Tuesday 2 January 2018

Sister Nivedita: The Dedicated - Who gave her all to India – 19

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

'Now, He shall work through us, we have no time to rest'  - 3

She resumed her schoolwork. Her place in Baghbazar became a meeting place for great people of   that time. Anyone who had the welfare of India at heart was welcome there. Around this time, an American disciple of Swami Vivekananda Christine Greenstidel also joined her in her work. Thus, making Nivedita relatively free from her schoolwork, to take to other nationally important activities. Swami Vivekananda too though not keeping very well visited the school few times.

On July 2, Nivedita went to Belur Math to meet Swamiji. Though Swamiji was fasting, as it was Ekadashi day, he made Nivedita sit near him and eat. At the end of the meal when she went to wash her hands, Swamiji poured water on her hands and then with towel dried her hands. Nivedita surprised, protested, 'It is I who should be doing these things for you Swamiji and not you for me.' Swamiji said smilingly, 'Jesus had washed the feet of his disciples!' Nivedita was about to say, 'But that was the last time.' But she did not utter it, yet that is how it was, though she did not know it. Swamiji showered his blessings on her, she returned to her place very happy.

Nivedita dreamt on the night 4th July 1902 that Sri Ramakrishna was leaving his body a second time. Next day early in the morning, a monk came from Belur Math carrying a letter from Swami Saradananda, conveying the message that Swamiji had passed away last night. Instantly the entire world became blank before Nivedita's eyes. She immediately rushed to the Math and reached the room of Swamiji. Swamiji's body was laid on the floor. Nivedita sat near Swamiji's head and started to fan him silently. Throughout the morning, she sat like that.

On 5th July in the afternoon, Swamiji's body was brought down from his room and carried a little to the south for cremation (where at present Swamiji's temple stands at Belur Math). Swamiji's body was wrapped in gerua cloth. Nivedita thought that if she could have that cloth, she would send it as a memento to Swamiji's very dear disciple Josephine MacLeod. She asked Swami Saradananda if that piece of cloth would also be consigned to flame. Swami Saradananda could feel the mind of Nivedita and said she might take it if she desired. However, she was unsure whether the act (accepting the cloth) would be proper or not, and finally she decided not to take it. She sat all the while looking at the burning pyre. It was about six in the evening. The burning flame was about to go out. Suddenly she felt that somebody had pulled her sleeve. Nivedita turned around and found a piece of that cloth lay near her feet. She lifted it with great care to be given to Josephine Macleod.

Swami Vivekananda had said, 'It may be that I shall find it good to get outside of my body -- to cast it off like a disused garment. But I shall not cease to work! I shall inspire men everywhere, until the world shall know that it is one with God.'  Nivedita felt until now Swamiji was encased in one body now that bondage is gone now he can work through all those who would take his name and follow his thoughts. So where is the time to rest? Nivedita plunged in to activities. She wrote in a prayerful mood to a friend, 'He is not dead. He is with us always. I cannot even grieve. I only want to work'. That is what she did. For 9 years after Swami Vivekananda, she was engaged in intense work. Nivedita worked very hard for rousing the national consciousness. Whether it was literature, art, science, freedom movement, education, philosophy, she left her mark in every field; inspired persons in these fields to choose the national interest and nation above everything else. All this was in a very short span of 9 years after her Guru Swami Vivekananda left his body.

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 : http://www.sisternivedita.org
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