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The Master is No More

Nivedita returned to India in 1901.

She now took up lodgings at No.17, Bosepara Lane, which became henceforth both her home and her school. It became, in addition, a veritable centre of pilgrimage for all the eminent personages of the time-political leaders fighting for the country's freedom, men of intellect.

About this time a young lady from Germany, named Miss Christine Greenstidel, came to serve India and joined Nivedita. Her assistance was very valuable to Nivedita.

Nivedita's school began its work again. This time it was not only girls who came to receive instruction, but even their mothers. It was extremely difficult to meet the expenses of the school. Like Nivedita, Christine too had to undergo great privation. But with a firm resolve they kept up the struggle and carried on their endeavor of educating girls and women.

1902-the darkest year in Nivedita's life. She went to see the Master at the Belur Math. That was on June 29. In the course of the conversation the Swamiji remarked, " A great austerity and meditation are coming upon me. I am getting ready for death." The 2nd of July was an Ekadasi Day. Nivedita felt an irresistible urge to see the Master again. When she was announced at the Math , the Swamiji was filled with joy. He was himself fasting. Yet he got a meal ready for Nivedita and personally served it to her. After she had her meal, he assisted her to wash her hands by pouring water, and then despite her protests, he dried her hands with a towel. Deeply pained, she demurred; "Swamiji, it would be proper for me to serve you thus, not to receive such services at your hands."

He answered: "Jesus washed the feet of his own disciples, didn't he?"

"Yes, but that was in his last moments," she tried to say. But the words failed her.

That day the Master's entire being was transformed with his love, when he gave his chosen disciple his blessing. The joy she felt at this made her forget her recent pain. She went home, feeling blessed.

Poor Nivedita little knew that this was to be her last meeting with the Master. His Christ - like service to her, not less than his clear allusion to Jesus, was indeed significant.

The Swamiji attained Mahasamadhi on the night of July 3.

On July 4, even as the day was breaking, the heart - breaking message was brought to Nivedita. She staggered under the blow. The Master whom she adored, her all in all, her sole stay and support in life, the Guru who had given meaning and direction and purpose to her earthly existence, was no more. The light was gone. All was dark.

She ran to the Math and, sobbing her heart out, she paid her homage to the Master. The profound serenity of samadhi was upon his face.

Seated by the Master, she fanned his face until 2 p.m.

Vedic mantras were chanted. The Swamiji's body was carried in procession to the banks of the Ganga and offered up to the flames. Cries of "Jai Swamiji!" Swami Vevekanandaji Ki Jai!" rent the air and rose to the heavens.

The millions that had gathered at the cremation ground melted away in a few minutes. The scene was all deserted. Nivedita sat there, all alone, with no thought of her surroundings, with a faraway gaze.

The Master was no more. To whom could she go henceforth for counsel and support? From whom could she seek solace?

Sister Nivedita- The Very Personification of Compassion and Service
About Nivedita
"When The Call Comes"
As A Teacher
Finding The Guru
India's Call
On Indian Soil
The School - An Experiment
Plague In Calcutta
A Pilgrimage To The West
You are Here! The Master Is No More

Fight For India's Freedom

The Swan Song
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