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Tuesday, October 21st 2014

12:05 AM

Daily Reading

A READING from: "In The Company of The Holy Mother"
(available at all Vedanta Centres)
________________________________________

Page 10

[Note: in the previous reading, we were describing Sarada's encounter with a dacoit and his wife on a lonely stretch of road between Jayrambati & Dakshineswar. We continue with this narrative]:

Sarada clasped the hand of the dacoit's wife trustingly and said, "Mother, I am your child Sarada. My companions have left me behind. I am terribly frightened. It is my sheer luck that you and father have come. Otherwise I don't know what I would have done."

Sarada Devi's utter simplicity, straightforwardness, and gentle words completely won the hearts of the robber and his wife, who at once adopted her as their daughter. That night they looked after her comfort and gave her a bed. In the morning Sarada found her companions and took leave of the couple.

The parting was very moving. Sarada and her strange parents began to weep. The robber's wife picked some green peas from a roadside field and told Sarada to eat them at night with some puffed rice. Later this couple visited Sri Ramakrishna several times at Dakshineswar, with suitable gifts, and the Master treated them kindly, as if they were his own in-laws.

But Sarada Devi later said she had no doubt that her adopted father had been a highwayman in the past. Did she reveal to them a glimpse of her real nature? At one time she asked the robber and his wife why they showed her such affection. "But you are not an ordinary human being", they replied. "We saw you as Mother Kali. Perhaps you hide your real nature from us because we are sinners." In an indifferent voice, Sarada Devi replied, "You may say so, but really I know nothing about all this."

(to be continued....)

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Monday, October 20th 2014

12:05 AM

Daily Reading

A READING from: "In The Company of The Holy Mother"
(available at all Vedanta Centres)
________________________________________

Page 9

Sarada often visited her mother and relatives in their village home, generally covering the distance of sixty miles on foot. During one of her trips she showed wonderful presence of mind when she suddenly encountered a highwayman and his wife. She was on her way from Jayrambati to Dakshineswar with several companions. They were passing through a long and lonely stretch of land which people avoided at night because it was frequented by dacoits, who not only robbed travellers, but sometimes killed them.

It was late afternoon. Sarada was feeling tired and footsore, and asked her companions to walk ahead. She trudged on slowly and soon the darkness of evening settled down. All at once a tall and uncouth figure with dark complexion and a shock of bushy hair appeared out of the darkness.

In his hand he carried a long, stout stick. Sarada realized that he must be a dacoit and stopped. The man asked rudely who she was. In gentle words she said, "Father my companions have left me behind. Perhaps I have lost my way. Your son-in-law [referring to Sri Ramakrishna] lives at Dakshineswar and I am on my way to him. Please accompany me. He will certainly be grateful for your help." The robber's wife now came up and joined them.

(to be continued....)

 

 

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Sunday, October 19th 2014

12:05 AM

Daily Reading

A READING from: "In The Company of The Holy Mother"
(available at all Vedanta Centres)
________________________________________

Page 8

Sri Ramakrishna said that the worship of God as the Divine Mother represents the final stage in spiritual discipline. Sri Ramakrishna slept very little. There was practically no interruption of his ecstasies and trances. Sometimes he would pass the whole night in a state of God-intoxication.

Finding that Sarada was distressed by this condition, he one day taught her various mantras and told her how to use them in order to bring his mind to the normal plane of consciousness. When he realized that her sleep was being disturbed, Sri Ramakrishna asked her to sleep in the Nahabat, the music tower near his room.

Sarada's room on the ground floor of the tower was about fifty square feet in area. In this tiny room she lived as long as the Master remained at the Dakshineswar temple garden, storing household goods, meditating, praying, and sleeping there. Often one or two women devotees of the Master shared the room with her at night.

Cooking took up a great part of her time. Separate meals were prepared for Sri Ramakrishna, who had a weak stomach, for herself and the women devotees, for the young disciples of the Master, and occasionally for an old woman devotee who was an orthodox Hindu widow and strict vegetarian.

(to be continued....)


 

 

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Saturday, October 18th 2014

12:05 AM

Daily Reading

A READING from: "In The Company of The Holy Mother"
(available at all Vedanta Centres)
________________________________________

Page 7

Many days later Sri Ramakrishna said to his devotees, "If she had not been so pure, and forgetting herslf had made physical demands on me, might I, too, not have lost self-control and behaved like an ordinary man? Who can tell? After my marriage, I eagerly prayed to the Divine Mother to remove from her mind all trace of lust.

Now Sarada was almost eighteen. Sri Ramakrishna was convinced that the ordinary relationship between husnand and wife sanctioned by society and religion did not apply to them. Sarada was indeed a manifestation of the Divine Mother, and he felt that the time was ripe to fully awaken the divinity in her.

On an auspicious night he arranged in his room a special worship of the Divine Mother. Sarada took the place of the Deity, and her husband offered the formal worship. As the worship proceeded, both worshipper and worshipped entered into deep samadhi. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Sri Ramakrishna surrendered at her feet all the fruits of his spiritual practices, which had now reached their culmination. The simple girl, born and brought up in a far-away village, was transformed into a veritable goddess and at the same time became conscious of the fact.

(to be continued....)

 

 

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Friday, October 17th 2014

12:05 AM

Daily Reading

A READING from: "In The Company of The Holy Mother"
(available at all Vedanta Centres)
________________________________________

Page 6

Reaching Dakshineswar, Sarada went straight to Sri Ramakrishna's room. He received her cordially and made proper arrangements for her treatment. In no time she discovered that her husband was as affectionate and tender as ever; if not more so. Henceforth she remained by his side as his wife and disciple - but always a nun.

Sri Ramakrishna now devoted himself to teaching her abstruse spiritual truths and the disciplines to realize them in life. He also kept an eye on her health. Soon there developed between husband and wife an intimate relationaship which, however, existed on a level completely inscrutable to the ordinary mind.

One day Sri Ramakrishna, finding Sarada alone in his room, asked her, "Have you come to drag me down to the life of the world?" "Certainly not," she replied without a moment's hesitation. "Why should I entangle you in the world? I am here to help you realize your spiritual ideal."

She, on her part, asked him one day how he regarded her. And he told her that he saw no difference between her, his own mother, and the Divine Mother Kali. At night they slept side by side in his room, and never once did they show the slightest physical attraction to each other.

(to be continued....)

 

 

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Thursday, October 16th 2014

12:05 AM

Daily Reading

A READING from: "In The Company of The Holy Mother"
(available at all Vedanta Centres)
________________________________________

Page 5

In Sri Ramakrishna's company, Saradamani's happiness knew no bounds.
"At that time," she said later, "I always felt as if a jar brimful of bliss was set in my heart. It is impossible to describe the fullness of that joy."
Sri Ramakrishna had a foreknowledge of Sarada's mission and continuously taught her about the unsubstantial nature of the world and the reality of God.

The next four years Sarada spent at Jayrambati. Naturally she missed her husband and an unexpressed anguish ate into her heart. In the meantime, a report came to the village that her husband had become insane, and the villagers began pointing at her as a madman's wife. She therefore avoided them as much as possible and tried to busy herself in her household duties.

But she appeared as tranquil, introspective, compassionate, and unselfish as ever. Now she made up her mind to come to Dakshineswar and see the situation with her own eyes. Her father agreed to accompany her. During the trip she was attacked with a high fever and thought that she would not be able to see her husband.

But as she lay ill she was assuured in a vison by the Divine Mother Kali that the purpose of her journey would be fulfilled. After recovering somewhat, she proceeded to Dakshineswar with her father.

(to be continued....)

 

 

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Wednesday, October 15th 2014

12:05 AM

Daily Reading

A READING from: "In The Company of The Holy Mother"
(available at all Vedanta Centres)
________________________________________

Page 4

Seeing the finger of God, in his relatives' plan for Sri Ramakrishna's marriage, he agreed. He even pointed out where his bride would be found. But immediately after the marriage, he left for Dakshineswar to plunge again into the practice of spiritual discipline.

It was about eight years after, when Sri Ramakrishna visited Karmarpukur again, that Sarada had her first real contact woth her husband. The Master, conscious of his responsibilities towards his young wife, who completely depended upon him for guidance, proceeded to instruct her in both spiritual and secular matters.

He emphasized the need of such spiritual disciplines as non-attachment, self-control, meditation, and prayer, and taught her also the duties of a householder: how to serve guests, show respect to elders, discharge worldly duities in an unselfish spirit, and even how to trim a lamp, travel in a country boat, and ride in a railway train.

The essence of his teaching was that one should act properly and intelligently with respect to persons, time, place, and circumstances - a lesson which Sarada followed till the end of her life.

(to be continued....)

 

 

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Tuesday, October 14th 2014

12:05 AM

Daily Reading

A READING from: "In The Company of The Holy Mother"
(available at all Vedanta Centres)
________________________________________

Page 3

Sarada herself developed into an gentle and guileless girl who never quarrelled with her playmates and often acted as peacemaker in their
misunderstandings and disagreements. Meticulously she did her share of the family duties, helping her mother in the kitchen, picking cotton in the fields, feeding the cattle and looking after her younger sister and her brothers.

Now and then she accompanied her brothers to school, and in the course of time she could read the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. But she first became acquainted with the spiritual culture of India through the religious somgs of mendicants and from rural dramas depicting scenes from Hindu mythology.

At the age of five Sarada was married to Sri Ramakrishna, then twenty-three years old. The Master had been passing through a state of God-intoxication. As he was completely indifferent to food, sleep, and other physical requirements, and absorbed day and night in meditation and prayer, people took him for a madman. His relatives finally hit upon the idea of finding him a wife so as to bring his mind to the normal state.

(to be continued....)


 

 

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Monday, October 13th 2014

12:05 AM

Daily Reading

A READING from: "In The Company of The Holy Mother"
(available at all Vedanta Centres)
________________________________________

Page 2

"Saradamani's mother, Shyamasundari looked after the minutest dealings of the household. Sarada, referring to her parents' God-fearing nature, once declared, "If they had not led a life of spiritual discipline, how could divinity have been born as their child?"

It is said that before Sarada's birth, both the parents had had visions foretelling the advent of a divine being. The simple villagers with whom Sarada grew up found relief from the drudgery of their daily lives in religious festivals, music, and devotional dancing. An inner contentment derived from loyalty to the spiritual heritage of the country mitigated to a large extent the discomfort of their poverty.

Amidst this idylic simplicity Sarada spent a great part of her life. She was once heard to say that the motherland, which is the same as the mother, is superior to heaven itself.

As years passed, one sister and five brothers were born to Ramachandra and Shyamasundari. Sarada was the eldest child. Through the irony of fate, their character was completely different from Sarada's. With the exception of one, the brothers were quarrelsome and greedy, seldom recognizing the greatness of their sister and often tormenting her for money. To one brother, who had a glimpse of her divine nature and begged her to be their sister in their lives to come, she said, "Yes! Catch me coming again into your family!"

(to be continued....)


 

 

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Sunday, October 12th 2014

12:05 AM

Daily Reading

A READING from: "In The Company of The Holy Mother"
(available at all Vedanta Centres)
________________________________________

Page 1

Holy Mother's character, as revealed in this book, shows a rare blending of humanity and dignity. A divine simplicity pervades her dealings with her relatives, neighbours, disciples, and even with Sri Ramakrishna whom she regarded as God Incarnate.

Saradamani Devi, called Sarada for short, and later known and revered in India and abroad as Holy Mother, was born on December 22, 1853, in the little village of Jayrambati in the district of Bankura in West Bengal.

Her parents, Ramachandra, Mukhopadhyaya and Shyamasundari, were orthodox brahmins devoted to the traditional relgiious and social customs.

Generous and utterly simple, Ramachandra maintained his family with the produce of his ancestral land, supplementing what it brought him with a small income from his priestly duties.

Shyamasundari was a hard-working woman. Innocent of the crooked ways of the world.

(to be continued....)

 

 

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