Young Margaret Nobel came under the spell of Swami Vivekananda. She
came from distant Ireland to India to serve the people of this land. She was given the
name of Nivedita as one dedicated to God. She became a teacher to little
children and their mothers. When plague or famine or flood ravaged the land she became the
very personification of compassion and service. Nivedita is the deathless symbol of
sacrifice and service.
At a time when this land of ours
was beset with troubles, quite a number of people of the west came of their own free will
to help us. One of these was Miss Margaret Nobel, popularly known as Nivedita, who came to
India from Ireland.
In those days Ireland, like India, was a country fighting for her
freedom. John Noble was the priest of an Irish Church. Nearer to his heart than all else
were his God and his motherland. His son Samuel Nobel, who was also a priest, married a
lovely young lady, Mary Hamilton. It was of these parents that Margaret, who later became
Nivedita, was born on October 28, 1867.
From her grandfather Margaret inherited measureless courage and
boundless patriotism, while from her father she inherited tremendous compassion for the
poor. And from her mother she inherited not only her great beauty but her tenderness and
Margaret often went with her grand father and her father to the homes
and novels of the poor and joined them in rendering service to them. Thus, even from her
earliest years, service became her constant companion.
One day a certain friend of Margarets father paid a visit to the
family. He, too, was a preacher and had returned home after having served in India as a
priest. He felt drawn to little Margaret whose mind was as keen as her figure was
beautiful. When he said good-bye, he told his little friend, "India, my little one,
is seeking her destiny. She called me once, and will perhaps call you, too, some day.
Always be ready for her call." These stirring words thrilled the little girls
heart and lighted up her eyes.