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Swami Vivekananda, Hindoo Monk of India
Yoga: The Art of Transformation

Swami Vivekananda, Hindoo Monk of India

Inscribed: “To Hollister Sturges—All strength and success be yours is the constant prayer of your friend, Vivekananda”

In the late 1800s, India experienced a yoga revival focused on Swami Vivekananda (1863–1902) and his teachings. Born Narendranath Dutta, raised in a progressive Bengali milieu, and educated in English, he was inspired to become a monk by his guru, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.

In 1893, at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Vivekananda attained celebrity status in the United States as “the Hindoo monk of India.” In his rapturously received addresses at the fair’s Parliament of World Religions, the swami spoke, in mellifluous and fluent English, of Hinduism as an unparalleled spiritual path that was inherently universal. Vivekananda’s self-presentation, captured in this iconic poster, was heroic and spiritual, both culturally specific (Hindu although non-sectarian) and broadly appealing.

Swami Vivekananda, Hindoo Monk of India
United States, Chicago, Goes Lithograph Company, 1893
Modern digital print of color lithograph
Vedanta Society of Northern California V22

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We are excited to reopen the Freer in October 2017, following a renovation to allow us to better present our art and serve our visitors. The Sackler remains open, with a full lineup of exhibitions and events both in the museum and around DC. For your safety, all visitors will have their bags checked. See the complete list of restricted items and bag sizes.