Sri Sarada Devi(1853–1920)is known as the Holy Mother among the devotees and admirers and was the spiritual consort of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa who is worshiped as an God incarnate all over the world. Sri Ramakrishna revealed her as an incarnation of Goddess Sarasvati who came to remove ignorance of the suffering humanity.
I went to the Udbodhan Office in the evening. The
Mother was lying in bed. Radhu also was lying by her side on another mat and
was pressing her to tell a
Sri Sarada Devi
story. The Mother requested me to tell one instead.
I was in a quandary. I did not know what to say. I knew the story of Mirabai,
the great Vaishnava saint. I narrated it. As I recited the song of Mirabai
which ends in the line, "God cannot be realized without love," the
Mother cried out in an exalted mood, "Yes, it is very true. Nothing can be
achieved without sincere love." But Radhu did not appreciate the story
very much. Sarala at last came to my rescue. She told a story from the fairy
tales. That pleased Radhu. The Holy Mother was very fond of Sarala. She had to
nurse Golap-Ma who was ill, and so left the room after a while. Then Radhu
asked me to massage her feet, but she was not pleased with my doing and
requested me to give her a harder massage. The Mother said, "Sri
Ramakrishna taught me the art of massaging by massaging my own body. Let me see
your hand." I stretched out my hand towards her. She showed me how to
massage. Radhu fell asleep very soon. The Mother said, "The mosquitoes are
biting my feet. Please pass your hand gently over them." She was quiet for
a while and then said, "This year is a very bad one for the Belur Math.
Baburam, Devavrata and Sachin have passed away."
I had heard that Swami Brahmananda had seen a
disembodied form some days before the passing away of Devavrata Maharaj. I
asked her about the incident. The Mother said, "Please talk softly, my
child; otherwise they will be frightened. Sri Ramakrishna also often saw many
such spirits. One day he had been to the garden-house of Benipal with Rakhal
(Swami Brahmananda). He was strolling in the garden when a spirit came to him
and said, 'Why did you come here? We are being scorched. We cannot endure your
presence. Leave this place at once.' How could it stand his purity and blazing
holiness? He left the place with a smile. He did not disclose this to anybody."
"Immediately after supper he asked someone to
call for a carriage, though it had been previously arranged that he would spend
the night there. A carriage was brought and he returned to Dakshineswar that
very night. I heard the sound of the wheels near the gate. I strained my ears
and heard Sri Ramakrishna speaking with Rakhal. I was startled. I thought, 'I
do not know if he has taken
his supper. If not, where can I get any food at
this dead of night?' I always used to keep something in the stores for him, at
least farina. He would ask for food at odd hours. I had been quite sure of his
not coming back that night and so my store was empty. All the gates of the
temple-garden were barred and locked. It was one o'clock in the morning. He
clapped his hands and began to repeat the names of God. The entrance gate was
opened. I was thinking anxiously what to do about his food in case he was
hungry. He shouted to me, 'Don't be anxious about my food. I have had my
supper.' Then he narrated to Rakhal the story of the ghost. Rakhal was startled
and said, 'Dear me! It was really wise of you not to have told me about it at
that time. Otherwise my teeth would have been set on edge through fear. Even
now I am seized with fear.'" The Mother ended the story with a hearty
Devotee: Mother, those spirits must have been
foolish. Instead of asking him for their liberation, they told him to go away.
Mother: They will, no doubt, be liberated. His presence
cannot be in vain. Once Naren (Swami Vivekananda) liberated a disembodied
spirit in Madras.
I narrated one of my dreams to the Mother. I said,
"Mother, I once dreamt that I was going to some place with my husband. We
came to a river, the other bank of which could not be seen. We were going by
the shady track along the river when a golden creeper so entwined my arms that
I could not free them from it. From the other side of the river came a
dark-complexioned boy with a ferry-boat. He said, 'Cut off the creeper from
your arm and then only will I take you across the river.' I cut off almost the
whole creeper but the last bit I could not get rid of. In the meantime my
husband also disappeared. In despair I said to the boy, 'I cannot get rid of
this bit. You must take me to the other side.' With these words I jumped into
the boat. It sailed and my dream vanished."
The Mother said, "The boy whom you have seen is
none other than Mahamaya, the great cosmic Illusionist. She took you across the
waters of the world in that form. Everything, husband, wife, or even the body,
is only illusory. These are all shackles of illusion. Unless you can free
yourself from these bondages, you will never be able to go to the other shore
of the world. Even this attachment to the body, the identification of the self
with the body, must go. What is this body, my darling? It is nothing but three
pounds of ashes when it is cremated. Why so much vanity about it? However
strong or beautiful this body may be, its culmination is in those three pounds
of ashes. And still people are so attached to it. Glory be to God!"
"Once I spent a couple of months at Kailwar in
the district of Arrah. It is a very healthy place. Golap-Ma, Baburam's mother,
Balaram's wife and others were with me. The country abounded in deer. A herd of
them would roam about in the form of a triangle. No sooner had we seen them
than they fled away like birds. I had never before seen anything running so
swiftly. Sri Ramakrishna would say, 'Musk forms in the navel of the deer. Being
fascinated with its smell, the deer run hither and thither. They do not know
where the fragrance comes from. Likewise God resides in the human body, and man
does not know it. Therefore he searches everywhere for bliss, not knowing that
it is already in him' God alone is real. All else is false. What do you say, my
The Holy Mother had nettle-rash all over her body.
She said, "I have been suffering from this ailment for the last three
years. I do not know for whose sins I have been suffering in this body.
Otherwise how is it possible for me to get any disease?"
I went to see the Mother one evening and found that
a number of girls from the Nivedita School had come. Among them were two girls
from South India.
Present Sister Nivedita School
When Mother learnt that they knew English, she said,
"Let me see. Come on, translate this into English-'I shall now go
home.'" One of them did it. Mother said again, "'What will you eat at
home?'-how will that be in English?" Hearing the translation, Mother
laughed heartily with joy. She asked them, "Can you sing?" When they
answered in the affirmative, she asked them to sing a South Indian song. They
began singing and Mother was delighted.