Sister Nivedita

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Sister Nivedita

Sister Nivedia (18671911), born Margaret Elizabeth Noble, was a Scots-Irish social worker, author, teacher and disciple of Swami Vivekananda.


  • The whole history of the world shows that the Indian intellect is second to none. This must be proved by the performance of a task beyond the power of others, the seizing of the first place in the intellectual advance of the world. Is there any inherent weakness that would make it impossible for us to do this? Are the countrymen of Bhaskaracharya and Shankaracharya inferior to the countrymen of Newton and Darwin? We trust not. It is for us, by the power of our thought, to break down the iron walls of opposition that confront us, and to seize and enjoy the intellectual sovereignty of the world.
  • I believe that India is one, indissoluble, indivisible.
    • Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture (2002), Nivedita of India, Kolkata (Calcutta, India ): Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, p. 82, ISBN 978-81-87332-20-6 
  • Our whole past shall be made a part of the world’s life. That is what is called the realization of the national idea. But it must be realised everywhere,

in the world idea. In order to attain a larger power of giving, we may break through any barrier of custom. But it is written inexorably in the very nature of things, that if we sacrifice custom merely for some mean and selfish motive, fine men and women everywhere will refuse to admit us to their fellowship.

    • Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture (2002), Nivedita of India, Kolkata (Calcutta, India ): Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, p. 82, ISBN 978-81-87332-20-6 
  • Our daily life creates our symbol of God. No two ever cover quite the same conception.

The Web of Indian Life (1904)[edit]

  • For thousands of years must Indian women have risen with the light to perform the Salutation of the Threshold. Thousands of years of simplicity and patience, like that of the peasant, like that of the grass, speak in the beautiful rite. It is this patience of woman that makes civilisations. It is this patience of the Indian woman, with this her mingling of large power of reverie, that has made and makes the Indian nationality.
  • For the attention of the poet-chronicler is fixed on the invisible shackles of selfhood that bind us all. He seems to be describing great events; in reality he does not for one instant forget that he is occupied with the history of souls, depicting the incidence of their experience and knowledge on the external world.
  • In the sublime imagination of the Beatific Vision, he catches a hint of a deeper reality, but why, he asks, this distinction between time and eternity? Can the apprehension of the Infinite Good be conditioned by the clock? Oh, for a knowledge undimensioned, untimed, effect of no cause, cause of no effect!

Myths of the Hindus and Buddhists (1913)[edit]

  • a single generation enamoured of foreign ways is almost enough in history to risk the whole continuity of civilization and learning. Ages of accumulation are entrusted to the frail bark of each passing epoch by the hand of the past, desiring to make over its treasures to the use of the future. It takes a certain stubbornness, a doggedness of loyalty, even a modicum of unreasonable conservatism maybe, to lose nothing in the long march of the ages; and, even when confronted with great empires, with a sudden extension of the idea of culture, or with the supreme temptation of a new religion, to hold fast what we have, adding to it only as much as we can healthfully and manfully carry.

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