Tuesday 31 October 2017

Chronology of Sister Nivedita's Life - 3

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

1900 January 28. 'A public school man' in USA requests her to write "Indian stories" (Later to take the form of Cradle Tales of Hinduism) for publication.

February. Forms 'Ramakrishna Guild of Help in America', with Mrs Leggett as President and Mrs Bull as Secretary, publishes a booklet 'The Project of the Ramakrishna School for Girls'.

March. Meets Prof. Patric Geddes of Scotland, 'the first sociologist since Spencer to produce a new and living theory of society.'

June 28. Sails for Paris, to act there as Secretary to Patric Geddes, organizer of the various sessions of the International Association at the Paris Exhibition of 1900-Fails 'absolutely' in this work as she finds it impossible to go on cataloguing, indexing and reporting of lectures. (But 'Some Notes of Lectures Heard in Paris at the International School of Science, 1900' were published in Hindusthan Review, June, 1907, under the title 'The relation between Famine and Population').

July. First publication of her book Kali the Mother, by Swan Sonnenschein & Co., London, Dedicates it to Vireswar, Lord of the Heroes, meaning Vivekananda.

August.  Meets the Bose's at Paris. Bose comes to take part at the International Congress of Physicists. Vivekananda rejoices at Bose's success at the Conference they become great friends.-She stays with Mrs Bull at the village Perros-Guirec in Brittany.-Deeply hurt at Vivekananda's mood of unconcern about her, complains, receives from him a poem of 'Benediction', and great blessing. 'Go forth into the world, and there, if I made you, be destroyed! If Mother made you, live.'-Writes enthusiastically about Kropotkin's social and political ideas.

November. In London. Takes leading part in discussions with Govt. officials about Tata Research Institute Scheme. Issues circular letters to some prominent sympathetic. Europeans seeking support for the Tata Scheme, to counteract Government of India's opposition to it.-Translates some of Rabindranath Tagore's short stories including Cabuliwallah.-Starts helping Bose in writing scientific papers and books.

December. Helps Bose when ill and operated upon-Keeps the Boses in her family residence and attends on Bose during his convalescence.

1901   February-March. Lectures extensively in England and Scotland on Indian topics.

April. Writes about Mr. Ole Bull, famous Norwegian violinist and national leader, on the occasion of 'the unveiling of his statue' in Norway.-Starts writing 'Lambs among Wolves', in reply to Missionary attacks against Indian culture, and publishes it in West Minister Review. (Published as a book in 1903).

May. In Norway as guest of Mrs Bull-The Boses and Romesh Chandra Dutt also there. Dutt becomes her God-father, inspires her to write Web of Indian Life.-She writes some chapters of the book here.

July. Expresses final disillusionment about British rule in India.

September-December. Continues helping Bose to write The Living and Non-Living-Vigorously goes on with 'Bose war' to protect Bose's interest against conspiracy by Anglo-Indian officials and interested scientific circle.-Meets and discusses with Kropotkin.-Starts corresponding with Kakaju Okakura, an exponent of Japanese Art, at Miss MacLeod's instance.-Decides to take up political course of activities for India's emancipation.  

Monday 30 October 2017

Chronology of Sister Nivedita's Life - 2

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

1898 February 27. First visit to Dakshineswar – Meets Aghormani Devi, known as 'Gopaler Ma' (Gopal's Mother) who found in Ramakrishna the Child Gopala, i.e. Child Krishna.

March 11. First public speech in India, at the Star Theatre, Calcutta : 'Influence of the Spiritual Thoughts of India in England'-March 17. First meeting with 'Holy Mother' Sarada Devi, consort of Sri Ramakrishna, in company with Miss J. MacLeod and Mrs. Ole Bull, writes in her diary, 'a day of days.'-March 25. Initiated by Vivekananda on the day of the Christian Feast of the Annunciation, as a novice of the Order of Ramakrishna, given the name 'Nivedita' (The Dedicated) – Stays in an old cottage at Belur (newly bought for the Math), with Miss MacLeod and Mrs. Ole Bull.

May. Plague in Calcutta. Panic and plague riot in protest against Govt. measures-Writes plague pamphlet at Swamiji's instance-May 11. Starts with Swamiji and his party on upper India tour. Swamiji wishes to show his Western disciples what is real India.-'Clash and conflict' with Swamiji over British rule in India and other issues. Swamiji attacks her blind worship of British flag. At the end he blesses her. ('It was assuredly a moment of wonderful sweetness and reconciliation.') – Furious at the information that the police are shadowing Swamiji through spies.

July 26. Starts from Srinagar in Kashmir for pilgrimage to the Cave of Amarnath with Swamiji, who wants that 'his daughter…be dedicated to Siva.'

August 2. Reaches the Amarnath Cave. Swamiji gets vision of Siva. He says to her: 'You have made the pilgrimage and it will go on working.'

August-September. Makes utmost to undo the mischievous act of the British Resident of Kashmir who vetoed thrice Maharaja's proposal to handover a plot of land to Swamiji for a Women's Math, but fails.

September 30. Swamiji starts alone for pilgrimage to Kshir Bhabani to worship Divine Shakti. He returns to Srinagar (October 6).-She sees him 'transfigured and inspired…His soul and voice are those of a God.'

November 1. Returns to Calcutta after visiting Lahore, Delhi Agra etc. in company with Miss MacLeod and Mrs. Bull.-Stays for sometime at Sarada Devi's residence at 10/2, Bose Para Lane, Baghbazar.-Shifts to 16 Bose Para Lane-November 12. Present at a meeting of the devotees of Ramakrishna at Balarama Bose's house at Baghbazar, convened to consider the opening of her Girls' school.

November 13. Sarada Devi inaugurates the School at 16 Bose Para Lane, and blesses it. Swamiji and some fellow-monks present-November 14. The School begins.

1899 January 9. Starts translating Girish Chandra Ghose's famous religious drama Bilwamangal.

January 27. Tea-Party at her residence organized by her in pursuance of her effort to bring the Brahma and Ramakrishna Mission closer for Indian work. Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore, Mohini Mohan Chatterjee among those present.

February 13. Lectures on 'Kali and Her Worship' at the Albert Hall; creates sensation.-February 20. At the Jorasanko Tagore family residence with Swami Vivekananda to meet Maharsi Devendranath Tagore.

February 26. Lectures on 'Young India Movement' at the Minerva Theatre.

March 15. Writes to Mrs Bull about J.C. Bose, seeking help from her for Bose's scientific work. (Bose eventually became Mrs Bull's 'son', received huge financial aid, also other helps from her).

March 19. Lectures at the Ramakrishna birthday celebration at Belur Math.

March 21. Violent plague at Calcutta; risks her life nursing plague victims. Vivekananda objects against this unnecessary exhibition of courage, says, sanitation work more beneficial to the people.'

March 22. At Dakshineswar with Sarala Ghosal and Surendranath Tagore of the Tagore family.

March 26. Vivekananda makes her ''Naisthic'' Brahmacharini of the Order.

March 28. Indian Mirror publishes her appeal for plague relief. 'The Plague in Calcutta.'

March 31. Ramakrishna Mission starts Plague Relief Work in Calcutta slums under her supervision.

April 6. Statesman and Englishman publish her appeal for Plague Relief Fund: The Cleansing of Calcutta.'

April 22. Lectures on Plague at the Classic Theatre with Vivekananda in the chair, appeals to the youth to come forward and sacrifice-Publishes in Prabuddha Bharata report of interview with Vivekananda on the 'Bounds of Hinduism.'

May 28. Lectures on 'Kali Worship' at Kalighat Temple.

June 20. Leaves for England and the West with Vivekananda and Turiyananda for collecting funds for School. – On board discusses with Vivekananda various matters, listens to his inspired utterances, feels it to be the 'greatest occasion' of her life.

July 31. In London. Vivekananda meets her family for the first time.-She sees with great delight, the whole family kneels 'at feet of the Master.'

August 16. Vivekananda with Turiyananda leaves for America.-She stays for sometime in England to join marriage function of her sister.

September 20. Reaches Ridgely Manor, Mr. Leggett's country house near New York, a big party staying there including Vivekananda, Turiyananda, Abhedananda, Mrs Bull, Leggetts and others.

October 18. Sees Vivekananda in a great prophetic mood, speaking about forthcoming Sudra Revolution.

October-November. Completes her book Kali the Mother.

November 5. Vivekananda blesses her and Mrs Bull, gives them 'power' and obligation to work for the 'Mother'. Feels it to be the 'great turning point' of her life.

November-December (also January-June, 1900). Lectures at different places of America, on topics like: 'The Conditions of Indian Women', 'Religious life in India', 'Ancient Arts of India', 'Our obligation to the Orient', 'Ideals of Hindu Women', 'Mother Worship'. Highly appreciated as well as attacked scathingly, particularly from the supporters of Pandita Ramabai, a Christian convert, who maligns India in America. Fights against this onslaught-Writes to her 'beloved Father' Vivekananda, 'I want to do things only because they are my Father's will'.


The main theme of my life is to take the message of Sanatana Dharma to every home and pave the way for launching, in a big way, the man-making programme preached and envisaged by great seers like Swami Vivekananda. - Mananeeya Eknathji

विवेकानन्द केन्द्र कन्याकुमारी (Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari)
Vivekananda Rock Memorial & Vivekananda Kendra : http://www.vivekanandakendra.org
Read Article, Magazine, Book @ http://eshop.vivekanandakendra.org/e-granthalaya
Cell : +91-941-801-5995, Landline : +91-177-283-5995

. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is Truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
Follow us on   blog   twitter   youtube   facebook   g+   delicious   rss   Donate Online
. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
- Swami Vivekananda
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Sunday 29 October 2017

Chronology of Sister Nivedita's Life - 1

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

1867 October 28 : Born at Dunganon, County Tyrone, Ireland-eldest daughter of Samuel Noble, a Congregational minister and Irish nationalist, and Mary Isabel Hamilton. (Younger sister May (Mrs. Wilson), and younger brother Richmond (Rev. Richmond Noble) born between 1870-74)

1877 : Father dies of tuberculosis.
: Passes her final examination from Halifax College – Joins as teacher at a school at Keswick.

Joins a school at Rugby.

1886 – 89
: Joins a school at Wrexham – Falls in love with a young engineer from Wales. (He died before the engagement could be announced) – Busy in social, philanthropic and literary works-Welfare work in slum areas – Writes articles in journals under different pen names.

1889 – 91
: Teacher at a school at Chester.

1891 – 94
: At Madame De. Leeuw's school at Wimbledon, London – Founds Wimbledon Literary Society.

: Opens her own Kindergarten school at Wimbledon, follows there Froebel and Pestalozzi methods – Moves away from orthodox Christianity, deep in scientific ideas and politics, becomes a 'London journalist.'-One of the founders of the Sesame Club, a cultural body comprising both sexes. Lectures here on educational theories, reads papers like 'Teaching the three Rs on Modern Principles', meets G.B. Shaw, T.H. Huxley, W.B. Yeats- Recognised as a 'woman. . . well established in a brilliant career as journalist, educationist, lecturer and fighter for every kind of emancipation.'

1895 November :
Meets Swami Vivekananda t Lady Isabella Margesson's residence at West End, London. – Vivekananda brings to her 'news from a far land', full of 'gentleness and loftiness'. He 'lives much in meditation', bears 'that look. .that Raphael has painted on the brow of the Sistine Child'.

1896 April-December :
Listens to Vivekananda's lectures and talks, accepts Vedanta as her own philosophy and Vivekananda as her Master.

: Organizes Vedanta Movement in London in absence of Vivekananda with the help of E. T. Sturdy and others-Raises money for famine relief work in India, started by the newly founded Ramakrishna Mission – Sends reports of London Vedanta activities to Bramhavadin of Madras-Wants to come to India to take up Indian work-Vivekananda at first reluctant, then agrees 'I am now convinced that you have a great future in the work for India.'

1898 January :
Leaves England for India-January 20. Reaches Madras – January 28. Reaches Calcutta – Vivekananda receives her at the docks – She stays for some time at a mansion at Chowringhee-Visits places, attends lectures, takes lessons in Bengali, cultivates acquaintances with Dr. J.C. Bose, the scientist, Rabindranath Tagore, the poet, and other prominent men of Calcutta.


The main theme of my life is to take the message of Sanatana Dharma to every home and pave the way for launching, in a big way, the man-making programme preached and envisaged by great seers like Swami Vivekananda. - Mananeeya Eknathji

विवेकानन्द केन्द्र कन्याकुमारी (Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari)
Vivekananda Rock Memorial & Vivekananda Kendra : http://www.vivekanandakendra.org
Read Article, Magazine, Book @ http://eshop.vivekanandakendra.org/e-granthalaya
Cell : +91-941-801-5995, Landline : +91-177-283-5995

. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is Truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
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Saturday 28 October 2017


यतो धर्म:   ततो जय:

East represents the Soul-power. West represents the power of Matter. The absolute surrender of Miss Margaret Noble at the feet of an Indian sannyasin stands as a glorious proof of the submission of the West before the spiritual Light of India. This truth finds its significant corroboration in the very name Nivedita given to her by her Master. Truly, Nivedita was an emblem of true offering. She successfully utilised the power that she received from her Master in the cause of uplifting Indian womanhood and of freeing the Indian Nation from foreign yoke. This again proves that as the East is endowed with the power of imparting spirituality, even so the West possesses the power of receiving it.

Swami Vivekananda wrote this to Bhagini Nivedita :

A Benediction

The mother's heart, the hero's will,
The sweetness of the southern breeze,
The sacred charm and strength that dwell
On Aryan altars, flaming, free;
All these be yours, and many more
No ancient soul could dream before --
Be thou to India's future son
The mistress, servant, friend in one.

The chief disciple received from her Master this unique benediction while she was being initiated into the vow of Brahmacharya (celibacy) and the name Nivedita was given to her. A man treading the path of spirituality must never forget that, as opportunity never knocks at one's door twice, even so benediction, a true benediction, rarely repeats itself. But the power of that benediction can easily fight out the stupendous odds of centuries that eclipse the Knowledge-Sun of the disciple.

It will be worth while to pay more attention to the word 'benediction,' the touchstone in the life of Nivedita. It happened that during their stay at Almora, Vivekananda for some time assumed altogether a different aspect in his relation to Nivedita. He was unbelievably severe to her. He neglected her much more than one could believe possible. "My relation," says the disciple, "to our Master at this time can only be described as one of clash and conflict." But the red-letter day at last dawned to save her life from the deepest pangs. To cite her once again: "And then a time came when one of the older ladies of our party, thinking perhaps that such intensity of pain inflicted might easily go too far, interceded kindly and gravely with the Swami. He listened silently and went away. At evening, however, he returned and finding us together in the verandah, he turned to her and said with the simplicity of a child, 'You are right. There must be a change. I am going into the forests to be alone and when I come back I shall bring peace.' Then he turned and saw that above us the moon was new and a sudden exaltation came into his voice as he said, 'See! the Mohammedans think much of the new moon. Let us also with the new moon begin a new life!' As the words ended he lifted his hands and blessed with silent depths of blessing his most rebellious disciple, by this time kneeling before him... I was assuredly a moment of wonderful sweetness of reconciliation...Long, long ago Sri Ramakrishna had told his disciples that the day would come when his beloved 'Naren' would manifest his own great gift of bestowing knowledge with a touch. That evening at Almora I proved the truth of his prophecy." 

Friday 20 October 2017

Swami Vivekananda - S.E. Waldo : 5

Reminiscences of Swami Vivekananda by S.E. Waldo

...About the middle of June, six or eight students gathered in the little house at Thousand Island Park; and true to his promise, Swami Vivekananda came there on the 20th of the month and remained for seven blessed weeks. A few more students joined us. until we numbered twelve, including our hostess. To those who were fortunate enough to be there with the Swami, those are weeks of ever hallowed memory, so fraught were they with unusual opportunity for spiritual growth. No words can describe what that blissful period meant (and still means) to the devoted little band who followed the Swami from New York to the Island in the St. Lawrence, who daily served him with joy and listened to him with heartfelt thankfulness. His whole heart was in his work, and he taught like one inspired. Every morning he could hardly wait for the household duties to be attended to, so eager was he to begin his work of teaching. As early as it could be managed, we gathered around him, and for two and sometimes three hours he would steadily expound the teachings of his Master Shri Ramakrishna. These ideas were new and strange to us, and we were slow in assimilating them; but the Swami's patience never flagged, his enthusiasm never waned. In the afternoons, he talked to us more informally, and we took usually a long walk. Every evening we adjourned to an upstairs piazza that commanded a glorious view over the waters and islands of the broad river, it was an enchanting picture that our eyes rested upon. At our left stretched a thick wood, the tops of its waving trees like a lake of vivid green, gradually lost themselves in the dancing blue waters of the St. Lawrence. Not one building of any kind was in sight, save a hotel on a distant island whose many gleaming lights were reflected on the shimmering waves. We were alone with nature, and it was a fitting scene in which to listen to the utterances of such a Teacher. The Swami did not appear to address us directly, but rather seemed to be speaking to himself in words of fire, as it were, so intense were they, so eloquent and convincing, burning into the very hearts of his listeners never to be forgotten. We listened in utter silence, almost holding our breath for fear of disturbing the current of his thoughts, or losing one of those inspired words.

As the days and weeks passed by, we began to really understand and grasp the meaning of what we heard, and we gladly accepted the teaching. Every one of the students there, received initiation at the hands of the Swami, thus becoming disciples, the Swami assuming towards them the position of guru, or spiritual father, as is done in India, where the tie uniting guru and disciple is the closest one known, outranking that of parent and child, or even husband and wife. It was purely a coincidence that there were just twelve of us!

The ceremony of initiation was impressive from its extreme simplicity. A small altar fire, beautiful flowers, and the earnest words of the Teacher alone marked it as different from our daily lessons. It took place at sunrise of a beautiful summer day, and the scene still lives fresh in our memories. Of those who became Brahmacharinis at Thousand Island Park, two are dead, and one is now in India helping to carry on the work nearest to Swami Vivekananda's heart, the uplifting of his fellow-countrymen. Most of the others have rendered faithful service in the cause of Vedanta during the ten years that have passed since then. (A more detailed description of the events at Thousand Island Park is available in the Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda as Inspired Talks.)

Thursday 19 October 2017

Swami Vivekananda - S.E. Waldo : 4

Reminiscences of Swami Vivekananda by S.E. Waldo

It was a fit beginning for a movement that has since grown to such grand proportions. In this unpretentious way did Swami Vivekananda inaugurate the work of teaching Vedanta philosophy in New York. The Swami gave his services free as air. The rent was paid by voluntary subscriptions, and when these were found insufficient, Swami hired a hall and gave secular lectures on India and devoted the proceeds to the maintenance of the classes. He said that Hindu teachers, of religion felt it to be their duty to support their classes and the students too, if they were unable to care for themselves; and the teachers would willingly make any sacrifice they possibly could to assist a needy disciple.

The classes began in February 1895, and lasted until June. But long before that time, they had outgrown their small beginnings and had removed downstairs to occupy an entire parlour floor and extension. The classes were held nearly every morning and on several evenings in each week. Some Sunday lectures were also given, and there were "question" classes to help those to whom the teaching was so new and strange that they were desirous to have an opportunity for more extended explanation.

In June, after four months of constant lecturing and teaching, Swami Vivekananda accepted the invitation of one of his friends and went to Percy, N.H., for a period of rest in the silence of the pine woods. Before he left New York, he promised to meet at Thousand Island Park any students who were sufficiently interested in Vedanta to follow him so far, and there give them more special instruction. One of the class members had a cottage there and had invited the Swami to be her guest for as long a period as he fell inclined to remain. Swami said that those students who were willing to put aside all other interests and devote themselves to studying Vedanta, travelling more than three hundred miles to a suitable spot, were the ones really in earnest, and he should recognize them as disciples. He did not expect many would lake so much trouble; but if any responded, he would do his share of helping them on the path.


The main theme of my life is to take the message of Sanatana Dharma to every home and pave the way for launching, in a big way, the man-making programme preached and envisaged by great seers like Swami Vivekananda. - Mananeeya Eknathji

विवेकानन्द केन्द्र कन्याकुमारी (Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari)
Vivekananda Rock Memorial & Vivekananda Kendra : http://www.vivekanandakendra.org
Read Article, Magazine, Book @ http://eshop.vivekanandakendra.org/e-granthalaya
Cell : +91-941-801-5995, Landline : +91-177-283-5995

. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is Truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
Follow us on   blog   twitter   youtube   facebook   g+   delicious   rss   Donate Online

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Swami Vivekananda - S.E. Waldo : 3

Reminiscences of Swami Vivekananda by S.E. Waldo

...From New England, Swami Vivekananda returned to New York in the autumn, and at a lecture he gave in the parlour of a friend he met Dr. Janes, who at once recognized the unusual character and attainments of the Swami and invited him to lecture before the Association in Brooklyn. The two men became warmly attached to each other and formed a friendship that lasted as long as they lived.

Swami Vivekananda lectured in Brooklyn for the first time on 30th December, 1894 and his success was immediate. A large and enthusiastic audience greeted his appearance at the Pouch Mansion, and a course of lectures there and at other places in Brooklyn soon followed. From this time his public work in America really began. He established himself in quarters of his own, where he held several classes a week and came into more intimate relations with his students. Earnest people flocked to hear him and to learn the ancient teachings of India on the all-embracing character of her philosophy that every soul must be saved, that all religions were true, being steps in the progress of man toward a higher and ever higher spiritual realization — and above all to hear the constant lessons of the Swami on a world-wide, universal religious toleration.

At this time the Swami was living very simply in New York; and his earliest classes were held in the small room he occupied, and in the beginning were attended by only three or four persons. They grew with astonishing rapidity, and, as the little room filled to overflowing, became very picturesque. The Swami himself always sat on the floor, and most of his audience likewise. The marble-topped dresser, the arms of the sofa, and even the corner washstand helped to furnish seats for the constantly increasing numbers. The door was left open, and the overflow filled the hall and sat on the stairs. And those first classes! How intensely interesting they were! Who that was privileged to attend them can ever forget them? The Swami so dignified yet so simple, so gravely earnest, so eloquent, and the close ranks of students, forgetting all inconveniences, hanging breathless on his every word!