The New York Critique wrote, "He is an orator by divine right, and his strong, intelligent face in its picturesque setting of yellow and orange was hardly less interesting than those earnest words, and the rich, rhythmical utterance he gave them".
He was an expert musician. What a strong spirit of detachment we had in those days! No good will come of sitting idle and having princely dishes, and saying "Ramakrishna, O Lord! When his Guru Swami Ramakrishna died, he said, will come like a bombshell and make the world follow me like a dog.
We had no thought even as to whether the world existed or not. His letters from this period reflect his campaign of social service,  and were strongly worded.
He tested his guru before surrendering himself to him. In Colombo he gave his first public speech in the East.