Monday 25 June 2018

Sister Nivedita’s Battle for Indian Ideals in America - 6

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

On the following Sunday, Nivedita was to go to luncheon and discussion at the Every Day Club and speak at a Church in the evening. On 6th December she wrote to Mrs Bull: 'Kali has worked an unforeseen miracle—today. It was all through one of Miss Farmer's introductions ... If success comes I suppose you would like me to 'enter every open door' as dear Miss Farmer says' (1.258–9). Nivedita, throughout her struggles, depended upon the blessings of her guru and the Divine Mother. Sri Sarada Devi wrote to Nivedita on 13 May 1900: 'The Banyan of Dakshineswar sings of Kali to be sure, and blessed is he who has ears to hear it' (1.412). A few days later, on 10 December 1899, Nivedita wrote:

"Last night M. H. [Mary Hale] and I dined with Isabel McKindley, to meet Miss Josephine Locke. ... She was like 20 storms in one teacup. She talked vividly and exhaustively about Woman—Woman—Woman—the spiritual forces of the present day ... and a host of other things. She struck me as eccentric—fine—and absurd. ... Then she suddenly took paper and pencil, and drew up a list of people I must know, appointing ways for me to find them ...Then I went to her office at 10:30 today ... and have been dragged to two lectures—spoken at one—made 1/2 a dozen engagements, and been introduced to something like 50 people... Do you wonder that one wants rest and inspiration?

M. H. [Mary Hale] and I spent the night at Miss M's [McKindley's]. We slept in one room and I lay in her bed till nearly 3 arguing—and talking. She is dear, so loving—but her attitude to Swami, or rather her conception of him is still a mystery to me. ... She says my 'hero-worship' irritates her—I didn't mean to show it, Yum!—but somehow it comes out without my knowing ... (1.260)."

Nivedita wrote to Mary Hale at Christmas time: "If I am set on seeing Swami in ways that seem to you silly—let him tell me so—I can bear it that way. After all—it is between him & me. Now dear Aunt Mary—one other point—you amazed me beyond words by your 'I know Swami quite as well as you do.' Why I never dreamt of such a point—you know him far far far better. What is more—there is no comparison between your place in his heart & mine.... there is only one place that I can claim in Swami's eyes, & that is a working-place & in what pertains to my work he has trained me with infinite care ... For the rest—Swami is the whole personal interest in my life—in this relation of Father. ... you are his sisters—I am only a disciple. The whole relationship between you is of equality—mine is inferiority (1.278–9)."

Nivedita was in for another one of her 'dreary failures' when she had approached Mary Hale to be the Secretary of the Chicago Guild for Help—for her school, and Mary not only refused, but clearly did not want to identify herself with Nivedita's work. Nivedita confided in Miss MacLeod on 9 January 1900: "It seems to me that I have just received the last and worst blow of all. One of Swami's earliest friends has been in to say that she and her family would rather not be identified with my work. They wanted to help but find themselves out of sympathy. ... Do give me a little comfort, for I feel utterly discouraged. If this is the attitude of Swami's people, how can I ever expect to do anything anywhere? (1.296)."

- Pravrajika Prabuddhaprana : Pravrajika Prabuddhaprana is a senior Sanyasini of the Sri Sarada Math and Ramakrishna Sarada Mission.

To be continued...........

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