Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Breakfast with the Sisters: A Meeting of Great Minds -15

Nivedita wrote Miss MacLeod: 'Christine has decided to go to the Brahmo School for a year, as trainer of a class of teachers there, and Head of the lower school. In that capacity she will earn money. ... She will continue to have her home here—and, I trust, to spend weekends here, and holidays'.

So much for the estrangement. Christine was still at Mayavati when Nivedita became ill in Darjeeling. When she got word of Nivedita's illness, she immediately started packing to go there, but before she could set off, she was informed of Nivedita's death. It was too late.

It is understandable, for many reasons, that Indians adore Nivedita.

We started with breakfast. Some, like Dr Bose, even stayed for lunch. But one day there was a very special tea. On 3 March 1910, Nivedita wrote to her sister May: 'An extraordinary thing happened yesterday, which ought for the next few months to relieve us of the constant harassment of the police. Lady Minto [the wife of the Viceroy of India, Lord Minto] came to see us, in the morning, privately. We had a long intimate talk, and showed her the School. ... A little American woman who came to see us a few weeks ago, and fell in love with the whole thing, brought her. As [Dr Bose] says "Only the audacity of an American could have dreamt of it"'. Nivedita, however, gave the credit for it to Swamiji. 'So like Swamiji,' she wrote in another letter, referring to this incident.

But the matter did not end there. When Lady Minto mentioned that she did not like the Kalighat Temple in South Calcutta, Nivedita and Christine took her to the Kali temple in Dakshineswar, and she enjoyed the relaxed trip immensely. As Nivedita wrote: 'The Vicereine was duly taken to Dukineswar on Tuesday last, and came down the river to the Hay-Ghats, in a little boat—drinking tea out of Swadeshi cups, and then, when tea was over, chatting in the starlight. ... She is a dear sweet motherly woman, whose feeling for her husband is a perfect thing'.

From : Pravrajika Shuddhatmaprana :  Pravrajika Shuddhatmaprana is a senior Sanyasini of the Sri Sarada Math and Ramakrishna Sarada Mission...to be continued