Viva Kananda, the Hindoo Orator Delivers an Interesting Lecture [Daily Cardinal, University of Wisconsin at Madison, November 21, 1893]
A crowded house greeted Viva Kananda at the Congregational Church last evening. The speaker was attired in native costume, which consisted of a cream turban, with yellow gown and cardinal sash.
The first part of the lecture was devoted to illustrating the many resemblances of Sanscrit [sic], the language of the Hindoos, to that of English. They have no word in their language which means salvation; to them it is freedom from bondage. They believe that man’s real nature is perfect, and that cause and effect controls all except God. Religion was aptly illustrated by the story of the blind men who each felt of a portion of a huge elephant, and each thought the animal like the particular part he felt of it; so with religion each of the various sects have a part of the whole truth, while truth itself is infinite and no man can say “I have seen it all.”
The Hindoo belief was shown to be one of the most charitable of beliefs. Persecution is something unknown in India; there is no such word in their language. The lecturer challenged the world to show an instance in Hindoo progress, of a Christian missionary being persecuted. A Greek historian, writing of them said: “No Hindoo man is dishonest, no Hindoo woman unchaste.”
Viva Kananda came to this country from India in the interest of the world’s congress of religions, and his lecture last evening on the “Religions of India,” was an inspiration to all who heard him. He has a pleasant, clear – cut, dusky face, and a decidedly impressive manner and bearing. His voice is low and pleasant, with a secret something which rivets your attention at the start.