30 December 2013

LIFE OF SRI SARADA DEVI

10. THE MASTER'S DEMISE AND AFTER (PART-I)
THE HAPPY DAYS of the Holy Mother at Dakshtneswar were now drawing
Syampukur House
to a close. In the summer of 1885 the Master fell ill of cancer in the throat, and by September he was taken to Syampukur (see picture), Calcutta, for treatment. After this, the Holy Mother continued to stay at Dakshineswar for some time more. It was during these days when she had comparative leisure that she learnt reading from a girl of Bhava Mukherji's family.

While the Holy Mother was thus staying alone at Dakshineswar, her heart, already grief-stricken at the Master's illness, was tormented by a cruel remark made unwittingly by her dear companion, Golap-Ma (see picture). In the course of a conversation with Yogin-Ma,
Yogin-Ma
Golap-Ma remarked that the Master 
left Dakshineswar, probably because he was annoyed with the Holy Mother. This officious conjecture of Golap-Ma reached the Holy Mother's ears. She felt stabbed in her heart, as it were. Unable to bear the grief, she went immediately to Calcutta in a carriage, and with tears in her eyes, asked the Master about the truth of Golap-Ma's statement. The Master consoled her very tenderly, saying that the statement was absolutely untrue, and sent her back to Dakshineswar in a peaceful mood. He then sent for 
Golap-Ma
Golap-Ma, scolded her severely for her false and mischievous surmise, and asked her to beg the Holy Mother forgiveness. Golap-Ma, full of repentance, walked at once to Dakshineswar, and weepingly implored the Holy Mother to pardon her. But the Mother, who never bore enmity to anyone, laughed it out without saying a word. She gently patted Golap-Ma thrice on the back addressing her, and the poor lady felt all her grief assuaged.

After the Master's departure from Dakshineswar, the Holy Mother did not continue to stay there long. The devotees who had undertaken the responsibility of the Master's care and treatment at Calcutta began to feel the pressing need of an expert hand for preparing his diet and feeding him. They could think of no better person than the Holy Mother, but they felt that, with her characteristic bashfulness, it would be impossible for her to stay among so
Gopal Maharaj (Senior)
many men at that rented house at Syampukur, which had no women's quarters attached to it. Anyway, with the Master's permission, they carried the suggestion to the Holy Mother, and were surprised to note that she readily agreed, the thought of serving the Master being enough in her case to drive away all considerations of personal convenience. She therefore shifted to the Syampukur house without delay. A small shed on the terrace, the only place in that house where there was some privacy was allotted to her. There she stayed
Latu Maharaj
all through the day and cooked the Master's diet, corning down only to feed him or otherwise attend on him. At such times she would send word through Gopal Senior or Latu (see pictures) - the two disciples with whom alone she talked directly - to clear the room of all people. As there was only one bath room, she would get up at 3 a.m. before anybody was up and, after attending to personal needs, quietly slip into her shed. At night everyone retired to bed by 11 o'clock, and then she would come to a room in the second storey to snatch a few hours of sleep. Thus silently she spent day after day at Syampukur in the service of the Master, fervently hoping that he would be cured.

Sri Ramakrishna was brought to Syampukur in September, 1885. He stayed there only for about three months. The house was in many respects inconvenient, and besides, the doctors suggested a change to some place
Cossipore House
outside the city. So a garden-house was secured at Cossipore (see picture), and the Master was taken there on the 11th December, 1885. The Holy Mother also accompanied him and, as at Syampukur, busied herself in cooking for the Master and in nursing him.

There are only a few incidents to record relating to this period of her life. One day Niranjan and some other young disciples were going to take date juice from a tree in the compound. The Master was then in a very bad condition and could not even move about without help. But to her surprise the Holy Mother noticed him running out of the room that day. She, therefore, went to his room to see what the matter was. It was empty, and within a short time she found the Master returning. When she spoke to him about the same incident next day, he said, 'Oh! It is all your imagination! Your brain must have been heated by too much cooking!' But it appears that, on being further pressed for an explanation, he said that there was a cobra under the date tree from which the boys were going to take the juice, and that in order to protect them, he had, by his higher powers, gone to the place in advance and driven the cobra away. His making light of the incident at first was perhaps to discourage too much importance being paid to such miraculous happenings.

The devotees had made unstinting arrangements for the treatment of the Master at the Cossipore garden. Dr. Mahendra Nath Sarkar, one of the best medical men of Calcutta, was engaged for treatment, and several of the Master's young devotees stayed day and night with him for nursing him. But it became increasingly clear to all that all effort was in vain. Besides what they could infer from the slowly deteriorating condition of the Master, the Holy Mother and the devotees had indications of the coming end from the fulfillment of certain predictions that the Master had made. They had already been warned by the Master some time back that they must be prepared for his approaching end, when they found him spending nights at Calcutta, accepting food indiscriminately and eating preparations left after distribution to others, and receiving the adoration of a large number of people as a manifestation of the Deity. The first of these conditions was fulfilled even before he left Dakshineswar, and the last one, too, was now found to be coming true. This was brought to the notice of the Holy Mother by a striking incident. Some devotees went to Dakshineswar to see the Master, but were disappointed to learn that he had left for Calcutta for treatment. They had brought some sweets to present to the Master, but as he was away, they made an offering of it before his picture and partook of the Prasad. When this incident was reported to the Holy Mother at Cossipore, she recalled the Master's prediction and her mind was filled with forebodings of the coming end. 

SOURCE: saradadevi.info/SHM_book