Who Am I ? Am I a body Or A Physical one like so many other things in this material World . What is more important – my body , or my mind , intellect , my internal world ? Ninety nine point nine percent people of this universe are busy in outer World – about physical interest like food , health, education, office works, business, marketing and so on. They don’t have time to think about self , like to know the inner World.
When anybody ask me ,’ Who are you?’ I generally reply , ‘I’m Dr. Sushil Rudra or I am Mr. Rudra’ . Such and such . Further I give my description that I am a citizen of India , I belong to Durgapur city of West Bengal. Or I say , ‘ I am a Professor of a college and teach literature. Even during introduction we refer to the age , father’s name, father’s profession, my qualification, the name of the University from which I passed. In any application fill up , you’re asked about your caste , religion and so on. T
his is peculiar when we have to produce Aadhar card or Voter identity as our identity. Whether I am married or not – this is obviously necessary for the job or in social appr hioach. But we don’t have the energy or inclination to know our inner self . we know many things about ourselves, but we don’t know who am I ? This question we never ask ourselves consciously. The man who is interested to know his inner self , he is actually proceeding towards God .
What we are faced with often is the basic question of ‘Who am I ? ‘ or ‘ What is it all about? ‘ Why should we be here ?’
Truly, the modern education can’t be able to answer such a question. Why should we come here ? What’s the purpose of coming here in this earth ? The answer of this question is not given by the modern educationists. Modern education system does not provide such kind of knowledge as it is not governed by Indian traditional thoughts of education. It is entirely motivated and also designed to keep mind the Western educational system. Rabindranath Tagore or Swami Vivekananda didn’t agree with this system of education . Both the Great men of India thought about the system where the western knowledge of science and Technology with the mixture of Indian traditional system of education both jointly will be imparted to the Indian boys and girls . As a result, the students must have been enriched with both internal and external World as well . Undoubtedly, this would have been a great and fabulous education system to be given all the Indian boys and girls . But it is not happened . Ultimately we have learnt half of the education, not fully done.
Modern education can’t enrich our internal world or have no tendency to go through the inward portion of our mind or self . Which it gives us that’s how we can be successful in material world. And by learnt it we have been running after the wealth , money , prestigious post , gorgeous private car , multi stories building etc . This ultimately kills your energy and times . The more you get the more you desire . We don’t know where to stop . Science and Technology can give you satisfaction by supplying energy, electricity, medicine , vehicles and so many amusing things , but 7 of science and technology enhancing and providing our material needs , simultaneously we are lagging behind from the knowledge of self – discovering. Truly, we are ignoring our soul , the atom of personal God which lives within us .
কখনো কখনো স্নানঘরে গিয়ে অপরিসকৃত আয়নাটার দিকে তাকিয়ে নিজেকে চিনতে পারিনা। অদ্ভুত রহস্যময় মনে হয় আয়নায় নিজেকে দেখে। অবিশ্বাস্য হয়ে ওঠে আমার চোখদুটো , সত্যিই কি এ চোখদুটো আমার , না অন্য কারো! ওই চোখদুটোতে দেখা যায় একটি দুটি নয় , পর পর তিনটি মানুষের মুখ – যারা আমার দিকে তাকিয়ে আছে অপলক দৃষ্টিতে। কি আশ্চর্য! সে-ই মুখ গুলোর একটি আমি ।আর ধূসর পাক ধরা চুলের মানুষটি যার ইনসিওরানসের পিসিটি ম্যাচুয়র হয়েছে এই ক’দিন আগেই, সে। আর তৃতীয় মুখটি বড়ই করুণ, মূক ও ধূসর এবং পা্্শু বর্ন, প্রায়-ভারসাম্যহীন মানুষটি , যে কেবল বহু কষ্টে জমা দিয়েছে সাকুল্যে একটি মাত্র প্রিমিয়াম।
অর্থ লগ্নির জায়গাগুলোতে এখন কেবল বিবর্ণ মুখগুলো আনাগোনা। মূক মানুষের ভিড়।।
In Srimad Bhagabat and also in Gita we get a lot of information about God Shri Krishna. Even our ancient literature and also in modern literature the character of Shri Krishna has been depicted by the authors in their own imagination and attitudes. Modern researchers are trying to analysis about Shri Krishna’s influence in Hindu religion and on the people of India as well. In every corner of the World where lives a Hindu , he absolutely regards and worships God Shri Krishna. The great preacher of Vaisnob religion, Shri Chaitannya of medieval age preached this religion in India and travelled Indian pilgrimage by walking . He went to Mathura – Vrindaban and discovered all the places and temples where Shri Krishna spent his life activities.
My discussion is about the greatness and powers of Shri Krishna which is called divine power . By following The Great holy book ‘Gita’ I shall try to discuss it.
Swami Vivekananda was the first monk of India who thought about his country and its people. Country, the birthplace ‘India’ was to him like a movable and living being. Motherland was to him a pilgrimage. And its people was to him as Living God. He , therefore, thought deeply to reinvent it and to change its livelihood, and thought process. As he noticed during his travel throughout India that the people of his motherland had lost their ancestral knowledge, lost their truth and fraternity , strength . They
To Swami Vivekananda , India was not only a demography or a geographical location , even more. Like mother , to him motherland was a great place of serenity and purity he respected highly from the bottom of his heart. Mother and Motherland , both the things was stupendously great to him. After Sri Chaitanya , he is the only man who visited India to look into the socioeconomic conditions of the Indian subcontinent people by traveling mostly on walking . Though Swami Vivekananda was born in a well-to-do family as his father being a renowned Baristar in Calcutta High Court and managed a huge money , but after his sudden death, his family faced a lot of financial and worldly problems. Because he was the only support of the family . Swami ji, the then Naren having no employment, roaming from one office to another for a service. What I want to express that Swami had to experience a painful life in his pre- monastic life. Even after the victory of Chicago World Religion Conference , when he was in the West , he had to think about the financial condition of his family because he was the eldest son of his mother , rest brothers were very young and studying then in school and college in Calcutta . He wrote a letter to the Maharaj of Khetry (Rajasthan), Ajit Singh where he requested to Maharaja to look after his mother and brothers providing financial help. So , being faced a lot of financial devastations in his personal life and at the same time he observed the poverty stricken people of his motherland, he determined to do something for the poor and the same time for betterment of his country he agreed to attend the the great conference of Chicago.
¶¶ But there was a hidden desire to his mind . During his travel through almost all the historic places of Rajputana, Bombay (Mumbai) state , and Southern India till at last he reached Kannyakumari on 23 December 1892 Swami undoubtedly gathered vivid experiences about the people , their livelihood and culture , social and economical problems and so on. No doubt, every moment of this travels of his with an open mind for several years throughout the length and breadth of India – from the dreamy poetic regions of the snow – capped Himalayas down to Kannyakumari, the last promontory of the land where the mighty ocean spreads out into infinity – were eventful. All this wandering had a great educational value for him, opening up, as it did, opportunities for original thought and observation, the most striking element in all of which was his tireless search for unity in the world of Indian ideals. Nevertheless, it was at Kannyakumari that his pilgrimage throughout his motherland, and his days and months of thought on the problem of the Indian masses bore fruit.
Swami was overwhelmed to visit the the temple of Mother Kanyakumari . He prostrated before the image of the Divine Mother in the seashore temple at Kanyakumari as if being back with its mother a child , so was Swami . After worshiping the Mother, he swam across some two furlongs of the shark – infested ocean and reached the farther of the two rocks that form the southernmost extremity of India. Over the three days he sat there , he was in a long and deep meditation. The Swami himself has told of the thoughts that moved through his mind during that period. He saw , as it were , the whole of India – her past , present , and future, her centuries of greatness and also her centuries of degradation. The Swami saw that it was not religion that was the cause of India’s downfall but , on the contrary, the fact that her true religion, the very life and breath of her individuality, was scarcely to be found, and he knew that her only hope was a renascence of the lost spiritual culture of the ancient rishis. His mind encompassing both the roots and the ramifications of India’s problem, and his heart suffering for his country’s downtrodden, poverty – stricken masses, he hit, as he later wrote , ‘upon a plan’.
What was this plan & How to implement this plan ?
¶¶ ” An Empty Stomach Is No Good For Religion ” And The Ignorance Which leads A Poor Into A Life Of Brutes . The first sentence was told by his Guru Sri Ramakrishna and the second is undoubtedly felt by Swami Vivekananda during his travel throughout His Motherland – India. He emphasized on the education of the poor section of the society. If they are not interested to come to the school , go to them and teach them by means of maps , cameras , globes ,and other accessories. Swamiji’s opinion was that if the mountain does not come to Mohammad, Mohammad must go to the mountain. The poor are too poor to come to schools, and it is no need to teach them poetry, rather they should be imparted the education of self – identity and the education which can improve their personality. Swami told ,” We as a nation have lost our individuality, and that the cause of all mischief in India . We have to give back to the nation its lost individuality and raise the masses. ” He did not blame religion, but men . A section of people are consciously bad handled the religion for their own interest. So , he wanted to have a group of highly sacrificed youths for this works . He needed two things : one is sacrificed men , and the second, which is also important for implementation of the works if funds. As a result of that , he determined to visit the West . In the presence of the Maharaja of Mysore , the Swami burst forth into an eloquent description of what was prompting him to go to the West .
Dr. Sushil Rudra Durgapur , W. Bengal. 07.03. 2020
India has produced so many great men like Rabindranath Tagore, Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subhash Bose and so on, but Swami Vivekananda is regarded as the greatest personality of all times. To speak the truth, he is always regarded worldwide as the spiritual teacher and the preacher of universal brotherhood between East and West . Swami ji never thought about himself. Motherland and its people was his first priority, but to him ,the people of all countries in this World was his brothers and sisters. In the inaugural lecture at Chicago in the World Religious Conference , he addressed to the spectators of America as the ” Sisters and Brothers of America ” which mesmerized the people of Western World and Vivekananda became famous in American society . Later he continuously gave lectures in America and Europe about Indian philosophy and Hindu Religion which is of five thousands years old and which is of great profound in knowledge of the ancient monks of India.
¶¶ While Swami Vivekananda spreading this fabulous ancient knowledge of India in the West , the intellectuals of the West moved by it . The universal teaching and profound learning of the Swami made a deep impression upon the minds of the American intelligentsia. Not only American intellectuals , Great Orientalist ,Professor Max Muller of Oxford University , E. T. Sturdy , Roman Rolland, Christopher Isherwood, Poll Dawson of Germany , Jules Bois of France , Arnold Toyenbi – all these distinguished persons were also influenced by him .
¶¶ What was his massage to the West ? Or what he told there that they became influenced by him? September 11, 1893 The Monday was a special day to Swami Vivekananda. This day is remarkable in the history of mankind , because , Swami Vivekananda uttered some words which is the key of World peace. Modern world has been highly enlightened and enriched through the progress of science and technology . The entire world has been changed into a big city . Through technological development and massive progress of science , we are getting a lot of amenities . Medical science widens longevity of men’s survival . But Communalism, bigotry, religious fundamentalism, terrorism and nasty politics are alwa hiys making this world into a Hell. The battles of Orthodox religious fundamentalism, Low and high caste problems , political differentiation , corruption in all spheres of the societies , vandalism etc are the burning problems of the country like India and world as well . In such an environment and circumstances , the path which Swami Vivekananda proclaimed , that’s the need of the time. What he advised and remarked that very day ! Let’s try to memorize his utterances.
¶¶ Vivekananda presented there Hinduism as the mother of religions – a religion which had taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. He quoted two beautiful, illustrative passages taken from the scriptures of Hinduism: ” As the different streams having their sources in different places all mingle their water in the sea , so O Lord, the different paths which men take , through different tendencies, various though they may appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee.”
” Whosever comes to Me , through whatsoever form , I reach him ; all men are struggling through paths which in the end lead to Me. ”
It was only a short speech, but its spirit of universality, its fundamental earnestness and broadmindedness completely captivated the whole assembly. There were other Hindu delegates who stood for societies or churches or sect but the Swami Vivekananda , who belonged to no sect but rather to India as a whole, proclaimed the universality of religious truths and the sameness of the Goal of all religious realizations. In the course of his illuminating addresses, Swami Ji placed before the audience the cardinal truths of Vedanta, the universal religion of humanity.
Swami Vivekananda in America
Again he distinctively uttered : ” If there is ever to be a universal religion, it must be one which will have no location in place or time ; which will be infinite, like the God it will preach , and whose sun will shine upon the followers of Krishna and Christ, on saint and sinners alike; which will not be Brahminic or Buddhistic , Christian or Mohammedan , but the some total of all these , and still have infinite space for development ; which in its catholicity will find a place for every human being, from the lowest grovelling savage not far removed from the brute to the highest man towering by the virtues of his head and heart almost above humanity. It will be a religion which will have no place for persecution or intolerance in its polity , which will recognize divinity in every man and woman and whose whole scope, whose whole force , will be centred in adding humanity to realize its own true , divine nature. Offer such a religion and all the nations will follow you…… The Christian is not to become a Hindu or a Buddhist, nor a Hindu or a Buddhist to become Christian. But each must assimilate the spirit of the others and yet preserve his individuality and grow according to his own law of growth.” He concluded the speech with alerting that the Parliament of Religions had shown to the world that holiness, purity, and charity were not the exclusive possession of any Church in the world and that every system had produced men and women of the most exalted character. In the face of this evidence, if anybody dreamt of the exclusive survival of his own religion and the destruction of others, he was to be pitied and told that upon the banner of every religion will soon be written, in spite of resistance: ‘ Help and not fight’, Assimilation and not Destruction’, Harmony and Peace and not Dissension’.
¶¶ The effect of these mighty words was tremendous. The news of Swami Vivekananda’s unparalleled success poured into India very soon . Though the media of that time was not like today’s electronic media. But this fabulous news reached here through the famous newspaper of India . It was printed mostly in the Hindu , the noted newsprint, published from Madras ( Chennai). Swami Vivekananda was then world renowned spiritual teacher, great Indian monk , big orator and philosopher. Within few years he founded Ramakrishna Mission and math at Belur , near Kolkata for the service of mankind which is an eminent philanthropic organization .
¶¶ However, in the midst of recognition of his genius, universal applause, and immense popularity, He was never for a moment forgetful of his duties to the sunken masses of India. On the very day of his triumph when he was invited by a man of great wealth and distinction to his home and lodged in a princely room fitted with luxury beyond anything he could conceive, instead of feeling happy in this splendid environment he was miserable. He could not sleep, pondering, in contrast, over India’s plight. The bed of down became to him a bed of thorns. He rolled down on the empty floor and in agony of his heart cried , ‘ O Mother, what do I care for name and fame when my motherland remains sunk in utmost poverty? Who will raise the masses in India? Who will give them bread ? Show me, O Mother, how can I help them .’
¶¶ The great – hearted Vivekananda wrote inspiring letters to his disciples and admirers in India to stimulate their hearts into activity and a high pitch of patriotic fervour. — ” Gird up your loins , my boys,’ he once wrote, ” I am called by the Lord for this. The hope lies in you — in the meek , the lowly, but the faithful. Feel for the miserable and look up for help – it shall come.
Vivekananda not stopped there . He expressed his agony and suffering for this mission. Here we see his untiring efforts to remove the darkness of ignorance and the dearth of hunger of the poverty- stricken peoples of his motherland. He wrote : ” With a bleeding heart I have crossed half the world to this strange land seeking for help . The Lord will help me . I may perish of cold and hunger in this land, but I bequeath to you , young men, this sympathy, this struggle for the poor, the ignorant, the oppressed. Go down on your faces before Him and make a great sacrifice, the sacrifice of a whole life for them – these three hundred millions, going down and down everyday. Glory unto the Lord , we will succeed .”
¶¶ Vivekananda never forgot in the midst of luxury the primary idea of his mission – to save his people, to mobilize them to help him in his task by widening his appeal until it became the cause of the people, the cause of the poor and the oppressed of the motherland as well as the whole world.
¶¶ For the sake of this mission and particularly to serve the cause of his motherland he accepted the offer of a lecture bureau for a tour of the United States. He expressed his mission to India in some of his lectures which he delivered in Madras after returning from West . Here he gave an eloquent utterance to his massage to India in these lectures comprising ‘My Plan of Campaign’, The Mission of Vedanta’, and ‘The Future of India’. Swami Ji observed the problems of the India very deeply and prescribed the solution accordingly. ‘ Each nation ,like each individual’ he said , ‘ has one theme in this life , which is its centre , the principal note with which every other note mingles to form the harmony. If any nation attempts to throw off its national vitality , the direction which has become its own through the transmission of centuries, that nation dies .
¶¶ In India religious life forms the centre , the keynote of the whole music of national life. Social reform has to be preached in India by showing how much more spiritual a life the new system will bring, and politics has to be preached by showing how much it will improve the one thing that the nation wants – its spirituality. Therefore before flooding India with socialistic or political ideas the land should first be deluged with spiritual ideas . The first work that demands our attention is that the most wonderful truths confined in our Upanishads, in our scriptures and Puranas , must be brought out from the books, the monasteries, and the forests and scattered broadcast over the land so that these truths may run like fire all over the country, from north to south , and east to west, from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin , from the Indus to the Brahmaputra.’
Rabindranath is a poet and his creation in art and literature is enormous . No one is as stupendously talented as Taɡore . It will not be sufficient to praise to him that he is the all time best writer in Indian literature . I am speakinɡ it rememberinɡ Kalidas and other poets. Kalidas undoubtedly the best in Sanskrit literature , but like Rabindranath he was not a fabulous writer . Taɡore wrote a lot in every branch of literature. It is true that Rabindranath was hiɡhly influenced by Kalidas and other Sanskrit writers. Madhusudan and Bankim Chandra Chattopaddhay , was his precedinɡ authors, but Madhusudan wrote epic and some dramas , on the contrary , Bankim was the pioneer of novel. Rabindranath was a multitalented distinɡuished author who wrote 4000 thousands poems , 2500 thousands sonɡs , 200 hundred short stories , 18 novels, 35 dramas, essays and paintinɡs. The noted British poet, W.B.Yeats remarked in the introduction of Taɡore’s Sonɡ Offerinɡs , :” We have other poets , but none that are his equal ; we call this the epoch of Rabindranath. No poet seems to me as famous in Europe as he is amonɡ us . He is as ɡreat in music as in poetry , and his sonɡs are sunɡ from the west of India into Burmah wherever Benɡali is spoken” . Yeats was then famous in the West . And he collected all the informations about Taɡore. So , he aɡain wrote , ” He was already famous at nineteen when he wrote his first novel ; and plays , written when he was but little older , are still played in Calcutta. I so much admire the completeness of his life ; when he was very younɡ he wrote much of natural objects .” I shall discuss about these poems which are ulmately sonɡs
‘Ɡitanjali’ or Sonɡ Offerinɡs is a collection of 157 poems which was published in 1910 . Rabindranath called it as a sonɡ, not poem. These are all Dhrupad Sanɡit . Toɡore composed so many sonɡs other than Ɡitanjali . He started writinɡ the sonɡs of Ɡitanjali at the aɡe of 45 and it ended after five years when the poet was at the aɡe 49. Rabindranath was a romantic poet. He did not follow the path of Mychael Madhusudan Dutt who wrote epic . He walks in the path of lyrics.
Williom Rothenstain, a British Painter and scholar came India and beinɡ invited by Abanindranath Taɡore visited Jorasanko Thakurbari . There he became aquinted with Toɡore . That time, Taɡore was not famous in India. When Rothenstine came to know that Rabindranath Taɡore is a poet he told Rabindranath if there is any need in future , Taɡore could meet him. In future, this relation turned into ɡreat friendship. When afterwords, Rabindranath visited Enɡland alonɡ with the translation of Ɡitanjali, Rothenstine made all arranɡement to introduce him and his poems with the Western intellectuals. And with their endeavour Taɡore’s poem collection “Ɡitanjali” was forwarded to the Swish Nobel Commitee and Taɡore was selected for the prestiɡious Nobel Prize.
How did Taɡore influence the Europian poet ʔ Yeats confessed it in the introduction of the book -“Ɡitanjali”. He wrote : ” I have carried the manuscript of these translations about with me for days, readinɡ it in railway trains, or on the top of omnibuses and in restaurants, and I have often had to close it lest some stranɡer would see how much it moved me.”
In fact, these lyrics was an oriɡinal in content, full of subtlety of rhythm, of untranslatable delicious of colour, of metrical invention, display a philosophical thouɡht which was need of the time in western mind. These sonɡs are same with the reliɡion , which is our Indian practice.Here poetry and reliɡion are the same thinɡ, has passed throuɡh the centuries, ɡatherinɡ from learned and unlearned mataphor and emotion, and carried back aɡain to the multitude the thouɡht of the scholar and of the noble.
Practically all the aspirations of mankind are in his hymns. In every sphere of life as well as emotions and feelinɡs, his lyrics stand beside, and the companion of joy and woe .
Rabindranath Taɡore , like Chaucer’s forerunners, writes music for his words, and one understands at every moment that he is so abundant, so spontaneous , so darinɡ in his passion, so full of surprise , because he is doinɡ somethinɡ which has never seemed stranɡe,unnatural ,or in need of defence.
Today we are going to celebrate his 159 birth anniversary who thought, who wrote and did various types of activities for the betterment of the people. When everything is under lock down due to Corona pandemic , his birth anniversary can be executed through his motto of life and the service he started for the upliftment of the common people .
YOU sometimes the soft light of afternoon, You are my moonlit night . sometimes you have my silent lake , Sometimes a beautiful cascade . You became my companion in Autumn’s rays, Sometimes in cyclones and in clouds. Again, you come to me forgetting all conceit, dressing up the colours of love .
You have come to me with the flying bird, At a time you have become the deadly noon . With your skilled grip someday ,sometimes ,
you picked up the entire Universe .
We met together in crowded street. Sometimes in a solitary place. Perhaps sometimes we met k , In the remote forest of the Hill.
You’re my Sky too. Being my noon and cold , Sometimes you stand beside me, Gazing at me .
As you’re wrapped with me , Exist music and love , Easily I have kicked out all Even the days of indignity.
It is drizzling now with cold blow , I am wetted in it all the time and it has overflowed my entire body , even my blood and bones , and also my soul with glow . The masculine wind blows like an angry young Turk , it’s shouting and laughing at me like a gigantic devil , which is touching my face and body , and wounds me with his iron like hands , I am in uncanny feeling ! Black clouds chasing me and wrapped me in my dream. What a surprise! A White gaseous substance coming out from my eyes , and an uncertain dream showering like rain without any conscious, therefore, I am engaged in pudding the holes ..
I have nothing to do , only to collect the pieces of paper , and make a boat , probably , an unknown traveller sail away for a remote kingdom , in the meantime I see , the sink of bathroom being overflowed filled all the place in water , I am then young lover , and in dream . My beloved mother do off the sink , started to rebuke me again and again , suddenly , my friend hurt the night with bold stroke to drowning it , I’m nothing to do but only notice it in vain .
The gigantic Tsunami with its destructive power makes the sea rough , no chance of survival in this unwanted game. As I am standing at the end of the Titanic , alone ,as a friendless stupid fellow, alone there going to the deep sea, only some big ice pieces guard me from the poisonous sharpening teeth of sharks . But I am undone to save my friend from this adverse conditions . I am as good as dead in the dreaming world , waiting for love and happiness and peace and prosperity and to garlanding my friend in this juncture. Again I dreamt a dream , as there is no boat to save me , I become confused , my hands are collapsed, even body , and the dresses are covered with scattered ice , oh ! my mother, I’m alone, alone .
Sarojini Naidu (13.02.1879 to 02.03.1949) was an Indian political activist and poet . We convey our regards to her birthday anniversary who was once a proponent of civil rights, a freedom fighter in India’s struggle for independence from colonial rule. On her birth anniversary, let us have a look at interesting facts about Sarojini Nsidu’s life and works . Mahatma Gandhi named her as The Nightingale of India. She joined the Indian national movement in the wake of partition of Bengal in 1905 . During 1915 -1918 , she travelled to different regions in India delivering lectures on social welfare, women’s empowerment and nationalism. Become the president of the Indian National Congress in 1925 .
Sarojini born as Sarajini Chattapadhay on February 13,1879 in Hyderabad. She was a child prodigy. Her father Aghore Nath Chattapadhay was a scientist who founded Nizam College in Hyderabad. Her mother Barada Sundari was one of the famous Bengali poets.
Sarojini was a great poet . He wrote in English . Her anthology of poems is treasure of English literature. Her literary works gain popularity all over the world.
Sarojini Naidu went to London for further studies at an early age. She became the first women Governor of India. In childhood she wrote a play ‘Maher Munir ‘ and due to it she earned a scholarship and went abroad for further studies.
Sarojini was a distinguished poet and one of the renowned orators of her time. She was famous as Bharatiya Kokila (The Nightingale of India). Sarojini Naidu was the first Indian woman to become the President of the Indian National Congress and the first woman to become the Governor of a state of India.
Sarojini was a brilliant student. She was proficient in Urdu,Telegu, English, Bengali and Persian. At the age of twelve, she attained national fame when she topped the matriculation examination at Madras University. Her father wanted her to become a mathematician or scientist, but Sarojini Naidu was interested in poetry. She started writing poem in English. Impressed by her poetry , Nizam of Hyderabad, gave her scholarship to study abroad. At the age of 16, she travelled to England to study first at King’s College London and later at Girton College, Cambridge. There she met famous laureates of her time such as Arthur Simon and Edmond Gausse . Gausse convinced Sarojini to stick to Indian themes- India’s great mountains, rivers, temples, social milieu, to express her poetry. She depicted contemporary Indian life and events. Sarojini’s poetry collections “The Golden Threshold (1905)”, “The bird of time (1912)”, and “The broken wing (1912)” attracted worldwide readers .
Sarojini came into contact with Rabindranath Tagore, Annie Besant,Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Jawaharlal Nehru. She played a leading role during the Civil Disobedience Movement and was jailed along with Gandhi. In 1942, Sarojini Naidu was arrested during the Quit India movement and jailed for 21 months with Gandhi. # I am indebted to Wikipedia.