Devotion and Sacrifice: Moving Stories from Titanic Ship and Samoa!


Article No. 2002

Compiled  by London swaminathan

Date 18th July 2015

Time uploaded in London: 15-05



All of us would have read at least one of the stories by R L Stevenson, author of ‘Treasure Island’, ‘Kidnapped’, ‘Prince Otto’, ‘Black Arrow’ and several other stories.


R.L.Stevenson won the devotion of Samoans. When the European powers imprisoned Mataafa, one of their chiefs, Stevenson visited him and other political prisoners, bringing them tobacco and other gifts. When they were released they voluntarily built a wide road up to Stevenson’s house; and they made him a chief of one of their tribes. Once when Sosimo, his body guard, had been unusually thoughtful, Stevenson complemented him, “Great is the wisdom.”

“No”, Sosimo replied, “Great is the Love”.

 R L Stevenson

When Stevenson died a group of picked natives bore the coffin to the place on internment on the mountain top. A stranger had appeared at the funeral, to which only close friends were invited, a Scotchman who explained that some years before Stevenson had met him on the road as a stranger on a day when he was contemplating suicide, but that Stevenson had dissuaded him. The Samoan chiefs tabooed the use of fire arms on the hill of his grave, that the birds might sing there undisturbed.



Damayanti or Savitri or Sita of New York


Hindu scripture have enough stories of women’s devotion and sacrifice. We have Sita, Savitri, Damayanti and scores of others.

Here is an American woman whose devotion made her immortal. There is statue for her in New York.


Mrs Isadore Strauss was one of the few women who went down on Titanic in 1912 and she went down because she could not bear to leave her husband. Both he and she were calm throughout the excitement of loading the life boats. Both aided frightened women and children to find places aboard them. Finally, Mr.Strauss, who had been urging his wife again and again to seek safety in a life boat, forced her to enter one. She was no more seated, however than she sprang up and got to the deck before her husband could stop her. There, she caught his arm, snuggling it against her side, exclaiming, “We have been long together through a great many years. We are old now. Where you go, I will go.”


Canada Post unveiled today the images of the five stamps that will be issued on April 5 to mark the centennial of the sinking of RMS Titanic. (CNW Group/Canada Post)

Canada Post unveiled today the images of the five stamps that will be issued on April 5 to mark the centennial of the sinking of RMS Titanic. (CNW Group/Canada Post)


Quotations on Sacrifice, Devotion and Greatness


Those who accomplish rare things are considered great;

While those who cannot, remain small – Tirukkural-26

Animals, stones, and trees are worshipped in this world, for their sacrifice.

“Tyaagajjagati puujyante pasu paasaana paadapaah- Subhasita Ratna Kanda manjusa”

While joys are shortlived, sacrifice is an endless stream of nectar

-Bharatamanjari 1-14-595

Susyatsukhesu kaalesu tyaago hi amrutanirijharah


Statue for Strauss in New York.


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