Filled with the message that he had to give and the work he had set himself, his mind had turned to America. There he hoped to find the solution. There, in the richest country in the world, he hoped to find help for his needy people. "You cannot expect people to be spiritual." he said, "when they are hungry." Although he went with the purpose of asking help, yet when he found himself there, this royal soul could only give. What did he give? A mendicant — what had he to give? He gave regally the most precious thing he possessed, the one priceless gift which India still has to offer the world — the teaching of the atman.
Alone, unheralded, he went to that distant continent. In telling of his experience at the Parliament of Religions, he said, "I had never given a lecture before. True, I had spoken to small groups of people sitting around me, but in an informal way, usually only answering questions. Moreover I had not written out my speech as the others had done. I called upon my Master, and upon Saraswati, giver of vak, and stood upon my feet. I began:'Sisters and Brothers of America' — but I got no further. I was stopped by thunders of applause." It seems the audience broke all bounds. He described the emotions which this amazing reception stirred in him — the thrill amounting to awe. He felt as never before the power behind him. From that time not a shadow of doubt assailed his mind as to his commission from on high. He was the pioneer, the first preacher of Vedanta. His spirituality caused astonishment. People began to ask, "Why send missionaries to a country which produces men like this?"
To be continued.... (Memoirs of Sister Christine)