Saturday, 2 December 2017

Holy Mother and Sister Nivedita - 2

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

.....  Nivedita began to learn Bengali from Swarupananda so that she could speak with Holy Mother directly.

In the beginning, despite Golap-ma's opposition, Holy Mother kept Nivedita in her residence at 10/2 Bosepara Lane so that she could teach Nivedita Hindu manners and customs. She ate her meals with Nivedita and encouraged her activities (533).

Afterwards Nivedita moved to 16 Bosepara Lane and started a school for girls at Swamiji's request. On 13 November 1898 Holy Mother inaugurated the school, saying : 'May the Divine Mother of the Universe bless the school. May the girls trained here be ideals for society.'

Almost every day Nivedita would visit Holy Mother and take the dust of her feet. Every Sunday she would come to clean Holy Mother's room by dusting the bed, sweeping the floor, and polishing the glass panes in the doors and windows. Nivedita had taken up this work as her important duty. She was eager to provide even the smallest convenience or comfort to Mother (147).

Nivedita did not have much money, but she wanted to buy things for Holy Mother. She was mainly supported by Sara Bull and Josephine MacLeod.

On 24 February 1904 Nivedita wrote to Miss MacLeod, after Holy Mother had returned to Calcutta from a visit to Jayrambati: 'The Holy Mother is here, so small, so thin, so dark, worn out physically I should say, with village hardship and village life. But the same clear mind—the same stateliness, the same womanhood, as before. Oh, how many comforts I would like to take her! She needs a soft pillow—a shelf—a rug, so many things. She is so crowded with people about her always. I would like to give her a beautiful picture, a piece of bright colour. But I suppose one must wait. Meanwhile, there is not a change in her. This is the sign of genuine love.

A lover wants to give her or his beloved all the best things to make the beloved happy, and thus the lover gets the maximum happiness.Sarala, later Pravrajika Bharatiprana, was a student of Nivedita's school. She recalled a memorable visit of Sister Nivedita to Holy Mother in Udbodhan house:

"After the Mother's return from Jayrambati, one afternoon Sister Sudhira and I went to see her in Udbodhan house. Sister Sudhira remarked: 'Mother, you have become very dark and lean.' 'Our village is in open fields, you know', the Mother replied, 'and so the complexion becomes dark. In addition, I had to work hard there.' Meanwhile, Sister Nivedita came, bowed down to the Mother, and took her seat.

Whenever Sister Nivedita visited the Mother, I saw the Sister seated absorbed for a long time in front of the Mother. She would bow down to the Mother with full prostration and an indescribable wave of bliss would flow over her entire face. It seemed a joyful child closely looking at the face of her or his Mother. Once the Mother presented the Sister a palm-leaf fan with woolen lace around, which she made herself. Having that fan from the Mother's hand, she was beside herself and exclaimed, 'This fan has been made by Matadevi [Holy Mother] and she has given it to me.' This she repeated again and again and touched that fan with her head and chest. And to those who were present there, including myself, the Sister touched that fan to their heads. Observing her exuberant joy, the Mother remarked:  'Do you see how Nivedita is thrilled having this  trivial thing? Ah, how simple she is and what deep faith she has—as if she is a Goddess! How much devotion she has for Naren! Because he is born in this country, she left her home and family and has come to do his work with her heart and soul. What a devotion to the guru! And what love for this country!'

(Swami Chetanananda, Prabudhdha Bharat Jan 2017)
To be Continue