Nivedita, the Kali for the liberals!

Nivedita, the Kali for the liberals!

Nivedita neither criticize Indians nor the culture of India. She do not claim herself as a reformer who has come to serve the uncivilized. She never tried to convert anyone. Even though she spoke about Mother Kali, she was not allowed to Kali temple of Dakshineshwar just because she was a foreigner. She was not irritated and she accepted it calmly. She meditated outside the Kali temple!


Yes, there are differences between Mother Teresa and Sister Nivedita. Both made a remarkable service. But they had different intention behind the service. Swami Vivekananda says “India needs no service due kindness or mercy. Instead you get the right to serve only when you love India. It is necessary to know India to love”. Anyone who does service by criticizing India and try to get name and fame across the globe doesn’t deserve any respect. Hence, Vivekananda took the responsibility of training Nivedita. A sanyasi brother was named to teach her Bengali. Swamiji himself spent days together in teaching her Vedanta (Philosophy), History, Culture and life in India. Many of them might have teased Swamiji that he is teaching a foreign lady the Indian tradition. If Swamiji wouldn’t have done this the foreigners would have done service criticizing India. This would be a worldly profitable but had a negative impact on India’s self confidence. Now we can understand the plunder that Mother Teresa has to India.

Nivedita would have been like a university professor if she had been dealt only with class room sessions! Swamiji took her along length and breadth of India. He explained the history and tradition of all the places they visited. She has narrated her experience in her ‘Notes of some Wanderings with Swami Vivekananda’. Everything didn’t go as expected. Nivedita had not yet ready to meet the expectation of Swamiji. Swamiji was shocked with the answer given by Nivedita when he asked her ‘Which is her nation?’. She was proud of being a British origin. Swamiji couldn’t tolerate this answer. Unless someone loves India infinitely the service is worthless. Swamiji became more strict. He described in detail the cultural corruption that British did in India. He opposed all the words of Nivedita. Those were the days of nightmare for Nivedita. She never accepted anything without clarity and queries. Swamiji was not answering her calmly as before and sometimes he neglects. Her egoism didn’t allow her to bend down.

Just imagine. How difficult it would have been to her when at that moment with the feel of rejection when she had come all along to a distant nation with the only of hope of Swamiji. She did meditation to gain control over herself. It was a right time. A full moon day. Swamiji went to her and consoled. She bowed to him as if she was waiting for such moment. It was a special moment for her. She attained the super – consciousness (Samadhi) just with one touch of Swamiji!


Swamiji knew his time limits. He had to do more work with the limited span of time. He found all possible ways in training Nivedita. Though he had the capacity of changing her with one touch he had to make her ready to accept and retain the change! Now she started understanding the soul of Swamiji as well as India. She understood India when she entered Kashmir with changed state of mind. After visiting Amarnath she understood the Subtle nature of Swamiji. She had a different kind of experience after Swamiji’s devotion turned towards Devi. She was very much attracted by the poem ‘Kali, the Mother’ written by Swamiji. It was too happy to see Swamiji attaining super consciousness (Samadhi) by chanting Kali, Kali. This changed the view of Nivedita towards Mother Kali. She was disgusted with the rituals happening before Mother Kali. But now she was ready to worship her. He devotion grew more stronger when she witnessed Kali during meditation. These experience helped her when she gave a lecture on Mother Kali in Albert hall if Kolkota. The speech was special. Many English dignitaries were in the program. They were curious about the talks of Nivedita. The liberals had come to hear the words of her and to get inspired to stop all their rituals. There were some people who had come to listen the talks of a foreign woman. Her speech started. Some were shocked, astonished and some felt proud. Some of the liberals and intellectuals shouted opposing her. They had to face the opposition in the same program. Further there was a speech organized about Kali Pooja in Kali Ghat. Finally she wrote a book called ‘Kali, the Mother’ as a conclusion for all the queries of the people. These works of her were observed and enjoyed by one soul, Swami Vivekananda.
Her speech was very much evident among the people who claimed Idol worship was the false belief. The first chapter of this book is important in describing the importance of Sanketas. Whether it be Christian or Muslim both criticize Hindu religion on the basis of Idol worship. It is very exciting to know how Nivedita answered in details in this regards.


Languages do signifies. Every region has there own words signifying God. It cannot be claimed about the righteous of word. The words shall be based on the culture. The word ‘Sandhya’ is referred to the time between Morning and Night in the west. Where as in India it is the time transition between evening and night. West describes evening as time for sleep and near to night while in India it is the time at which cattle returns home. We imagine the time of sunset. Due to the differences in the culture Nivedita identifies the change in the significance of the words and throws light the actual reason. We fail in realising the actual meaning by assuming or thinking it in our own way. She states that by thinking in a monopolistic way we have come to far away from the soul meaning. She so easily found the root cause for the differences across the religions! Moving further, Arab nation being male dominated gave importance to father. Thus the Semitic religions claimed soul is like father. Unlike in Arab in India woman is primary in a family. Indians treat woman as mother and respect as queen while in west they respect as wife. Hence woman is seen as God in India. She also mentions Christians worshipping Mary who states ‘I protect you as the cock protect the chicks’. By this she proves that woman is incomplete without becoming a mother. Thus the opposition lost. Now she praised the worshipping of Mother Kali and her warrior look and also described how near it is to death.

Her language is not so easy. It is understood well only if it is read 3 – 4 times. It gives a new dimension to our thoughts once it is understood. Kali, the Mother is a must read book especially those who criticize the idol worshipping and visiting temples. She describes amazingly the dance of Kali over Shiva. She compares Prakruti – Purusha to dynamo and the electricity produced by it. Purusha remains calm and the power is the one which roars. Yes its a simple logic.

This is the reason Nivedita is close to heart. She neither criticize Indians nor the culture of India. She do not claim herself as a reformer who has come to serve the uncivilized. She never tried to convert anyone. Even though she spoke about Mother Kali, she was not allowed to Kali temple of Dakshineshwar just because she was a foreigner. She was not irritated and she accepted it calmly. She meditated outside the Kali temple!

Oh! Now it should be well understood about the difference between Sister Nivedita and Mother Teresa!

ನಿಮ್ಮದೊಂದು ಉತ್ತರ

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