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