OUR MISSION IN AMERICA

(Vivekananda in Indian Newspapers, p. 208.)

[The Indian Mirror, April 24, 1898]

Swami Vivekananda, in introducing the lecturer Swami Saradananda, said:

Ladies and Gentlemen, — The speaker of tonight just comes from America. As you all know here that America is for your country, although our countrymen, specially Swami Dayananda Saraswati, used to call this country as Patal, inhabited by Laplands, Rakshas and Asurs, &c. (Laughter and loud cheers). Well, Gentlemen, whether it is Patal or not you ought to decide that by seeing those few ladies pres ent here, who have come from the country of your so-called Patal, whether they are Naga Kanyas or not. (Cheers). Now, America is perfectly a new country. It was discovered by Columbus, the Italian, and before that a prior claim is put forward by the Norwegians who say, that they have discovered the northern part of it, and then before that there is another prior claim of the Chinese, who at one time preached the noble doctrine of Buddhism in all parts of the world, and it is said that Buddhist Missionaries were also sent from India to America, and specially in Washington, where some sort[s] of records are still to be traced by any traveller going there. Well, the table has now been turned at last for a century or more and instead of America being discovered, she discovers persons that go over to her. (Loud applause). It is a phenomenon that we observe every day there, multitudes of persons coming over from every part of the country [world?] and getting themselves discovered in the United States. It is a fact, well-known to you here all that several of our own countrymen have been discovered in that way. (Cheers). To-day, here I present before you one of your Calcutta boys, that has been similarly discovered by the Americans. (Cheers).