Tuesday 23 January 2018

Sister Nivedita: The Dedicated - Who gave her all to India – 25

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

Nivedita as ardent devotee of Mother India awakened national consciousness - 4

This deep love for India in Nivedita was born out of her total understanding of the soul of India. Nivedita has written these words about Swamiji's patriotism: 'India was Swamiji's greatest passion…. India throbbed in his breast, India beat in his pulses, India was his day-dream, India was his nightmare.' Such patriotism had manifested in Nivedita also. She used to recite every moment, like a sacred mantra: 'Bharatvarsha, Bharatvarsha' and she would become ecstatic while doing this. She held everything in India as sacred, deserving worship. She would hold a specific practice in high esteem, even if it might have lately fallen into disuse, only because it must have been beneficent for India in the past. Before boarding a boat from a ghat on the river Ganga, she would touch its water to her head like any other Hindu woman. She would always keep her hands folded in the gesture of pranama whenever she approached any temple or a deity.  

Love for a country also means a patience to put up with its age-old traditions; not to get impatient, but to wait patiently if need be that they evolve as per the need of the time. Nivedita never criticized the traditions. Many of Nivedita's students would not take food from her hand, because she was a foreigner. But, such an attitude shown by the very students who were to her dearer than her own life could not hurt Nivedita. Rather, she respected their firmness to abide by social norms. She never wanted to hurt people's sentiments or give injury to traditional social practices and rituals of Indians.

One day Nivedita hired a boat and took her students to visit Dakshineshwar temple. Alighting from the boat, she first reached Sri Ramakrishna's room and spent a long time in meditation with others. Then she took the girls to see Bhavatarini. All the girls entered the temple and saluted the Mother Kali. But Nivedita had no right of admission inside the temple. Therefore, she reached the end part of the natmandir, negotiating her way through the chandni by the side of the river Ganga. Standing over there, she saw the Mother Kali. The girls were very sorry that Nivedita had to take Darshan of Mother Kali that way. But Nivedita was not disturbed, she was overwhelmed with joy having had the vision of the Mother even from there.

Nivedita never criticized the orthodox traditions of the Hindu society. Her one-time colleague and well-known writer, Sarlabal Sarkar wrote in her reminiscences of Nivedita, 'When Nivedita went Dakshineshwar, she humbly stood at the gate because she knew that she had no right to enter the temple and see the Goddess. But, alas! I cannot say how many amongst those who even had the privilege to worship Her, were as worthy as Nivedita!. I have observed that when she came our houses, she always remained aloof lest by her touch our things might be polluted.'

To be Continued

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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