This is a documentary film on the history and development of Ramakrishna Mission, Aalo (Arunachal Pradesh).
Sister Nivedita’s Role in the Spread of Women’s Education( T.W.=1266)
Ex Coordinator, Voices, The Statesmann Kol, (2015—18)
Student- Class XII
Kalyani University Experimental School, Kalyani , Nadia W.B.
It is no superstition with you (NIVEDITA). I am sure you have the making in your of a world lover, and others will also come. Both words and bolder deeds are what we want. Awake, awake great ones! The world is burning with misery. Can you sleep? —-Swami Vivekananda.
Hindus’ religious culture has some differences with others. In this practice, every humanistic knowledge is incorporated. As we shape out qualitative activities of different Gods and Goddess, therefore, we often find some relations with the then science, anthropology, ultimate yogic culture even!
Lord Ramakrishna, Sre Sre Mata Sarada Devi, Swami Vivekananda and Sister Nevadita, and like of many arrivals follow the less discussed part of ‘Human Teratology’ of medical science. Teratology is the subject, which deals with condition which influences the diseases of a newborn. However, the subject does not discuss about the favorable conditions of how it influences a baby within uterus, or going to conceive. We know, Bhubaneswari Devi, mother of Narandranath, wanted Shiva, The God, as her son. In addition, the world got Vivekananda (the character full of wrong of Shiva yet). The same story is written in the book of Sre Arabibda Pub- ‘Bring Your Own Child, where the Holy Mother narrated a story that She had seen. She told, a twine beautiful baby were born in a Caucasian’s home. In that house there was a picture of twine beautiful babies. We know that Rabibdranath Tagore, in his story Kokababu’s Prattabartan (Return of Son of Landlord) narrated that, someone lost Kokababu from the servant. The then servants leave the service, the same boy born in the house of the servant. Here the science is, ‘a baby could be born according to the mental preparation of the parents’.
If we study Sister Nivedita’s life and work, we must see the unknown story of father and mother who brought forward within her as an optimum cause.
Nivedita, from Birth to before the opening of Her School in Calcutta (Kolkata)
Margaret Elizabeth Nobel was born on 28 October 1867, in Duncannon of North Ireland in the womb of Mary Isabel Nobel (breathed her last on 13 October 1911 in Darjeeling, India). Her father, Samuel Richmond Noble, was a priest. She loosed her father at only ten years of age and then helped by maternal grandfather Hamilton.
Elizabeth first met Swami Vivekananda in a cold Sunday afternoon in November 1895, at London.
Responding the eternal calling propagated by Swamiji, She came in Calcutta (Kolkata) on 28 January 1898. Margaret, on 17 March came to get the touch the Holy-mother Sri Sarada Devi. Mother took her, calling as Khuki(little girl). She wrote that the day as the most remarkable date of her life (Day of Days). On 25 March 1898, Swamiji initiated Margaret into Brahmacharya (a special religious prayer to take promise to devote him/herself in favour of this religious fraternity) and gave her the name Nivedita.
Nivedita, and Opening of Her School in Calcutta (Kolkata)
On 13 November, Sunday, 1898, The Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi came to open the Girls’ School of Nivedita. Sre Sre Holy Mather blessed as ‘I pray that the blessings of Devine Mother may be upon the school and the girls, and the girl trained from the school may become ideal girls’. Nivedita wrote I can not imagine a grandeur women than her blessings, spoken over the educated Hindu womanhood of the future ,Nivedita started to give direct teachings within a few students from the next Monday, 14th Nov. without any fixed curriculum and timing (come and learn basis) as..
1. Nivedita taught them in general, particularly women how to un-envelope themselves, thus proceed the society.
2. She advocated the polytechnic education, drawing, making of doll with clay, stitching of cloth, singing etc., which were possible for Her to teach.
3. Nivedita tried to imprint nationalist ideals within the subject of study of her students and thereby, in the minds of her students (female) all their activities and behavior including language, dress, education, music and everything. As she initiated learning of music as a part of education system, she made compulsory of singing the song ‘Bande Mataram’ in her school everyday. When, the lady Abala Bose, wife of Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose, came to her in the school, her students welcomed her with the song of ‘Banga Amar Janani Amar (My Bengal, My Mother).
4. She also preferred practical teaching. Sister often carried her students to listen the valuable lectures of country-leaders like SurendraNath Banerjee, and even in museum, travelling on river, and visit to Daskhineswar etc.(from what the local people telling within their conversations).
Her indirect teachings were more valuable as-
• She showed how to take care (nursing) to a sick. One day in the school, a student named Mahamaya suddenly started blood vomiting. No sooner had Nivedita seen this than she took the girl in her personal bed. She nursed her with delicate care and sent her back to home. Later, it diagnosed that she had TB within. Nivedita and Christine brought the patient with her parents in Puri. She worked without fear of contamination of the disease during the attack of epidemic Plague (1899).
• Social working of women is very important. Therefore, she jumped within the different remote places of Bengal during famine (1906) even with her sickness! She helped Acharya J.C. Bose, R.N. Tagore and many during their English literary works!
• Tolerance is the main quality of a woman. In the school, as she came from a Christian’s family, not everyone may like to accept the food directly given by her. So she used to do her offerings very carefully.
• Begging of pardon may be a very essential quality particularly for women. A widow girl was Her student. Nivedita used to offer some food to her. One day she had forgotten and hence, she soon called the student, but expressed Her sin.
The overall above-mentioned educational programme, that She originated, was well thought-out as the national curriculum in good turn of advancement of females of India later (thankfully without Her name).
Swamiji, wanted her to become ‘…to India’s son, the mistress, servant and friend in one’. She then, after carrying-out of a lot of unbelievable services to India, both in remote villages and in towns, she breathed her last on 13 October 1911, at the forty-four years of age only!
Probably, throughout the human-history, no such lady could be find out, who absorbed the culture, sufferings, dreams, realize the hopes and aspirations, or recognize the eternal image a of country’s sole, either own or other’s so in-depth as Nivedita had shown, coming from His to Her India.
It is worthy to mentioned here that there were so many articles of Nevadita were published The Statesman with or without her name. Nevedita had connection with Mr. Samuel Radcliff, Editor, The Statesman. On 18 February, Saturday, 1899, a review on books about Sri Ramakrishna, written by Max Muller was published without the name of reviewer in the said newspaper. Later it was known that on 21 February Nevedita posted a letter to Mac lawn ‘My review of Max Muller’s book came out in the Statesman- on Saturday 2 columns, leader page. I think that fine.’
She also worked as the reporter of The Statesman in 1905 Congress conference Banaras, which were published without her name. One of her letter was published in The Statesman on 14 February 1905, named ‘The Highest Ideal of Truth’ , which created a huge revolutionary effect within youth.
We whole-heartedly feel her sacrifice for the women education in particular and foundation of India in general, which had been entire, influential and genuine. In my opinion, if we do not specialize a day to remember HER as ‘International (/Indian) Day of Sacrifice’ /Institutions/Bonding or any, history will not pardon us forever.
1. *Letters of Swami Vivekananda, Advaita Ashrama, 1995, pp. 294-295/ Nivedita In India, The R K M Institute of Culture, Gol Park, Kol-29 (2007).
2. Prabajika Muktiprana : Nivedita of Children, Sister Nivedita Garl’s School, Bosepara Lane Kol 3.
3. Sister Nivedita The Master I Saw Him, Udbodhan Office Kol – 3,
4. Nivedita of India, The R.K.Mission Ins of Cul, Golpark, Kol-29.
5. www. The statesman Kolkata, voices, article of annesha chatterjee on Nivedita.
Paper Presented In Adyta Asrama Competition, and received honour of participation. Not published anywhere.
Millions of revered pronam at the feet of the creators of AALO.
Such a beautiful sight to see and hear (yes, sight can be heard also)! Watching the video carefully throws a glimpse of “Why did the Ramakrishna Mission Survive?” The video is a mirror image of the Ramakrishna Mission of late 1800s and early 1900s and the way Aalo moved ahead in the same way Ramakrishna Mission moved ahead in the early 1900s.
Yes, God lives with them. That’s the only phrase that comes to my mind.
I bow down to all the devotees, brahmacharins and monastic members of the R.K. Math & Mission for spreading the teachings of the Holy Trio and continuing the task of ‘Shivajnane Jivasheva’ to remote corners of the country and the world. The Holy Trio indeed are living through them. The spiritual cyclone of the Ramakrishna Mission will indeed silently create havoc in the entire world for 1500 years, as was envisioned by Swamiji.