In Mysore, Swamiji got to know Diwan
Swshadri Iyer and also the Maharaja of Mysore. The Swamiji's discourse in Sanskrit at a
gathering of scholars deeply impressed the Maharaja. One day he questioned the Swamiji as
to his future plans. "India is the land of many religions and schools of philosophy.
The Western world has progressed in science. Human welfare is possible only by a
reconciliation of the two. Therefore, I want to go to America in order to propagate
Vedanta," said Swamiji. The Maharaja said, "Then I shall bear all the expenses
of the visit." Swamiji thanked the Maharaja for his offer and promised him that he
would make use of it when he needed it, and took leave of him.
Swamiji next visited Ramanad. Bhaskara Setupati was the ruler of Ramanad at that time.
He discussed with Swamiji the problems that the country was facing. The prince treated him
with great respect. "You should attend the Conference of World Religions in America.
I shall bear all your travel expenses," said the ruler. Assuring the prince that he
would give serious thought to his suggestion, Swamiji went to Rameshwaram and from there
he finally reached Kanyakumari. He swam to a rock and sat on it. Surrounded there by the
sea, he reflected on the state of affairs in India. The thought of the poverty of the
masses in this country made him miserable. He decided that unless casteism was rooted out,
there could be no salvation for his countrymen. He concluded that his first task was to go
Western countries and expose the spiritual values of India. He would then return to awaken
his own slumbering land.
It was in Madras that the little lamp that appeared in Bengalis Narendra became the
blazing light of all India asVivekananda. It was there that pressure mounted on him to go
to America. The fame he won in Madras traveled to Hyderabad. Thousands gathered at the
meeting addressed by him there. It was the first ever-public meeting addressed by Swamiji.
After he returned to Madras from Hyderabad, he started makingpreparations for his tour
abroad. Contributions towards his travel expenses poured in from all parts of the country.
But he kept with him only as much money as he needed for the journey. He returned the rest
of the money to the donors.