Sister Nivedita, alias Margaret Elizabeth Noble, was born at Dunganon, County Tyrone, Ireland, on 28 October 1867. She was the eldest daughter of Samuel Richmond and Mary Isabel. The Nobles were of Scottish descent and had been settled in Ireland for about five centuries. Grandfather John Noble was a Minster of the Wesleyan Church in North Ireland. He and her maternal grandfather, Richard Hamilton, participated in Ireland's Home Rule Movement.Samuel Richmond, a student of theology of the Wesleyan Church, worked in Great Torrinton in Devonshire and died at the age of thirty-four. Mary returned to Ireland with Margaret, May and Richmond.
Margaret was educated at the Halifax College run by the Chapter of the Congregationalist Church. She took up teaching work in 1884 at Keswick, in 1886 at Wrexham and in 1889 at Chester. Greatly influenced by the `New Education' method of Pestalozzi and Froebel, she started in 1892 a school of her own called `Ruskin School' in Wunbkedib, Her remarkable intellectual gifts made her well-known in the high society of London which met at the Sesame Club.
Since childhood Christian religious doctrines were instilled into her. But search for 'Truth' led her in 1895-96 to Swami Vivekananda's teachings of the Vedanta (`Complete Works of Sister Nivedita', II 471). Later in India she adored and worshipped Sri Ramakrishna, and also Kali and Shiva of the Hindu Pantheon.
She came to Calcutta on 28 January 1898, was initiated into Brahmacharya and was given the name `Nivedita' by Vivekananda on 25 March. She opened a kindergarten school for Hindu girls in November 1989; joined plague relief works of the Ramakrishna Mission from March 1899; left for the West in July to collect funds for her school; formed "The Ramakrishna Guild of Help' in America; went to Paris In July 1900, where Vivekananda attended the Congress of the History of Religions; left for England alone in September 1900; and returned to India in February 1902.
Nivedita's interest in the Indian political struggle for Independence led her to resign from the purely spiritual Ramakrishna Order after Vivekananda's death in July 1902, though all along she maintained close relations with the Order and Sri Sarada Devi, the Holy Mother. She went on lecture tours throughout India from September 1902 to 1904 to rouse the national consciousness of the people. In 1905-06 she was actively associated with all public affairs in Bengal. The strain of relief work in the flood and famine-stricken areas of East Bengal in 1906 broke her health.
In August 1907 she left for Europe and America, and returned to India in July 1909. She went to America again in October 1910, and returned in April 1911. In October 1911 she went to Darjeeling for a change, had a serious attack of dysentery there and died on 13 October.
Nivedita wrote under the nom-de-plume Nealas and W. Neilus several articles before coming to India. In India she signed as `Nivedita of Ramakrishna-Vivekananda'. Her innumerable articles were published in journals like the Review of Reviews, the Prabuddha Bharata, the Modern Review, etc. Her first publication was `Kali the Mother' (1900). Of her principal works the `Web of Indian Life' (1904) gives a rosy picture of India to the critical West, and the `Master As I Saw Him' (1910) is an interpretation of Vivekananda's life and teachings.
The supreme goal towards which Nivedita worked was to see India emerge as a strong and powerful nation. In 1898 she desired to see
|England and India love each other (`Sister Nivedita' by Atmaprana, 1967, p. 59). But later she was embittered and disillusioned. Prince Kropotkin's ideas influenced her political views (ibid. p. 126). From 1902 onwards she spoke and wrote against the British policy in India. |
She attacked Lord Curzon for the Universities Act of 1904, for his insulting the Indians by calling them untruthful in his Convocation Address in 1905, and for the Partition of Bengal in 1905. She had the knowledge of the disastrous condition of Indian economy and made British Imperialism responsible for it (`Complete Works of Sister Nivedita', IV, pp. 473-505).
Her politics was of an aggressive type and she had no patience with moderate politics of the petitioners type. Yet she was friendly with leaders of all schools of political thought like G. K. Gokhale and Bepin Chandra Pal, and young revolutionaries like Taraknath Das. She attended the Benares Congress in 1905 and whole-heartedly supported the Swadeshi Movement both in principle and in practice. She helped nationalist groups like the `Dawn Society' and the `Anusilan Samity'; was a member of the Central Council of Action formed by Aurobindo Ghose and took up the editorship of the Karmayogin when he left British India.
She wanted the whole nation to be educated on national lines (`Complete Works of Sister Navidita', IV, pp. 329-53). She encouraged the study of science, and helped Jagdish Chandra Bose in bringing to light his theories and discoveries. She believed that a rebirth of Indian Art was essential for the regeneration of India. She disproved the fiction of the Hellenic influence in Indian Art, inspired Abanindranath Tagore and others to revive its ideals, and defined the scope and function of Indian Schools of Art.
Nivedita was one of the foremost in the galaxy of the twentieth century nationalists. A good number of leading personalities in India like Rabindranath Tagore and even foreigners were her friends and were greatly influenced by her. She was admired for her work by eminent persons like Lady Minto and Ramsay Macdonald.
Tall and fair, with deep blue eyes and brown hair, Nivedita was an image of purity and austerity in her simple white gown and with a rosary of rudraksha round her neck.
But the chief achievement of Nivedita's life lay in her life itself rather than in any of its achievements. A person of intense spirituality, force of character, strength of mind, intellectual power and wide range of studies, she could have achieved distinction in any sphere of life. Yet with unique self-effacement she lived a simple and austere life dedicated to the cause of India and Hinduism, on which the western world had systematically poured contempt.
She was described as `a real lioness' by Vivekananda, `Lokmata' (the mother of the people) by Rabindranath Tagore, and `Agnisikha' (the flame of fire) by Aurobindo Ghose. In England she was known as `The Champion for India', but who above all was a 'Sister' to the Indian people whom she loved.
Her contribution to the promotion of national consciousness is immeasurable. "My task is to awaken the nation," she said once. It was her dream to see in India the great re-establishment of Dharma, that is, national righteousness.
The Indian people have immortalised her memory by putting on her Samadhi the epitaph-"Here repose the ashes of Sister Nivedita (Margaret E. Noble) of the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda who gave her all to India."
Sunday, August 8, 2010
A selfless but unpublicised white Irish Sister which the Coolie Media ignores
...of course, no secular publicity or sainthood for her. Certainly not for a former Irish Catholic woman who found the time to write a fat, heathen-admiring book titled "Cradle tales of Hinduism" to corrupt young pagan minds that were being reformed at great effort by Macaulay. Read on.