Sister Nivedita: The Flower of Worship at the Feet of Bharatmata, Yatiswari Krishnapriya Amba, Sanghmitra Seva Pratishthan, Pp 215 Rs 130.00
SISTER Nivedita: The flower of worship at the feet of Bharatmata by Yatiswari Krishnapriya Amba is a humble attempt to introduce this true daughter of Mother India to the modern generation and to the posterity as well. Though the earlier versions of Sister Nivedita’s life and mission are available at bookstalls, seldom they do underline her significant contribution to the nationalist forces engaged in freeing this great land from the foreign yoke.
Margaret Elizabeth Noble, who figures prominently in the galaxy of occidental daughters of Mother India along with Annie Besant, Madeline Slade and Mirrah Richards, occupies the unique place in Indian context. She became the symbol of dedication, by choosing to accept Swami Vivekananda as her spiritual Guru and serve the children of Mother India for rest of her life.
The author is a sanyasin disciple of Srimat Swami Chidbhavananda Maharaj, the founder of Ramkrishna Tapovanam, in Tamil Nadu. She is the president of Sri Sarada Ashramam at Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu. She was instructed by her Guru to devote her life to propagate the teachings of Sister Nivedita, Yatiswari wrote her Ph D thesis on ‘Complete Works of Sister Nivedita’. The topic of her thesis was ‘Discovery and Defence of India in the Writings of Sister Nivedita’. She was awarded PhD in 2008.
She authored two books on Sister Nivedita in Tamil entitled Nigarilla Nivedita and Vina Vidaiyil Oru Viathahu Vazhvupublished by Rashtra Sevika Samiti’s Tamil Nadu unit in 2011. This inspiring book is a combined English version of the above two books. Rashtra Sevika Samiti, which holds Sister Nivedita in high esteem and dedicated itself to “regeneration of Bharat, a cause that was dear to Nivedita’s heart”, has played a significant role in bringing this book in English for the benefit of the adult readership.
The book provides an insight to the reader into the hitherto unknown aspects of Sister Nivedita’s life and mission making him believe that this occidental daughter of Mother India was a remarkable phenomenon in India’s history. The Sister recognised and understood the greatness of Indian civilisation and Hindu Dharma. More than this she understood the urgency to overthrow the foreign rule in order to make India regain its lost glory for the better future of the mankind. As Prof TV Subba Rao says, “Sister Nivedita’s genius could alone demonstrate how great Hindu religion is, embodying the values of ‘Dharma’ when we are becoming imbecile imitators of the West under Western Cultural influence”. He is all praise for the Yatiswari for recreating the character of India of Sister Nivedita’s times.
The reader must read for himself the complete chapter on Nivedita’s Bharat Darshan to acquaint himself with all that Bharat stands for even today and realise how relevant these principles and ethos are for the larger benefit of the humanity at present. The author has done a yeoman service by adding this chapter.
Famous critique and author S Gurumurthy in his 28-page introduction to this book rightly says: Nivedita’s life and mission have the potential to course-correct the distortions and disorientation among the Indian women, particularly the upper strata of the scoeity and the English educated Indian women”. According to him this book is “undoubtedly an invaluable contribution to course-correct the attitudes of a section of contemporary Indian women whose world view is being perverted by the westrern notions and gender rights.”
(Sanghmitra Seva Pratishthan, Sevika Prakashna,Devi Ahalya Mandir, Dhantoli, Nagpur-440 012)