Monday 27 November 2017

Sister Nivedita: The Dedicated - Who gave her all to India - 8

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

Margaret becomes Nivedita - 2

Margaret entered with her two Western companions bit nervous. She wondered how would now they talk to Sri Ma as they did not know Bengali. But, as time passed they realized the Mother knew the language of heart and no other language was required. Though both could not understand each other's language, Mother welcomed her by giving Margaret Sweets with her own hand and then ate with Margaret and other foreign disciples of Swamiji who had come on visit. Sri Ma enquired kindly about them and then looked at Margaret for a long moment and said, 'My daughter, I am glad you came.' This phrase of welcome of acceptance became the talk of the neigbourhood. The women said over and over to one another, 'Mother called her 'My Daughter', just like the rest of us'.

'The Holy Mother's partaking of food with the foreign ladies had a deeper implication. It was a sanction given by her to accept and absorb these Western devotees within the folds of Hindu Society. Swami Vivekananda was overjoyed when he came to know that Mother fed Margaret with her own hands. He felt if Mother has accepted her then everything would turn out properly. Margaret wrote later, "A tremendous dynamic power emanated from Sarada Devi, while she remained completely absorbed within herself. She touched upon the very heart of life."

The third important event was on March 25 the day of consecration of Margaret. Swami Vivekananda initiated Margaret into Hindu Dharma. What a historic event it was! Margaret was taken to the shrine and then Swamiji taught her how to offer pooja to Siva, She was given the vows of Brahmacharini and was given the name Nivedita – the dedicated. At the end of the ceremony, she was asked to offer flowers at the feet of Buddha. In a voice choked with emotions, Swamiji told her, 'Go thou and follow Him, who was born and gave his life for others five hundred times before he attained the vision of the Buddha. He gifted her statue of Buddha. After the ceremony was over, he told her to repeat 'Vahe Guru ki fateh'. Nivedita noted down in her diary 'The day of the Days'.

This incident brings out the universal, spiritual and inclusive aspect of Hindu Dharma. Swami Vivekananda never told Nivedita to worship only Shiva or Buddha. Nor he told her that she should stop praying to Jesus Christ. Ishwara who is infinite and pervades everything cannot be limited to one name or form. The real spiritual person sees God everywhere. He is not exclusive. In tribal regions, this can be seen very clearly. If a person is converted to Christianity, he is told not to worship and even despise his traditional Gods and Goddesses. But if the same person goes to temple he is not told any such things. He is free to worship there and worship his traditional Gods and Goddesses too. May be that is why the intelligent, thoughtful and spiritual aspirant Margaret Noble a daughter of Christian preacher chose to get initiated into Hindu Dharma.

To be Continue

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