Vivekananda Vivekananda & Vedanta Philosophy

Edited by Peter Y. Chou

“Each soul is a circle whose circumference is nowhere (limitless) but whose centre is in some body. Death is but a change of centre. God is a circle whose circumference is nowhere, and whose centre is everywhere. When we get out of the limited centre of the body, we shall realize God, our true Self.
— Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)
The Vedanta Philosophy
Harvard University, March 25, 1896

This web page is my homage to Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) whose illumined mind inspired my spiritual quest of Self-Knowledge. I was introduced to his philosophy by Anthony Damiani at his American Brahmin Bookstore in Ithaca, New York. Anthony mentioned that I need to study Advaita Vedanta, and I told him that “I have no vendetta against anyone.” Anthony laughed, "Not vendetta! Advaita Vedanta— the philosophy of non-dualism." For two and half years, I participated in Anthony's study group learning the perennial philosophy of Plato, Plotinus, Advaita Vedanta, Buddhism, Neo-Confucianism, Sufism, Taoism, and Zen. I recall sharing a ride with Anthony's wife Ella May and two students one weekend to the Vedanta Centre, Cohasset, Massachusetts, where we met Srimata Gayatri Devi. We called her Mataji and browsed their library of Vedanta books and magazines. I admired the portrait of Swami Paramananda (1884-1940), the youngest disciple of Vivekananda, who came to America in 1909 and founded the Vedanta Centre in Boston. Mataji became the spiritual leader of the center upon his death in 1940. In their bookstore, I found a yellowed 50-page paperback published in 1901— Vivekananda's The Vedanta Philosophy— “an address before the Graduate Philosophical Society of Harvard University on March 25, 1896.” It was their last copy, and they charged me the 1901 price, 25 cents for this little book. When I showed it to Mataji, she said “You found the treasure, it's yours.”

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© Peter Y. Chou,
P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: (11-28-2001)