SESQUICENTENNIAL BIRTH CELEBRATIONS OF SISTER NIVEDITA
The year 2016 is the 150th birth anniversary of Sister Nivedita. Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission worldwide are celebrating this special occasion in a fitting manner. The Ramakrishna Mission, Visakhapatnam also is all set to celebrate this event. There will be a grand school level quiz competition on the life and teachings of Sister Nivedita. Please see the sub-pages of this page for School letter, Data Sheet etc. to get the details of the quiz competition.
A BRIEF LIFE SKETCH
Born as Margaret Elizabeth Noble, she is more popularly known as sister Nivedita. She was an Anglo-Irish social worker in London and was foremost amongst the disciples of Swami Vivekananda. She came across Swami Vivekananda in the year 1895 in London. It was the Swami, who gave her the name “Nivedita”. The word Nivedita is used to refer to someone who is highly dedicated to the almighty God and His cause.
She came into this world on October 28, 1867. She was born in Ireland as the daughter of Mary Isabel and Samuel Richmond Noble. Her father always taught her that, service to mankind is the true service to God. His words made an impression on Nivedita’s mind. She was very fond of music and art. After completing her education, she took up the job of a teacher and worked there for a long period of ten consecutive years from 1884 to 1894.She had the caliber to impart education and inspire others. From the very beginning, she was a very zealous child, with a mind full of energy, enthusiasm, and inquisitiveness. At an early age of eight, she had the realization that, religion is not about having belief in the doctrines, but it is about searching for the divine light that will bring enlightenment.
Meeting Swami Vivekananda
She began taking interest in the Buddhism principles. It is during this time that she met Swami Vivekananda,the cyclonic Hindu monk who had already created a great impact in the World’s Parliament of religions held in Chicago in the year of 1893. Swami Vivekanand stressed on the fact that, it is the ignorance, selfishness and greed that pave way for our sufferings. His principles and teachings had an imprint on her mind and heart and this brought about a major change in the way she lived her life. He was the one who inspired her to do something for the welfare of the women of India.Seeing the fire and passion in her to transform the society, Swamiji could foresee her futuristic role as Mother India. Nivedita began practicing meditation. There were basically two things in her mind that she sincerely followed; one being the search for enlightenment by realizing the eternal truth and the other was the welfare of the world. She left all the things that she could have boasted of and decided to lead a very simplistic life in India.
In the year 1898, Sister Nivedita established a school for girls, who were deprived of even basic education. She was instrumental in various altruistic activities. Her aim was to bring about an improvement in the lives of Indian women belonging to various social classes and castes, as desired by Swami Vivekananda. She tried to bridge the gap and put an end to the caste distinctions.She had good relations with many intellectuals of the Bengali community such as Rabindranath Tagore, the famous Nobel laureate writer, the world renowned scientist Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose and many other active revolutionists in India. During this time, she spearheaded activities that promoted and finally brought forth the cause of India’s Independence. Her writings always expressed her pan-Indian nationalistic views.She was a motivating force for people in all walks of life. Her lectures and various discourses gave people, direction on how to lead their lives and at the same time love motherland. Throughout her life, she worked hard for serving the people and society in India neglecting her own physical health very badly. This started deteriorating her health very fast. Finally, at the age of only 44, this great yogini of India laid down her life on October 13, 1911 in Darjeeling, West Bengal.
Sister Nivedita followed Swami Vivekananda’s instruction to the letter till she breathed her last :
“Be thou to India’s future sons, the mistress,
servant, friend in one.”
Remembering Sister Nivedita on her 150th birth anniversary
The offered one
One of Swami Vivekananda's closest disciples
Dedicated social worker
Association with Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose
Life dedicated to people