Documentary on Swami Vivekananda's influence on American spirituality to premiere on PBS

The documentary explores Vivekananda's legacy and contributions to American spirituality, making it a notable addition to this year's PBS programming.

'America's First Guru' Public Poster Artwork for Film / Image - A thousand suns academy LLC

American multicast television channel, PBS World, is set to premiere its latest documentary “America’s First guru” this month.

The film directed by Raja Choudhury, explores the life and influence of Swami Vivekananda, the Indian monk who introduced yoga, vedanta, and Indian spiritual teachings to the US in the late 1800s.

The documentary highlights the 1893 World's Parliament of Religions in Chicago, where Vivekananda delivered powerful speeches that captivated his audience. The event is regarded as the beginning of a spiritual awakening that continues to influence American culture.

Following his landmark appearance in Chicago, Vivekananda spent six years traveling across the United States. During this time, he founded the Vedanta Society of New York, the first Hindu ashram in the country, significantly influencing the spread of Yoga and Vedantic practices.

Today, Yoga is practiced by over 55 million Americans, and terms such as "Guru," "Asana," and "Karma" have become part of everyday language. The Namaste gesture is now commonly seen at events ranging from red carpet ceremonies to sports games.

Vivekananda's teachings extended beyond physical practices, introducing deeper Vedantic concepts like meditation, universalism, tolerance, pluralism, and the acceptance of all faiths.

According to a statement by the makers, his message empowered American women, artists, and individuals from diverse backgrounds to recognize their spiritual potential and achieve freedom,  earning him the title of America's First Guru.