Tuesday 24 April 2018

Sister Nivedita: The Dedicated - Who gave her all to India – 48

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

Nivedita as admirer of Indian womanhood - 2

'When we come to the charge that Indian women are ignorant, we meet with a far deeper fallacy. They are ignorant in the modern form, that is to say, few can write, and not very many can read. Are they then illiterate? If so, the Mahabharata and Ramayana and the Purana stories every mothers and every grandmother tell to the babies, are not literature. But European novels and the Strand Magazine by the same token are. Can anyone accept this paradox?'

'The fact is, writing is not culture, though it is an occasional result of culture… To those who know Indian life, it is easy to see that an Indian woman who has the education of an Indian home-the dignity, the gentleness, the cleanliness, the thrift, the religious training, the culture of mind and heart which that home-life entails, though she cannot sign her name, may be is infinitely better educated in every true sense, and in a literary sense also, than her glib critic.'

Nivedita placed the Holy Mother in the inmost core of her heart. She was Mother's dear 'Khooki'. She would be overwhelmed in joy whenever she would come in Mother's presence and behave like a child, basking in Mother's affection. One day Nivedita came to the Mother's house and sat beside her after prostrating to her respectfully. The Mother also, as usual, enquired of her welfare and then presenting to her a small piece of woolen fan, said, 'I have knit this for you.' Nivedita was beside herself with joy getting the fan. She at once put it on her head, then touched it on her bosom and kept muttering: 'How beautiful! How splendid!' She showed it to all others saying. 'Look, how beautiful! The Mother has done it.' Observing her, the Mother said: 'Look, how she's delighted getting such an insignificant thing! Oh, how simple is her faith! As if, the image of a goddess!

To be continued...

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