“Even now a hundred years after the birth of Narendranath Datta, who later became Swami Vivekananda, it is very difficult to evaluate his importance in the scale of world history. It is certainly far greater than any Western historian or most Indian historians would have suggested at the time of his death. The passing of the years and the many stupendous and unexpected events which have occurred since then suggests that in centuries to come he will be remembered as one of the main moulders of the modern world, especially as far as Asia is concerned, and as one of the most significant figures in the whole history of Indian religion, comparable in importance to such great teachers as øaïkara and Ràmànuja, and definitely more important than the saints of local or regional significance such as Kabãr, Caitanya, and the many Nàyanmàrs and âlvàrs of South India.
I believe also that Vivekananda will always be remembered in the world’s history because he virtually initiated what the late Dr C. E. M. Joad once called ‘the counter-attack from the East’. Since the days of the Indian missionaries who travelled in South-East Asia and China preaching Buddhism and Hinduism more than a thousand years earlier, he was the first Indian religious teacher to make an impression outside India.”
A. L. Basham (1914-1986)
A famous Indologist. As a visiting professor invited by Britain, United States, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Recipient of De÷ikottama Award from Visva-Bharati University in 1985. Formerly Vivekananda Professor of the Calcutta Asiatic Society and the President of Ramakrishna Movement. The Wonder that was India is the most famous of his books.