31 March 2012
30 March 2012
29 March 2012
28 March 2012
18TH SEPTEMBER 1912 [CONTINUED]
After the meal the Mother was resting for a while. She lay down on the bed. All the devotees were eager to do her some personal service. But she asked them all to take some rest. They all therefore went away to their respective places as they had various things to attend to. I remained there with an old widow who was a contemporary of Sri Ramakrishna. I was massaging the Mother's body. The widow sat by her side and began to narrate the various incidents of her family life. "Mother!" said she, "you always excuse my shortcomings but my people are so exacting." I asked her if she had seen Sri Ramakrishna. "Yes, dear," she replied. "I have seen him. He often visited our place. The Holy Mother was quite young at that time."
Devotee: Please tell us something about Sri Ramakrishna.
Widow: Not I. Ask Mother to tell us something about him.
The Mother was resting with her eyes closed, so I did not ask her. After a while, the Mother herself said, "He who will pray to God eagerly will see Him. The other day one of our devotees, Tej Chandra, passed away. What a sincere soul he was! Sri Ramakrishna used to frequent his house. Some one had deposited Rs. 200 with Tej Chandra. One day he was robbed of that amount by a pick-pocket in the tram car. He discovered the loss after some time and suffered a terrible mental agony. He came to the bank of the Ganges and prayed to Sri Ramakrishna, with tears in his eyes, '0 Lord, what have you done with me!' He was not rich enough to make up that amount from his own pocket. As he was thus weeping, he saw Sri Ramakrishna appear before him and say, "Why do you weep so bitterly? The money is there under a brick on the bank of the Ganges." He quickly removed the brick and really found there a bundle of banknotes. He narrated the incident to Sarat (Swami Saradananda). Sarat said, 'You are lucky to get the vision of Sri Ramakrishna even now. But we do not see him.'
Why should Sarat and others like him see him any more? They have had enough of him and all their desires have been fulfilled. Those who have not seen him with their physical eyes are most anxious for his vision. When Sri Ramakrishna was staying at Dakshineswar, Rakhal and other devotees were very young. One day Rakhal (Swami Brahmananda) came to Sri Ramakrishna and said that he was very hungry. Sri Ramakrishna came to the Ganges and cried out, '0 Gaurdasi, come here! My Rakhal is hungry.' At that time there was no refreshment stall at Dakshineswar. A little later a boat was seen coming up the Ganges. It anchored near the temple. Balaram Babu, Gaurdasi and some other devotees came out of the boat with some sweets. Sri Ramakrishna was very happy, and shouted for Rakhal. He said, 'Come here. Here are sweets. You said that you were hungry.' Rakhal became angry and remarked, 'Why are you broadcasting my hunger?' Sri Ramakrishna said, 'What is the harm? . . You are hungry. You want something to eat. What is wrong in speaking about it?' Sri Ramakrishna had a childlike nature."
Bhudev, the nephew of the Holy Mother, just then returned from school. He was having fever. The Mother asked me to arrange a bed for him. She was preparing to go to Balaram Babu's house to see his son who was suffering from an attack of dysentery. She finished the evening worship and offered me some Prasada. I said that I would eat it later on. She agreed and asked Nalini, her niece, to give me the Prasada later. A carriage was brought for her. She asked me to wait there till her return. Golap-Ma accompanied her. They returned after an hour. The Holy Mother was glad to see me and said, "I have come back quickly for you. Have you eaten the Prasada?" When I replied in the negative, she remarked, "Nalini, why did you not give her the Prasada as I had asked you?"
Nalini: I forgot to do so. I shall bring it presently.
Mother: You need not worry about it any more. I shall give her that Prasada myself. (To me) Why did you not ask for it yourself? This is your own home.
Devotee: I was not very hungry. Had I been so, I would have asked for it. The Mother, shortly after, brought some sweets that had been offered in the shrine and gave them to me. I partook of them joyously. I prostrated myself before her and asked her leave. She said, "Come again, dear child. Durga! Durga! Shall I come with you to the ground floor? Can you go alone? It is night." I said, "I shall be able to go alone, Mother,". Still she began to repeat the name of God and accompanied me as far as the staircase. "You need not take any more trouble," I said "It will be easy for me to find the way."
It was the Akshaya Tritiya—a very auspicious day with the Hindus. I came to see the Holy Mother. The old lady with her daughter-in-law, mentioned before, was also there. She was about to give the Mother, as is the practice on such holy occasions, some fruits and a piece of sacred thread. The Mother interrupted her and said, "Why do you give these to me? Give them to Bhudev." Then in the course of her conversation she looked at us and said, "I bless you on this holy day that you may attain to liberation in this life. Birth and death are extremely painful. May you not suffer from them any more!"
It was the day of the sacred Car Festival.[Note: A sacred festival when the Lord Vishnu at Jagannath is taken in procession in a chariot among the devotees]. At seven o'clock in the morning I went to Gauri-Ma's Ashrama. She had invited me there for lunch. I had a desire to go to the Holy Mother from the school as soon as possible. We finished our meal at two o'clock. When Gauri-Ma and I came to the place of the Holy Mother, it was four o'clock. The Mother had been performing the evening service in the shrine room. We prostrated ourselves before her. Gauri-Ma took her aside and whispered something in her ears. I was asked to join them later on. I had taken with me a piece of silk cloth for her. I placed it near her feet and said, "Mother, will you kindly use it?" "O yes, darling," she said with a laugh. Just then some men devotees came to bow down before her. We retired to the porch. One devotee brought with him some hibiscus flowers and roses, a garland of jasmine, fruits and sweets. He placed these offerings near her feet and began to worship her. What a soul-enthralling sight! The Mother was seated quietly with a sweet smile playing on her lips. The garland was hanging round her neck. The flowers adorned her feet. After the worship was over, the devotee took a little from every fruit and sweetmeat and prayed to her to eat it. Gauri-Ma said with a laugh, "You are in the grip of a staunch devotee. You must eat a little of everything." The Mother also was laughing and said, "Not so much. I cannot eat so much!" She ate a little from every article of the offering. The devotee took the Prasada in his hand and touched his forehead with it. He beamed with an indescribable joy. He prostrated himself before the Mother and then came away. The Mother took off the garland from her neck and gave it to Gauri-Ma. The offered flowers were distributed.
As I have already stated, it was the sacred day of the Car Festival. Bhudev improvised a car for the occasion. Arrangements were made for taking the image of Sri Ramakrishna in this car. Gauri-Ma had an important engagement in the school, so she had to leave us. The conversation drifted to Gauri-Ma. The Mother said, "She devotes her energy to bring up the girls in the school. She nurses them when they are ill. She has no family of her own. Her motherly instinct has been finding expression through these girls. This is her last birth, therefore she has been passing through all these experiences."
The image of Sri Ramakrishna was taken in the car. The Mother from her bed looked at the image intently. She was very happy. The car with the image was taken down. The procession went along the streets and along the bank of the Ganges. The party returned after dusk. The women-devotees pulled the car in the porch of the upper floor. The Mother, her two nieces and I joined them. When the car was going along the street, the Mother remarked, "All cannot go to Puri to see the Car Festival. [The popular belief is that by seeing the image of Vishnu in the car at Puri one realizes God].Those who have seen Sri Ramakrishna in this car will realize God."
SOURCE: The Gospel of the Holy Mother
27 March 2012
26 March 2012
25 March 2012
24 March 2012
23 March 2012
22 March 2012
There have been people who have expressed
sympathy for the Holy Mother on account of what they consider the barrenness of
her married life. For did not the very greatness of her husband stand in the
way of her experiencing the substance of matrimonial life, and what is more,
the greatest privilege of a woman, namely, motherhood? Indeed, her own mother, Syamasundari
remarked in the hearing of Sri Ramakrishna, 'My Sarada has been married to a
lunatic. She will never know the happiness of being addressed as
"mother".' At this Sri Ramakrishna remarked, 'Well, mother, you need
not worry about that. Your daughter will have so many children that she will be
tired of being addressed day and night as "Mother".'
THE FIERY ORDEAL
It is in the stress of circumstances that a truly great man reveals the strength of his character. Imagine the reaction of a lifelong ascetic when he is suddenly confronted with his young wife, who has come with the definite purpose of meeting him and, possibly, of asserting her claim over him. If he were a stern ascetic, he would shun her; if not, he would gradually succumb to her influence. Sri Ramakrishna did neither. His reactions had a uniqueness of their own. It has already been mentioned that he received her cordially, but what followed was even more remarkable. He decided to avail himself of his wife's presence at Dakshineswar to do two things - first, to fulfil his foremost duty to her as a husband, namely, to educate her in the high ideals of life for which he stood, and secondly, to subject his own mind to a crucial test in point of same-sightedness and freedom from lower instincts. Of these, the first was a long and subtle process of spiritual education, which will be described elsewhere. As for the second, Sri Ramakrishna, on meeting his wife, remembered the precious advice he had been given by his master,Totapuri, when he knew that his disciple was married.
A wife, he said, presented no danger to one, if one were really established in Brahman. He whose mental purity was based upon a strong sense of distinction between the sexes, was no doubt a good aspirant, but the realization of Brahman was still far away from him. For a true seer of Brahman would see no difference between man and woman, and his purity of behaviour would be based, not on a sense of moral conflict, but on this supersensuous perception of unity. So Sri Ramakrishna felt that the presence of his wife at Dakshineswar was for him an opportunity to test his own attainment in this respect. He was a radical by temperament, and when an idea entered his mind, he felt he must carry it out at once. So unlike an ordinary ascetic he allowed his wife to be by his side and serve him to her heart's content. Not only that, for about six months of her stay at Dakshineswar, he permitted her even to sleep with him in the same room.
This was, indeed, a fiery ordeal for any youthful ascetic, but not for Sri Ramakrishna. His discriminating mind could not be caught in any worldly snare. The nature of this test and the reactions of his mind to it are best described in the eloquent words of Swami Saradananda, the disciple and biographer of Sri Ramakrishna. He writes: 'One day, seeing the Holy Mother sleeping by his side, the Master discriminated within himself: "O mind, this is what the world calls the body of a woman. Men wistfully run after it. But one who goes after it remains enmeshed in body-consciousness, and cannot attain God. Now, O my mind, be not insincere - ay not one thing outside and have another idea in the heart. Tell me, do you want this woman's body, or do you want the Lord? If the first, here it is in front of you, and you are free to have it." Discriminating in this way, he was about to touch the Holy Mother, when his mind recoiled so violently that he was absorbed in Samadhi for the whole night! Next morning the name of the Lord had to be uttered long in his ears before his mind came to the sense plane.'
This will give one an idea of the kind of conjugal life that the Holy Mother had with her saintly husband. To complete the picture of it, another incident quite characteristic of Sri Ramakrishna may be mentioned here. One day his youthful wife was massaging his feet. She put him a straight question. 'How do you look upon me?' she asked. And Sri Ramakrishna replied, 'The Mother who is the Deity in the temple, the mother who gave birth to me and now, resides in the Nahabat - even she is now massaging my feet. I look upon you in that light - as the embodiment of Motherhood.' These are, indeed, puzzling words for the sense-bound mind of man, but they were only a commonplace in the mouth of Sri Ramakrishna, the true worshipper of the Universal Mother.
SOURCE: SRI SARADA DEVI, THE HOLY MOTHER
Srimat Swami Tapasyanandaji
21 March 2012
20 March 2012
19 March 2012
18 March 2012
17 March 2012
16 March 2012
15 March 2012
Under this title serial of articles will be posted. At first, we will see how the Apostles of Sri Ramakrishna saw Sri Sarada Devi's greatness.
Apostle-1: SWAMI VIVEKANANDA:
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. Why is it that our country is the weakest and the most backwardness
of all countries? Because Shakti is held in dishonor there (i.e. in India. He wrote this from America).
Mother has been born to revive that wonderful Shakti in India; and making her
the nucleus, once more will Gargis and Maitreyis be born into the world.
Apostle-1: SWAMI VIVEKANANDA:
Dear brother, you understand little now, but by degrees you will come to know it all. Hence it is her Math that I want first...Without the grace of Shakti nothing is to be accomplished. What do I find in America and Europe?...the worship of Shakti, the worship of Power. Yet they worship Her ignorantly through sense gratification. Imagine, then, what a lot of good they will achieve who will worship Her with all purity, in a Sattvika spirit, looking Her as their Mother! I am coming to understand things clearer every day, my insight is opening out more and more. Hence we must build a Math for Mother. First Mother and Mother’s daughters, then Father and Father’s sons, can you understand this?...
To me Mother’s grace is a hundred thousand times more valuable than Father’s. Mother’s grace and Mother’s blessing are all paramount to me...Please pardon me, I am a little bigoted here, as regards Mother. If but Mother orders, her demons can work anything.
Brother, before proceeding to America I wrote to Mother to bless me. Her blessing came and at one bound I cleared the ocean. There, you see, in this terrible winter I am lecturing from place to place and fighting against odds, so that funds may be collected for Mother’s Math...
* * * * * * * * *Apostle-2: SWAMI AKHANDANANDA:
When a devotee said that he had the darshan of the Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi, Swami Akhandananda, a disciple of Sri Ramakrishana remarked: 'When you had the darshan of the Holy Mother, the same result of having the darshan of Sri Ramakrishna will accrue to you. To have had the darshan of the Mother or the Master is the same.
SOURCE: SRI SARADA DEVI, THE GREAT WONDER by Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati
14 March 2012
21. "My child, I bless you from my
heart that you live long, attain devotion,
|HOLY MOTHER SRI SARADA DEVI|
and enjoy peace. Peace is the principal thing. One needs peace alone."
22. "Certainly you will have doubts. There will be questionings and faith will return again. That is how faith is established."
23. "Is faith so cheap, my child? Faith is the last word. If one has faith, the goal is practically reached."
24. "Does one get faith by mere studying of books? Too much reading creates confusion. The Master used to say that one should learn from the scriptures that God alone is real and the world illusory."
25. "Why do people argue? Even the wisest of men have not found God through argument! Is God a subject for argument?"
26. "Give up this dry discussion, this hodge-podge of philosophy. Who has been able to know God by reasoning? Even sages like Suka and Vyasa are at best like big ants trying to carry away a few grains of sugar from a large heap."
27. Disciple: "How can one stop reasoning?"
Mother: "Reasoning does not disappear as long as one has not attained to perfect knowledge
28. Disciple: "All I want to know is whether there is anyone whom I may call my own."
Mother: "Yes, such a One exists…. He Himself has become our father and mother. He Himself brings us up as our parents. It is He alone who looks after us. Otherwise where were you and where are you now? Your parents brought you up, but at last you realized that you did not belong to them".
29. "God is one's very own. It is the eternal relationship. He is everyone's own. One realizes Him in proportion to the intensity of one's feeling for Him."
30. "God cannot be realized without love. Yes, sincere love."
* * * * * * *