What makes Vedanta so powerful and effective is its unbroken succession of teachers (guru-paramparā) in every generation who have shared the wisdom with their students. This has not only kept the lamp of knowledge burning brightly but also guided the spiritual lives of truth-seekers the world over.

Although the 19th century Transcendentalists in New England had some familiarity with Hinduism, the first Hindu teacher to arrive here was Swami Vivekananda, who came to Boston in 1893 and taught Vedanta and its practice. In the years that followed, he stayed for extended periods in Boston and its suburbs. Two other disciples of Ramakrishna, Swamis Saradananda and Abhedananda, also visited Boston and gave classes.