Biography

Sri Ramakrishna, who had reached the heights of religion, was relatively unknown until he was introduced to Bengali intelligentsia by the Brahmo Samaj leader, Keshav Chandra Sen. Sen's articles and talks about Sri Ramakrishna inspired many groups of people to visit the sage. Aspiring minds for spirituality found a clear cut role model. Though many people came to visit him, few knew about his wife, Sri Sarada Devi.

Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi

Almost unnoticed, Sarada Devi, stayed out of sight in Dakshineshwar, in a small building called the Nahabat, cooking and doing all other chores for him. Born in the village of Jayrambati in 1854, a few miles away from Kamarpukur, Sarada Devi was married to Sri Ramakrishna at the tender age of 5. She joined her husband at the Kali temple of Dakshineshwar when she was 18 years of age. With inborn purity, she immediately recognized the divine nature of her husband and was inspired to lead a spiritual life herself. Rejecting the known relationship of husband and wife, they led the pure life of a teacher and a pupil. As for Sri Ramakrishna, he viewed her as the Divine Mother Herself and offered his spiritual fruits to her in the celebrated Shodashi Puja.

Her spiritual Sadhana is relatively less known. On rare occasions, her inborn shyness was breached and she divulged the few bits of information that we do know about her spiritual attainments. We have to rely on her companions and disciples as sources of information who attest to her spiritual heights.

You have not yet understood the wonderful significance of Mother's life - none of you. But gradually you will know. Without Shakti (Power) there is no regeneration for the world... Mother has been born to revive that wonderful Shakti in India...

~Swami Vivekananda

After the Mahasamadhi of Sri Ramakrishna, it was her guiding hand that steadied the rocky nature of a fledgling organization. Her practical wisdom coupled with inherent motherly care guided many of the decisions taken by the direct disciples of Sri Ramakrishna.

Her innate spirituality was sought by many people and she initiated many people with the divine names of God. Her ways of initiating people were very simple, a reflection of her own simplicity. Her initiation of a porter on the railway platform itself reveals her informal, motherly way. Though in the midst of her eccentric relatives, the Mother was the personification of unattached work. Sri Sarada Devi, as a spiritual aspirant, wife and mother is the role-model for the woman of our times.

With her loving heart, she immediately appeals to everyone as their very mother, earning for herself the epithet, Holy Mother. Her words "Always remember that you have a mother" rings in the ears of every devotee.

Words of Holy Mother

  • I am the mother of the righteous, I am the mother of the wicked as well. Never fear. Whenever you are in distress, just say to yourself 'I have a mother.'

  • I tell you one thing. If you want peace of mind, do not find fault with others. Rather see your own faults. Learn to make the whole world your own. No one is a stranger, my child; the whole world is your own.

  • God is one's very own. The more intensely a person practices spiritual disciplines, the more quickly he attains to God.

  • Never fear. He is ever looking after you. Do His work and practice Sadhana. A little work daily drives away idle thoughts from the mind.

  • Call on the Lord who pervades the entire universe. He will shower His blessings upon you.

  • The mind is rendered pure as a result of much austerities. God who is purity itself cannot be attained without austerities.

 

Glimpses of Holy Mother

 

Think of me!

A college student used to visit Mother's place quite frequently. One day, while taking leave of her he suddenly said, "Mother, I am no good for this place; I am unfit to come to you. I am saying goodbye forever!" He quickly left the house. Mother ran after him, caught his shirt, and pulling him toward her she put her hands on his shoulders. Looking at him eye to eye she said in a firm voice, "Whenever any disturbing thought comes to your mind, think of me. Don't worry!" With those words she let him go. While going home the boy repeated Mother's words over and over again: "Think of me; think of me; think of me." He couldn't forget those two beautiful compassionate eyes of the Mother. Constantly he thought of those eyes of the Mother and those words, "Think of me."1*

1*He became a monk later on and led a very exemplary life.

Source: Teachings Of Sri Sarada Devi The Holy Mother

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Sharing the sorrow

A young mother residing close to the Holy Mother’s residence at Udbodhan, lost her only son prematurely. She naturally became disconsolate and wept piteously day and night. The Mother learnt about her bereavement and felt extremely sorry for her.
One day the bereaved mother came to the Holy Mother’s house, and as she was climbing the stairs, the Holy Mother said affectionately, ‘Child, you have come! I have been thinking only of you.’ Saying this, she went forward and sat down on the steps with the bereaved mother who burst into tears.
Seeing the young mother weeping for her lost child, one of the monastic attendants of the Mother said, ‘Why do you bother the Mother with these mundane matters? Don’t you know that she is the Divine Mother, Brahmamayi? One must ask Her for pure devotion. One must not talk of petty worldly miseries and happiness.’
Deeply hurt by these words, the Holy Mother said, ‘No! No! Don’t say that. Let her weep. In whose presence will she weep if not mine? She has lost her only child. Oh! She must definitely weep to her heart’s content so that her agony may become less. You are a monk and yet, do you pray to God and weep for pure devotion? She is weeping now for the child. Finally a day will come, when she will actually weep for God.’

Source: Vedanta Kesari

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Suggested Books

Life

  • Holy Mother by Swami Nikhilananda
  • Holy Mother: Sri Sarada Devi by Swami Gambhirananda
  • Sri Sarada Devi: The Holy Mother by Swami Tapasyananda
  • A Short Life of Holy Mother by Swami Pavitrananda
  • The Compassionate Mother by Brahmachari Akshayachaitanya
  • Sarada Devi: A Biography in Pictures by Swami Smaranananda and Swami Gitananda

Teachings

  • The Gospel of Holy Mother - A Compilation

Reminiscences

  • Reminiscences of Sarada Devi - A Compilation
  • In the Company of Holy Mother - A Compilation
  • Sarada Devi: The Great Wonder - A Compilation
  • The Mother as I Saw Her - Swami Saradeshananda