Sri Ma Sarada Devi

Sri Ma Sarada Devi

(1853 - 1920)

imgInseparable from Sri Ramakrishna as is heat from fire, Sarada Devi was the divine consort of Sri Ramakrishna. Born on 22 December, 1853 at Jayrambati (Bankura) in the pious ambience of a Brahmin family, she spent her childhood in doing various domestic chores as is the case with most girls of rural upbringing. But hers was a spontaneous spiritual fervour that revealed itself amidst the usual rigour of household works.

Her marriage to Sri Ramakrishna at the early age of five was indeed a divinely ordained dispensation as she was 'marked' for the great Master. However, her spirituality flourished into full bloom after coming to Sri Ramakrishna at Dakshineswar. 'Do you want to drag me down into Maya?' - at this question she retorted to Sri Ramakrishna, 'I have come only to help you in the path of religious life'. It was a period of training and discipleship - a silent and profound process - during which the 'Mother' in her became more manifest, making her ready to take up the leadership of the spiritual movement that the Master inaugurated.

Her hours were spent in tireless but silent service to the Master & his disciples as well as in prolonged meditation & devotional disciplines. She was the figurehead, the 'Mother' of the spiritual ministry after the passing away of Sri Ramakrishna - serving as guide and the supreme inspiration of the disciples who renounced all worldly ties for the sake of God-realisation. She was the embodiment of all wisdom, as Sri Ramakrishna used to say, and this wisdom, both worldly and spiritual, was the guiding force behind the establishment of the Ramakrishna Mission in 1897.

Hers was a universal motherhood, characterised by unconditional love, unruffled spirituality, extreme simplicity blended with dignity and a loving temperament that accepted all irrespective of nationality, religious affiliation or social position. Even after she left her mortal coil in 1920, she remains the soothing solace for millions of afflicted hearts longing for her nonpareil, eternal bliss.