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NY State monument for Swami Vivekananda and the 'song of Sannyasin'

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Some time ago, when I was visiting certain parts of New York state I came across a NY state memorial in a place called Thousand Islands. An American friend told me about this memorial

In the next few posts let me share information about this memorial as well share a poem Swami Vivekananda wrote which was uncovered 52 years later in 1940s quiet accidentally.

There is also contribution to seminal ideas of mass and energy that Swami Vivekananda had made around that time which is also interesting.

If anyone visits Niagara Falls area on the NY State side they might consider going to Thousand Island place. It is a beautiful place. If you happen to go there you might take your children to Swami Vivekananda State of NY monument

First a note about this memorial

Installed by the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York, in cooperation with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the new memorial monument marks the spot where the renowned Swami sat in deep meditation on the final day of his stay at Thousand Island Park. The monument consists of a large stone base topped by an engraved bronze plaque bearing a likeness of Swami Vivekananda, and a description of the historic event. Two natural stone benches, one on each side of the monument, were fashioned from nearby large stone slabs found at the site. The plaque inscription reads as follows:

Vivekananda Rock Memorial

Following his appearance at the 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in connection with the Columbian Exposition, Swami Vivekananda (1863‐1902) was at once acclaimed the foremost champion of the harmony of religions. Almost overnight this unknown young monk of India shot into prominence as a great world teacher. His stirring message of the basic truth of all religions gave rise to the interfaith movement. In the summer of 1895, the Swami spent seven weeks at Thousand Island Park in the cottage of Elizabeth Dutcher, imparting his teachings to a number of earnest disciples. Those teachings, later published as Inspired Talks, have made their way to every corner of the world, providing inspiration to seekers of peace and spiritual fulfillment. At this spot on the morning of August 7, 1895 Swami Vivekananda sat in deep meditation on the final day of his historic stay at Thousand Island Park. The Swami and two disciples strolled about half a mile from the cottage where all was forest and solitude, and sat under this low‐branched tree.

Suddenly the Swami said: “Now we shall meditate. We shall be like Buddha under the Bo‐tree.” He became still as a bronze statue. A thunderstorm came up and it poured, but the Swami did not notice anything. Later that day, boarding a steamer to take leave of the Islands, he said, “I bless these Thousand Islands.”

Installed by the Ramakrishna‐Vivekananda Center of New York in cooperation with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Summer 2009.


Well-known member
Reference: website for the opening post is

Vivekananda Rock Dedication - Report


Now let me share a small story about this house where Swami Vivekananda spent 7 weeks

[h=3]Thousand Island Park Landmark Society[/h][h=3]by Susan Testa Turri[/h][h=3][/h][h=3]A MYSTERY OF TIME, PLACE & CULTURE[/h]
If you listen carefully on a summer day, you can hear “magical sounds” drifting down from behind the Tabernacle. At dusk, sounds of bells and hymns of praise in ancient Sanskrit rise from a peaceful sanctuary among the rocks and pines. These meditations are reminiscent of a time, a century ago, when Thousand Island Park was a summer community devoted to the fostering of religious, social and family values.
Vivekananda was and is an integral part of that tradition: Who was Swami Vivekananda and why does a cottage bear his name? Why do millions of people belonging to different faiths follow his teachings and those of his great teacher, Sri Ramakrishna?
How did a Victorian cottage on the St. Lawrence river achieve such a spiritual significance?
[h=3]100 YEARS AGO[/h]
Swami Vivekanandaʼs arrival at the main dock of Thousand Island Park a century ago, on June 18, 1895, was the result of a convergence of events that would have a lasting effect on millions of people, both here and abroad. He came to the Park at the invitation of Miss Mary Elizabeth Dutcher, an artist and cottage owner who had attended his spiritual classes in New York City and was struck by his strength of purpose.

In preparation for Swami Vivekanandaʼs arrival, Miss Dutcher added a wing to her cottage for his comfort and privacy. The three-story addition housed a guest room on Swami said he was “at his best” at Thousand Island Park. The ideas he refined and expressed there grew, during the years that followed, into institutions both in India and elsewhere. Yet, this work would take hold. Upon Vivekanandaʼs return to India in January 1897, he was denounced by some for his new social and humanitarian teachings, but welcomed by those who believed in him as the herald of a new age for his country.
Now back at home (though in failing health), he founded the Ramakrishna Order of India, dedicated to the realization of Truth through service to humanity. He devoted his time and energy to improve the condition of Indiaʼs masses. He died less than six years later, at the age of 39, exalted by the credo of his mission “In the work is the Worship of God” In but a short life, he had reached so many. Indeed, his humanistic views would profoundly influence generations of individuals such as Mahatma Gandhi who openly acknowledges his debt to Vivekanandaʼs ideals.
the lowest floor, a classroom on the first floor, and the Swamiʼs room on the top floor which opened onto a porch with a magnificent view of the river. “WELCOME VIVEKANANDA” read the banner that greeted him as he entered the cottage for the beginning of a remarkable seven weeks. Today, one hundred years later, the cottage stands much as it was then, revered as a holy place by followers of his teachings.



The restoration of the cottage began in the early spring of 1948. One of the students came to Thousand Island Park to oversee the work. A student and his son put in all the electrical wiring. A group of woman students came early in June and fixed curtains, repainted old furniture, purchased necessary articles, planted flowers, etc. The kitchen, which contained an old wood stove used in Swami Vivekanandaʼs time, was modernized. Modern plumbing was installed. The shed-like structure over Miss Dutcherʼs studio was transformed into a sleeping porch. On the outside of the house the
original fluted and scrolled decorations were restored by Tom Mitchell Sr., who had worked on the original wing added by Miss Dutcher.

The summer of 1950 saw fireplaces added to the study and the bedroom below. The cottage was ready for occupancy by July 1948. Swamiʼs Aseshananda, Satprakashananda, Yatiswarananda, as well as Nikhilananda spent the summer there. Earth from holy places in India was buried outside. Ganges water was poured into the St. Lawrence. Puja and Homa were performed in the garden.
Swamiʼs room is used to this day as a chapel. In the early days of the rediscovery of the cottage some of the students agreed that a rock - a good half mile behind the cottage - was the most likely place of Swami Vivekanandaʼs inspired talks. It is a beautiful flat rock beneath a great oak tree, overlooking a broad expanse of meadow and commanding an inclusive view of the river. Year after year, students make this rock a place of pilgrimage and it has become known as Vivekananda Rock.

Today in Thousand Island Park, a National Register Historic District, on Wellesley Island, Vivekanandaʼs followers can be found at the end of July each year on retreat at the Vivekananda cottage! They mingle effortlessly with the summer community and share in the joy that Swami Vivekannda found here among the pines, rock and river. When Swami left the islands he said, ʻ I bless these Thousand Islands ʻ in this he gave to the United States a holy place.
Compiled and written by Trude Brown Fitelson, Thousand Island Park.

Swami Vivekananda > Thousand Islands Life Magazine > Thousand Islands Life Magazine All Archives


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Song of Sannyasin and how it was found


Vivekananda was arguably the most renowned Hindu spiritual leader of this century (even though he died in 1902 at age 39). It is the spirit of his renunciation, the essence, profound wisdom and insights into human experience gained from his dedicated life that the Song of the Sannyasin presents in poetic beauty and compelling command.

Surprisingly, Vivekananda told no one that he wrote it. It remained entirely unknown until the original manuscript (shown below) was serendipitously discovered in 1947 during restorations of the cottage Vivekananda had stayed in.

Opening the old wooden walls, carpenters found the hand-written manuscript, hidden from the world for 52 years. Perhaps Swamiji thought the song too imperious for the public. But why would he not share it with his brother sannyasins? It is still a mystery why Vivekananda would painstakingly compose these potent verses, then hide them in the wallboards of his cottage. Perhaps he knew they would be found at the right time, or perhaps his act was itself an example of giving up and letting go?

The remarkable philosopher-monk was only 32 years old at the time of his visit to the Park, but he was already a celebrity in America. He had arrived in the United States two years earlier, in July 1893, journeying from India to Chicago at the urging of his fellow monks and admirers to represent Hinduism at the World Parliament of Religions. His humble yet electrifying address, at the end of an opening day of sectarian speeches, completely transformed the tenor of the conference. The New York Herald noted: "He is undoubtedly the greatest figure in the parliament."
Exhausted by nearly two strenuous years of lecturing throughout the US, Vivekananda was grateful to find refuge at the Park. Feeling rejuvenated, he gathered his spiritual power to train the twelve students who followed him there. His thoughts and teachings were transcribed into "Inspired Talks," a compilation which merged the spirituality of Ramakrishna with Swamiji's deep concern for the political freedom and material well-being of humanity. Swami said he was "at his best'' at Thousand Island Park.

The ideas and visions he refined and expressed there grew during later years into institutions in India and elsewhere.

Vivekananda's song presents a bold message, one sorely needed in today's world. We present it here in honor of the Ramakrishna renunciates, and for all courageous youth who yet today dare to wonder if life may have more to offer... It does.


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Song of Sannyasin

Wikipedia link
The Song of the Sannyasin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


[h=2]Song of the Sannyâsin[/h]Wake up the note! the song that had its birth
Far off, where worldly taint could never reach,
In mountain caves and glades of forest deep,
Whose calm no sigh for lust or wealth or fame
Could ever dare to break; where rolled the stream
Of knowledge, truth, and bliss that follows both.
Sing high that note, sannyâsin bold! Say,
"Om Tat Sat, Om!"

Strike off thy fetters! bonds that bind thee down,
Of shining gold, or darker, baser ore--
Love, hate; good, bad; and all the dual throng.
Know slave is slave, caressed or whipped, not free;
For fetters, though of gold, are not less strong to bind.
Then off with them, sannyâsin bold! Say,
"Om Tat Sat, Om!"

Let darkness go, the will-o'-the-wisp that leads
With blinking light to pile more gloom on gloom.
This thirst for life forever quench; it drags
From birth to death, and death to birth, the soul.
He conquers all who conquers self.
Know this and never yield, sannyâsin bold! Say,
"Om Tat Sat, Om!"

"Who sows must reap," they say, "and cause must bring
The sure effect: good, good; bad, bad; and none
Escapes the law. But whoso wears a form
Must wear the chain." Too true; but far beyond
Both name and form is âtman, ever free.
Know thou art That, sannyâsin bold! Say,
"Om Tat Sat, Om!"

They know not truth who dream such vacant dreams
As father, mother, children, wife and friend.
The sexless Self--whose father He? whose child?
Whose friend, whose foe, is He who is but One?
The Self is all in all--none else exists;
And thou art That, sannyâsin bold! Say,
"Om Tat Sat, Om!"

There is but One: the Free, the Knower, Self,
Without a name, without a form or stain.
In Him is mâyâ, dreaming all this dream.
The Witness, He appears as nature, soul.
Know thou art That, sannyâsin bold! Say,
"Om Tat Sat, Om!"

Where seekest thou? That freedom, friend, this world
Nor that can give. In books and temples, vain
Thy search. Thine only is the hand that holds
The rope that drags thee on. Then cease lament.
Let go thy hold, sannyâsin bold! Say,
"Om Tat Sat, Om!"

Say, "Peace to all. From me no danger be
To aught that lives. In those that dwell on high,
In those that lowly creep--I am the Self in all!
All life, both here and there, do I renounce,
All heavens and earths and hells, all hopes and fears."
Thus cut thy bonds, sannyâsin bold! Say,
"Om Tat Sat, Om!"

Heed then no more how body lives or goes.
Its task is done: let karma float it down.
Let one put garlands on, another kick
This frame: say naught. No praise or blame can be
Where praiser, praised, and blamer, blamed, are one.
Thus be thou calm, sannyâsin bold! Say,
"Om Tat Sat, Om!"

Truth never comes where lust and fame and greed
Of gain reside. No man who thinks of woman
As his wife can ever perfect be;
Nor he who owns the least of things, nor he
Whom anger chains, can ever pass through mâyâ's gates.
So, give these up, sannyâsin bold! Say,
"Om Tat Sat, Om!"

Have thou no home. What home can hold thee, friend?
The sky thy roof, the grass thy bed, and food
What chance may bring--well cooked or ill, judge not.
No food or drink can taint that noble Self
Which knows Itself. Like rolling river free
Thou ever be, sannyâsin bold! Say,
"Om Tat Sat, Om!"

Few only know the truth. The rest will hate
And laugh at thee, great one; but pay no heed.
Go thou, the free, from place to place, and help
Them out of darkness, mâyâ's veil. Without
The fear of pain or search for pleasure, go
Beyond them both, sannyâsin bold! Say,
"Om Tat Sat, Om!"

Thus day by day, till karma's power's spent,
Release the soul forever. No more is birth,
Nor I, nor thou, nor God, nor man. The "I"
Has All become, the All is "I" and Bliss.
Know thou art That, sannyâsin bold! Say,
"Om Tat Sat, Om!"

"Song of the Sannyâsin" by Swâmî Vivekânanda is quoted, with written permission, from Inspired Talks, My Master and Other Writings; copyright 1958 by Swâmî Nikhilânanda, trustee of the estate of Swâmî Vivekânanda; published by the Râmak®ish(integral)a-Vivekânanda Center of New York. Remarkably, the handwritten original was discovered (long after his passing in 1902) hidden in a wall during the 1947 restoration of a retreat where Swâmijî had spent the summer and given darshan and discourses to Western seekers.


Well-known member
Seminal contribution to a key scientific notion

Today most people, even those that have no background in Physics know the famous equation:

E=mc2 (m*c*C - c= speed of light) establishing the equivalence of mass and energy.

Swami Vivekananda around this period of time had great many interaction with the great physicist Tesla.

It was Swamiji who first told Tesla about the mass and energy equivalence in no uncertain terms and asked if Tesla can find a rigorous scientific basis for this idea that has origination in Hindu vedantic thoughts.

Vedanta is not Science but about science (and scientific in its approach) .

Tesla was also communicating with Einstein around that period of time.

Here is a reference for those that want to know more details
Nikola Tesla and Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda, late in the year l895 wrote in a letter to an English friend, "Mr. Tesla thinks he can demonstrate mathematically that force and matter are reducible to potential energy. I am to go and see him next week to get this new mathematical demonstration. In that case the Vedantic cosmoloqy will be placed on the surest of foundations. I am working a good deal now upon the cosmology and eschatology of the Vedanta. I clearly see their perfect union with modern science, and the elucidation of the one will be followed by that of the other." (Complete Works, Vol. V, Fifth Edition, 1347, p. 77).
Here Swamiji uses the terms force and matter for the Sanskrit terms Prana and Akasha. Tesla used the Sanskrit terms and apparently understood them as energy and mass. (In Swamiji's day, as in many dictionaries published in the first half of the present century, force and energy were not alwavys clearly differentiated. Energy is a more proper translation of the Sanskrit term Prana.)
Tesla apparently failed in his effort to show the identity of mass and energy. Apparently he understood that when speed increases, mass must decrease. He seems to have thought that mass might be "converted" to energy and vice versa, rather than that they were identical in some way, as is pointed out in Einstein's equations. At any rate, Swamiji seems to have sensed where the difficulty lay in joining the maps of European science and Advaita Vedanta and set Tesla to solve the problem. It is apparently in the hope that Tesla would succeed in this that Swamiji says "In that case the Vedantic cosmology will be placed on the surest of foundations." Unfortunately Tesla failed and the solution did not come till ten years later, in a paper by Albert Einstein. But by then Swamiji was gone and the connecting of the maps was delayed.

The Influence of Vedic Philosophy on
Nikola Tesla's Understanding of Free Energy
An Article by Toby Grotz
Web Publication by Mountain Man Graphics, Australia - Southern Autumn of 1997
Abstract ...
Nikola Tesla used ancient Sanskrit terminology in his descriptions of natural phenomena. As early as 1891 Tesla described the universe as a kinetic system filled with energy which could be harnessed at any location. His concepts during the following years were greatly influenced by the teachings of Swami Vivekananda. Swami Vivekananda was the first of a succession of eastern yogi's who brought Vedic philosophy and religion to the west. After meeting the Swami and after continued study of the Eastern view of the mechanisms driving the material world, Tesla began using the Sanskrit words Akasha, Prana, and the concept of a luminiferous ether to describe the source, existence and construction of matter. This paper will trace the development of Tesla's understanding of Vedic Science, his correspondence with Lord Kelvin concerning these matters, and the relation between Tesla and Walter Russell and other turn of the century scientists concerning advanced understanding of physics. Finally, after being obscured for many years, the author will give a description of what he believes is the the pre-requisite for the free energy systems envisioned by Tesla.



tks sir,
thanks for the sannyasin song and the great Swami Vivekananda's message. One can experience him in his residence at Belur Muth. His spiritual vibration can be felt during meditation. What great soul ?!


thanks very much tks. I did go to Niagara Falls and I think i missed very badly. whenever I go next time I will ensure I visit that place. I admire Swamy Vivekanada. I visited Belur Mutt number of times and sat for hours in front of his statue. thanks once again - srinivasan


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I will plan to visit this site when I am in east coast next time and then write about what I saw first hand.
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