The author of this book, Smt. Prema Nandakumar, briefly yet tellingly narrates the interaction and influence Sister Nivedita had with and on Sri Aurobindo and how the two powers, one originating from the West and another returning from the West, combined to become a lighthouseforfuture nationalism.
One of the enduring memories of my childhood has been my parents holding my hand to guide me into the Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama facing the Bay of Bengal in Visakhapatnam. At that time, the late forties, it was a simple, gracious newly built structure and the Hall had the portraits of Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda. Watching the Arati conducted by Swami Srirangananda was a joy. And the dried fruits given as prasad by the Swami had a heavenly taste. Growing up in this atmosphere, I became totally attuned to the glorious legacy of the Holy Triad. Reading Ramakrishna-Vivekananda literature has not only been a delight during the last seventy years but also an armour to face life with equanimity. Thus, Sister Nivedita's works have been an undeniable inspiration in my life.
Just as my parents drew me into the world of Ramakrishna-Vivekananda, their devotion to Sri iAurobindo and the Mother of Pondicherry Ashram helped me enter this vibrantly spiritual centre. My doctoral thesis submitted to the Andhra University in 1961 was on Sri Aurobindo's Savitri. It led me to a life-long engagement with Aurobindonian literature that has enriched my life in every way.
When Swami Vimurtanandaji invited me to write a brief study of Sister Nivedita and Sri Aurobindo, I was delighted. I have never been away from the writings of these two great personalities, and it was exciting to trace the filiations in the work of these two incandescent karmayogins. They adored Mother India. They had complete faith in India's resurgence. They knew that Mother India's Sanathana Dharma can yet save this world from self-destruction. They received their inspiration from that 'soul of puissance', Swami Vivekananda:
Be bold, and face
The Truth! Be one with it! Let visions cease,
Or, if you cannot, dream but truer dreams,
Which are Eternal Love and Service Free?
(To the Awakened India)
So Sister Nivedita and Sri Aurobindo worked, suffered and hoped. They have taught us to work, to accept suffering, and never lose hope. With this amrita in our hands, what is it that we have to fear?
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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