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  Sister Nivedita  

"The mother's heart, the hero's will
The sweetness of the southern breeze,
The sacred charm and strength that dwell
On Aryan altars, flaming, free;
All these be yours and many more
No ancient soul could dream before-
Be thou to India's future son
The mistress, servant, friend in one."

- A benediction to Sister Nivedita by Swamiji

 
 

In a sylvan shrine ensconced in the lap of the Himalayas where silence reigns supreme, stands a memorial which proclaims, "Here reposes Sister Nivedita who gave her all to India".

 
 

Born in Ireland in October 1867, Margaret Elizabeth Noble, who later came to be known as Sister Nivedita, was a woman of immense dignity and great quality. In a family where politics and religion were inextricably intermingled, Margaret's inherent qualities were nurtured and blossomed forth. She was nurtured in the intellectual climate of the European culture of the nineteenth century. This later paved the way for her study of India and Indian society. She graduated as a teacher and actively participated in literary pursuits, art, journalism and lectures. But neither her profession nor her social and political

 
 

friendships could satiate the spiritual abyss within her. The future of the earth depends upon the change in consciousness. "The only hope for the future depends is in a change of man's consciousness and the change is bound to come. But it is left to men to decide if they will collaborate for this change or if it will have to be enforced upon them by the power of crashing circumstances. So , wake up and collaborate"

   
     
   
     
 

The transformation of Margaret's personality, character and ideals occured after her meeting with Swami Vivekananda in London in 1895 and became his disciple. His bold utterances of all that was noblest and best in mankind, spoken with a sense of conviction born out of realisation impressed her, although the matter was intellectually new and difficult to comprehend.

 
 

Swami Vivekananda saw in Margaret a great future in the work for India. What we wanted was 'not a man, but a woman, a real lioness' to work for the Indian women. For Margaret, no sacrifice was adequate for the life of dedication she envisaged. So undeterred in her determination she resolved to proceed to India with Swami Vivekananda's assurance, "I promise you I will be by you unto death." The transformation of Margaret Noble into Sister Nivedita 'the dedicated' was indeed a painstaking and heart-rending task.

 
 

In Swami Vivekananda's plans for the future of India, Nivedita's role was for the upliftment and education of Indian women. She came to India in 1898 and lived here until her death in 1911. She took up her residence in the narrow winding by lanes of Bagbazar, where she started a school under the auspices of Holy mother, Saradamoni devi. Nivedita did not hold back anything for herself.

 

Her entire thought and consciousness, dream and waking, her intelligence, indeed her entire being was immersed in only one object-India and India alone. During the outbreak of plague, Nivedita actively participated in cleaning the rotting garbage dumps, nursing the sick and dying and consoling and comforting the bereaved.

 
 

She played an important role in the history of the country. In 1905, the Indian revolution is stated to have begun, marking the beginning of the freedom struggle. Sister Nivedita's life and works are of great importance to us, for she leaves behind a lasting mark, as one single individual, whose multidimensional personality was helpful in guiding

 
 

and inspiring some of the progressive movements of the nineteenth and the twentieth century that led to India's freedom.In 1911, at the young age of 44 years, Nivedita attained eternal rest amidst the snowy peaks of Darjeeling.

 
 

 
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