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Sister Nivedita: Things to know about a woman ‘who gave her all to India’

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Sister Nivedita: Things to know about a woman ‘who gave her all to India’

“If the many and the One be indeed the same Reality, then it is not all modes of worship alone, but equally all modes of work, all modes of struggle, all modes of creation, which are paths of realization. No distinction, henceforth, between sacred and secular. To labour is to pray. To conquer is to renounce. Life is itself a religion. To have and to hold is as stern a trust as to quit and to avoid.”
― Sister Nivedita

An Irish educationist and a disciple of Swami Vivekananda Margret Elizabeth Noble known as Sister Nivedita. Sister Nivedita died on 13 October 1911, at the young age of 43.

Margaret was born on 28 October 1867 in the Irish town of Dungannon to Mary Isabel and Samuel Richmond Noble, who was a priest.

Noble met Vivekananda when he visited England in 1895, and she was attracted to the universal principles of Vedanta and to Vivekananda’s humanistic teachings.

  • Margaret Elizabeth Noble, an Irish lady, lovingly known as Sister Nivedita was one of the closest disciples of Swami Vivekananda.
  • She dedicated her life in nation building of India.
  • Sister Nivedita met Swami Vivekananda in 1895 in London, she arrived in India and came to Calcutta in 1898. Vivekananda blessed her into the vow of celibacy on March 25, 1898.
  • Nivedita had a very good relationship with Sarada Devi, wife of Swami Vivekananda’s guru Swami Ramakrishna Paramhans.
  • She gave her unwavering support to Indian scientist and provided with all the support and financial help to Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose and his work.
  • She contributed largely to the national project specially focussed on women’s education and empowerment.
  • Nivedita also was a firm supporter of The Swadeshi campaign and encouraged people to go all out in swadeshi movement.
  • She was the first one to design the first Indian flag with an emblem. In 1904 she made the first flag and It had ‘Vande Mataram’ written on it in Bengali.
  • She founded the Bengal School of Art to encourage Indian artists to rediscover roots of their own artistic traditions.
  • In 1899, Calcutta was adversely hit by an epidemic Plague and during the great East Bengal famine of 1906 Sister Nivedita risked her own life and continues to treat patients.
  • She never thought of her personal safety while serving others. During her service, she caught up with Malaria and it took her life. She died in Darjeeling on 13 October 1911 at the age of 44.


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