Thursday, 2 August 2018

Sister Nivedita's conversation

Conversation at Chintadripft Literary Society, Madras

Sister Nivedita : I have infinite hope for India. The people are bewildered by necessities they do not yet understand,
but I cannot doubt that they are fully equal to the ultimate solution of every problem presented to them. One of the great destinies that I forsee is that the Vedanta philosophy will give to Europe a justification for religious belief with regard to Christianity. Christian doctrine in Europe has been abandoned. We are, at it were, in a dilemma. The Indian mind will help us out of this dilemma.

Q. What about the idolatry of the Indian people?
S.N. There is no such thing as idolatry in India. The word is a gross libel. India, religiously, is like a University which is strengthened by having the Kindergarten stages of every study incorporated. These very idolators will be the first to worship the great Yogi who has actually realized that there is no personal God. Realized this, I mean, in the sense in which St. Teresa may be said to have realized it in her ecstasies. Christianity is fundamentally true. It cannot be touched by any demonstration of the unhistorical character of any records. But Christianity to my mind is false
when it declares that no other religion is true.
The creeds are beautiful in their own time and place but outside of their place they are terrible. Christianity is beautiful as an emancipation. It is horrible as a bondage.

Q. What will be your future work in India?
S. N. My life is given to India. In it I shall live and die.