I could simply begin thus: I am writing now because of Sister Nivedita. I would be literally and metaphorically correct. It is true that Indian women have entered the worlds of knowledge in a big way because a young Irish lady dedicated herself totally at the feet of her guru to serve India. The guru was Swami Vivekananda.

When Swamiji was going around India to get a first-hand idea of the needs of his motherland, he realised that two areas cried out for immediate action: the world of dalits and the world of women. Action needed the backing of money. He resolved now to go to the United States to earn funds for his work. After his speech at the Chicago Convention in 1893, he glowed like a flame atop a hill in the western world. On his way back to India, he tarried in London to give a few speeches in 1895. He may not have got the expected funds in England but he received the priceless gift of a peerless disciple, Sister Nivedita.

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About Author: Prema Nandakumar is a literary critic, translator, author, and researcher from Srirangam, Tamil Nadu.

This article was first published in the Prabuddha Bharata, monthly journal of The Ramakrishna Order started by Swami Vivekananda in 1896. This article is courtesy and copyright Prabuddha Bharata (www.advaitaashrama.org). I have been reading the Prabuddha Bharata for years and found it enlightening. You can subscribe online at www.advaitaashrama.org. Cost is Rs 180/ for one year, Rs 475/ for three years, Rs 2100/ for twenty years. To know more http://advaitaashrama.org/pbSubscription