There is an incident in which Vivekananda warned an abuser who abused Hinduism

The Swami had an unpleasant experience with two of his fellow-passengers on his way to India. They were Christian Missionaries who insisted on talking with him on the contrast between Hinduism and Christianity. Their methods of argument were most offensive; when they were beaten at every point, they lost their temper, became rude and virulent, and abused the Hindus and their religion. The Swami stood it as long as he could; walking close to one of the speakers he suddenly seized him quietly but firmly by the collar and said, half-humorously and half-grimly, "If you abuse my religion again I'll throw you overboard!" The frightened Missionary "shook in his boots" and said under his breath, "Let me go, sir, I'll never do it again!" From that time on he was most obsequious to the Swami on all occasions and endeavoured to remedy his misbehaviour by exceeding kindness.

In this incident, Vivekananda did not insult the abuser due to the opinion possessed by the abuser but warned the abuser due to offensive comments of the person.

Unlike this, there are instances where Srila Prabhupada insulted Vivekananda and others

here amongst the educated class there is influence of all these rascals, Vivekananda, Aurobindo, and... That is one defect.

Vivekananda afaik never insulted anyone and may exaggerate people's greatness. I asked a question related to it previously.

It is generally acceptable to criticize the beliefs or ideologies of others, but I do believe that great people never insult others by taking their name.

Did Swami Vivekananda ever insult by taking names of others in his speeches or writings like Srila Prabhupada?

Note: I am asking this question neither to compare the both (Vivekananda, Srila Prabhupada) nor to criticize Srila Prabhupada. But only to know about the etiquette exhibited by Vivekananda. I quoted the words of Srila Prabhupada so that members can understand well what I mean by insulting for answering this question. So, please don't negatively perceive this question as inciting debates.

1 Answer 1


Swami Vivekananda was unhappy with Pratap Chandra Mazoomdar, the Brahmo representative who also visited Chicago, for his slanders against him as is clear from the letter given below.

XVIII To Miss Mary Hale

DETROIT, 18th March, 1894.


My heartfelt thanks for your kindly sending me the letter from Calcutta. It was from my brethren at Calcutta, and it is written on the occasion of a private invitation to celebrate the birthday of my Master about whom you have heard so much from me — so I send it over to you. The letter says that Mazoomdar has gone back to Calcutta and is preaching that Vivekananda is committing every sin under the sun in America. . . . This is your America's wonderful spiritual man! It is not their fault; until one is really spiritual, that is, until one has got a real insight into the nature of one's own soul and has got a glimpse of the world of the soul, one cannot distinguish chaff from seed, tall talk from depth, and so on. I am sorry for poor Mazoomdar that he should stoop so low! Lord bless the old boy! ...............................

I am all right. Hoping it is same with you.

I remain your brother, VIVEKANANDA.

The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 8, Epistles-fourth series, XVIII

Inspite of Mazoomdar's lies and slanders Vivekananda told his brethren not to fight the Brahmos.

LXXXVII To Swami Brahmananda

HOTEL MINERVA, FLORENCE, 20th December, 1896.


As you see, by this time I am on my way. Before leaving London, I got your letter and the pamphlet. Take no heed of Mazoomdar's madness. He surely has gone crazy with jealousy. Such foul language as he has used would only make people laugh at him in a civilised country. He has defeated his purpose by the use of such vulgar words.

All the same, we ought not to allow Hara Mohan or any one else to go and fight Brahmos and others in our name. The public must know that we have no quarrel with any sect, and if anybody provokes a quarrel, he is doing it on his own responsibility. Quarrelling and abusing each other are our national traits. Lazy, useless, vulgar, jealous, cowardly, and quarrelsome, that is what we are,...... Anyone who wants to be my friend must give up these. Neither do you allow Hara Mohan to print any book, because such printing as he does is only cheating the public.

If there are oranges in Calcutta, send a hundred to Madras care of Alasinga, so that I may have them when I reach Madras.

Mazoomdar writes that the Sayings of Shri Ramakrishna published in The Brahmavadin are not genuine and are lies! In that case ask Suresh Dutt and Ram Babu to give him the lie in The Indian Mirror. As I did not do anything about the collection of the Uktis (Sayings), I cannot say anything.

Yours affectionately,


PS. Don't mind these fools; "No fool like an old fool" is the proverb. Let them bark a little. Their occupation is gone. Poor souls! Let them have a little satisfaction in barking.

The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 8, Epistle-fourth series, LXXXVII

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