Sarada Devi (1853 1920)
Sarada Devi, the wife of Sri
Ramakrishna Paramhansa of Dakshineshwar, Calcutta, is equally
revered by the Hindus as her mystic husband, and is considered one of the
most important saint mothers of all times.
The Pious Partner:
When she came to Dakshineswar at the age of 16, Sri Ramakrishna asked
her whether she had come to pull him down to a worldly life. Without
hesitation she said, "No, I am here to help you realize your Chosen Ideal."
From then on, Holy Mother lived with Sri Ramakrishna as his spiritual
companion, devoted wife, disciple, and always the nun. She was the
embodiment of purity. Her mind was never sullied by the faintest breath of
worldliness, though she lived with him for the greater part of 14 years.
Uplifter of the Soul:
She never missed communion with God, whom she described as lying in the
palm of her hand, though she was engaged day and night in various
activities. She was an unusual awakener of souls. With her disciples she
served as teacher, dissolving their doubts, as mother, who through love and
compassion won their hearts, and as the Divinity, who assured them of
Herself nearly illiterate, through simple words she taught them the most
profound truths. Her affectionate maternal love tamed their rebellious
spirits; but her great power lay in her solicitude for all. Often she said,
"I am the Mother, who will look after them if not I?" She encouraged them
when they were depressed because of slow spiritual progress, and she took
upon herself their sins and iniquities, suffering on that account.
A Simple Householder:
"Holy Mother was conscious of her divine nature, but she rarely
expressed this awareness. For many years Sri Ramakrishna practiced great
austerities and formally renounced the world, but Holy Mother lived as a
simple householder, surrounded by quarrelsome and greedy relatives. As a
teacher she taught the realization of God alone is real, and everything
The Divine Touch:
The human body so treasured by most people, survives cremations as only
three pounds of ashes. Holy Mother -- humility itself -- claimed that she
was in no way different from other devotees of the Master. Her disciples
felt awed and uplifted when she blessed them by touching their head with the
same hand which had touched the feet of God. She was fully aware of her
disciples' present limitations and their future possibilities. No one went
away from her with a downcast heart.
The Virtues of Womanhood:
The outstanding virtues of Indian womanhood are courage, serenity,
self-control, sweetness, compassion, wisdom, and an intuitive relationship
with God. Holy Mother possessed all these virtues. Since the acquisition of
such gifts is the dream of all women, Holy Mother may aptly be seen as the
symbol of aspiration of women everywhere.