3 August 2013

LIFE OF SRI SARADA DEVI

9. IN THE PASSING OF EVENTS (PART-III)
Subsequently, the Holy Mother had occasion to return to Dakshineswar only twice (in 1884 and 1885) during the Master's lifetime. There are no events
Sri Sarada Devi
worth recording in connection with these visits, except that at the time of the visit in 1884, Sri Ramakrishna had an accident resulting in a dislocation in the left arm.

It was during one of these several visits of the Holy Mother to Dakshineswar that an event, revealing certain striking features of her character, took place. (Note: We cannot conclusively say on which occasion this event took place, except that it could not have been during the first or the fourth visit. It might have taken place in 1877 during her third visit.) She was then travelling on foot, along with a party consisting of some of her relatives and several others, both men and women. In those days people travelling from Jayrambati to Calcutta had first of all to go up to Arambag, then proceed to Tarakeswar, passing through the wilderness of Telobhelo and Kaikala for about ten miles,
Kali temple at Telobhelo
and from there go to Baidyabati and cross the Ganges. The wilderness referred to was in those days infested by dacoits, and even today in the middle of it one can see a terrible image of Kali, to whom the dacoits at one time used to make human sacrifices. On this occasion, the Holy Mother's party was crossing the wilderness towards the evening with a view to reaching Tarakeswar before night fall. As there was not much time left for the approach of night, the party was proceeding rather fast, but the Holy Mother, who was already tired, lagged behind. Twice her companions waited for her, but on finding her still lagging behind, they told her that, if they proceeded at that rate, they would not be able to cross the wilderness even by the close of the first quarter of the night, and that consequently all would fall a prey to the dacoits. The Holy Mother did not want that the others should risk their lives for her sake. She asked them, therefore, to proceed without waiting for her, and agreed to meet them at a particular shop at Tarakeswar.

The party soon passed out of sight. The Holy Mother walked as fast as she could but, being very tired, could not proceed much farther than the middle of the wilderness by nightfall. She was now filled with fear and did hot know what to do. Just then she saw a tall man of very dark complexion coming towards her, with a long staff resting on his shoulder. At a little distance behind him was another, who seemed to be his companion. Within a short time the man drew near her and called out to her in a harsh voice, 'Who is standing there at this time of the night?'

Though terror-stricken, the Holy Mother now showed great resourcefulness and presence of mind. She replied to him in an appealing tone, 'Dear father, my companions have all gone away leaving me here. I seem also to have lost my way in the darkness. Would you please help me to reach my companions? Your "son-in-law" is staying at Rasmani's temple at Dakshineswar. I am going to meet him. If you accompany me so far, he will be highly pleased with you.'

By this time the second person also came up. The Holy Mother now understood that it was a woman and the wife of the man with the staff. She, therefore, felt very much encouraged and, approching the woman and holding her by the hand, said, 'Mother, I am your daughter Sarada. I am in great difficulty. Fortunately father and yourself have corne here. Otherwise I do not know what I would have done.'

 The Holy Mother's gentle words, her simplicity and innocent behaviour, her perfect trust and fearlessness - all made a deep impression on the man and his wife. They felt a parental affection for her and consoled her as they would their own daughter. As she was very much tired, they did not allow her to proceed that night. They took her to a small shop in the village of Telobhelo and gave her some refreshments. The woman then made a bed for her with her own clothes and protected her the whole night like her own daughter..

Next morning they took her to Tarakeswar and made arrangements for her food and accommodation in a shop. Her companions, who had gone in advance of her the previous evening, met her in that shop. She introduced the couple, her new "father" and "mother," to them and told them of the great service they had rendered her. Some time later, after having finished worship in the temple and taken food and rest, she took leave of her benefactors tearfully, and accompanied the party to Baidyabati.

Referring to this incident, the Holy Mother used to say in later days: 'In one night we became so intimate that, when we parted, I began to weep. With great difficulty I came away from them. I requested them again and again to meet me at Dakshineswar, whenever they found it convenient. They accompanied me for a considerable distance. The woman then collected some peas from a wayside field and tying them to my cloth, said with tears in her eyes, "Daughter Sarada, when you take popped rice at night, use these also with it." They also came to Dakshineswar several times with sweets. The Master, hearing the whole story from me, behaved towards them very cordially like a son-in-law. My surmise is that, though these people are now good and gentle, my "dacoit father" must have committed many highway robberies.'

SOURCE: saradadevi.info/SHM