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