VISIT TO SISTER NIVEDITA’S HOME TOWN (Post No.5734)

Written by Santanam Srinivasan (brother of Londonswaminathan)


Date: 4 December 2018


GMT Time uploaded in London – 14-02

Post No. 5734


Pictures shown here are taken from various sources including google, Wikipedia,Facebook friends and newspapers. This is a non- commercial blog.

I went to Dungannon, the birth place of Sister Nivedita, disciple of Swami Vivekananda. The Mayor of the town Councillor Seam McPeake  gave us (myself, my wife )a warm welcome. As soon as he heard that we came all the way from India to see Sister Nivedita’s birth place, he called his assistants and asked them to take us to all the places of interest in the area. He himself explained in great detail the story of his town and Sri Ramakrishna Mutt’s interest in the development of Nivedita’s home. A swamiji from the Mutt came and opened this place Mayor gave his business cards and asked usto contact him for any help. He was very kind.

We travelled by car from Dublin (capital of Ireland) and entered Northern Ireland (Part of United Kingdom) without any border posts or border checks. It was a great surprise for us.

We went around the place, but to our disappointment that there is only one board referring to Sister Nivedita. There is a big pharmacy in the place. Any way we had the satisfaction of visiting a place of great social worker, patriot, educationist and Hindu Brahmacharini.

The place must be developed into a religious centre. It would be a fitting memorial to Sister Nivedita.

India has issued a postage stamp in commemoration of Sister Nivediata.

I give belowsome details about her life from Wikipedia page on Sister Nivedita:

Name at Birth –Margaret Elizabeth Noble

Place of Birth – Dungannon, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland (part of United Kingdom)

Date of Birth – 28 October 1867

Date of Death- 13 October 1911 (in Darjeeling ,India)

Age at Death -43

Fields of her work: -writer, educationist, orator, social worker, Founder of Schools, Hindu Brahmacharini

When did she become Nivedita?

on 25 March 1898, Swami Vivekananda initiated her into the vow of a Brahmacharya. he gave her the name Nivedita.

Nivedita was very close to SaradaDevi, wife of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.

What Nivedita said about Swami Vivekananda :-

Nivedita wrote in 1904 to a friend about her decision to follow Swami Vivekananda as a result of her meeting him in England in November 1895:

“Suppose he had not come to London that time! Life would have been a headless dream, for I always knew that I was waiting for something. I always said that a call would come. And it did. But if I had known more of life, I doubt whether, when the time came, I should certainly have recognized it.

Fortunately, I knew little and was spared that torture … Always I had this burning voice within, but nothing to utter. How often and often I sat down, pen in hand, to speak, and there was no speech! And now there is no end to it! As surely I am fitted to my world, so surely is my world in need of me, waiting – ready. The arrow has found its place in the bow. But if he had not come! If he had meditated, on the Himalayan peaks! … I, for one, had never been her”.

Two Miracles in her life:-

Miracle 1

Sister Nivedita saw Swami Vivekananda for the last time on 2 July 1902 at Belur Math.[38] Vivekananda was observing the Ekadashi fasting on that day. However, when his disciples took their meal, he himself served them joyfully. After the meal, Vivekananda poured water over Nivedita’s hands, and dried them with a towel. Nivedita recorded it in The Master As I Saw Him in the following words:

“It is I who should do these things for you, Swamiji! Not you, for me!” was the protest naturally offered. But his answer was startling in its solemnity — “Jesus washed the feet of His disciples!”

Something checked the answer “But that was the last time!” as it rose to the lips, and the words remained unuttered. This was well. For here also, the last time had come.[39]

SwamiVivekananda died at 9:10 p.m. on 4 July 1902. On that night, Niveditadreamed Sri Ramakrishna was leaving his body asecond time.[40] Onthe next morning, Swami Saradananda from Belur Math sent a monk with aletter to Sister Nivedita and conveying the message of Vivekananda’s death.

Miracle 2

In the afternoon of 5 July, Swami Vivekananda’s body was taken for cremation. Vivekananda’s body was wrapped in a saffron cloth. Nivedita wished to take a small portion of that cloth so that she could send it as a memento to Josephine MacLeod. Understanding the mind of Nivedita Swami Saradananda asked her to cut a small portion of the Swami’s cloth. But, Nivedita was unsure whether the act would be proper or not and decided not to take it. When Vivekananda’s body was being cremated she sat all the while looking at the burning pyre. Around six o’clock in the evening, the burning flame was about to go out. Suddenly Nivedita felt somebody had pulled her sleeve. She turned around and found a small piece of saffron cloth which had somehow come out of the pyre during cremation. Nivedita lifted and took the cloth considering it as a message from the Swami. In her letter to Josephine MacLeod on 14 September 1902, Nivedita wrote:

…But your real message came at the burning pyre itself… At 6 o’clock… as if I were twitched by the sleeve, I looked down, and there, safe out of all that burning and blackness, there blew to my feet the very two or three inches I had desired out of the border of the cloth. I took it as a Letter from Him to you, from beyond the grave.[41]

Books written by Nivedita

Her works included The Web of Indian Life, which sought to rectify many myths in the Western world about Indian culture and customs, Kali the MotherThe Master as I Saw Him on Swami Vivekananda, Notes of Some Wanderings with the Swami Vivekananda on her travels from Nainital, Almora and other places with Swamiji,[63] The Cradle Tales of Hinduism on the stories from PuranasRamayana and MahabharataStudies from an Eastern HomeCivil Ideal and Indian Nationality, Hints on National Education in IndiaGlimpses of Famine and Flood in East Bengal—1906.

A newly annotated edition of The Ancient Abbey of Ajanta, that was serialized in The Modern Review during 1910 and 1911, was published in 2009 by Lalmati, Kolkata, with annotations, additions, and photographs by Prasenjit Dasgupta and Soumen Paul. Another collection of essays relating to Buddhism has been published by New Age Publishers of Kolkata titled Studies in Buddhism, that has been compiled and annotated by Prasenjit Dasgupta and Soumen Paul.

–For more details please go to Wikipedia.

–subham–

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2 Comments

  1. This is a very heart warming and heart touching piece. Sister Nivedita is alas little understood in India for which she dedicated her life. The younger generation is hardly aware of her. She combined nationalism along with religion which at one stage was not liked by the Ramakrishna Math. So she distanced herself from the Math. This happened at the time Swami Brahmananda himself was the President.
    All her writings have been collected and published as The Complete Works of Sister Nivedita in 5 volumes. Sister Nivedita’s writings and speeches are full of insights and entirely constructive.
    Sister Nivedita was a bridge between Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo. No one in india fully imbibed the dharmic nationalism of Swami Vivekananda. Vivekananda warned that if India forgot her spiritual roots and took to social reform ( or what is now fashionable to call a secular lifestyle) she would be wiped out in three generations. It was Sister Nivedita who stood for this kind of nationalism. She even wanted that the Vajra-Indra’s thunderbolt should be in our national flag. Even after his acquittal in the Alipore Bomb case, the British were secretly planning to arrest Sri Aurobindo on some pretext or the other , as Sri Aurobindo was considered the most dangerous man in the whole empire by the Viceroy himself. Sister Nivedita got scent of it and warned Sri Aurobindo in time so that he could leave British India. But Sister Nivedita passed away the very next year. Thus, Sister Nivedita occupies a special place in the hearts of nationalists who value Sri Aurobindo’s place in and contributions to our true nationalism.
    New information about and correspondence of Sister Nivedita keep surfacing from time to time and articles on the subject appear in the magazine Prabuddha Bharata. They brought out a special number on her in January 2017.
    I am so happy that the writer made a visit to Sister Nivedita’s place. He has represented all of us who think of Sister Nivedita but are not in a position to make such a pilgrimage.

  2. Santhanam Nagarajan

     /  December 4, 2018

    super

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