Saturday, 17 February 2018

Sister Nivedita - 1

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

Sister Nivedita
- Swami Vireswarananda

We are here today to celebrate the birth centenary of a great soul who, though an alien, had made India her motherland and had dedicated herself to her service. Th e memorial raised to her in the laps of the Himalayas, where she breathed her last, 'Here reposes Sister Nivedita who gave her all to India' is literally true.

Born in Ireland, brought up in England, her field of activity was in India; but through her life and work she belongs to the whole world. Her idealism and spirit of dedication have lifted her to the ranks of the eternal. Her parents were pious Christians and her mother had consecrated her at birth to the service of God. She too was endowed with the qualities of self-sacrifice and passion for Truth. It only needed the living touch of a great soul to set ablaze the latent fire of dedication in her. And this was what happened when she met Swami Vivekananda in London in 1895. In spite of her being on the guard not to be influenced by the magnetic personality of the 'Hindu Yogi' and her intensely independent nature, she was captivated by his nobility and loftiness of his life and teachings. The result was as she said later, 'I had recognized the heroic fibre of the man and desired to make myself the servant of his love for his own people'.

Sister Nivedita was a unique gift of Swami Vivekananda to India. A talented lady deeply rooted in Western culture and civilization was as it were uprooted from that soil by Swami Vivekananda and made to strike root in Indian culture and civilization. The metamorphosis was a painful one even to a brave heart like the Sister's but she did succeed in the end. Discipleship to this 'Master' and playing the role of a servant to India according to his vision was also no easy task. But he knew what he could expect from her and was not disappointed. The intense spiritual training she received under her Guru's supervision, the infinite trust he had in her, as also the blessing of the Holy Mother who accepted her and treated her as her own child, all these made the seemingly impossible possible. Thence-for-ward she dedicated herself to the cause of India in various ways. She inspired patriotism in the youth of India, and called upon them to dedicate their lives for the emancipation of India.

She worked for the education and uplift of Indian women and interpreted to the West Indian culture and ideals in various fields—in arts, education, social life, religion, religious symbology etc. through speeches and books like Religion and Dharma, Web of Indian Life, Footfalls of Indian History, Siva and Buddha, Kālī the Mother. She also influenced many great personalities of her time in India.

Nivedita was a born educator, endowed with the vision and qualities needed. She started a school for girls which has now blossomed into the Nivedita Girls' School. Besides she became instrumental to a great extent in laying the foundation for the development of 'national education' in India.

PB Jan. 2017 [Text of the address delivered by Srimat Swami Vireswaranandaji Maharaj, a disciple of Sri Sarada Devi, inaugurating the birth centenary celebrations of Sister Nivedita on 28 October 1967 at Mahajati Sadan, Calcutta. It was published in Prabuddha Bharata, 73/2 (February 1968), 49–50 and is being reprinted here—Editor.]

Srimat Swami Vireswaranandaji Maharaj was the tenth President of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission.

To Be Continued..

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 :
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