Sister Nivedita came to India responding to the call of the spiritual colossus and patriot monk, Swami Vivekananda. She came not only to revive and revitalize the hoary spiritual and cultural values of this sacred land, but also to put in proper dire tion the rising patriotic and nationalistic movements in our country. Rishi Bankim’s vision of the spiritual nation, Bharata Bhavani, inspired Swami Vivekananda to give his rousing call to the Hindu nation to arise and awake. He proclaimed at the top of his voice that he was proud to call himself a Hindu. Sister Nivedita gave a practical shape to the Hindu nationalist movement dreamt by her illustrious master. She organized the patriotic and revolutionary movements in the country and presented before them the ideal of Spiritual Nationalism, giving them a banner – the Bhagavadwaja on which was inscribed the taraka mantra, Vande Mataram – the banner of Prabuddha Bharata or the Awakened India. The great poet, Mahakavi Subramania Bharati, the renowned revolutionary, Bhupendranath Dutt, the famous artist, Abanindranath Tagore, and the patriot-scientist, Jagdish Chandra Bose, were a few among the many who drew immense inspiration from her.  

However, unfortunately, the maya of secularism and socialism that became a cataract on the eyes of our national leaders, at the time of the attainment of Independence of the country, obstructed their vision of our glorious past and drove the sacred memories of patriots and revolutionaries of Nivedita’s ilk into oblivion. The stark naked truth is that no one today knows where exactly is the memorial erected on the mortal remains of Immortal Sister Nivedita. It lies somewhere hidden, unrecognized, uncared for and unnoticed, in some bush in Darjeeling. 

But, we have set up a living memorial to the beloved Sister Nivedita who gave her all to Mother India – the Sister Nivedita Academy – which has come into existence as a beacon at a time when the ship of our national existence is caught in the mid-sea of political chaos and moral degradation, battered both by the selfish aggrandizement and power struggle of the politicians and the shameless apathy and materialistic outlook of the people. The Academy was born on the occasion of the centenary of Vande Mataram, the immortal song of Rishi Bankim Chandra Chatterji, with the avowed goal of reviving the ideal of spiritual nationalism and to instill in the hearts of our people, especially the younger generation, the values of patriotism and respect for our spiritual heritage. Our very first publication, Vande Mataram, received the benedictory foreword from a great patriot and nationalist, Acharya J.B. Kripalani. Yet another publication, Glimpses of a Great Yogi, has presented before the people the glorious saga of the saintly embodiment of the highest spiritual and patriotic ideals of the land, Yogi Ramsuratkumar, Godchild, Tiruvannamalai, our great master and mentor who is guiding our footsteps today. With His blessings and that of the Divine Mother Mayee of Kanyakumari, the Academy has Tattva Darsana, the official organ of the Academy, Yogi Ramsuratkumar Youth Association, our service wing spearheading the International Ramnam Movement to complete the chanting of the taraka mantra, “Aum Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram”, 15,550 crore times as envisaged by Mataji Krishnabai of Anandashram, Kanhangad, and our news and feature service, Hindu Voice International are rendering yeoman service to the Hindu society. 

The Academy is marching ahead, hearkening to the call of the ancient Rishis: “Charaiveti, charaiveti!” – “Go ahead, march on!”. Today it is a Public Charitable Trust enjoying exemption under section 80-G of the Income Tax Act, 1961, in respect of donations to the Academy for its various service and educational activities. It looks forward to receiving spontaneous and unstinted support from patriotic, nationalist and spiritual-minded, philanthropists and well-wishers in India and abroad. 

Vande Mataram! 

Author: Professor Sadhu Rangarajan 

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