The boat bringing Margaret to
India reached Calcutta on January 28, 1898. Swami Vivekananda came in person to the port
to give an affectionate welcome to her. She soon familiarized herself with the city where
she had to work and started making the acquaintance of the people among whom she had to
live. And she lost no time in learning Bengali, and studying Bengali Literature; for a
command of Bengali was essential for her to communicate with, and ultimately win the
confidence and affection of, the people around her.
A few weeks later, two of Swami Vivekananda's women disciples in
America, Mrs Sasrah c. Bull and Miss Josphine Mac Leod arrived in India. The three soon
became fast friends.
Their cottage became an ashram. Everyday Swami Vivedananda came there,
either with some of his brother monks or alone. The moment he entered, the place became
charged with a Holy Spirit. The inspired Master addressed the disciples for hours. His
theme was India, her history, her saints, her heroes and heroines, her epics, her puranas,
her poets, architects, sculptors and other artists, and above all, her great sages. Under
the Swamiji's spell, the listeners forgot the world, forgot themselves, and, as they
listened, they re-lived those glorious ages.
One day, Miss Mac Leod asked: "Swamiji how can I best serve
At once came the reply, "Love India, serve her, worship her. That
is prayer, that is worship, that is everything."
Margaret took the Swamiji's answer as his message for her too.