Monday, 19 February 2018

{Daily Katha:1458} Sister Nivedita: The Dedicated - Who gave her all to India – 32

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

Nivedita for promotion of Science - 2

In the year 1901, the Royal Society of London stopped publishing Jagadish Chandra's scientific research papers and dissertations. He was shocked and too disheartened to fight. How would his work be known to the world? Nivedita came forward and told him that the only way to make his work known to the world and to ensure that others do not claim his research as their research was to publish books. Initially Dr. Bose felt too tired and unsure of it. Nivedita did not just suggest she offered herself for writing the books. From then till 1907, the famous three books that Jagadish Chandra published were not only edited by Nivedita, but also the language was mostly hers. The same is true for most of his other essays and later publications.

After the publication of those books, Nivedita also contributed essays and articles about Jagadish Chandra to many magazines and periodicals in India and abroad. She also lectured on 'Jagadish Chandra' at many places. Nivedita used to regard Jagadish Chandra as a 'national asset'. Keeping in view Nivedita's contribution to the scientific research work of Jagadish Chandra, Rabindranath Tagore said: 'In the day of his success, Jagadish gained an invaluable energizer and helper in Sister Nivedita, and in any record of his life's work her name must be given a place of honour.'

It was one of the earnest desires of Nivedita to establish a Vijnan Mandir (School of Science) by the Indians, funded by Indians themselves, where Indian students would get unfettered opportunity to pursue scientific studies. She often used to have discussions with Jagadish Chandra on this issue. That was why, when founding the 'Basu Vijnan Mandir' Jagadish Chandra paid his respectful homage to Nivedita by installing a plaque on the wall displaying a relief model of Nivedita engraved therein. Jagadish Chandra declared that it was Nivedita's dream that was actualized in his 'Vijnan Mandir.' It is known from reminiscences of Dr. Vashishwar Sen that, in accordance with Jagadish Chandra's wish, a small portion of Nivedita's Asthis (bone ashes )was buried under that relief plaque.   

As Nivedita saw aesthetics, art in everything Indian also she saw the science in it. Once Sri Surendranath Tagore who was follower of Brahmo Samaj asked Nivedita, 'If you have to adore an image, why that hideous Kali?' She replied, 'I adore no image. Kali is in me as She is in you. We cannot deny it. Why do you find that revolting'. For her Kali was the scientific concept of the Supreme Power deified, and stood for all functions of life.


Sunday, 18 February 2018

Sister Nivedita - 2

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

Sister Nivedita
- Swami Vireswarananda

Her great qualities of head and heart and her versatile genius drew to her quite a number of leading personalities of the time in the field of art, literature, science, education, journalism and politics. Many she inspired and helped in their own fields. Her strength of character, her originality, and her kind heart and self-effacement evoked loving tributes from many. The most significant tribute was 'this radiant child of God'. It was her own innate purity coupled with the blessings of her Guru and the Holy Mother that transformed Margaret E Noble into this 'radiant child of God'.

In serving India to the best of her abilities she became convinced that political freedom was indispensable for the building of the nation. But she did not want to compromise the position of the Ramakrishna Order which had eschewed politics completely at the behest of its founder Swami Vivekananda. So in order to be fair both to herself and the Order she resigned from it thereby feeling free to work in the political field. She, however, maintained the spiritual bond. The brother disciples of Swamiji also maintained the same love and affection which they had for her before her resignation. She continued to be one of them as before. The break was only from the organizational point for the safety of the Order and not in any other respect. This act of hers was misunderstood in some quarters by people who did not know the true story behind this decision of hers. It was no doubt very painful to her but she could realize that it was the only way to be faithful to herself and to the Order, which she loved so much.

Her politics was of an aggressive type and she had no patience with moderate politics of the petitionary type. Therefore, the Swadeshi movement had her full support. In spite of this view in politics she was a friend of the leaders of the different schools of politics, for she had realized that India had to be united if she was to achieve her freedom. It was her dream to see in India 'the great re-establishment of Dharma, when the whole of this nation shall be united together not in a common weakness, not in a common misfortune or grievance, but in a great ever-living consciousness of the common nationality, common heritage ... .'

Nivedita had her full share of trials and tribulations and had to lead an austere life. But she was, and had been, prepared for it. Swamiji had held before her the ideal of sacrifice in these words, 'Sacrifice in the past has been the law, it will be, alas, for ages to come'. Nivedita had accepted this ideal placed before her by her Guru, for we read in her book Kālī the Mother, 'Look for no mercy for thyself and I shall make thee bearer of great vessels of mercy to others. Accept bravely thine own darkness and thy lamp shall cheer many. Fulfil gladly the meanest service and leave high places unsought.'

May the life of this great dedicated soul inspire our youth in the service of our Motherland is my earnest prayer to Swami Vivekananda who gave in her this unique gift to our Motherland.


PB Jan. 2017 [Text of the address delivered by Srimat Swami Vireswaranandaji Maharaj, a disciple of Sri Sarada Devi, inaugurating the birth centenary celebrations of Sister Nivedita on 28 October 1967 at Mahajati Sadan, Calcutta. It was published in Prabuddha Bharata, 73/2 (February 1968), 49–50 and is being reprinted here—Editor.]

Srimat Swami Vireswaranandaji Maharaj was the tenth President of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission.





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हमें कर्म की प्रतिष्ठा बढ़ानी होंगी। कर्म देवो भव: यह आज हमारा जीवन-सूत्र बनना चाहिए। - भगिनी निवेदिता {पथ और पाथेय : पृ. क्र.१९ }
Sister Nivedita 150th Birth Anniversary : http://www.sisternivedita.org
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Saturday, 17 February 2018

Sister Nivedita - 1

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

Sister Nivedita
- Swami Vireswarananda

We are here today to celebrate the birth centenary of a great soul who, though an alien, had made India her motherland and had dedicated herself to her service. Th e memorial raised to her in the laps of the Himalayas, where she breathed her last, 'Here reposes Sister Nivedita who gave her all to India' is literally true.

Born in Ireland, brought up in England, her field of activity was in India; but through her life and work she belongs to the whole world. Her idealism and spirit of dedication have lifted her to the ranks of the eternal. Her parents were pious Christians and her mother had consecrated her at birth to the service of God. She too was endowed with the qualities of self-sacrifice and passion for Truth. It only needed the living touch of a great soul to set ablaze the latent fire of dedication in her. And this was what happened when she met Swami Vivekananda in London in 1895. In spite of her being on the guard not to be influenced by the magnetic personality of the 'Hindu Yogi' and her intensely independent nature, she was captivated by his nobility and loftiness of his life and teachings. The result was as she said later, 'I had recognized the heroic fibre of the man and desired to make myself the servant of his love for his own people'.

Sister Nivedita was a unique gift of Swami Vivekananda to India. A talented lady deeply rooted in Western culture and civilization was as it were uprooted from that soil by Swami Vivekananda and made to strike root in Indian culture and civilization. The metamorphosis was a painful one even to a brave heart like the Sister's but she did succeed in the end. Discipleship to this 'Master' and playing the role of a servant to India according to his vision was also no easy task. But he knew what he could expect from her and was not disappointed. The intense spiritual training she received under her Guru's supervision, the infinite trust he had in her, as also the blessing of the Holy Mother who accepted her and treated her as her own child, all these made the seemingly impossible possible. Thence-for-ward she dedicated herself to the cause of India in various ways. She inspired patriotism in the youth of India, and called upon them to dedicate their lives for the emancipation of India.

She worked for the education and uplift of Indian women and interpreted to the West Indian culture and ideals in various fields—in arts, education, social life, religion, religious symbology etc. through speeches and books like Religion and Dharma, Web of Indian Life, Footfalls of Indian History, Siva and Buddha, Kālī the Mother. She also influenced many great personalities of her time in India.

Nivedita was a born educator, endowed with the vision and qualities needed. She started a school for girls which has now blossomed into the Nivedita Girls' School. Besides she became instrumental to a great extent in laying the foundation for the development of 'national education' in India.

PB Jan. 2017 [Text of the address delivered by Srimat Swami Vireswaranandaji Maharaj, a disciple of Sri Sarada Devi, inaugurating the birth centenary celebrations of Sister Nivedita on 28 October 1967 at Mahajati Sadan, Calcutta. It was published in Prabuddha Bharata, 73/2 (February 1968), 49–50 and is being reprinted here—Editor.]

Srimat Swami Vireswaranandaji Maharaj was the tenth President of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission.


To Be Continued..


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हमें कर्म की प्रतिष्ठा बढ़ानी होंगी। कर्म देवो भव: यह आज हमारा जीवन-सूत्र बनना चाहिए। - भगिनी निवेदिता {पथ और पाथेय : पृ. क्र.१९ }
Sister Nivedita 150th Birth Anniversary : http://www.sisternivedita.org
---
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