Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Sister Nivedita: The Dedicated - Who gave her all to India – 23


यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

Nivedita as ardent devotee of Mother India awakened national consciousness - 2

When Nivedita went to Morris College, Nagpur in October 1902 one incident happened. She was invited to preside over a meeting, and later was made to give away prizes to the participants of the cricket game. After the prize-giving ceremony, she took the students to serious task in her lecture. That was the time of the Dusserah festival. Nivedita said, 'It is indeed a matter of great shame for the students to enjoy joyously a foreign game during the days of Dusserah when you should instead worship war weapons, and invoke strength from the Goddess Durga by worshipping her. If I had known this before that I have to give prizes for cricket game, I certainly would not have agreed to preside over the meeting. I had hoped that in the capital of the great 'Bhonsle' kings, I will see some demonstration of heroic feats of the Marathas. I am indeed sad not being able to see that'.

Nivedita demanded from the students that on the next day they must demonstrate before her sword-fighting, wrestling and other exercises on martial arts. Most of the college students did not know any such exercise. Somehow a few boys from outside and only one college student were made ready for this; they showed her the exercises as desired by her. She then addressed the students, 'You are lately getting more of higher studies. More than the required number of graduates are being turned out from the universities, who with their broken health can hardly protect themselves, not to speak of protecting the dignity of their mothers and sisters. The society will not derive any benefit from these heaps of debris. The country demands true patriots, powerful in body and mind. The country has no need of those people who would serve their foreign masters while hounding their fellow countrymen. Love India, my dear students! Love her intensely as only powerful patriots can raise the country and make their own life meaningful'.

It was during the summer days of 1903. Nivedita was coming to Medinipur. Many people assembled at the railway station to greet her. The moment she alighted from the train, the crowd shouted, 'Hip, Hip, Hooray'. They thought that the white-skinned English woman should better be greeted in that fashion. However, Nivedita looked utterly shocked. With her hand she asked them to stop. Then she explained that 'Hip, Hip, Hooray' was the victory shout of the English people, and the Indians should by no means use that. She raised her hand and shouted three times – Wahe Guruji ka Khalasa Wahe Guru ki Fateh. The entire crowd joined her in shouting.

To be Continue


 
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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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Monday, 15 January 2018

Sister Nivedita: The Dedicated - Who gave her all to India – 22


यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

Nivedita as ardent devotee of Mother India awakened national consciousness - 1

Nivedita inculcated Swami Vivekananda's deep love for India. She inculcated the crux of the message of Swami Vivekananda – what India needs is awakening of national consciousness. May be because of invasions after invasions the Hindu society which struggling for it's existence had lost the wider vision of Nation-Rashtra. The root all ills of the nation was this. Nivedita dedicated herself for this task. In every filed of national life her mission was to give national orientation to it. To create such institutions, practices where nation would be given the preference, where national genius and yearning would find place.

She had many invitations from different parts of the country and she used those opportunities for awakening the national consciousness. Her fiery speeches and nationalistic approach to everything inspired many. Rash Bihari Ghosh, a great national leader said in 1912, 'On one thing I can speak with confidence and that is this. If we are conscious of a budding national life at the present day, it is in no small measure due to the teaching of Sister Nivedita.'

In her lecture at Madras organized by the 'Young Men's Hindu Association' she emphasized the need to comprehend the essential unity of India. Unity, she said, was not a thing of past, nor of future, it was actual and living, only the children of the soil were not aware of it. She said, 'I see actually face to face as I see the sun in the sky at midday that we in India have a great synthesis, an unparalleled synthesis, full of strength, majesty and potentiality and hope that the day would come when we should understand and know that and act on the strength of it.'

India was a nation, one and undivided, and Nivedita brought to the minds of the audience but one word, and left it there that every breath as it was breathed out and every breath as it was breathed in, might breath in and out that word – nationality.

The English had taught the Indian to believe that it was only after the introduction of cheap postage, the extended railway travel and the common use of English language that India had been united. Unfortunately, even today there are persons in our country who believe this. That is why study of Nivedita is very essential to be able the see the deeper unity of Indian. Nivedita pointed out, 'If India had no unity herself, no unity could be given to her. The unity, which undoubtedly belonged to India, was self-born and has its own destiny, its own functions and its own vast powers; but it was the gift of no one. …Yet again shall come the great re-establishment of Dharma when the whole of this nation shall be united together not in common weakness, not in common misfortune or grievance but in a great, overflowing, complex, actual, ever strong, ever-living consciousness of the common nationality, the common heritage, the common struggle, the common life, aye the common destiny and the common hope. And so let me in all reverence and in all grateful memory and love repeat to you again these words that were spoken here in our midst a few years ago by a voice so dear, so well remembered by you all – those words that were the text of his message to his land for ever more – "Arise, Awake, struggle on and rest not till the goal is reached" . 


To be Continue


 
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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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Friday, 12 January 2018

OUR MASTER AND HIS MESSAGE

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

OUR MASTER AND HIS MESSAGE

In the four volumes (Now in nine volumes — Ed.) of the works of the Swami Vivekananda which are to compose the present edition, we have what is not only a gospel to the world at large, but also to its own children, the Charter of the Hindu Faith. What Hinduism needed, amidst the general disintegration of the modern era, was a rock where she could lie at anchor, an authoritative utterance in which she might recognise her self. And this was given to her, in these words and writings of the Swami Vivekananda.

For the first time in history, as has been said elsewhere, Hinduism itself forms here the subject of generalisation of a Hindu mind of the highest order. For ages to come the Hindu man who would verify, the Hindu mother who would teach her children, what was the faith of their ancestors will turn to the pages of these books for assurance and light. Long after the English language has disappeared from India, the gift that has here been made, through that language, to the world, will remain and bear its fruit in East and West alike. What Hinduism had needed, was the organising and consolidating of its own idea. What the world had needed was a faith that had no fear of truth. Both these are found here. Nor could any greater proof have been given of the eternal vigour of the Sanâtana Dharma, of the fact that India is as great in the present as ever in the past, than this rise of the individual who, at the critical moment, gathers up and voices the communal consciousness.

That India should have found her own need satisfied only in carrying to the humanity outside her borders the bread of life is what might have been foreseen. Nor did it happen on this occasion for the first time. It was once before in sending out to the sister lands the message of a nation-making faith that India learnt as a whole to understand the greatness of her own thought — a self-unification that gave birth to modern Hinduism itself. Never may we allow it to be forgotten that on Indian soil first was heard the command from a Teacher to His disciples: "Go ye out into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature!" It is the same thought, the same impulse of love, taking to itself a new shape, that is uttered by the lips of the Swami Vivekananda, when to a great gathering in the West he says: "If one religion true, then all the others also must be true. Thus the Hindu faith is yours as much as mine." And again, in amplification of the same idea: "We Hindus do not merely tolerate, we unite ourselves with every religion, praying in the mosque of the Mohammedan, worshipping before the fire of the Zoroastrian, and kneeling to the cross of the Christian. We know that all religions alike, from the lowest fetishism to the highest absolutism, are but so many attempts of the human soul to grasp and realise the Infinite. So we gather all these flowers, and, binding them together with the cord of love, make them into a wonderful bouquet of worship." To the heart of this speaker, none was foreign or alien. For him, there existed only Humanity and Truth.

Of the Swami's address before the Parliament of Religions, it may be said that when he began to speak it was of "the religious ideas of the Hindus", but when he ended, Hinduism had been created. The moment was ripe with this potentiality. The vast audience that faced him represented exclusively the occidental mind, but included some development of all that in this was most distinctive. Every nation in Europe has poured in its human contribution upon America, and notably upon Chicago, where the Parliament was held. Much of the best, as well as some of the worst, of modern effort and struggle, is at all times to be met with, within the frontiers of that Western Civic Queen, whose feet are upon the shores of Lake Michigan, as she sits and broods, with the light of the North in her eyes. There is very little in the modern consciousness, very little inherited from the past of Europe, that does not hold some outpost in the city of Chicago. And while the teeming life and eager interests of that centre may seem to some of us for the present largely a chaos, yet they are undoubtedly making for the revealing of some noble and slow-wrought ideal of human unity, when the days of their ripening shall be fully accomplished.

Such was the psychological area, such the sea of mind, young, tumultuous, overflowing with its own energy and self-assurance, yet inquisitive and alert withal, which confronted Vivekananda when he rose to speak. Behind him, on the contrary, lay an ocean, calm with long ages of spiritual development. Behind him lay a world that dated itself from the Vedas, and remembered itself in the Upanishads, a world to which Buddhism was almost modern; a world that was filled with religious systems of faiths and creeds; a quiet land, steeped in the sunlight of the tropics, the dust of whose roads had been trodden by the feet of the saints for ages upon ages. Behind him, in short, lay India, with her thousands of years of national development, in which she had sounded many things, proved many things, and realised almost all, save only her own perfect unanimity, from end to end of her great expanse of time and space, as to certain fundamental and essential truths, held by all her people in common.

These, then, were the two mind-floods, two immense rivers of thought, as it were, Eastern and modern, of which the yellow-clad wanderer on the platform of the Parliament of Religions formed for a moment the point of confluence. The formulation of the common bases of Hinduism was the inevitable result of the shock of their contact, in a personality, so impersonal. For it was no experience of his own that rose to the lips of the Swami Vivekananda there. He did not even take advantage of the occasion to tell the story of his Master. Instead of either of these, it was the religious consciousness of India that spoke through him, the message of his whole people, as determined by their whole past. And as he spoke, in the youth and noonday of the West, a nation, sleeping in the shadows of the darkened half of earth, on the far side of the Pacific, waited in spirit for the words that would be borne on the dawn that was travelling towards them, to reveal to them the secret of their own greatness and strength.

Others stood beside the Swami Vivekananda, on the same platform as he, as apostles of particular creeds and churches. But it was his glory that he came to preach a religion to which each of these was, in his own words, "only a travelling, a coming up, of different men, and women, through various conditions and circumstances to the same goal". He stood there, as he declared, to tell of One who had said of them all, not that one or another was true, in this or that respect, or for this or that reason, but that "All these are threaded upon Me, as pearls upon a string. Wherever thou seest extraordinary holiness and extraordinary power, raising and purifying humanity, know thou that I am there." To the Hindu, says Vivekananda, "Man is not travelling from error to truth, but climbing up from truth to truth, from truth that is lower to truth that is higher." This, and the teaching of Mukti — the doctrine that "man is to become divine by realising the divine," that religion is perfected in us only when it has led us to "Him who is the one life in a universe of death, Him who is the constant basis of an ever-changing world, that One who is the only soul, of which all souls are but delusive manifestations" — may be taken as the two great outstanding truths which, authenticated by the longest and most complex experience in human history, India proclaimed through him to the modern world of the West.

For India herself, the short address forms, as has been said, a brief Charter of Enfranchisement. Hinduism in its wholeness the speaker bases on the Vedas, but he spiritualises our conception of the word, even while he utters it. To him, all that is true is Veda. "By the Vedas," he says, "no books are meant. They mean the accumulated treasury of spiritual laws discovered by different persons in different times." Incidentally, he discloses his conception of the Sanatana Dharma. "From the high spiritual flights of the Vedanta philosophy, of which the latest discoveries of science seem like echoes, to the lowest ideas of idolatry with its multifarious mythology, the agnosticism of the Buddhists, and the atheism of the Jains, each and all have a place in the Hindu's religion." To his mind, there could be no sect, no school, no sincere religious experience of the Indian people — however like an aberration it might seem to the individual — that might rightly be excluded from the embrace of Hinduism. And of this Indian Mother-Church, according to him, the distinctive doctrine is that of the Ishta Devatâ, the right of each soul to choose its own path, and to seek God in its own way. No army, then, carries the banner of so wide an Empire as that of Hinduism, thus defined. For as her spiritual goal is the finding of God, even so is her spiritual rule the perfect freedom of every soul to be itself.

Yet would not this inclusion of all, this freedom of each, be the glory of Hinduism that it is, were it not for her supreme call, of sweetest promise: "Hear, ye children of immortal bliss! Even ye that dwell in higher spheres! For I have found that Ancient One who is beyond all darkness, all delusion. And knowing Him, ye also shall be saved from death." Here is the word for the sake of which all the rest exists and has existed. Here is the crowning realisation, into which all others are resolvable. When, in his lecture on "The Work Before Us," the Swami adjures all to aid him in the building of a temple wherein every worshipper in the land can worship, a temple whose shrine shall contain only the word Om, there are some of us who catch in the utterance the glimpse of a still greater temple — India herself, the Motherland, as she already exists — and see the paths, not of the Indian churches alone, but of all Humanity, converging there, at the foot of that sacred place wherein is set the symbol that is no symbol, the name that is beyond all sound. It is to this, and not away from it, that all the paths of all the worships and all the religious systems lead. India is at one with the most puritan faiths of the world in her declaration that progress is from seen to unseen, from the many to the One, from the low to the high, from the form to the formless, and never in the reverse direction. She differs only in having a word of sympathy and promise for every sincere conviction, wherever and whatever it may be, as constituting a step in the great ascent.

The Swami Vivekananda would have been less than he was, had anything in this Evangel of Hinduism been his own. Like the Krishna of the Gitâ, like Buddha, like Shankarâchârya, like every great teacher that Indian thought has known, his sentences are laden with quotations from the Vedas and Upanishads. He stands merely as the Revealer, the Interpreter to India of the treasures that she herself possesses in herself. The truths he preaches would have been as true, had he never been born. Nay more, they would have been equally authentic. The difference would have lain in their difficulty of access, in their want of modern clearness and incisiveness of statement, and in their loss of mutual coherence and unity. Had he not lived, texts that today will carry the bread of life to thousands might have remained the obscure disputes of scholars. He taught with authority, and not as one of the Pandits. For he himself had plunged to the depths of the realisation which he preached, and he came back like Ramanuja only to tell its secrets to the pariah, the outcast, and the foreigner.

And yet this statement that his teaching holds nothing new is not absolutely true. It must never be forgotten that it was the Swami Vivekananda who, while proclaiming the sovereignty of the Advaita Philosophy, as including that experience in which all is one, without a second, also added to Hinduism the doctrine that Dvaita, Vishishtâdvaita, and Advaita are but three phases or stages in a single development, of which the last-named constitutes the goal. This is part and parcel of the still greater and more simple doctrine that the many and the One are the same Reality, perceived by the mind at different times and in different attitudes; or as Sri Ramakrishna expressed the same thing, "God is both with form and without form. And He is that which includes both form and formlessness."

It is this which adds its crowning significance to our Master's life, for here he becomes the meeting-point, not only of East and West, but also of past and future. If the many and the One be indeed the same Reality, then it is not all modes of worship alone, but equally all modes of work, all modes of struggle, all modes of creation, which are paths of realisation. No distinction, henceforth, between sacred and secular. To labour is to pray. To conquer is to renounce. Life is itself religion. To have and to hold is as stern a trust as to quit and to avoid.

This is the realisation which makes Vivekananda the great preacher of Karma, not as divorced from, but as expressing Jnâna and Bhakti. To him, the workshop, the study, the farmyard, and the field are as true and fit scenes for the meeting of God with man as the cell of the monk or the door of the temple. To him, there is no difference between service of man and worship of God, between manliness and faith, between true righteousness and spirituality. All his words, from one point of view, read as a commentary upon this central conviction. "Art, science, and religion", he said once, "are but three different ways of expressing a single truth. But in order to understand this we must have the theory of Advaita."

The formative influence that went to the determining of his vision may perhaps be regarded as threefold. There was, first, his literary education, in Sanskrit and English. The contrast between the two worlds thus opened to him carried with it a strong impression of that particular experience which formed the theme of the Indian sacred books. It was evident that this, if true at all, had not been stumbled upon by Indian sages, as by some others, in a kind of accident. Rather was it the subject-matter of a science, the object of a logical analysis that shrank from no sacrifice which the pursuit of truth demanded.

In his Master, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, living and teaching in the temple-garden at Dakshineshwar, the Swami Vivekananda — "Naren" as he then was — found that verification of the ancient texts which his heart and his reason had demanded. Here was the reality which the books only brokenly described. Here was one to whom Samâdhi was a constant mode of knowledge. Every hour saw the swing of the mind from the many to the One. Every moment heard the utterance of wisdom gathered superconsciously. Everyone about him caught the vision of the divine. Upon the disciple came the desire for supreme knowledge "as if it had been a fever". Yet he who was thus the living embodiment of the books was so unconsciously, for he had read none of them! In his Guru, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Vivekananda found the key to life.

Even now, however, the preparation for his own task was not complete. He had yet to wander throughout the length and breadth of India, from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin, mixing with saints and scholars and simple souls alike, learning from all, teaching to all, and living with all, seeing India as she was and is, and so grasping in its comprehensiveness that vast whole, of which his Master's life and personality had been a brief and intense epitome.

These, then — the Shâstras, the Guru, and the Mother­land — are the three notes that mingle themselves to form the music of the works of Vivekananda. These are the treasure which it is his to offer. These furnish him with the ingredients whereof he compounds the world's heal-all of his spiritual bounty. These are the three lights burning within that single lamp which India by his hand lighted and set up, for the guidance of her own children and of the world in the few years of work between September 19, 1893 and July 4, 1902. And some of us there are, who, for the sake of that lighting, and of this record that he has left behind him, bless the land that bore him and the hands of those who sent him forth, and believe that not even yet has it been given to us to understand the vastness and significance of the message that he spoke.

-Sister Nivedita (July 4, 1907)






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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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Thursday, 11 January 2018

{Daily Katha:1427} निवेदिता - एक समर्पित जीवन - 13


यतो धर्म: ततो जय:
भारतीयता से प्रेम
        निवेदिता को पहले आशा थी कि भारत और इंग्लैण्ड अवश्य ही एक दिन मित्र बनेंगे, पर उसके सामने कुछ ऐसी घटनाएं घटित हुई थीं जिससे उनका भ्रम टूट गया था| अमेरिका में भी उन्हें जो अनुभव मिले वे भी मन को धक्का पहुँचाने वाले थे| ईसाई मिशनरियों ने भारत का किंतना विकृत रूप पश्चिमी समाज के समक्ष प्रस्तुत किया था ? भारत परतन्त्र था इसीलिए ईसाई मिशनरियों ने इतनी हिम्मत की थी| एक दिन भारतीय नेता विपिन चन्द्र पाल जब अमेरिका में भाषण दे रहे थे, तब श्रोताओं ने उनसे कहा था - 'पहले अपने देश को स्वतन्त्र करो, फिर यहाँ आओ और अपने देश के धर्म और दर्शनशास्त्र के बारे में हमें बताओ| हम तभी तुम्हारी सुनेंगे|'

        निवेदिता को भी इस तरह जे कटाक्ष, कटु बातें सुनने को मिलीं| अमेरिका में स्वामीजी को कितना अपमान सहन करना पड़ा था | उनके महान कार्य को नष्ट करने के लिए वहाँ के विरोधी लोगों ने एकजुट होकर स्वामीजी के ऊपर कितने ही बार कठोर हमले किए थे|

       पेरिस में डॉ. जादीशचन्द्र बसु का कितना सम्मान हुआ था, निवेदिता इसकी साक्षी थी; किन्तु ठीक इसके विपरीत इंग्लैण्ड में उनके साथ किए गए अपमानजनक व्यवहार से निवेदिता व्यथित हुई थीं| इंग्लैण्ड के सभी ब्रिटिश वैज्ञानिक इस एकाकी भारतीय वैज्ञानिक को मानसिक रूप से तोड़ने के लिए, उनका अपमान करने के लिए संगठित हो गए थे| इस सम्बन्ध में जब निवेदिता को विस्तृत विवरण का पता चला तब वह बहुत क्रोधित हुई और इंग्लैण्ड को इसके लिए धिक्कारा| इस बारे में उन्होंने लिखा था - 'बोस युद्ध' का कारण लेकर इंग्लैण्ड ने जो हीन भावना दर्शायी है, इससे इस देश की व्यक्तिगत तथा सार्वजनिक दुर्गति का पता चलता है|
To Be continue

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

निवेदिता - एक समर्पित जीवन - 13

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

संस्कृति प्रेम

दुर्गापूजा के दिन महाराष्ट्र में शस्त्रपूजन की प्रथा प्रचलित है। इन्हीं दिनों में नागपुर में कॉलेज के छात्रों ने एक मैच का आयोजन कर पुरस्कार वितरण के निमित भगिनी का भाषण सुनने  लिए, उनको निमन्त्रित किया।
पाश्चात्य खेल को देख कर अपनी प्रतिक्रिया व्यक्त करते हुए निवेदिता ने कहा - ' अपने देश के इस भूभाग ने अन्तिम समय तक स्वातंत्र्य का स्वाद चखा था। महाशक्तिमयी दुर्गा की उपासना का यह दिन है। भोंसले की राजधानी में उनकी अपेक्षा थी उस दिव्य शस्त्र कला के प्रदर्शन को देखने को देखने की, जिसमें एक व्यक्ति, अनेक से, एक साथ लड़कर उन्हें भूमिगत कर सकता था; परन्तु खेल के मैदान में देखने को मिला,विदेशी मदारियों द्वारा नचाये जाने वाले बन्दरों का नाच।
भाषण क्या था, एक प्रतारणा थी। दूसरे दिन वह भूल ठीक की गई।

To Be continue



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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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Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Sister Nivedita: The Dedicated - Who gave her all to India – 21


यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

Nivedita captured the fire of nationalism set alight by Swamiji and took it to all fields - 2

Nivedita always stressed that India is one and she felt if all Indians could pray and contemplate on the truth for everyday for few minutes then India would be great power and no one can harm her. Nivedita said, "I believe that India is one, indissoluble, indivisible. National Unity is built on the common home, the common interest, and the common love.

I believe that the strength, which spoke in the Vedas and Upanishads, in the making of religions and empires, in the learning of scholars and the meditation of the saints, is born once more amongst us, and its name today is Nationality.

I believe that the present of India is deep-rooted in her past, and that before her shines a glorious future. O Nationality, come thou to me as joy or sorrow, as honor or as shame! Make me thine own!"


Her deep love for India was expressed in all walks of life –politics, education, art, literature, sociology, spirituality etc. A spiritual person is all dimensional. That is how Sister Nivedita was. She was a revolutionary of great fire, Sri Aurbindo called her Agnishikha – the flames of fire. She was a Yogini too. She was an educationist and she was an art critic too. She was a writer and she was involved in rendering service to the people, be at flood time or plague time. She was at once a child at the feet of Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi and also a Lokmata to all as she was called by Ravindranath Tagore and above all she was Sister of all.

As Swami Vivekananda had shed tears for the regeneration of India. There are incidents in the life of Nivedita too. When she was at Bodhgaya, Nivedita broke down and could not control her tears saying, 'The true spirit of India, - what once made India the glory of the world and the heart of Asia, has not been revived. When will the nation be conscious of its glorious heritage, and the distinct place it once occupied in the growth of human thought and human civilization? When will that life that spirit return?'
.


To be Continue

Monday, 8 January 2018

Sister Nivedita: The Dedicated - Who gave her all to India – 20


यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

Nivedita captured the fire of nationalism set alight by Swamiji and took it to all fields - 1

As it was required, Sister Nivedita actively participated and promoted the freedom movement. For that, she had to resign from Ramakrishna Mission. Ramakrishna Mission -the fledgling organization to propagate the message of Sri Ramakrishna and Vivekananda was needed for India. And participation of Sister Nivedita in freedom movement and her active role in awakening national consciousness also was equally the need of the hour in the interest of India. Thus to protect Ramakrishna Mission and to promote the work of freedom of India, she resigned from Ramakrishna Mission within a week after the passing away of Swami Vivekananda. But, their relationships remained very cordial till end.

Nivedita considered herself as part of the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda thought movement. Whenever she was sick, she was immediately attended to by Ramakrishna Math. In her work, too the help was given by Ramakrishna Math and Mission in all possible ways. When she realized she would not live, in her will she donated all the money that she had got from Mrs. Bull just few months before her own death or from her books to Ramakrishna Mission as an endowment for the use of Sister Christine Greenstidel to run the school; though Christine had left her. Bitterness had no place in her heart. She associated with persons whom she thought would be useful in India's interest. But she would also disassociate herself from them if she found it otherwise. For anything and everything in her life, the deciding touchstone was India and her well-being.

One of the foremost revolutionary freedom fighter, Sri Hemachandra Ghosh's reminiscence about Swami Vivekananda and Sister Nivedita narrated to Swami Purnatmananda were later translated from Bengali to English by Prof Kapila Chatterjee and brought out as a book titled as "I am India". In that he says, "It is very true that it was Nivedita who captured the fire of patriotism set alight by Vivekananda. She not only caught that flame, she also scattered the sparks of Indian patriotism and nationalism far and wide, across the length and breadth of India. Wherever Nivedita went, in any city or province of India, her flaming speeches and heroic calls to the Indian people spread the message of Swamiji, his ideals, his patriotism. Side by side, she spread the ideals, the culture, the glory of India, too. To speak frankly, we got to know Swami Vivekananda better through coming in contact with Sister Nivedita. I was with Swamiji for a very short time. But, I have been with Nivedita for a much longer period. Through Nivedita, we got to know Swamiji better and through her India also better. …What I feel about Nivedita is – Sister Nivedita played two important roles in spreading the message and deeds of Vivekananda – one was the role of Mahadeva, the other, that of Bhagiratha. She absorbed the terrific force and power of Vivekananda in her own person, and at the same time she carried the mighty current of that force and directed it along proper channels like Bhagiratha".


To be Continue


 
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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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Sunday, 7 January 2018

Letter to Mrs. Eric Hammond - 2

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

August 7, 1898

Between Islamabad and Srinagar
 On the Jhelum, Kashmir
 Sunday morning, August 7, [1898]

......................
   For him it was a wonderfully solemn moment. He was utterly absorbed though he was only there two minutes, and then he fled lest emotion should get the upper hand. He was utterly exhausted too—for we had had a long and dangerous climb on foot—and his heart is week. But I wish you could see his faith and courage and joy ever since. He says Siva gave him Amar (immortality) and now he cannot die till he himself wishes it. I am so so glad to have been there with him. That must be a memory for ever, must n't it ?—and he did dedicate me to Siva too—though it's not the Hindu way to let one share in the dedication—and since he told me so I have grown Hindu in taste with alarming rapidity.

                I am so deeply and intensely glad of this revelation that he has had. But oh Nell dear—it is such terrible pain to come face to face with something which is all inwardness to some one you worship, and for yourself to be able to get little further than externals. Swami could have made it live—but he was lost.

Even now I can scarcely look back on those hours without dropping once more into their abyss of anguish and disappointment, but I know that I am wrong—for I see that I am utterly forgiven by the King and that in some strange way I am nearer to him and to GOD for the pilgrimage. But oh for the bitterness of a lost chance—that can never never come again. For I was angry with him and would not listen to him when he was going to talk.

                I have a feeling dear Nell that you will have some strong quiet piece of comfort in your brave heart—but if only I had not been a discordant note in it all for him ! If I had made myself part of it, by a little patience and sympathy ! And that can never be undone. The only comfort is that it was my own loss—but such a loss !

                You see I told him that if he would not put more reality into the word Master he would have to remember that we were nothing more to each other than an ordinary man and woman, and so I snubbed him and shut myself up in a hard shell.

                He was so exquisite about it. Not a bit angry—only caring for little comforts for me. I suppose he thought I was tired • only he couldn't tell me about himself any more ! And the next morning as we came home he said "Margot, I haven't the power to do these things for you—I am not Ramakrishna Paramahamsa." The most perfect because the most unconscious humility you ever saw.

                But you know part of it is the inevitable suffering that comes of the different national habits. My Irish nature expresses every-thing, the Hindu never dreams of expression, and Swami is so utterly shy of priestliness, whereas I am always craving for it— and so on. Now that's enough selfishness—only remember I shall tell plenty of people I have been up there—but I shall tell no one what I've told you and you're not to be betrayed into any knowledge of the pilgrimage as anything but a sight.

                Your beautiful story of your vision and your most lovely word "reciprocating our highest consciousness" are a perfect treasure. I don't know if you ever got so far as to sit in the Buddha-attitude for meditation. I never took that seriously in England, but here in India one does it quite naturally and simply. And it is quite worthwhile. Swami Swarupananda helped me more than anyone else ever did. Meditation simply means concentration—absolute concentration of the mind on the given point, but there is some subtle magnetic condition which makes it easier—and so external conditions are worthwhile. For instance a skin rug to sit on is quite seriously a help. It isolates one and increases the magnetic power in some way. Swami on the other hand could not bear that—because the physical something would become so overwhelmingly strong.

                Swarup[ananda] says "and the minute you succeed in concentrating all your powers for a second, you have done it,—  the rest will speak for itself." But long before that—great things come to one—and if it is only the perfect stillness, it is something wonderful, don't you think so ? What Maeterlinck calls the "Great Active Silence".

                I have never had this experience of going to sleep, though I have tried once or twice. But I have heard of it.
Then an old Sannyasin lately told me that you should only have two subjects of meditation at first—and of these you should be always in the presence of some picture or symbol, so as to saturate your whole mind with the idea. One should be your Guru—and apart from him one concrete subject besides. After the concrete, one is able to meditate on the abstract.

                Do you care for these scraps of information ? I value them because personally they have been difficult to come by—but it is possible that you have long known them. There is something else I meant to tell you but I can't think at this moment, oh yes, about breathing. I was quite out of breath one night, and could not anyhow get quieted down, so I just went on with the mental effort, and presently I noticed that quite unconsciously I was "breathing inwardly" as they call it—and was perfectly in control. It is so curious how the instant a gleam comes to one, one under-stands suddenly the necessity of solitude and so many things that were only hearsay before.

                And now I must stop. There is no secret from Mr. Hammond in my letter, it is to you both. I wish it were beautiful and unselfish like yours.
Your own loving,
                                Nivedita
P. S.—I hope you have had a lovely time.




--
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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Friday, 5 January 2018

Letter to Mrs. Eric Hammond

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

August 7, 1898

Between Islamabad and Srinagar
 On the Jhelum, Kashmir
 Sunday morning, August 7, [1898]

My dearest Nell,

                Your last lovely letter, close on the heels of its predecessor, was written on a Sunday morning. Much has happened since then, and it is Sunday morning again. We are on our way down to Srinagar, and I have a boat to myselfelf—for the Consul's wife has just left us to join her husband. Over there is Swami's boat, and just behind Mrs. Bull and Miss MacLeod's where we have been lunching (our first meal we have about 6—lunch about 12—and our last at 5 or 6). The river is like glass, and a slight breeze meets us in our leisurely progress. It is just like heaven. A few weeks hence all this will be over, and my consolation will be that I gave thanks for every moment of it while it lasted.

                Your letter was a delight, and most unexpected, for I have a notion that you hate producing letters. Your other just cams in time to keep us perfectly with you through your week of retreat. Oxford was a lovely choice surely—and how delightful the £5 must have been. May it be the precursor of many such. "Great Thoughts" was such a boon and even Swami read "MAP" through ! How nice it is ! I didn't think a Society paper could be kept so sweet and clean. I shall be grateful to you at any time for a paper like Great Thoughts if you have it by you. It serves better than anything else to show Swarupananda the element that we both think should get into the Prabuddha Bharata.

                At Almora he was just my Bengali master, and helper with the Gita. Here, and now, especially with the interest and responsibility of the new paper resting on him over there, I count him one of the best and finest friends I ever had. He is one of 3 Bengali men—besides Swami—whom I am just proud of knowing. I gave your message—"Love and Devotion"—to the Master— he had already brightened up at your photograph (how good it is ! and how lovely and homely to get it ! Oh for a peep into your nest at this moment !) and he said at once : "And mine to them." He thinks the world of you two you know. One day he was building castles in the air, about a sort of farm-colony he plans to have in a scantily populated district of Behar (in some words he thinks it will be centuries hence, nevertheless listen to this) and he ended up by saying—"Oh yes, I'll get Mr. and Mrs. Hammond and heaps of other English workers out here, and they'll do that for me !"

                I saved that up for you, and always neglected to tell you, Mrs. Jonson and Mr. Sturdy have both written such warm thanks to you that his heart is just full, and I think that Purity Meeting where he spoke for you has linked him to you in a very special way. I have heard Mrs. Bull tell him two or three times that she thinks it the finest thing he ever did.  She has such a lovely-fancy about him. I love to connect and watch people's attitude. To you he is the Master, to me the King, to her the Sistine Child. Isn't that a beautiful idea ? And I  think one can't help catching the resemblance too, the minute it is mentioned.

                And now I must tell you something, that will startle you—I have been away up in the Himalayas for a week—18,000 feet high—I went with Swami to see the glaciers—so much anyone may know. The rest you may not tell. It was a pilgrimage really to the Caves of Amarnath, where he was anxious to dedicate me to Siva.

To Be Continue



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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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Thursday, 4 January 2018

निवेदिता - एक समर्पित जीवन - 12

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

 सेवा में तत्पर

भगिनी निवेदिता के निवास स्थान पर प्रति रविवार को आयोजित 'रविवारीय जलपान' (भेंट-वार्ता) का तत्कालीन समाज में अत्यन्त महत्व था। अध्यापक, शिल्पी,कलाकार,राजीनीतिक नेता,मठ के नवीन संन्यासी, वैज्ञानिक,क्रन्तिकारी पत्रकार एवं साहित्यकार मानो सभी का प्रेरणा केन्द्र था।
       ऐसी ही भेंट वार्ता में अरविन्द घोष के छोटे भाई वीरेंद्र घोष को देखकर भगिनी ने पूछा - "तुम्हारा लक्ष्य महान है, परन्तु क्या तुम अपनी मातृभूमि की सेवा में प्राणोत्सर्ग करने को प्रस्तुत हो ?" साहसी तरुण का गर्वीला उतर था, - 'हाँ ! प्रस्तुत हूँ। केवल एक शर्त है कि आप 'जोन ऑफ़ आर्क' बानी रहे। आप हमारा पथ प्रदर्शन करें। हमें आपकी आवश्यकता है, हम साथ काम करेंगे चाहे आप कलकत्ते में रहें तथा मैं बंगाल के ग्रामों में.............. !
        'यदि अभी भी तुम अकेलापन अनुभव करते हो तो मैं तुम्हारी सहायता करुँगी। इसीलिए मैं यहाँ पर हूँ......... !' - आत्मविश्वास भरा उतर था भगिनी का।


To Be continue



--
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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Wednesday, 3 January 2018

निवेदिता - एक समर्पित जीवन - 11

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

 स्त्री सेवा 

स्वामी विवेकनन्द ने 1896 में लन्दन में निवेदिता को बताया कि वे अपने देश की महिलाओं के लिए कुछ करना चाहते थे तथा इसमें वे बड़ी सहायक हो सकती थी। वे जान गई कि  यह निमन्त्रण उनके लिए एक पुकार है जो उनके जीवन को बदल देगा, वही हुआ; किन्तु जब निवेदिता ने स्वामीजी से पूछा कि उनकी योजनाएँ क्या थी, तो उनका उतर था 'मैं कभी योजनाएँ नहीं बनाता। वे स्वयं बनती व साकार होती है, मैं केवल कहता हूँ, जागो जागो !' अतः भारतीय महिलाओं  सेवा की आवश्यकता हेतु निवेदिता को स्वामी जी ने जगाया, किन्तु पद्धति का चुनाव उन्हीं पर छोड़ा। साधारणतया एक पराजित देश की सेवा के विषय में लोग यही समझते है कि वहाँ के लोगों पर सभी सामाजिक, धार्मिक व सांस्कृतिक क्षेत्रों में अपने प्रगतिशील व उच्च विचारों को थोप दिया है। निवेदिता ने स्वयं को ऐसे देश में ऐसे लोगों के बीच में पाया जो राजनीतिक दृष्टि से तो पराधीन थे, किन्तु जिनका समाज स्थिर था तथा जिनकी धार्मिक संस्कृति अत्यन्त विकसित थी। उन्हें यह समझते देर न लगी कि जीवन की भारतीय  योजना में परिवार समाज की सबसे छोटी इकाई होते हुए भी सर्वाधिक महत्वपूर्ण था। एक व्यक्ति के जीवन को गढ़ने वाले निर्देशात्मक व निषेधात्मक प्रभाव उसे परिवार से ही मिलते है तथा परिवार की शासिका महिला ही है।

To Be continue



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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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Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Sister Nivedita: The Dedicated - Who gave her all to India – 19


यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

'Now, He shall work through us, we have no time to rest'  - 3

She resumed her schoolwork. Her place in Baghbazar became a meeting place for great people of   that time. Anyone who had the welfare of India at heart was welcome there. Around this time, an American disciple of Swami Vivekananda Christine Greenstidel also joined her in her work. Thus, making Nivedita relatively free from her schoolwork, to take to other nationally important activities. Swami Vivekananda too though not keeping very well visited the school few times.

On July 2, Nivedita went to Belur Math to meet Swamiji. Though Swamiji was fasting, as it was Ekadashi day, he made Nivedita sit near him and eat. At the end of the meal when she went to wash her hands, Swamiji poured water on her hands and then with towel dried her hands. Nivedita surprised, protested, 'It is I who should be doing these things for you Swamiji and not you for me.' Swamiji said smilingly, 'Jesus had washed the feet of his disciples!' Nivedita was about to say, 'But that was the last time.' But she did not utter it, yet that is how it was, though she did not know it. Swamiji showered his blessings on her, she returned to her place very happy.

Nivedita dreamt on the night 4th July 1902 that Sri Ramakrishna was leaving his body a second time. Next day early in the morning, a monk came from Belur Math carrying a letter from Swami Saradananda, conveying the message that Swamiji had passed away last night. Instantly the entire world became blank before Nivedita's eyes. She immediately rushed to the Math and reached the room of Swamiji. Swamiji's body was laid on the floor. Nivedita sat near Swamiji's head and started to fan him silently. Throughout the morning, she sat like that.

On 5th July in the afternoon, Swamiji's body was brought down from his room and carried a little to the south for cremation (where at present Swamiji's temple stands at Belur Math). Swamiji's body was wrapped in gerua cloth. Nivedita thought that if she could have that cloth, she would send it as a memento to Swamiji's very dear disciple Josephine MacLeod. She asked Swami Saradananda if that piece of cloth would also be consigned to flame. Swami Saradananda could feel the mind of Nivedita and said she might take it if she desired. However, she was unsure whether the act (accepting the cloth) would be proper or not, and finally she decided not to take it. She sat all the while looking at the burning pyre. It was about six in the evening. The burning flame was about to go out. Suddenly she felt that somebody had pulled her sleeve. Nivedita turned around and found a piece of that cloth lay near her feet. She lifted it with great care to be given to Josephine Macleod.

Swami Vivekananda had said, 'It may be that I shall find it good to get outside of my body -- to cast it off like a disused garment. But I shall not cease to work! I shall inspire men everywhere, until the world shall know that it is one with God.'  Nivedita felt until now Swamiji was encased in one body now that bondage is gone now he can work through all those who would take his name and follow his thoughts. So where is the time to rest? Nivedita plunged in to activities. She wrote in a prayerful mood to a friend, 'He is not dead. He is with us always. I cannot even grieve. I only want to work'. That is what she did. For 9 years after Swami Vivekananda, she was engaged in intense work. Nivedita worked very hard for rousing the national consciousness. Whether it was literature, art, science, freedom movement, education, philosophy, she left her mark in every field; inspired persons in these fields to choose the national interest and nation above everything else. All this was in a very short span of 9 years after her Guru Swami Vivekananda left his body.


To be Continue


 
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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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Monday, 1 January 2018

Sister Nivedita: The Dedicated - Who gave her all to India – 18


यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

'Now, He shall work through us, we have no time to rest'  - 2


Nivedita thought that she would earn some money for school by giving speeches and seeking some donations from the listeners in America. But in America the people did not like Nivedita talking of philosophical and mystical India instead of playing the role of an English journalist, as she had been expected to do, and revealing the secrets of her sensational initiation into Hinduism. People would have perhaps loved to listen to the criticism of India from her but she was all praise for India and her people. Her over simple appearance in long robe seemed out of place. She refused to give in and counted the rebuffs merely as part of the game she meant to win. No public lectures people were interested with her. Chicago was cold to her. Then one day it changed.

In one public program where she had gone as audience to listen to the topic, 'The Responsibility of America in Spreading Anglo-Saxon Culture throughout the World' the speeches dragged on. But when meeting was thrown open, Nivedita went to the platform and spoke, all listened attentively. And then her name was in papers, reporters came demanding interviews. She was then constantly in demand as a lecturer, constantly on the move, for the next seven months. Whenever she was surrounded and congratulated by audience after the lecture, she would ask, 'What are you going to do for me?' and then would tell her surprised listeners, 'Give me a dollar a year for ten years!' What can one do with so little money – people asked laughing. "Build for future', replied Nivedita, "I want your co-operation to establish a permanent fund for women and children of India.' 'Nivedita Mutual Assistance Guild' was founded. Swamiji's disciples Mr. and Mrs. Leggets were its patrons.

She gave a lecture at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, on 'The ideal of Hindu woman'. Swami Vivekananda was travelling in different places. By chance, he too arrived on the day of her lecture so he attended her lecture the only one to the Western audience and he found it was 'moving, fervent and simple, more Hindu than a Hindu, speaking of the land of her soul, as luminous as light itself'. Tears rolled down with gratitude, with satisfaction that his love for India had entered in his spiritual daughter Nivedita.

Perhaps feeling the approaching death, Swamiji hurried back to India within few months. After some more time Nivedita also left for India. She reached India in February 1902. Exactly four years back she had landed in India as a foreigner. Now she was the daughter of this land. She called India as 'our country' and spoke about Indians as 'our people'. Rabindranath Tagore wrote, 'When she uttered the word 'our people', the tone of absolute kinship which struck the ears was not heard from any other amongst us. We while giving perhaps our time, our money, even our lives, have not been able to give them our heart'.


To be Continue


 
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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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