सिस्टर निवेदिता ( मृत्यु: 11 अक्टूबर, 1911)

October 11, 2017

सिस्टर निवेदिता (अंग्रेज़ी:Sister Nivedita, जन्म:28 अक्टूबर, 1867 - मृत्यु: 11 अक्टूबर, 1911) का पूरा नाम 'मार्ग्रेट एलिज़ाबेथ नोबल' था। इनका जन्म 28 अक्टूबर, 1867, डेंगानेन, आयरलैण्ड में हुआ और मृत्यु 11 अक्टूबर, 1911, दार्जिलिंग, भारत में हुई। इन्हें 1885 में भारतीय राष्ट्रीय कांग्रेस की स्थापना और राष्ट्रीय चेतना, एकता, पुनर्जागरण व राष्ट्रीय स्वाधीनता के नए विचार, जो 1947 में भारत की स्वतंत्रता में फलीभूत हुए, को बढ़ावा देने वाले प्रखर वक्ताओं में से एक माना जाता है।


रेंवरेंड सैमुअल रिचमंड नोबल और उनकी पत्नी 'मेरी' की तीन सन्तानों में मार्ग्रेट सबसे बड़ी थीं। 17 वर्ष की आयु में वह शिक्षिका बनीं और आयरलैण्ड तथा इंग्लैण्ड के विभिन्न विद्यालयों में अध्यापन का कार्य किया। अन्तत: उन्होंने 1892 में विंबलडन में अपने विद्यालय की शुरुआत की। वह एक अच्छी पत्रकार तथा वक्ता थीं। उन्होंने 'सेसमि क्लब' में दाख़िला लिया, जहाँ उनकी मुलाक़ात 'जॉर्ज बर्नाड शॉ' और 'टॉमस हक्सले' से हुई। 1895 में मार्ग्रेट स्वामी विवेकानन्द से उनकी इंग्लैण्ड यात्रा के दौरान मिलीं। वह वेदान्त के सार्वभौम सिद्धान्तों, विवेकानन्द की मीमांसा और वेदान्त दर्शन की मानववादी शिक्षाओं की ओर आकर्षित हुईं तथा उन्होंने विवेकानन्द के 1896 में भारत आने से पहले तक वह इंग्लैण्ड में वेदान्त आन्दोलन के लिए काम करती रहीं। 


उनके सम्पूर्ण समर्पण के कारण विवेकानन्द ने उन्हें निवेदिता नाम दिया, जिसका अर्थ है, जो समर्पित है। आरम्भ में वह एक शिक्षिका के रूप में भारत आई थीं, ताकि विवेकानन्द की स्त्री-शिक्षा की योजनाओं को मूर्त किया जा सके। उन्होंने कलकत्ता (वर्तमान कोलकाता) के एक छोटे से घर में स्थित स्कूल में कुछ महीनों तक पश्चिमी विचारों को भारतीय परम्पराओं के अनुकूल बनाने के प्रयोग किए। 1899 में स्कूल बन्द करके धन इकट्ठा करने के लिए वह पश्चिमी देशों की यात्रा पर चली गईं। 1902 में लौटकर उन्होंने फिर से स्कूल की शुरुआत की। 1903 में निवेदिता ने आधारभूत शिक्षा के साथ-साथ युवा महिलाओं को कला व शिल्प का प्रशिक्षण देने के लिए एक महिला खण्ड भी खोला। उनके स्कूल ने शिक्षण और प्रशिक्षण जारी रखा।


भारत में विधिवत दीक्षित होकर वह स्वामी जी की शिष्या बन गई और उन्हें रामकृष्ण मिशन के सेवाकार्य में लगा दिया गया। इस प्रकार वह पूर्णरूप से समाजसेवा के कार्यों में निरत हो गई और कलकत्ता में भीषण रूप से प्लेग फैलने पर भारतीय बस्तियों में प्रशंसनीय सुश्रुषा कार्य उसने एक आदर्श स्थापित कर दिया। उत्तरी कलकत्ता के उस भाग में एक बालिका विद्यालय की स्थापना उन्होंने की, जहाँ पर घोर कट्टरपंथी हिन्दू बहुसंख्या में थे। प्राचीन हिन्दू आदर्शों को शिक्षित जनता तक पहुँचाने के लिए अंग्रेज़ी में पुस्तकें लिखीं और सम्पूर्ण भारत में घूम-घूमकर अपने व्याख्यानों के द्वारा उनका प्रचार किया। वह भारत की स्वतंत्रता की कट्टर समर्थक थीं और अरविंदो घोष सरीखे राष्ट्रवादियों से उनका घनिष्ठ सम्पर्क था।


रवीन्द्रनाथ टैगोर ने उन्हें जननी की संज्ञा दी। धीरे-धीरे निवेदिता का ध्यान भारत की राजनीतिक मुक्ति की ओर गया। विवेकानन्द का दृढ़ विश्वास रामकृष्ण संघ परम्परा के शुद्ध आध्यात्मिक और मानवतावादी सिद्धान्तों और आदर्शों में था। जिनका राजनीति से कोई लेना-देना न था, उनके इस विश्वास का मान रखते हुए उन्होंने विवेकानन्द की मृत्यु के बाद संघ से त्यागपत्र दे दिया।


भारतीय कला के पुनरुद्धार से निवेदिता गहरे रूप से जुड़ी थीं और इसे वह राष्ट्रीय पुनर्निर्माण का अभिन्न हिस्सा मानती थीं। भारतीय नेताओं द्वारा राष्ट्रीय पुनर्निर्माण और राजनीतिक स्वतंत्रता प्राप्त करने की कोशिशों को ब्रिटिश सरकार द्वारा कुचले जाने से उन्हें बहुत नाराज़गी थी। निवेदिता ने प्रत्यक्ष रूप से कभी किसी आन्दोलन में भाग नहीं लिया, लेकिन उन्होंने भारतीय युवाओं को प्रेरित किया, जो उन्हें रूमानी राष्ट्रीयता और प्रबल भारतीयता का दर्शनशास्त्री मानते थे।


निवेदिता की मृत्यु दार्जिलिंग में 44 वर्ष की आयु में हुई। भारतीयों के साथ उनके घनिष्ठ सम्पर्क के दौरान यहाँ के लोगों ने अपनी 'सिस्टर' को पूज्य भावना के साथ श्रद्धापूर्ण प्रशंसा और प्रेम दिया। उनकी समाधि पर अंकित है-यहाँ सिस्टर निवेदिता का अस्थि कलश विश्राम कर रहा है, जिन्होंने अपना सर्वस्व भारत को दे दिया।


Bhagini (Sister) Nivedita ( born Margaret Elizabeth Noble; 28 October 1867 – 13 October 1911)was a Scots-Irish social worker, author, teacher and a disciple of Swami Vivekananda. She spent her childhood and early days of her youth in Ireland. From her father, and her college professor, she learned many valuable lessons like – service to mankind is the true service to God. She worked as school teacher and later also opened a school. She was committed to marry a Welsh youth who died soon after their engagement. She carried on her life.


Sister Nivedita met Swami Vivekananda in 1895 in London and traveled to Calcutta (present-day Kolkata), India in 1898. Swami Vivekananda gave her the name Nivedita (meaning "Dedicated to God") when he initiated her into the vow of Brahmacharya on 25 March 1898. In November 1898, she opened a girls' school in Bagbazar area of Calcutta. She wanted to educate those girls who were deprived of even basic education. During the plague epidemic in Calcutta in 1899 Nivedita nursed and took care of the poor patients.


Nivedita had close associations with the newly established Ramakrishna Mission. However, because of her active contribution in the field of Indian Nationalism, she had to publicly dissociate herself from the activities of the Ramakrishna Mission under the then president Swami Brahmananda. She was very intimate with Sarada Devi, the spiritual consort of Ramakrishna and one of the major influences behind Ramakrishna Mission and also with all brother disciples of Swami Vivekananda. She died on 13 October 1911 in Darjeeling. Her epitaph reads, "Here reposes Sister Nivedita who gave her all to India.


Ms. Margaret Elizabeth Noble was born on 28 October 1867 in the town of Dungannon in County Tyrone, Ireland to Mary Isabel and Samuel Richmond Noble and was named for her paternal grandmother. The Nobles were of Scottish descent, settled in Ireland for about five centuries.Her father, who was a pastor, taught that service to mankind is the true service to God. When Margaret was one year old Samuel moved to Manchester, England and there he enrolled as a theological student of the Wesleyan Church. Young Margaret at this time stayed with her maternal grandfather Hamilton in Northern Ireland. When she was four years old she returned to live with her father.


Margaret's father Samuel died in 1877 when she was only ten years old[8]:90 Margaret was brought up by her maternal grandfather. Hamilton was one of the first-ranking leaders of the freedom movement of Ireland.


Margaret did her education from Church boarding school in London. She and her sister attended Halifax College, run by a member of Congregationalist Church. The headmistress of this college taught her about personal sacrifice. She extensively studied various subjects, including physics, arts, music, literature. She embraced teaching at the age of seventeen. She first worked in Keswick as a teacher of children. Subsequently, she established a school in Wimbledon and followed her own unique methods of teaching. She also participated in Church sponsored activities, being religious in nature. She was also a prolific writer and wrote in the paper and periodicals. In this way she soon became a known name among the intellectuals of London. She was engaged to be married to a Welsh youth who died soon after engagement. The regulated religious life could not give her the necessary peace and harmony so she began to study various books on religion.


In November 1895 she met Swami Vivekananda who had come from America to visit London and stayed there for three months.On a cold afternoon, Swami Vivekananda, on an invitation, was explaining Vedanta philosophy in the drawing room of an aristocratic family in London. Lady Isabel Margesson, a friend of Margaret, invited Ebenezer Cooke, who was a teaching staff in Margaret's 'Ruskin School', for this meeting. Margaret also went with him, with much curiosity and interest. Margaret did not know that this incident would bend her life in a different way.Margaret described her experience on the occasion. A majestic personage, clad in a saffron gown and wearing a red waist-band, sat there on the floor, cross-legged. As he spoke to the company, he recited Sanskrit verses in his deep, sonorous voice. Margaret being already delved deep into the teachings of the East, found nothing quite new in what she heard on this occasion. What was new to her was the personality of the Swamiji himself. She attended several other lectures of Swami Vivekananda. She raised a lot of questions whose answers dispelled her doubts and established faith and reverence for the speaker.


Nivedita wrote in 1904 to a friend about her decision to follow Swami Vivekananada 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 like 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 recognised 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 here.


She started taking interest in the teachings of Gautama Buddha, Swami Vivekananda as alternate source of peace and benediction.


Vivekananda's principles and teachings influenced her and this brought about a visible change in her. Seeing the fire and passion in her, Swami Vivekananda could foresee her future role in India. On 25th of March 1898 it was the holiest and most unforgettable day for Nivedita (Margaret) of her life. That was the day on which her guru dedicated her to god and to the service of India.


Swami Vivekananda felt extreme pain by the wretchedness and misery of the people of India under the British rule and his opinion was that education was the panacea for all evils plaguing the contemporary Indian society, especially that of Indian women. Margaret was chosen for the role of educating Indian women.


Responding to the call of Swami Vivekananda, Margaret decided to travel to India leaving behind her family and friends, including her mother. Mombasa, the ship bringing Margaret to India, reached Calcutta on 28 January 1898. On 22 February, Margaret visited Dakshineshwar temple, the place where Ramakrishna did his sadhana.


Swami Vivekananda devoted the initial few days in building her character and developing her love for India and its people. He explained to her India’s history, philosophy, literature, life of the common mass, social traditions, and also the lives of great personalities, both ancient and modern. A few weeks later, two of Swami Vivekananda's women disciples in America, Sara C. Bull, wife of famous Norwegian violinist and composer Ole Bull and Josephine MacLeod arrived in India. The three became lifelong friends.


On 11 March 1898, Swami Vivekananda organised a public meeting at Star Theatre to introduce Sister Nivedita to the people of Calcutta. In his speech Swami Vivekananda said – "England has sent us another gift in Miss Margaret Noble." In this meeting Margaret expressed her desire to serve India and its people.



On 25 March 1898, Swami Vivekananda formally initiated Margaret in the vow of Brahmacharya (lifelong celibacy) and gave her the name of "Nivedita", the dedicated one. She became the first Western woman to be received into an Indian monastic order. Swami Vivekananda said to her – "Go thou and follow Him, Who was born and gave His life for others five hundred times before He attained the vision of the Buddha. She later recorded some of her experiences with her master in the book The Master as I Saw Him. She often used to refer to Swami Vivekananda as "The King" and considered herself as the spiritual daughter (Manaskanya in Bengali) of Swami.


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 Mother, The 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, The Cradle Tales of Hinduism on the stories from Puranas, Ramayana and Mahabharata, Studies from an Eastern Home, Civil Ideal and Indian Nationality, Hints on National Education in India, Glimpses of Famine and Flood in East Bengal—1906.


Kali the Mother, Swan Sonnenschein & Co.,. 1900.
The Web of Indian Life, W. Heinemann 1904
Cradle Tales of Hinduism, Longmans 1907
An Indian Study of Love and Death, Longmans, Green & Co.,
The Master as I Saw Him, 1910
Select essays of Sister Nivedita, 1911 Ganesh & Co.,
Studies from an Eastern Home, Longmans, Green & Co., 1913
Myths of the Hindus & Buddhists, London : George G. Harrap & Co., 1913
Notes of some wanderings with the Swami Vivekananda, 1913
Footfalls of Indian History, Longmans, Green & Co., 1915
Religion and Dharma, Longmans, Green, and Co., 1915
Civic & national ideals. Udbodhan Office. 1929.
A newly annotated edition of The Ancient Abbey of Ajanta, that was serialised 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 essay's 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.


The Complete Works of Sister Nivedita
Volume 1: The Master as I Saw Him; Notes of Some Wanderings; Kedar Nath and Bhadri Narayan; Kali the Mother. ISBN 978-81-8040-458-0
Volume 2: The Web of Indian Life; An Indian Study of Love and Death; Studies from an Eastern Home; Lectures and Articles. ASIN B003XGBYHG
Volume 3: Indian Art; Cradle Tales of Hinduism; Religion and Dharma; Aggressive Hinduism. ISBN 978-1-177-78247-0
Volume 4: Footfalls of Indian History; Civic Ideal and Indian Nationality; Hints on National Education in India; Lambs Among Wolves. ASIN B0010HSR48
Volume 5: On Education; On Hindu Life, Thought and Religion; On Political, Economic and Social Problems; Biographical Sketches and Reviews.