Some people don’t belong here – in spite of being our own people!
Born in Bharat; brought up in Bharat; bread and butter, clothing, learning and social standing is provided by Bharat; when they die they are buried or burned with state honors in Bharat; but their heart beats for enemies across the borders! Such people were there in olden days and such people are there now!
Without belonging here, there are people who psychologically belonged here more than many people who physically belonged here! Born in another country, uttering their first words in another mother tongue, born in some external race – some idea or ideology attracted them and they arrived here; they mingled with the people of this land, they fought for the self-esteem of our soil, they soiled their hands and toiled hard to eradicate the poverty and hunger of our people; they burned themselves as lamps to light up our lives! First in this list would be Sister Nivedita! Though she was born elsewhere, she made justice to the name Nivedita* by submitting her soul like a flower at the feet of God and God’s Country Bharat!
She rendered invaluable service to Bharat, at the same time did no harm to her own country. Doing good somewhere; does not mean, you have to cause harm somewhere else!
Looking closely Nivedita was never an outsider! Reason is, no one is an outsider to Sanatana Dharma (Eternal way of life– that is Hinduism)! It is the way of life of every living being on earth, inherent way of life of every human being! That answers our curiosity as to why Swami Vivekananda did not conduct any ceremonies or observe any customs for her conversion while admitting her into SanatanaDharma!
Islam has set procedures for conversion into their religion; Christianity too has prescribed procedures for conversion; Buddhism – Jainism have procedures; but Sanatana Dharma alone did not have a process for conversion in ancient Bharat!
Because you don’t need to follow a procedure to return to your own way of life! Understand the way and start living it! No formalities are followed when one returns to his own house; there will be formalities, exchange of pleasantries and hosting when you visit someone else’s house. “What brings you here? Anything we can do for you” – these questions are asked only when you visit someone’s house; but no questions asked or no procedures followed when you return to your own house – because that is your home, because that is natural.
Word “Dharma” – meaning ‘way of life’ is used only for Sanatana Dharma. In every other case, we use the word “religion” (In Latin” religio” means ‘obligation’ or ‘bond’). Obligation or bond is a personal choice or question of opinion, religion is based on the opinion of a prophet. Way of life comes naturally, it is not anybody’s opinion or diktat, it is not an understanding between the members of a group or sect; it is the treasured way of life as seen and experienced by great sages over a long period of time in different geographical areas – for the same reason it is very close to nature.
Burning is natural for fire; flowing is natural for water; illuminating is natural for Sun; sweeping is natural for breeze; in the same way, being true to his originality is natural for a human, staying in the original state and style is natural way of life; happiness is his natural state; spreading it all around is his style; state of completeness of humanity which facilitates living a life full of happiness and spill of happiness is ‘dharma’ or ‘nature’; a life style which facilitates attainment of that state is ‘dharma’ or ‘way of life’.
Several scholarly sages of India discovered living ways by which a man can return to his true nature; with passage of time those methods were proved to be true. The method discovered by sages of different race- age-sex-status-nature, in different times at different geographies discovered the same way of life after reaching the pinnacle of sadhana (deep and persistent spiritual practice)! No other proof is required to establish that Sanatana Dharma is the ultimate truth. It is not based on a holy book. It is a truth discovered by different sages at different times!
Is it not the way science arrives at a conclusion on a nagging point of doubt? If same result is obtained after many experiments and investigations science accepts it as truth. Convictions in Sanatana Dharma have been arrived at with the same method. Doesn’t it prove that the Sanatana Dharma is a way of life established through scientific methods? Doesn’t this culture of light, established by the persistent practice of many sages, need to be available to all?
Nivedita is a daughter who returned home this way. She was never an outsider. No one is an outsider to Sanatana Dharma! Sanatana Dharma has given shelter to not only humans, even to birds and animals, plants and herbs, weeds and bushes, insects and flies, and even inert objects. Entire creation is the play-field of Sanatana Dharma! That gives the right to practice SanatanaDharma to all! Right to live this way of life is available to those who have a right to bathe in refreshing sunlight, those who have a right to experience the spring of cold water, those who have a right to live on earth! Nivedita, sister to all Indians is an illustration!
Nivedita can be seen as sister by all when they see from the eyes of Vibhishana, who said “Even an elder sibling can become your enemy if he violates the truthful way of life; Rama, an enemy who invades my country, is a soul-mate because he practices dharma!”
*Nivedita: It is derived from the word “naiveddya” or ‘offering’. ‘Nivedita’ means someone who has offered herself as an offering.
Note: This article blessed by SriSriRaghaveshwaraBharatiSwamiji to commemorate the year 150th year of BhaginiNivedita’s birth