Friday, 2 May 2014

9. Arrival of Sarada Devi

After his marriage with Sri Sarada Devi, Ramakrishna had left her in her parents’ home at Jayrambati. Now, Sarada, a young woman of eighteen, turned up at Dakshineswar to stay with her husband. It was March, 1872.

The reason for her sudden arrival was the rumours that reached her that her husband had become stark mad. Intent upon finding the truth and also to serve her husband during his illness, she started on foot to Dakshineswar. It was a 90km journey. Finally, when Sarada reached Dakshineswar, she was ill with fever. 

Ramakrishna, received her cordially, and arranged for her treatment. He accommodated her at the Nahabat, where his mother, Chandra Devi had been spending her last days. The Nahabat was a tiny room. Sarada turned it into her kitchen, dining room, living hall and bedroom. There was no furniture or anything of comfort. Sarada lived here in extreme simplicity, leading a pure life like a nun. Finding that Ramakrishna was in good health, Sarada felt relieved. She then took up the duty of serving Ramakrishna and his aged mother. 

Ramakrishna, though had taken the monastic vow, did not show any indifference to his wife. He treated her with respect and love. He also started instructing her on various matters, namely spiritual, religious and worldly. Under his guidance, Sarada progressed in her spiritual life. Ramakrishna taught her, “God is everyone’s Beloved. Everyone has the right to pray to Him. Out of His grace, He reveals Himself to those who seek Him. You too can see Him, if you pray sincerely.”   

During her early days at Dakshineswar, Sarada prayed fervently that her mind may be pure and free from any blemishes. One day, Ramakrishna asked her, “Have you come to drag me to worldly life?” Without hesitation, Sarada replied sharply, “Why should I do that? I have come to help you in your spiritual life.” Ramakrishna felt greatly relieved with this reply. 

On another day, it was Sarada’s turn to test her husband. She asked while stroking his feet, “What do you think of me?” Ramakrishna answered her, “The One in the temple, the one who gave birth to this body and the one stroking this feet now, are one and the same Divine Mother.”  

A few months later, one day, Ramakrishna called Sarada to his room. All arrangements for the Shodasi worship had been done. He asked her to sit on the seat reserved for the Goddess. Then, Ramakrishna worshiped Sri Sarada Devi as the Divine Mother. All these years, he had worshiped the Divine Mother only in image. Now, he worshiped Her in his own wife. After completing the ritual worship, he surrendered to her all the fruits of his spiritual practices and saluted her. This event reminded Sarada of her own Divinity and awakened the Universal Motherhood in her. Thus, Sarada Devi became the Holy Mother. 

Soon, many people came to Dakshineswar to meet Sri Ramakrishna. Sarada Devi spent her time, preparing their meals and serving them. She looked upon all as her own children and everyone felt that she was their own mother.

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