Wednesday, 16 May 2018

The Transformation OF Margaret Into Nivedita - 5

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:


Clash and Conflict - 3

And by thus ridding his disciple of pride and prejudice, Swami Vivekananda made it possible for her to enter into the real ethos of India and identify herself with the people of India. Nivedita frankly acknowledges that she understood that 'the greatest teachers may destroy in us a personal relation only in order to bestow the Impersonal Vision in its place.'

We may only add that the impersonal vision vouchsafed to her was not only a personal spiritual experience (which was her immediate experience), but a preparation for the vision of 'Bharata Mata'-a true understanding of Mother India to be attained by her, not so much in any single temporal experience as in an accumulated consciousness.

This could very well be the forerunner of the mutual understanding that should characterise international relationships and foster understanding when nations will realize that personal pride and racial prejudice should be given up.

Or to adapt the idiom of post-colonial criticism, it could be said that Swami Vivekananda enabled Nivedita to 'de-imperialise' her mind and transcend cultural limitations of birth and upbringing so that she would later help Bharatiyas to 'de-colonise' theirs.

Reminiscing about this painful but salutary experience at Almora, Nivedita wrote two years later to her friend Josephine MacLeod in her letter of 18 January 1900: 'how curious this mystery of pain! I see now as clear as daylight-how that awful suffering at Almora made India be born in my heart with all this passion of love."

The great care with which Swami Vivekananda trained Margaret Noble to make her Nivedita, the one dedicated to Bharata Varsha, in the process not hesitating to adopt harsh methods, has often been described as the Indianisation of a Western disciple. There is truth in this claim, because as a result of this training Nivedita, came to know intimately both the India of the past centuries from a historical perspective and the contemporary India and the true meaning of the British presence in Bharat.