Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sister Nevidita Was A Revolutionary Leader

Disciple: I heard that Nivedita also was a revolutionary, is it true?
Sri Aurobindo: What do you mean? She was one of the revolutionary leaders. She went about visiting places in India to come in contact with the people. She was open and frank and talked about her revolutionary plan to everybody. When she used to speak on revolution it was her very soul that spoke, her true personality used to come
out. Yoga was yoga of course, but it was as if that sort of work was intended for her: that was fire if you like. Her book "Kali--the Mother" is very inspiring, but it is revolutionary and not non-violent. She went about among the Thakurs of Rajputana trying to preach them revolution. At that time everybody wanted some sort of revolution. I met several Rajput Thakurs who had revolutionary ideas, unsuspected by the Government. One Thakur Ramsingh was afterwards caught in our movement and put to jail. He suddenly died out of fright. But he was not a man to be frightened. They may have poisoned him. You know Moropant afterwards turned moderate. More than one Indian army were ready to help us. I knew a Panjabi Sentinel at Alipore who spoke to me about the revolution.
Once Nivedita came to Baroda to see the Gaekwad and told him that his duty was to join the revolution and she said to him: if you have anything to ask you can ask Mr. Ghose. But the Gaekwad never talked politics with me afterwards. But thing I could not understand about Nivedita was her admiration for Gokhle. I wondered how a revolutionary could have any admiration for him. Once she was so much exercised when his life was threatened. She came to me and said: Mr. Ghose, it is not one of your man that is doing this. I said: No. She was much relieved and said: then it must be a free lancer.
The first time she came to see me she said, "I hear Mr. Ghose, you are a worshipper of Shakti?" There was no non-violence about her. She had an artistic side too. Khaserao Jadhav and myself went to receive her at station at Baroda. She saw the Dharamshala on the station and exclaimed: "how beautiful!" Looking at the new College buildings she uttered: "how ugly!" Khaserao said: She must be a little mad!

Disciple: What about her Yogic Sadhana?
Sri Aurobindo: I don't know; whenever we met together we spoke about politics and revolution. But her eyes showed power of concentration and a capacity for going into trance. She had got something in her spiritual life.
Disciple: She came to India with idea of doing Yoga.
Sri Aurobindo: Yes. But she took up politics as part of Vivekananda's work. Her book is one of the best on Vivekananda. Vivekananda himself had ideas about political work and fits of revolution. Once he had a vision which corresponded to something like Maniktola Garden. It is curious that many Sannyasins at that time had thought of India's freedom. Maharshis young disciples were revolutionaries. Yoganands' Guru had also such ideas. Thakur Dayananda was also one such. (turning to a disciple)
Do you know one Mr. Mandal?
Disciple: The one with spectacles.
Sri Aurobindo: Yes, it is he who introduced me through someone else to the Secret Society, where I came in contact with Tilak and others.

No comments: