Do the followers of Vivekananda believe that all religions are equal?

According to an answer here, followers of Vivekananda do believe all religions are equal.

  • 1
    There is a difference between 'same' and equal'. Could you please clarify Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 22:05
  • once again, the term neo-vedantins is a term coined by Western academics to demean all Hindus. Why do you continue to use the term? No sect or Hindu identifies themselves with the term. It is not a Hindu term or category. Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 8:30
  • @SwamiVishwananda Ok I removed neo-Vedanta from the question.
    – Ikshvaku
    Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 11:04

2 Answers 2


At some places Swami Vivekananda said that all religions are true.

Like in the following quotes:

All religions are true (VI.117).

All religions are divided into theory and practice (VI.41).

Religion is one, but its application must be various (VI.82).

All religions are good, since the essentials are the same (VIII.218).

But at other places, he also says that "Our religion is the only true religion".

Ours is the only true religion because, according to it, this little sense-word of the three day's duration is not to be made the end and aim of all, is not to be our great goal. (III.180)

Yet another quote where he is giving Hinduism a special status compared to other religions:

Ours is the only religion that does not depend on a person or persons; it is based upon principles. (III.280)

However, he also said the following:

Hinduism can not live without Buddhism, nor Buddhism without Hinduism. (I.23)

So, we can say, that overall, he believed that all religions are capable of delivering the goods.

All religions lead to God. (VIII.24)

What I have given above, is the view of Swami Vivekananda and hence it is also the view of his followers.

(The numerals in the brackets are indicating the locations of the respective sayings in his Complete Works)


This is what Swami Vivekananda says in His famous Chicago Address:

I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. We believe not only in universal toleration, but we accept all religions as true.

He also quotes from the Shiva-Mahimna-Stotra compiled by Pushpadanta:

I will quote to you, brethren, a few lines from a hymn which I remember to have repeated from my earliest boyhood, which is every day repeated by millions of human beings: “As the different streams having their sources in different places all mingle their water in the sea, so, O Lord, the different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee.”

So He accepts All Religions as True, but some paths are crooked and some are straight.So from one perspective they are same and from another perspective different.

Swamiji wished that in the Ramakrishna Math, none should utter even a single word to condemn any sect or any religion.His Master never criticised any sect or religion (Smirir Aloy Vivekananda, Udbodhan).

I do not accept the term 'Neo-Vedanta' and explained only the view-point of Swami Vivekananda. The followers of Swamiji must obey His views.

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