swami Vivekananda, Naidu said that it was the former's speech that helped the world at large to know the significance of the tenets of the Hindu religion.
"True nationalism is the preservation of this invaluable heritage. We should live the values we espouse and present the bouquet of ideas in the correct perspective so that the world has the most authentic perspective. This will prevent some distortions and erroneous perceptions from gaining ground. In fact, this is what Swami ji had achieved through his lectures in Chicago and in other parts of the world. We have also to guard against the aberrations that have tended to creep into Hindu society," Naidu said.