Sunday, 19 November 2017

Letters of Sister Nivedita - 1


यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

Letter to [ ? ]

October 13, 1898

[Pages missing]

Ever since the day he wrote "Kali the Mother", he has been growing more and more absorbed, and at last he went off quietly without any one knowing, from the place where he was living to a Sacred Spring called Kir Bhowanie. There he stayed eight days, which seem almost too holy to write about. He must have had awful experiences spiritually and physically, for he came back one afternoon, with his face all radiant—talking of the Mother and saying he was going to Calcutta at once.

Since then we have hardly seen him. He has been alone and living like a child "on the lap of the Mother"—it was his own expression. How am I to tell you of things that [ ••• ] But I want you to know it as if you had been here. I know you won't treat it as news or as anything but sacred to yourself.

My own feeling (mind that is all) is that the ascetic impulse has come upon him overwhelmingly and that he may never visit the West or even teach again. Nothing would surprise one less than his taking the vow of silence and withdrawing forever. But perhaps the truth is, that in his case this would not be strength, but self indulgence and I can imagine that he will rise even above this mood and become a great spring of healing and knowledge to the world. Only all the carelessness and combativeness and pleasure-seeking have gone out of life and he speaks and replies to a question with the greatness and gentleness of a soul as large as the universe, all bruised and anguished, yet all Love. To say anything to him seems sacrilege and curiously enough the only language that does not seen unworthy of his Presence is a joke or a witty story—at which we all laugh. For the rest—one's very breath is hushed at the holiness of every moment.

Can I tell you more ? The last words I heard him say were "Swamiji is dead and gone" and again, "there is bliss in torture." He has no harsh word for anyone. In such vastness of mood Christ was crucified.

Again he said, he had had to go through every word of his poem of "Kali the Mother" in his experience,—and yesterday he made me repeat bits of it to him.

He talked, and because he talked of the Mother, the words seemed large enough. Before he had gone away he left one filled with the Presence of the Mother. Yesterday, he made me catch my breath and call him "God."

We are one part of a rhythm, you and I, that is larger than we know of—God make us worthy of our place. "Mother is flying kites", he sang, "in the market place of the world, in a hundred thousand. She cuts the strings of one or two."

"We are children playing in the dust, blinded by the glitter of dust in our eyes."

He turned to us Sunday and said, "These images of the Gods are more than can be explained by solar myths and nature myths. They are visions seen by true Bhakti. They are real."

Kashmir. Oct. 13, 1898



Saturday, 18 November 2017

निवेदिता - एक समर्पित जीवन - 2

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

सच्ची श्रद्धा

एक बार कोलकाता स्कूल ऑफ आर्ट के प्रधान ई. बी. हेवेल से भगिनी निवेदिता की वार्ता हो रही थी।

श्री हेवेल ने कला संबंधी अपने अनुभव बताते हुए कहा, "....मैं एक व्यक्ति को चित्र खींचना तथा चित्रकारी करना सिखा सकता हूं परंतु मैं उसे कलाकार नहीं बना सकता हूं। क्योंकि कलाकार अंतर्मन की साधना से बनता है। चित्रकार चित्र में आंसू बहाती स्त्री को तो बना सकता है, किंतु उसमें स्त्री के मन की पीड़ा और दर्द को व्यक्त नहीं कर सकता। एक सफल कलाकार जो अंतर्मन में उस दर्द को आत्मसात किए हो वही उसे प्रभावपूर्वक चित्र में प्रस्तुत कर सकता है।"

भगिनी निवेदिता तुरंत बोली, "ठीक इसी प्रकार  देश के लिए, समाज के लिए प्रेम, जन्म के लिए स्वाभिमान, भविष्य के लिए आशा तथा भारत के लिए अगाध श्रद्धा आश्चर्यकारी कार्य करवा सकती है। आवश्यकता है भीतर से आस्था की।" 

{ निवेदिता एक समर्पित जीवन : पृष्ठ क्रमांक 26 }

Friday, 17 November 2017

निवेदिता - एक समर्पित जीवन - 1

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

पूर्वाभास

२८ अक्टूबर, १८६७ को अायरलैण्ड के डंगानन काउंटी टायोन में जन्मी भगिनी निवेदिता का मूल नाम कुमारी मार्गरेट नॉबल था। नॉबल परिवार मूलतः स्कॉटिश था किन्तु चौहदवीं सदी में अायरलैण्ड में बस गया। मार्गरेट के पितामह ज़ॉन नॉबल उत्तरी अायरलैण्ड के वेसलियन चर्च के पादरी थे। उनका विवाह मार्गरेट एलिजाबेथ नीलस से हुअा। ईन्हीं की अात्मजा थी कुमारी मार्गरेट जिसे अपनी दादी का नाम प्रदान किया गया।

उस समय अायरलैण्ड में इंग्लैण्ड के दमनकारी शासन से मुक्ति पाने के लिए अान्दोलन चल रहा था। मार्गरेट के दादा ज़ॉन नॉबल इस स्वाधिनता अान्दोलन के अग्रणी नेता थे। उसके नाना हेमिल्टन का भी इस आंदोलन से गहरा जुड़ाव था। फलतः  इस कन्या को स्वाधीनता प्रेम पारिवारिक विरासत के रूप में प्राप्त हुआ। सेम्युअल रिचमंड नॉबल का विवाह मेरी हेमिल्टन से हुआ। जिसकी गिनती अपने समय की श्रेष्ठ सुंदरियों में थी। उनकी प्रथम संतान थी मार्गरेट जिसे उसकी मां ने जन्म से पूर्व ही ईश्वर सेवा में समर्पित कर दिया था। उसके जन्म के 1 वर्ष बाद ही सेम्युल व मेरी ने अपने जीवन की दिशा बदलने का निश्चय किया। नन्हीं मार्गारेट को दादी की देखरेख में छोड़ वे इंग्लैंड में मंचेस्टर में जा बसे। वहां से सेम्युअलने धर्मशास्त्र का अध्ययन किया और पादरी के रूप में विकसित होकर डावेनशायर इलाके में टारिगटन को अपना कार्यक्षेत्र चुना। वह सन 1876 की बात है इस वर्ष मार्गारेट अपने माता पिता के पास रहने चली अायी। अब तक उसके छोटे भाई रिचमंड व बहिन मेरी का जन्म हो चुका था।
रेवरेंड सेम्युअल और नॉबल ने एक पादरी व गरीबों के मददगार के रूप में पर्याप्त ख्याती अर्जित की उनके लिए धर्म का अर्थ था सेवा और उनके जीवन में सर्वोत्तम वर्ष गरीबों की सेवा में व्यतीत हुए। पिता के धर्मोत्साह, उदारता व सेवाभाव का मार्गारेट के बालमन पर अमित प्रभाव पड़ा। पिता का उस पर विशेष स्नेह था। अथक परिश्रम व दौड़-धूप ने सेम्युअल को 34 वर्ष की अल्प आयु में ही मृत्यु के द्वार पर ला खड़ा किया। विदा होने से पूर्व उन्होंने मार्गारेट के लिए अपनी पत्नी से कहा "...........मार्गरेट के जीवन में एक बार आह्वान आएगा। जब परमात्मा की ओर से ऐसा अवसर आए तो उसे जाने देना। कभी रोकना मत। उसके द्वारा महान कार्य संपन्न होंगे...........।


To be Continue


Thursday, 16 November 2017

Sister Nivedita: The Dedicated - Who gave her all to India - 5

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

Margaret meets her Master

One day Swami Vivekananda turned to Margaret and said that, 'I have got great plans for educating the women of my country. I think you would be of great help in it." These words had a great impact on her. She felt it was this call for which she has been waiting. Yet, she was a strong person and did not want to take any decision being sentimental. Thus, she thought over it again and again. She had that sincerity of purpose so as she felt the call in her deep within she decided to go to India and imbibe Indian spirituality while serving the people of her Master.

Margaret Noble wrote to Swami Vivekananda saying that she would like to come to India to serve the Indians and to imbibe the Indian spirituality. Again, Swamiji was not a person who would say immediately yes to it. He had his own ideas about a non-Indian working in India. He did not want a person to come and impose his ideas on the people. Secondly, he was also concerned that how Margaret could cope up in a hot weather of India without any adequate facilities. He wrote to her that she could very well serve India by being in London itself. However, Margaret had decided to jump, to offer herself and so there was not holding back. Thus, she wrote again to Swamiji that she wanted to come to India.

Swami Vivekananda recounted four difficulties. He told Margaret that India was a fearfully hot country and she would have to put up with it. Secondly, she would not get any European comfort could she live without it. The British may not take it lightly if she is working for Indians can she stand their dislike and fourthly the Indians may also doubt her good intentions she being a British citizen, can she bear it?

However, Margaret was determined to come to India. Swami Vivekananda permitted her and assured in these words that he would stand by her, "On my part, I promise you that I will stand by you unto death, whether you work for India or not, whether you give up Vedanta or remain in it." Margaret Noble thus decided to go to India leaving her bright career as an eminent educationist in London. Many might have considered this as madness in her country. But what a great choice it was – sacrifice over career? Just imagine if she would have continued in England she would have lived and died as a well-known educationist but she sacrificed her life for India and even today in this far off land from her land of birth, people are fondly remembering her contribution and celebrating her 150th Birth Anniversary. Really, her life emphasizes this that there is no greater qualification than the sincerity of purpose and so greater career than sacrifice for the sake of higher purpose.

Margaret got the blessings of her mother. The preparation to leave for India started. She handed over her school to her sister and other friends. Some of her friends of Sesame club were dismayed at her decision. However, Margaret was clear that her decision made her life purposeful. Margaret wrote later in one of her letters, 'If he (Swami Vivekananda) would not have come to London at that time then my life would have been purposeless.'

To be Continue


Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Sister Nivedita: The Dedicated - Who gave her all to India - 4

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

Margaret meets her Master

On the cold afternoon in November 1895, Margaret entered Lady Margesson's house more to honour her invitation and with hardly any hope that the speaker, the Hindu Monk who was from a conquered country could have anything new to say. This speaker was none other than Swami Vivekananda who had shot to fame two years before in Chicago in America for his speeches on Hindu Dharma in the Parliament of Religions. 

Though Margaret was impressed with the personality and oration of Swami Vivekananda, her pride in being British citizen did not allow her to accept the uniqueness of Swamiji's thoughts who was viewed by her as a person from a conquered nation. When asked by her friend her impression about the lecture, she commented, 'Nice but nothing new'. However, later, as she pondered over all that the speaker had said she felt that her remarks were not only unkind but unjust. She felt that, 'If I am in search of a truth, I must be ready to accept it from wherever it may come'. Thus, gradually she realized her bias and started attending all Swamiji's formal as well as informal sessions by changing her schedule completely so as not to miss his single session. In all the sessions she would be ready with her questions or with her 'ifs' and 'buts'. Swami Vivekananda too noticed the spark in her. Margaret found her skepticism melting away. Ultimately, she realized that the Vedantic Truth of Oneness alone has the capacity to guide a person spiritually and help the humanity for peaceful co-existence in spite of diversities.

Lizelle Raymond, her biographer writes, "She had at last discovered a religion whose foundations, classification of elements, and forms of worship could be discussed scientifically; a religion which constantly maintained contact between spiritual and practical life through the medium of experience. Such a religion relied exclusively on what was noblest and best in mankind-that quality of spiritually progressive freedom as opposed to sin-entangled slavery. As Margaret analyzed these reasons, with considerable lucidity, she declared herself the Swami's disciple by addressing him as "Master." This word, on her lips, proclaimed the submission of her intelligence. She had understood that Swami Vivekananda lived for the Truth, and that he would serve It wherever It was to be found".

One day in his class Swami Vivekananda said, "What the world wants today is twenty men and women who can dare to stand in street yonder and say that they possess nothing but God. Who will go? Why should we fear? If this is true, what else could matter? If it is not true, what do our lives matter?" "Really can I be the one of those who can say this?" Margaret mused to herself. Another day in the class Swami Vivekananda said,
'The Earth's bravest and the best will have to sacrifice for the good of the many'. Margaret felt the call in his words but still may be she was waiting for the direct call and that too came. Maragaret started writing letters to Swamiji whenever he was out of London. In one letter she asked him what exactly is his plan of work. Swami Vivekananda wrote, "My ideal can be put into a few words and that is to preach unto mankind their divinity, and how to make it manifest in every movement of life… You have the making in you of a world mover. Bold words and bolder deeds is what we want. Awake, awake great one! The world is burning with misery, can you sleep?.."

To be Continue

Monday, 13 November 2017

Sister Nivedita: The Dedicated - Who gave her all to India - 3

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

Margaret as a seeker of Truth

The love for poor inculcated in Margaret by her father propelled her to participate in Church-sponsored service work. It was during one such service work she was pulled up by the Father of the Church who told her that she had erred in giving the benefit of the service to those who did not belong to their Church. This was a shock for Margaret. She thought, 'Was not the love of Jesus for all? How can we limit it to only those who belong to our denomination or our church?' More she studied the tenets of Christianity more she found them inconsistent with the truth.

Margaret revered Jesus Christ for his life and his sacrifice but the theological and dogmatic approach of church did not appeal her. Though she questioned the religious theology, she did not give up the spiritual urge. Actually, her spiritual urge became stronger with every doubt that entered in her mind about Christianity. She gave up regularly going to the Church. She started her search of such spiritual vision in which there would be a place for whole humanity, in which no name of God was denounced or in which followers of any path were accepted. Whether there existed such spiritual practice? She did not know.

Margaret started reading religious literature of other faiths. She was greatly influenced by the life of Buddha and his teachings. She felt, 'Here is another person like Jesus who was ready to sacrifice his life even for the sake of the lamb'. She found at least the consistency in thoughts in Buddhism. Yet, many things remained unanswered. The search continued. Whenever she sought to seek comfort in religion, she was repulsed by the wall of intolerance. Few of her friends in elite circles were aware of the spiritual yearnings of Margaret Noble. It was at such times when Margaret was about 28 years old that her friend Lady Margesson invited her for a spiritual talk to her house. Some of her friends at Sesame Club like Mr. Sturdy and Miss Muller told her about extraordinary success of the speaker earlier at USA. She accepted the invitation, totally unaware of what was going to happen in her life.


To be Continue

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Article : A tribute to Sister Nivedita (Part 2)

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

...  In a short stay in India of about 14 years, between 1897 and 1911, Nivedita made lasting contribution to the major fields of national action that defined the early nationalist movement. Be it national education, be it the Swadeshi art and industrial movement, be it sustaining the revolutionary movement or providing succour to the revolutionary nationalists, be it supporting Indian scientific research as she did in the case of Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose, ensuring that he continues with his path-breaking research and stands up to British, read colonial hegemony, and prove the point of Indian capacities in science and scientific research, Nivedita's imprint is hard to ignore, especially, if one were to disengage oneself from dialectical lenses while studying this phase of India's evolution.

The complete marginalisation of her contribution by the "mainstream" academia and intelligentsia is understandable though. Direct, forthright, unabashed and unrepentant when it came to India and India's interests, image and welfare, it is extremely difficult to stereotype Nivedita into categories. One who was so intricately and intrinsically identified with India's civilisational aspirations, one who so eagerly embraced the Hindu way of life, one who so minutely detailed the civilisational contributions of Hinduism — both in terms of history and religion, her Cradle Tales of Hinduism, Footfalls of Indian History and especially Kali the Mother was staple read once upon a time all over Bengal and other parts of India, while making a great impact abroad in countering false propaganda against the Indian way of life — could not be stereotyped — it was plain impossible.

Nivedita's descriptions of the various facets of our national life caught the essence, the spirit as it were, of our core civilisational construct, identity and expression. She was wholly accepted and absorbed in India, her stay in the "native" quarter of Calcutta, her project of a girl's school in the area, her efforts to create and evolve a national discourse on all issues and subjects that strengthened India's quest for self-hood was not only welcomed but saw genuine and unstinted supported from the people.

​So at ease and so accepted was she that Nivedita could easily speak at the temple of Kalighat on Kali and describe her centrality in the evolution of Indian religious experience. For her, India never need be apologetic — this same uncompromising nationalism saw her take on missionary calumny against India on foreign shores. One who simply said, when asked what she would do in India that "My life is given to India. In it I shall live and die", or who, in her daily aspiration meant for nationalists wrote thus, "I believe that India is one, indissoluble, indivisible" and that "National unity is built on the common home, the common interest and common love" and that the "strength which spoke in the Vedas and Upanishads, in the making of religion and empires, in the learning of scholars, and the meditation of the saints, is born once more amongst, and its name today is nationality" and one who believed that "the present of India is deep-rooted in her past, and that before her shines a glorious future", can hardly be compartmentalised while also being unmanageable for a large section of our self-anointed intellectual-guardians and conscience-keepers who have always worked to negate the India of the past altogether.

Above all, perhaps had it not been for Nivedita, we would not have discovered that Vivekananda which even the most conscientious biographer fails to capture. Who else but Nivedita, herself profoundly and unalterably identified with Bharat, could have written about the master thus, "There was one thing however, deep in the master's nature, that he himself never knew how to adjust. This was his love of his country and his resentment at her suffering. Throughout those years in which I saw him almost daily, the thought of India was to him like the air he breathed."

As we inch towards her 150th birth anniversary one would do well to recognise, re-evaluate her life and work and to rekindle a deeper and wider interest in Sister Nivedita. That would, in a sense, be a tribute of gratefulness to her as Lokmata.





Saturday, 11 November 2017

Article : A tribute to Sister Nivedita (Part 1)

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

As we inch towards Sister Nivedita's 150th birth anniversary, one would do well to recognise, re-evaluate her life and work and to rekindle a deeper and wider interest in her. That would, in a sense, be a tribute of gratefulness to her as Lokmata

The Sahitya Akademi award for literary excellence in the Bengali language in 1978 went to Sankari Prasad Basu (1928-2014) for his multi-volume opus on Swami Vivekananda's life and times — Vivekananda O Samakalin Bharatbarsha. In each of the seven volumes Basu, primarily a professor of literature in the University of Calcutta, poured a wealth of information hitherto unknown, on the various dimension of the Swami's life. After an exhausting and often lonely research trudge — lightened only by the labour and kindness of the monks of the Ramakrishna Mission and a large number of ordinary people who were driven to action whenever told that this unassuming professor of literature was in fact 'Swamiji's' biographer and was travelling the length and breadth of the country to unravel and discover all possible documents and leads that could shed more light on the master himself.

Once the volumes began appearing, they created a wave in Bengal and in the Bengali literary circles, generating not only a great interest in the Swami's life but also giving rise to a multi-dimensional debate on the various angles and interpretations that the author made. Yet, Basu's opus was never translated into other Indian languages or into English so that it could reach a larger audience both at home and abroad. Even on his death, Basu was largely forgotten by Akademi stalwarts, despite making such a seminal and epochal contribution to India's cultural history. He was not, as they say, well-connected and rarely cared to visit the hallowed zones of the national capital and never bothered to kowtow to political power and prestige. Moreover Basu refrained or rather could not sing paeans to the political masters and thus could not ingratiate or enrich himself in any way.

But Basu per se is not the object of discussion in this column; rather it is the principal personalities around whom his work and life revolved. Apart from writing a detailed multi-volume biography of Vivekananda, Basu's another lasting contribution, and one which continues to remain unparalleled, was his multi-volume biography of Sister Nivedita (1867-1911) — Nivedita Lokmata — which immortalised in much greater detail than Lizelle Raymond did — Nivedita's life and contribution to India's quest for self-expression — cultural, educational and political.

In fact, had it not been for Basu and later for Pravrajika Atmaprana, the story of the Lokmata — one who had inspired scores of Indian leaders from the Lokmanya to the Deshbandhu, to Sri Aurobindo and Gurudev — would have remained untold, unrecorded and forgotten. It was Rabindranath Tagore who conferred the epithet of 'Lokmata' on Nivedita and Basu picked it up and immortalised it in his four volume biography of this Irish catholic turned Hindu, disciple of Swami Vivekananda.

But unfortunately, as is the habit with a class of our intellectuals and institutions they control — Nivedita's contribution to the creation of the "idea of India", or her corpus of work on as varied and intricate subjects as cultural history, education, civic nationalism, cleanliness, women education and empowerment, art, historiography, religious and dharmic debates, Swadeshi and much more remain largely unexplored or unfathomed.




It is unknown, for example, that in 1906, it was she who designed a prototype of the national flag with the 'vajra' at the centre and wrote a detailed exposition of the centrality and power of that symbol both in Hinduism and Buddhism. Her significance for the 'vajra' was striking: "The selfless man is the thunderbolt" for national action. It was that lighting like selflessness which needed to be cultivated among workers of Indian freedom. Nivedita herself often embodied that thunder-like presence, imbued from her master — her father as she often called Swami Vivekananda.

continue ...




Friday, 10 November 2017

Web of Indian Life - 1

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

Web of Indian Life - Introduction

Sister Nivedita - Margaret Elizabeth Noble a Lioness as Swami Vivekananda called her, dedicated her entire life for the service of this (Mother) Land. A European Lady - born and brought up in Irland- England, noted  there as an Educationist, a scholar comes to Bharat responding beaconing call of her Guru, becomes one with Bharat, serves her sons in many ways and eternally rests here in this very land.

The journey from Margaret to Nivedita was not the easy one. It was like carving out a beautiful statue out of a piece of marble stone. Swami Vivekananda was the sculptor and he carved Nivedita - the Dedicated. Margaret who was a proud English lady transformed herself into a proudest Bharatiya, fought for Bharatiya freedom struggle, inspired many revolutionaries, poets, scientists, historians to work for the cause of Bharat.

"Sister Nivedita's was a fiery spirit that knew no rest till her whole personality was spent for the cause of her dedication- Bharat. In the midst of her tireless efforts for the amelioration of Indian women, she found time to make a deep study of Indian Literature, philosophy, mythology and history. Combined with her comprehensive mind was a remarkable largeness of heart and deep insight of love. This helped her to interpret in an extraordinary manner Indian religion and thought, art and literature, custom and tradition." (Complete works of Sister Nivedita - Inside cover)

Web of Indian Life is a collection of essays written on Bharatiya way of life. This shows how deeply she has understood Bharat. The "Queen" newspaper on 24th August, 1904 writes beautifully about it, " ... if LOVE is the first qualification towards understanding the character of the people, Miss Noble was thoroughly qualified, for she writes of the East as a lover might write of his beloved, each intimacy, each familiarity..." (Complete works of Sister Nivedita - Preface -pg x)

Nivedita writes to Miss MacLeod about the book that, "You know that my book is out. I trust that you will really feel that it was written by Swami, I suppose it is. Early day yet to say whether or not it is a success.  Anyway  I hope, in Swami's name it will (1) end the Zenana Missionaries (2) clear up misconceptions about India (3) teach India to think truly about herself; this is the most important of the ends I hope for ; (4) to do a little to help earnest souls, to put themselves in the current of Swamiji's writings and teachings." (Complete works of Sister Nivedita - Preface -pg xii)

Here in this series we will see summaries of few articles from WEB OF INDIAN LIFE.

("Web of Life" will continue on every Friday)
Summarized by Pranjalididi, Life Worker & Rajasthan Prant Sangathak, VRMVK

--
. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
 
- Swami Vivekananda
---
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--
. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
 
- Swami Vivekananda
---
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--
. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
 
- Swami Vivekananda
---
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--
. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
 
- Swami Vivekananda
---
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--
. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
 
- Swami Vivekananda
---
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Thursday, 9 November 2017

Sister Nivedita: The Dedicated - Who gave her all to India - 2

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

Margaret as eminent educationalist in Britain

When Margaret Noble started her profession of teaching in 1884, she was introduced to the "New Education" method as propounded by Pestalozzi and Froebel. She was greatly influenced by it. She started implementing it in the schools she was teaching. However, the restriction by the school management could not give her the freedom she wanted. Therefore, in 1895, to implement her own ideas about education she started a school of her own under the name Ruskin School in Wimbledon.

In short time Margaret's name as a good teacher and as an educationalist started spreading. She also started contributing articles in various papers and periodicals. Her great intellectual gifts made her well known in the high society of London. Gradually she became the center of a great educational and literary movement, whose outcome was the famous Sesame Club. About her, her brother wrote years after that 'Wherever she went, a literary club was sure to spring up'.

To be Continue
--
. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
 
- Swami Vivekananda
---
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--
. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
 
- Swami Vivekananda
---
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--
. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
 
- Swami Vivekananda
---
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--
. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
 
- Swami Vivekananda
---
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Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Sister Nivedita: The Dedicated - Who gave her all to India - 1

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

The Childhood

Young Margaret Noble with all curiosity shining in her deep greyish blue eyes was looking at a person who had come as a guest to meet her father Samuel Noble. Samuel Noble was a priest in a church in Devonshire, in England and was very fond of his eldest daughter who had keen interest in knowing what work her father was doing. She used to accompany her father to the mass in Church or for serving or preaching the poor. Even when some of his friends would come to meet him, he would allow his little Margot to be present there.

Today's guest was not an ordinary guest he was working as a missionary in a far off land of India and he was narrating the strange missionary stories about India. With wide-eyes, Margaret was listening and even asking questions in between. The Guest laughed and said, 'Samuel, I am sure this daughter of yours would go to India one day to serve Indians'. Little did they realize then that she would go to India to serve Indian in an Indian way and not as a Christian Missionary!

Margaret Elizabeth Noble was born on 28th October 1867 to Samuel Richmond Noble and Mary Isabel Noble. Samuel Noble was Protestant and a minister in Wesleyan Church in Northern Ireland. He went for further training to England so for initial 6-7 years, Margaret was brought up by her maternal grandfather who was one of the influential leaders of the freedom movement of Ireland. Later she came to stay with her parents at Devonshire, England and was a favourite of her father. Unfortunately when Margaret was 10 years old, her father Samuel passed away. It seems in his last farewell to his wife Mary he whispered, 'When God calls Margaret, let her go. She will spread her wings…she will do great things'. However, for young Margaret, the death of her father brought many questions to her mind like - What is death? Why are we born? 
She studied at Halifax College run by the Chapter of the Congregationalist Church. She had interest in varied subjects like natural sciences, music, arts, literature, history etc. Fortunately, for her there was no question what she would be doing after her education. She grew up aspiring to be a teacher and after completing her education started working as a teacher at the age of seventeen. As she started early in her profession of teaching, she had open mind, readiness to experiment with new ideas and all the enthusiasm and sharp intellect to focus on the intricacies of her profession. Thus, she started implementing new education in her school.
In due course Margaret decided to get married to one young man she liked but even before the engagement was announced, he fell ill and died. This was her second encounter with death. Death had snatched away from her the persons she loved most. She was a woman of strong character. The tragedy did not break her but made her think deep about life and its purpose. If we are to die one day not known to us then why are we born? Are we just puppets in someone's hand? What are we supposed to do in such uncertain life? What is the ultimate Truth of this whole existence? Do we waste our time in going after the transient and momentary when life is so uncertain? Search for the eternal, absolute truth became a driving force of her life.

To be Continue
--
. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
 
- Swami Vivekananda
---
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--
. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
 
- Swami Vivekananda
---
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--
. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
 
- Swami Vivekananda
---
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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Chronology of Sister Nivedita's Life - 10

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

1910. January 9. Release of Aswini Kumar Dutta and other deportees.-She celebrates the occasion by decorating her school.-First instalment of The Ancient Abbey of Ajanta in Modern Review, (Later included in her posthumous book, Footfalls of Indian History.)

February 1. First publication of her The Master As I Saw Him by Udbodhan, Calcutta, on Swamiji's birthday.-She Takes a volume to Belur Math and places it in Swamiji's room.-Again cautions Aurobindo about his possible arrest. - Aurobindo secretly goes to Chandernagore, then to Pondicherry.-At Aurobindo's request takes charge of his paper Karma Yogin, and carries on the work for a few months.

March 2. Visit of Lady Minto, the Vicereine, to her 17 Bose Para Lane residence.-Takes the Vice-reine to Dakshineswar.-Goes to the Government House for tea at Lady Minto's request.-Goes to see the Commissioner of Police for the same reason.

March. First instalment of 'Papers on National Education' in Karma Yogin. (Later included in her posthumous book, Hints on National Education).

April. Government attack on Karma Yoga and Dharma.-Chief of the Detective Department says that she was behind the dacoities.

May-June. Pilgrimage to Kedarnath and Bodrinarayan with the Boses.

July. Apprehends Ramananda Chatterjee's arrest, on false charges of dacoity.

August. Secretly trying to get financial assistenace for Bose's laboratory from the Gaekwar of Baroda.

September. Reviews Ananda Coomaraswamy's Essays in National Idealism in Modern Review.-First instalment of her Northern Tirtha: A Pilgrim's Diary, in Modern Review. (Posthumously published in book form).-Writes one-third of her proposed book, Myths of the Hindus and Buddhists.-Apprehends arrest.-Grieves at the death of P. Mitra, pioneer leader of the revolutionaries.

October. At Darjeeling with the Boses.-Receives information re Mrs. Bull's serious illness. (Mrs. Bull her 'mother' and provider; gave abundant financial help for her educational endeavours, and Bose's science.)-Rushes to America.-Travels incognito as 'Mrs Theta Margot.'

November. Reaches Cambridge in Boston, by Mrs. Bull's side, nurses and comforts her.

December. Sends paper, 'The Present Position of Women's to the 'Universal Races Congress' at London.-Writes to 'Holy Mother' praying for Mrs. Bull's physical and mental recovery.-Plans with Mrs. Bull for taking asylum in French Chandernagore.

1911. January. Mrs. Bull dies.-Immediately leaves America, as Olea, Mrs. Bull's mentally deranged daughter, attacks her maliciously and viciously, because Mrs. Bull leaves money for her School and Bose's Laboratory.- Prof. Cheyne reviews her book The Master as I Saw Him, considers it to be a religious classic.

April. Returns to India in secular dress and assumed name.-Starts corresponding with Miss Mac Leod and Mrs. Leggett re bas-relief of Swamiji at the 'Grave-Chapel' at Belur Math.

May-June. At Mayavati with the Boses, helps him to write 12 chapters of his book irritability of Plants.-Christine informs her that she will no more be available for school work.-Returns to Calcutta.-Writes.-Busy finishing her Footfalls of Indian History and Studies from an Eastern Home.

July. Bhubaneswari Devi, mother of Vivekananda, dies.-By her side at the time of death and attends the funeral.

August. Swami Ramakrishnananda, the 'roof-tree' of the Order in early years, dies.

September. Sudhira Devei, another of her colleagues, leaves her School.

October. Goes to Girish Chandra Ghose, dramatist and 'Father of Bengali stage', and a great devotee of Ramakrishna, before starting for Darjeeling.-Goes to the Holy Mother's House, meets Saradananda, Golup-Ma, Jogin-Ma. )Holy Mother then in her village home)-At Darjeeling stays at Roy Villa with the Boses.-Attack of blood dysentry.-Prepares her Will, leaving everything for the education of Indian women.

October 13. At 2-30 in the night says, 'The frail boat is sinking, but I shall yet see the sunrise.'-Dies in the morning. ("The sun had just risen over the snows when a shaft of light came streaming in, and the great striving soul went forth to wake up in another dawn.").

(Ganendranath of Ramakrishna Mission, performed the last funeral rites. There on the spot a memorial has been erected which bears these words: "Here Reposes Sister Nivedita, Who Gave Her All To India.")


--
. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
 
- Swami Vivekananda
---
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--
. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
 
- Swami Vivekananda
---
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--
. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
 
- Swami Vivekananda
---
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Monday, 6 November 2017

Chronology of Sister Nivedita's Life - 9

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

1908. January. Article, 'Civic Ideal' in Modern Review, first of a series. (Included in her posthumous book, 'Civic and National Ideals').

February. Publishes in Modern Review her interview with Kropotkin, 'A Chat with a Russian about Russia,'-Lectures extensively in English on Indian topics.-Discusses with and seeks supports from sympathetic Europeans for Indian cause, organizes pro-Indian Lobby.-Hears about break-up of Surat Congress.-Writes in Modern Review, February 1908, 'The Recent Congress.'-Stresses the need of unity at this critical time.-Hears of the Muraripukur Bomb case, attempt on the life of the Lt. Governor of Bengal, murder of the approver Naren Gossain, arrest of Aurobindo, Bepin Ch. Pal, deportation of Aswini Kumar Dutta and eight other prominent nationalists.

September-December. In U.S.A., visits places and institutions, meets friends and acquaintances, including fugitive Indian revolutionaries, arranges for Bose's scientific lectures and demonstrations.-Lectures extensively.-Collects letters of Vivekananda, also material about his life.

1909. January. Starts for England after receiving news of her mother's serious illness due to cancer.-Reaches in time.-

January 26. Mrs. Noble dies 'an Indian death,' and cremated by her wish.

February 23. Writes bitterly against Shyamji Krishnavarma's irresponsible utterances and vain claims.

May. Aurobindo now free, starts two weeklies, Karma Yogin in English, Dharma in Bengali.

June 26. Wants to publish a volume on Aurobindo's Trial.

July 1. Wants to review Kropotkin's 'French Revolution.'

July 18. Returns to Calcutta in disguise. –Sees Nationalists coming to 'Holy Mother' to make pranams. Feels present awakening caused by the spirit of Ramakrishna and Vivekananda.-Starts correcting Dinesh Chandra Sen's History of the Bengali Language and Literature.-Hears about possible deportation of Aurobindo.

August 7. Reviews Ananda Coomaraswami's 'Mediaeval Sinhalese Art' in Modern Review.

September 19. Writes consoling Mrs. Leggett on her husband's death. (Mr Leggett, a great friend of Vivekananda, and benefactor).-

September 29. Writes about the scheme of Bose's laboratory.

October. Reviews E.B. Havell's 'Indian Sculpture and Painting' in Modern Review.

November. Writes. "Havell on Hindu Sculpture" in Modern Review,-

November 25. Ramsay Mac-Donald, leader of the British Labour Party, comes to meet her at her residence. (They met for more than once). –Writes about the terrible repression and cruelty by the Government.

November 30. Romesh Chandra Dutta dies.

December. Writes, "Havell on Indian Painting" in Modern Review. – At Ajanta with Lady Herring-ham.

--
. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
 
- Swami Vivekananda
---
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--
. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
 
- Swami Vivekananda
---
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