Monday 4 December 2017

Sister Nivedita: The Dedicated - Who gave her all to India - 10

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

Training of Nivedita - 2

...To uproot the die-hard western tendencies latent in her mind, Swamiji started mercilessly attacking her pre-conceived notions. It was during this period that Nivedita one day told Swamiji in a context: 'It is necessary to beautify the city of London.' Swamiji sharply retorted, 'And you're buffeting the other cities into cremation grounds.'  Nivedita could not realize the significance of Swamiji's words, and felt hurt. But, the words would ring in her ears for many days. Later when she witnessed the British exploitation of India in the name of administration, she came to realize the truth of Swamiji's words.

Yatishwari Atmaprana writes, 'Nivedita was not aware of the wrongs that the English as the dominant power had done to India. So when the Swami openly and vigorously attacked the English in his morning talks she stood for their defence. As in the London classes, she was the one who argued and protested, and always tried to protect her own judgments and assert her views.

The Swami could not tolerate blindness of half-views and prejudices born out of ignorance. So he pointed out errors in her judgments. For instance, one day while the Swami was praising the Chinese, Nivedita alleged that, as a race, they were notoriously untruthful. The Swami would not accept this misrepresentation and said that words like untruthfulness and social rigidity were very relative terms. He revealed a new standpoint, and then left the disciple to form her own view. He never dictated an opinion, nor did he call for any confession of faith. But when his disciple could not give an uncoloured judgment, he got impatient and irritated. "Really, patriotism like yours is sin! All that I want you to see is that most people's actions are the expression of self-interest, and you constantly oppose to this the idea that a certain race is all of angles. Ignorance so determined is wickedness!"

Days passed thus in clashes and conflicts and the inner strife increased. The Swami rebuked and attacked Nivedita's cherished deep-rooted preconceptions – literary, social and historical. It was obviously a conflict of two strong personalities. The Swami was not a person to compromise his views or even adopt a gentler method of teaching; Nivedita had not the submissive nature to accept blindly and humbly all that was said. She made efforts to understand, but his words and thoughts were beyond her comprehension and at times she felt bewildered. …Her depression and suffering were heightened by the fact that she had known the Swami since meeting him in London as a friend and a beloved leader, and had expected him to be ever so. But now his attitude showed indifference, impatience and even silent hostility. The idea of retracting her offer of service never occurred to her; …her trust in him had not diminished to the extent her own self-confidence had wavered. Would she ever be able to pass this test of courage and sincerity? Was her mind really prepared to receive her Master's teachings? Was she really fit to reach the Supreme Goal of life?'

To be Continue....

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