Sarada Devi was born on 22 December 1853 as the first child of a pious couple, Ramachandra Mukherji and Shyama Sundari Devi who were living in Jayrambati. The family was very poor, and from childhood Sarada helped her parents in various household chores and brining up her younger brothers. She had no formal schooling, and could hardly read. When Sri Ramakrishna was twenty-three years old and was engaged in intense spiritual disciplines, his relatives at Kamarpukur, in the hope of diverting his mind to mundane affairs, got him married to a girl of name Sarada Devi who belonged to the neighboring village of Jayrambati.
At the age of eighteen she walked all the way, in the company of her father, to Dakshineshwar to meet her husband. Sri Ramakrishna received her with great love and taught her how to lead a spiritual life even while discharging her household duties. They lived absolutely pure lives, and Sarada Devi lived at Dakshineshwar as a virgin nun, serving Sri Ramakrishna as his wife and disciple. On his part Sri Ramakrishna, who worshipped God as the Divine Mother, looked upon Sarada Devi as a special manifestation of the Divine Mother. Once he ritualistically worshipped her as the Divine Mother and thus awakened Divine Motherhood in her.
When disciples began to gather around Sri Ramakrishna, Sarada Devi learned to look upon them as her own children. After the Master’s passing away, she became the unifying center for his disciples and was adored by them as a Holy other. In due course, she herself became a great teacher, and disciples began to gather around her. Her mother-heart expanded to enfold them all in the luminous consciousness of universal motherhood. In the whole history of humanity this was the first time that an unlettered village maiden decided to look upon all people in the world as her children, and came to be adored as the ‘Mother of All’.
Owing to her immaculate purity, extraordinary forbearance, selfless service, unconditional love, wisdom, and spiritual illumination, Swami Vivekananda regarded Sri Sarada Devi as the ideal for women in the modern age. Swamiji had the historical insight to know that neglect of women for centuries was one of the causes of India’s downfall (another cause being neglect of masses). He believed that with the advent of Holy Mother the spiritual awakening of women in modern times had begun, and this would have far-reaching consequences for the future elevation of humanity.The holy Mother spent her life partly in the village Jayrambati and partly in Kolkata where the disciples of Sri Ramakrishna provided her home. In both the places she personally attended to household duties till the end of her life. She left mortal world on 21 July 1920.
Sri Maa Sarda Devi Saying
- If my son wallows in the dust or mud, it is I who have to wipe all the dirt and take him on my lap.
- My son, if a thorn pricks your foot, it hurts me like a spear entering my heart. I am the mother of the wicked, as I am the mother of the virtuous. Whenever you are in distress, just say to yourself, ‘I have a mother.’
- I can’t contain myself when one draws near me and calls me “Mother.”
- The mind is everything. It is in the mind alone that one feels pure and impure. A man, first of all must make his own mind guilty and then alone can he see another man’s guilt. If you want peace, do not see the faults of 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.
- Love is our forte. It is through love that the Master’s family has taken shape.
- Misery is truly a gift of God. I believe it is a symbol of His compassion.
- To err is human; but how few know to lead an erring man.
- It is idle to expect that dangers and difficulties will not come. They are bound to come. But, for a devotee they will pass away from under the feet like water.
- We should give everyone his due. What is not edible for a man, give to a cow; What is not edible for a cow, give to a dog; what is not edible for a dog, throw into a lake for fishes to eat. But never waste.
- One should not trifle with a thing, though it may be very insignificant. If you respect a thing, the thing also respects you. Even a broomstick should be treated with respect. One should perform even an insignificant work with respect.
- One should not hurt others even by words. One must not speak even an unpleasant truth unnecessarily. By indulging in rude words one’s nature becomes rude. One’s sensibility is lost if one has no control over one’s speech.
- Everyone has to be accommodating. Forbear everything.
- Only through work can one remove the bondage of work. Total detachment comes later. One should not be without work even for a moment. Work helps one to fend off idle thoughts.
- How can the devotees really have any caste ? Children are all equal.
- I tell you one thing – if you want peace, 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.
- The aim of life is to realize God and remain immersed in contemplation of Him. God alone is real and everything else is false.
- Many think of God only after receiving blows from the world. But blessed indeed is he who can offer his mind, like a fresh flower, at the feet of the Lord from his very childhood. One should practice renunciation in youth.
- Sri Ramakrishna left me behind to manifest the Motherhood of God to the world. I shan’t be able to turn away anybody if he addresses me as “Mother”.