Through her unbroken, unending
toil Nivedita wore herself out. She knew not the meaning of rest. People exploited
Nivedita and did not take the trouble of enquiring what she herself needed.
In 1905 she wads seriously ill. Her close friends, especially the monks
of the Ramakrishna Ashram, tended and nursed her. She rallied-for the time being. But she
would not rest, little caring to save her wasting body. The British Government partitioned
Bengal and this resulted in a great agitation. Nivedita jumped into the fray. Next year,
East Bengal experienced devastating floods. This was followed by famine. For miles
Nivedita waded through the water and rendered service to the victims of flood and famine,
in village after village. She harnessed the youth of Bengal in organizing relief for the
Her health grew much worse. But unmindful of her own state, she went on
serving the poor and saving the distressed.
When her health was very bad, she made her will. All that she had in
this world by way of property, the little money she had with her, and even the copy right
over her writings, she left to the Beleur Math. She wanted that her bequest should be used
to give national education to the women of India.
October 13. It was morning. Nivedita was in Darjeeling The sun, which
had for days been hiding its face behind the dark clouds, suddenly appeared this morning,
and its rays entered Nivedita's room. She was absorbed in deep meditation. Opening her
eyes to the sunshine, she murmured: "This frail boat of mine is sinking, but I can
yet see the sunrise". These were the last words of this noble soul.
It was not, however, just a boat that had sunk; it was a mighty ship.
The sunrise that she was was the kind of illumination which only the like of her can see.
Sir J.C. Bose founded his famous Institute for research. There, in
Nivedita's memory, he got installed the image of a woman stepping forward, lamp in hand.
In the lap of the Himalayas rests the earthly form of this great lady.
Over her grave is erected a humble memorial which bears this simple epitaph.
"Here reposes Sister Nivedita who gave her all to India".
But it is the little school that Nivedita had set up that has grown to
be he living monument. Thousands and thousands of girls and women are receiving a truly
national education in that noble institution.