Holy Mother Shri Sarada Devi Born 22 December, 1853 Jayrambati, West Bengal, India Died 20 July, 1920 Kolkata
"Everything depends on the mind. Nothing can be achieved without purity of mind. It is said, "The aspirant may have received the grace of the Guru, the Lord and Vaishnavas; but he comes to grief without the grace of 'one'." That "one" is the mind. The mind of the aspirant should be gracious to him.
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Shri Sarada Devi Swami Vivekananda
<ul><li>If the motherly love inhabiting the hearts of all the mothers in the world to be put together and churned, the nectar that would issue forth would perhaps approximate to Sri Sarada Devi. </li></ul><ul><li>Sri Ramakrishna left her in this world to uphold the ideal of universal motherhood. </li></ul><ul><li>Born of humble and pious parents at the village of Jayarambati in Bengal on the 22nd December 1853, Sri Sarada Devi grew up practically like any other village girl of those days with little schooling but plenty of work at home and in the fields. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Though united with Sri Ramakrishna in wedlock at the age of hardly six, she lived with her parents most of the time in the early years. </li></ul><ul><li>It was only in the first part of 1872 when she was about eighteen, that she arrived at Dakshineswar and started living with her saintly husband. </li></ul><ul><li>It was during this year that Sri Ramakrishna worshiped her as `Shodashi', an aspect of the Divine Mother. </li></ul><ul><li>With no trace of cupidity in heart and yet overflowing with the tenderest love and concern for each other, the couple has left to the world, the supreme example of conjugal life. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The next fourteen years of her life - until the demise of Sri Ramakrishna in 1886 - were a veritable saga of self-effacing service to her husband and his disciples. </li></ul><ul><li>It was also a period of intense training for her, by her godly husband, who could well foresee her future role as a spiritual teacher in her own right. </li></ul><ul><li>The next phase of her life from 1886 to 1909, when a permanent abode (the Udbodhan House) was built for her at Calcutta, was rather chequered. </li></ul>
<ul><li>She spent much of her time in pilgrimages and spiritual ministry. </li></ul><ul><li>The last eleven years - until her Mahasamadhi on the 21st July 1920 - were more hectic. </li></ul><ul><li>Apart from spiritual ministrations to the earnest seekers, she had also to guide the activities of the Ramakrishna Organizations. </li></ul><ul><li>Her rare insight into the problems of Indian women who were handicapped by obsolescent social customs on one side, and the exposure to the modern Western culture on the other, made her recognize the need for their education and even economic independence. </li></ul>
<ul><li>That is why she was an ardent supporter of Sister Nivedita's endeavors in the field of education of Indian women. </li></ul><ul><li>Her last message, `If you want peace of mind, do not find fault with others; rather find out your own weaknesses and rectify them. </li></ul><ul><li>None is a stranger in this world. The whole world belongs to you!' is a typical reflection of her own immaculate life. </li></ul>
<ul><li>By that time Ramakrishna had dedicated his body and mind to the spiritual search and lived the life of a monk. </li></ul><ul><li>Yet he received Sarada very kindly, feeling that Divine Providence had brought her. </li></ul><ul><li>After nursing her to recovery from an illness contracted on the journey, Ramakrishna one day asked her why she had come to join him. </li></ul><ul><li>She replied that she had come only to help him in his chosen way, which as she well knew meant the way of complete renunciation of all earthly ties for the sake of God-realization. </li></ul><ul><li>Thus, instead of seeking conjugal fulfillment, she became his first disciple. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Sarada Devi was a spiritual and intellectual leader in her own right. </li></ul><ul><li>She served Ramakrishna and his disciples for many years. </li></ul><ul><li>After Ramakrishna's passing away, she carried on his religious ministry, serving as guide and inspiration of the new spiritual movement. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Although by all accounts she was a modest and self-effacing woman, the movement started by Ramakrishna continued to grow in prominence and become quite influential in the waning days of British colonial rule. </li></ul><ul><li>Swami Vivekananda, because he was a man and because of his family background, perhaps had more of an impact politically back in Calcutta, but Sarada Devi remained the head of the religious community in Dakshineswar. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Before his death, Ramakrishna encouraged his disciples to treat her as if she were their mother, paralleling the role of Kali as the mother of humanity. </li></ul><ul><li>She nurtured them accordingly, helping with personal matters. </li></ul><ul><li>Moreover, she was an important interpreter and teacher of Ramakrishna's thinking for all comers. </li></ul>
Quotations <ul><li>"I am the mother of the righteous, I am the mother of the wicked as well. Never fear. Whenever you are in distress, just say to yourself 'I have a mother.'" </li></ul><ul><li>"I tell you one thing. If you want peace of mind, do not find fault with others. Rather see your own faults. Learn to make the whole world your own. No one is a stranger, my child; the whole world is your own." </li></ul>
` <ul><li>"God is one's very own. The more intensely a person practices spiritual disciplines, the more quickly he attains to God." </li></ul><ul><li>"Never fear. He is ever looking after you. Do His work and practice Sadhana. A little work daily drives away idle thoughts from the mind." </li></ul>
` <ul><li>"Call on the Lord who pervades the entire universe. He will shower His blessings upon you." </li></ul><ul><li>"The mind is rendered pure as a result of much austerities. God who is purity itself cannot be attained without austerities." </li></ul>
UNIVERSAL TEACHINGS SEE GOD IN ALL If you want peace of mind, do not find fault with others. Rather see your own faults. Learn to make the whole world your own. No one is a stranger, my child; the whole world is your own.
GOD IS WITHIN YOU When one realizes God, He grants knowledge and illumination from within; one knows it oneself. In the fullness of one’s spiritual realization one will find that He who resides in one’s heart, resides in the hearts of others as well - the oppressed, the persecuted, the untouchable, and the outcast. PERSEVERE IN YOUR SEARCH FOR GOD Continue to pray without losing heart. Everything will happen in time.
TRUST COMPLETELY IN GOD If anyone surrenders himself totally at his feet, the Master will see that everything is set right. LOVE OF GOD IS ESSENTIAL One’s love of God depends entirely upon one’s inner feelings. Love of God is the essential thing.
TEACHINGS <ul><li>Whenever the mind goes after anything other than God, consider that as transient and surrender the mind at the sacred feet of God. </li></ul><ul><li>Regarding the weakness of the mind, Holy Mother said to a disciple, `Child, this is the law of nature. Have you noticed the full-moon and the new-moon? Likewise the mind is sometimes dominated by good and sometimes by bad tendencies.' </li></ul>
` <ul><li>It is the nature of water to flow downwards, but the sun's rays lift it up towards the sky. Likewise it is the very nature of the mind to go to lower things, to objects of enjoyment; but the grace of God can make the mind go towards higher objects. </li></ul><ul><li>How can one's mind be healthy if one doesn't work? No one can spend all the twenty-four hours in thought and meditation. So one must engage oneself in work; it keeps the mind cheerful. </li></ul>
` "When a person takes refuge with God, life's goal changes-- God Himself reverses his destiny. Does he grow a pair of horns? No, but he can distinguish good from evil, discover knowledge and pass beyond the reach of life and death. You must find Him in your meditations. Who has seen more than this, to whom has He actually spoken?... it is in spiritual transports one sees Him, talks with Him, and so on..."
<ul><li>The mind becomes pure after long practice. </li></ul><ul><li>Illumination dawns on a pure mind. </li></ul><ul><li>One should not hurt others even by words. </li></ul><ul><li>Whoever comes to me addressing me as Mother; all of them are my children. </li></ul><ul><li>Work to remove the sufferings of the world. The purpose of one’s life is fulfilled only when one is able to bring joy to another. </li></ul><ul><li>Desire alone is at the root of all suffering. </li></ul>
<ul><li>There should be regular time for practice of japa and meditation, for no one knows when the auspicious moment will come. </li></ul><ul><li>Regularity in spiritual practice should be observed, no matter how busy one may be with worldly duties. </li></ul><ul><li>A man’s true nature is known from the manner in which he does his insignificant daily tasks. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Do not hurt anyone. Do not pray to God to punish the offender. Instead, pray for his or her good. </li></ul><ul><li>It is the body alone that changes; the Atman remains the same. So wherever you live, you must feel quite at home. And please practice renunciation a little. </li></ul><ul><li>If you want peace of mind, do not find fault with others, rather see your own faults. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Keep good company and subdue the ego. </li></ul><ul><li>The easiest and the best way of solving the problems of life is to chant the name of God, in silence. </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulties always come, but they do not last forever. You will see that they pass away like water under a bridge. </li></ul>
<ul><li>It is the nature of water to flow downwards, but the sun’s rays lift it up towards the sky: likewise, it is the very nature of the mind to go to lower things, to objects of enjoyments; but the grace of God can make such minds go towards higher objects. </li></ul><ul><li>One should not be without work even for a movement. </li></ul>
The mind becomes pure after long practice. The pure mind can never be had without Sadhana. What happens when one finds God? Does one grow two horns? No, indeed, but the mind becomes pure. And illumination dawns on a pure mind.
Listen, when God first created man, He endowed him with the spirit of goodness. As a result, men were born with wisdom and it did not take them long to realize that the world was an ephemeral thing. Immediately they took the name God and set out to meditate on Him and by His grace were liberated from the bonds of life. God thought this will not do; this is not the way to make them play the game of life. In the end along with the spirit of goodness, He mingled in profuse quantities, the spirit of materialism and that of vanity. Then the game of life went on with a swing.
One should not hurt others even by words. By indulging in rude words, one’s nature becomes rude. One’s sensitivity is lost if one has no control over one’s speech. The master uses to say, ‘One should not ask a lame person how he become lame.”
<ul><li>Let us remember to remember the mother always. Even if we forget, we cannot escape Her protection and care. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not make any distinction between Sri Ramakrishna and me. </li></ul><ul><li>I salute Sarada Devi the embodiment of all knowledge, who exists in Sri Ramakrishna as the burning power exists in fire. </li></ul>
"These earthly ties are transitory. Today they seem to be the be-all and end-all of life, and tomorrow they vanish. Your real tie is with God."