Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Breakfast with the Sisters: A Meeting of Great Minds - 2

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:


Mr H W Nevinson was another friend and journalist in India who championed the cause of India. And he also, after returning to England, continued to fight for India. In a letter to Josephine MacLeod written Christmas Eve, 1907, Nivedita wrote from England, 'Nevinson is writing splendid articles—and publicly complains of the tempering [tampering?] with his letters in the post' (2.885). Regarding a book Nevinson had written, Nivedita wrote to the Ratcliffes on 4 November 1908: 'Mrs. Bull is going to work to make Nevinson's book known as much as possible. We shall of course buy it at once' (2.925).

Another guest at The House of the Sisters was Sri Aurobindo Ghosh. Nivedita first met him in Baroda in October 1902, when she was on a lecture tour. Aurobindo had recently returned to India from England, and had already read Nivedita's book Kali, the Mother. He was very impressed with it, and was glad to have an opportunity to meet her. At this time Aurobindo was determined to set out a course for attaining India's freedom through any means possible, including armed insurrection, if necessary. Nivedita approved of his plans and encouraged him to come to Bengal, which he did a few years later.

Though Aurobindo himself mentioned later that he did not consult with Nivedita about 'the conduct of the revolutionary movement' that he started, it is known that Nivedita was one of the members of a five-member central council that he set up to unite the revolutionaries under a single organisation (182).

After he was released from the Alipore jail in 1909, Aurobindo started two weekly journals in Calcutta—Karma Yogin, in English, and Dharma, in Bengali. According to Pravrajika At maprana: 'The weeklies were not purely political for they included articles on Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, Yoga, the Hindu Dharma, etc. During this time, Sri Aurobindo met Nivedita often as he has said: "Later on I began to make time to go and see her occasionally at Baghbazar"' (224).

In a letter to the Ratcliffes dated 20 January 1910, Nivedita wrote: 'How I wish you could get Henry W Nevinson (1856–1941) the Karmayogin every week! In my opinion, it is a triumph of style and thought. Aravindo is magnificent. On the other hand, of course, every man who directs a party runs the risk of watering-down the ideal.'

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