Lectures from Colombo to Almora
Front cover of 1897 edition
|Publisher||Vyjayanti Press, Madras|
|Text||Lectures from Colombo to Almora at Wikisource|
Lectures from Colombo to Almora (1897) is a book of Swami Vivekananda based on his various lectures. After visiting the West, Vivekananda reached Colombo, British Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) on 15 January 1897. Upon Vivekananda's arrival in South India, a forty-feet high monument was built by the king of Ramnad on the spot where he landed to celebrate his achievements at the West. He reached Calcutta via Madras on 20 January 1897. Then Vivekananda travelled extensively and visited many Indian states. On 19 June (1897) he reached Almora. The lectures delivered by him in this period were compiled into the book Lectures from Colombo to Almora. The book contains reports of his 17 lectures.
In 1893 Swami Vivekananda went to the United States to join the Parliament of the World's Religions where he got overwhelming success and public attention. For next four years, from 1893 to 1897, he travelled through various cities of the United States and England, and gave a series of lectures on religion and Vedanta. He came back to India in 1897 via Colombo. Vivekananda reached Colombo on 15 January 1897 where the natives warmly welcomed him. Vivekananda mentioned this welcome in a letter written to Mary Hale on 30 January 1897:
Things are turning out most curiously for me. From Colombo in Ceylon, where I landed, to Ramnad, the nearly southernmost point of the Indian continent where I am just now as the guest of the Raja of Ramnad, my journey has been a huge procession — crowds of people, illuminations, addresses, etc., etc. A monument forty feet high is being built on the spot where I landed. The Raja of Ramnad has presented his address to "His most Holiness" in a huge casket of solid gold beautifully worked. Madras and Calcutta are on the tiptoe of expectation as if the whole nation is rising to honour me. So you see, Mary, I am on the very height of my destiny, yet the mind turns to quietness and peace, to the days we had in Chicago, of rest, of peace, and love; and that is why I write just now, and may this find you all in health and peace!
On 16 January 1897 he gave a lecture titled "Indian, the sacred land." After staying at Colombo for four days he reached Calcutta[a] on 20 January via Madras.[b] Between 1897 and 1899 Vivekananda travelled extensively and visited the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Kashmir. On 6 May 1897 Vivekananda started his journey to Almora and on 19 June he reached there. He delivered 17 lectures in different places in this period which were compiled into the book Lectures from Colombo to Almora.
Lectures at the following locations are included in the book—[c]
The book was first published by The Vyjayanti Press, Egmore, Madras in 1897 under the title From Colombo to Almora. The introductory note of the book was written by Henrietta Muller, a friend and disciple of Vivekananda.
These lectures have been subject of scholarly studies and source of inspiration for many people. Sri Lankan sage Yogaswami was deeply influenced by the lectures given by Vivekananda at Colombo. Vivekananda's opening words "The time is short and the subject is vast" had deep impact on the young Yogaswami.
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