Biography of Sister Nivedita

Sister Nivedita was born Margaret Noble. She was a British teacher, author and social worker. She met Swami Vivekananda in the year 1895 in England and was impressed by his teachings. So, she migrated to India in the year 1898 to learn more. Swami Vivekananda christened her Nivedita which means “Dedicated to God”. Sister Nivedita embraced sanyas in 1898.

Early life

Margaret Noble was born in 1867 to Samuel Noble and Mary Isabel. From her early years, her father taught her that serving one’s fellow man was serving God. These words impressed young Margaret profoundly. She also took keen interest in art and music. After finishing her studies, Margaret became a school teacher and taught for ten years.

Meets Swami Vivekananda

Margaret read Buddha’s teachings and was impressed by his spirituality. She also came into contact with Swami Vivekananda, who taught her that selfishness and ignorance are the root causes of pain and suffering. Vivekananda’s teachings changed Margaret visibly and she became keenly interested in Indian spirituality. She was the first European lady to become a Hindu monk.

Sister Nivedita’s Works

In 1898, she founded a school for poor girls. Sister Nivedita strove to ameliorate the lot of impoverished and downtrodden Indian women. She participated in numerous charitable activities. She became good friends with many Bengali artists and intellectuals such as Rabindranath Tagore. Sister Nivedita was also close to Jagadish Chandra Bose. Sister Nivedita also inspired the development of painting and art in India.

Struggle for Independence

Sister Nivedita took up the struggle for Indian independence. She made friends with Sri Aurobindo. Her keen interest in Indian independence made her forego her links with Ramakrishna Mission, as she did not want the British government to target the order because of her. Her western origins helped her achieve many tasks that may have been beyond native Indians. She was responsible for promoting pan-Indian nationalism.

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After a selfless life of tireless service to mankind, Sister Nivedita passed away in 1911 at Darjeeling.

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