Whitman's work eventually gained enormous popularity in the West, but it was applauded first by Eastern minds. Sri Aurobindo had great respect for Walt Whitman and extolled him in his essay, Future Poetry. Tagore admired him and even translated one of his poems. Swami Vivekananda paid tribute to Whitman as a "spiritual genius." George Bernard Shaw wrote, "Whitman is a classic. Curious that America should be the only country in which this is not as obvious as the sun in the heavens."
O.K. Nambiar again provides a Hindu perspective: "It is a curious fact that the Hindu mind has shown an instant capacity for responsive incandescence when brought into contact with Whitman's works. I remember one occasion when I read out passages from Leaves of Grass and translated them for the benefit of a Brahman pundit. The pundit's eyes lit up with a flash of recognition, and he exclaimed from time to time: 'He is a realized soul.' 'That is the cream of Vedanta' 'Those are signs of Bhava Samadhi.'" Posted by A at 9:58 AM
Poet of Consciousness hinduismtoday.com/archives/1990/06/1990-06-06.shtml