Sister Nivedita

Sister Nivedita (Bengali pronunciation: [bhågini: niːbediːtaː] About this soundlisten born Margaret Elizabeth Noble; 28 October 1867 – 13 October 1911)[1][2] was an Irish teacher, author, social activist, school founder and disciple of Swami Vivekananda.[3][4] She spent her childhood and early youth in Ireland. She was engaged to marry a Welsh youth, but he died soon after their engagement.

Sister Nivedita met Swami Vivekananda in 1895 in London and travelled 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 the Bagbazar area of Calcutta. She wanted to educate 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. 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 close to 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 lies Sister Nivedita who gave her all to India”.[5]