29 May 2012

THE GOSPEL OF SRI SARADA DEVI


February, 1914
Sri Sarada Devi at Baghbazar
I went to Baghbazar one morning with a basket of flowers. I offered it to the Holy Mother. She was exceedingly happy and began to decorate the image of Sri Ramakrishna with the flowers. Some of them were blue. She took these in her hands and said, "Ah, what a pretty colour! There was a girl at Dakshineswar named Asha. One day, she came to the temple-garden and picked a red flower from a plant with dark leaves. She cried, 'Dear me! Such a red flower on a plant with dark leaves! Goodness gracious! What a strange creation of God!' Sri Ramakrishna saw her and said, 'My dear child, what is the matter with you? Why are you weeping like that?' She could hardly utter a word. She was weeping incessantly. Sri Ramakrishna at last pacified her."

   The Holy Mother was in an exalted mood and said, "Look at these flowers with a blue colour! How can one decorate God without such fine flowers!" She took a handful of them and offered them to the image of Sri Ramakrishna. A few flowers dropped at her feet before they were offered. She cried, "Dear me! How they have dropped at my feet before I could offer them to the Lord!" "It is very nice," I said. Then I thought, "To you Sri Ramakrishna may be a higher being; but we do not make any distinction between you and him."

   A widowed lady came into the room. I asked the Mother about her. The Mother said, "She took initiation from me about a month ago. She had accepted another Guru before. She later felt that it was a mistake and came here for initiation. I could not convince her that all teachers are one. The same power of God works through them all."

Sri Ramakrihna's House at, Kamarpukur
   We were resting after the midday meal and the talk turned to Kamarpukur. The Holy Mother said: "While I was quite young, the Master once came to Kamarpukur with stomach trouble. During the early hours of the morning he would wake up from sleep and tell us about the dishes I should prepare for his midday meal. I would follow his directions. One day I found that I had not a particular spice with which he wanted the vegetables flavoured. My sister-in-law (Sri Ramakrishna's elder brother's wife) asked me to cook without that spice. The Master heard those words and said, 'How is it? If you have not the spice, get it from the market. It is not proper to cook the curry without the spices necessary for it. I sacrificed the rich dishes of Dakshineswar temple and came here for the flavour of that spice, and you want to deprive me of that! That won't do.' My sister-in-law felt abashed and sent for the spice."

   "The Brahmani (i.e. Yogesvari, the Sannyasini who instructed Sri Ramakrishna in Tantric practices) was then with us. The Master addressed her as mother, and I therefore looked upon her as my mother-in-law. I was rather afraid of her. She was very fond of red pepper. She used to cook her own dishes-all hot stuff. Often she offered me these preparations. I would silently eat them and wipe out the tears from my eyes. When she asked me how I liked them, I said in fear, 'Very nice!' My sister-in-law, however, would remark, 'Oh! they were very hot!' I noticed that the Brahmani was displeased at such remarks. She would say, 'Why do you say so? My 'daughter' approves of these dishes. Nothing can please you. I will not give you my curries any more."

The conversation again turned to flowers. The Mother said, "One day while living at Dakshineswar, I made a biggarland of seven strands with some jasmine and rangam (Ixora). I soaked the garland in water in a stone bowl and quickly the buds turned into full blossoms. I sent the garland to the Kali temple to adorn the image of the Divine Mother. The ornaments were taken off from the body of Kali and She was decorated with the garland. Sri Ramakrishna came to the temple. He at once fell into an ecstatic mood to see the beauty of Kali so much enhanced by the flowers. Again and again he said, 'Ah! These flowers are so nicely set off against the dark complexion of the Divine Mother! Who made the garland?' Someone mentioned me. He said, 'Go and bring her to the temple.' As I came near the steps, I found some of the men devotees there-Balaram Babu, Suren Babu and others. I felt extremely bashful and became anxious to hide myself. I took shelter behind the maid, Brinde, and was about to go up the temple by the back steps. Sri Ramakrishna noticed this instantly and said, 'Don't try those steps. The other day a fisherwoman was climbing those steps and slipped. She had a terrible shock, fractured her bones and died. Come by these front steps.' The devotees heard those words and made way for me. I entered the temple and found Sri Ramakrishna singing, his voice trembling with love and emotion."

   A few women devotees now entered the room and the conversation stopped. It was time for me to take leave. Again the Mother began to talk about God-realization. She said, "Do you know, my child, what it is like? It is just like a candy in the hand of a child. Some people beg the child to part with it. He does not care to give it to them. But he easily hands it over to another whom he likes. A man performs severe austerities throughout his life to realize God, but he does not succeed, whereas another man gets realization practically without any effort. It depends upon the grace of God. He bestows His grace upon anyone He likes. Grace is the important thing" 

SOURCE: The Gospel of Sri Sri Sarada Devi