A Special Issue On Sister Nivedita

VKIC is inviting Articles on Sister Nivedita (1867-1911), a disciple of Swami Vivekananda. Please consult the following concept note. 

“It is true,’said sister Nivedita,” that in India we have many races, many religions, and many kinds of social conditions, but that does not mean that all cannot be united into one.”

She looked upon all the people of India as the different limbs of the Mother. Once she made a suggestion for achieving this sense of unity and remarked, ‘’If the whole of India could agree to give, say, ten minutes every evening, on the oncoming of darkness, to thinking a single thought, ”we are one, we are one, nothing can prevail against us to make us think we are divided. We are one, and all antagonism amongst us is illusion”---the power that would be generated can hardly be measured.’

This was the degree of Sister Nivedita’s love, trust and reverence for Mother India. Hailing from a family called Noble, who were of Scottish descent but had been settled in Ireland for about five centuries, Sister Nivedita’s original name was Margaret Elizabeth Noble. Born on October 28, 1867, at Dungannon, county Tyrone, in far off Ireland, she had a destined task to accomplish here in this holy land for the welfare of Mankind – the benefits of which are to be judged by the posterity.

Her epoch -making meeting with the Master (Swami Vivekananda) in London , transformed the entire course of her life and action, the effect of which is seen in her endless contribution in the field of Women uplift, Education, Indian Vivekananda Society, Art & Science, Nation & Nationality and so on which is vividly visible to any impartial observer.

Swami Vivekananda strongly felt that a woman who could shoulder the responsibility of the great task of uplift of women in India in his scheme of the regeneration of the nation is none other than Margaret Elizabeth Noble. Thus, inspired by her great master, she plunged into action and practically did penance to put all her experiences & efforts to rescue the people of the society out of the stagnation that was visible everywhere.

Thus remembering her great contribution, followed by a deep analysis of the present state of affairs, we do understand where we stand and what needs to be done particularly in the field of education, women uplift, art and craft and above all service to the nation. This has become imperative now.

SUB –THEMES:

  1. Swami Vivekananda said, “It is not possible for a bird to fly on only one wing”---- Hence, he paid great attention to the uplift of women in India. A deep study and proper analysis is needed in this respect as it was a dream of Swami Vivekananda.

  2. Serve man serve God. This was the guiding principle that inspired her throughout her life in her thought and action. Facing all odds, even to the extent of starvation, she served the poor, the needy, the distressed, the oppressed and continued her service to humankind. Social activities need to be performed with that spirit, taking inspiration from the life of Sister Nivedita.

  3. Sister Nivedita, at one point of her life’s journey, was amidst doubts, conflicts, anguish, pride and restlessness. But her epoch-making meeting with the Master made her realize the greatness of a Guru who can bestow knowledge with a single touch. Since then, all her misgivings and pride left her and the rebellious disciple became a humble disciple. This inspiring Master-Disciple relationship (Guru –Sishya Parampara) is an universal phenomenon which needs to be followed in letter and spirit to maintain the purity and sanctity of such a divine relationship.

  4. We need to gratefully acknowledge our indebtedness to Sister Nivedita for her deep concern and contribution in the field of Manual Training as a part of General Education in India. Today the importance of this is felt like anything as Govt. and other Non-Govt Organizations are taking steps on a priority basis. More serious thoughts need to be given in this regard as a step to minimise the unemployment problem.

  5. The death of the Swami strengthened Nivedita’s resolve to throw herself heart and soul in to her work for India. India was her Motherland. One of her greatest interests was in the revival of ancient Indian art. She wrote in a letter, “When India gets back her old art she will be on the eve of becoming a strong nation.” Her special appeal to the Indian painters may be recalled and a deep study will be appropriate at this juncture.

  6. Holy Mother Sarda used to address Nivedita as, “my darling child’ and for Nivedita, she was, “beloved mother.’ The greatest attraction for Nivedita in Bagh Bazar, Calcutta, was the holy mother. Nivedita used to consider it a festive occasion whenever the mother used to visit her school. This mother – child relationship (particularly when the child hails from a foreign land) has a universal appeal and has inspired thousands and thousands of young girls.

  7. Although Nivedita did not take part in politics, yet great leaders like, Surendra Nath Banerjee, G.K. Gokhle, R.C.Dutta, Bipin Chandra Paul, Aurobindo Ghosh, Mahatma Gandhi as well as B,G. Tilak greatly admired her. Her love for Mother India fascinated everyone. She was looked upon by young as friend, philosopher and guide. There is an urgent need of such motivating personalities to inspire and guide the youth of present India.

  8. Sister Nivedita’s dedicated service to the people during bubonic plague in Calcutta will ever be a living and inspiring example for the humankind. During that calamity the compassionate figure of Sister Nivedita was seen in every slum of the Baghabazar locality.


 

It is a fact, which needs to be universally acknowledged that, Sister Nivedita’s dedicated efforts to bring back the sense of national consciousness among the young ones, will act as a perpetual source of inspiration to help them know the unity behind all its marvellous diversity, the Mother India, in which they have to live and serve humankind.

Mananeeya Nevedita didi’s suggestions as Sub Themes:

Sister Nivedita and Freedom Movement, Sister Nivedita on Indian Art, Sister Nivedita on Education, Training of Sister Nivedita by Swami Vivekaanda, Sister Nivedita and her adoration for Kali the Mother, Sister Nivedita as a Sadhaka, Sister NIvedita as a writer, Sister Nivedita in the cause of Indian Science, Sister Nivedita and her contemporary luminaries etc. It is important to give different topics so that we get diverse and purposeful articles and the repetition is avoided.