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

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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