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Sunday, October 26th 2014

12:05 AM

Daily Reading

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

Page 15

Sarada Devi asserted her motherly privileges with regard to Sri Ramakrishna's disciples and devotees, and would not allow even the Master to interfere with the excercise of her motherly prerogatives. When anyone addressed her as mother she immediately forgot all his faults and shortcomings.

It was in 1885 that Sri Ramakrishna was stricken with cancer of the throat. Sarada Devi with the help of the young disciples took charge of his nursing. As it was found inconvenient for the physicians and the devotees to visit the Master regularly at Dakshineswar, Sri Ramakrishna was taken to a rented house in Calcutta.

Sarada Devi followed him and again took charge of the cooking. There she lived in a tiny room. Before three o'clock in the morning, she finished her bath in the only bathroom in the house and entered the kitchen, where she meditated, cooked for the Master and his attendants, and performed her other duties, returning to her bedroom at eleven at night.

Two and a half months passed, but the Master's illness only grew worse. At last he was removed to a spacious garden house at Cossipore, a suburb, north of Calcutta, where he could enjoy sunlight and fresh air.

(to be continued....)

 

 

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Saturday, October 25th 2014

12:05 AM

Daily Reading

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

Page 14

Sarada Devi consequently became mother to innumerable spiritual children. Before the full realiazation of her divine motherhood, once in a while she felt a desire to possess ordinary children. She had been told that a woman without offspring was regarded in Hindu society as unlucky and inauspicious.

One day her own mother bitterly complained that on account of Sarada's marriage to an insane man, who was not interested in worldly life, she would never hear the sweet and soothing word "mother". Sri Ramakrishna reassured her with the promise that her daughter would have so many children that her ears would ache, as it were, by constantly hearing the word "mother".

When Sarada Devi once complained to her husband in the same strain, he said, "Why should you worry about children? I shall leave for you many children, all pure as gold, the like of whom women do not obtain through the austerities and prayers of millions of lives." Sarada Devi was satisfied. Gradually her hidden motherhood began to express itself in her outer activites.

(to be continued....)

 

 

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Friday, October 24th 2014

12:05 AM

Daily Reading

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

Page 13

Sri Ramakrishna remarked to Sarada Devi, "Look at the people of Calcutta. They are squirming like worms in darkness. Please look after them. How little this [referring to his own body] has accomplished! You have a much heavier task." In her later life she once said to a disciple, "The Master regarded all creatures as manifestations of the Divine Mother. He left me behind to manifest the motherhood of God."

The motherhood of God is a special feature of Hinduism. The Absolute, or Brahman, is something nameless, formless, attributeless, and unattached. From its standpoint there is no creation, preservation or destruction. The phenomenal world is created, preserved, and destroyed by Its Shakti, or inscrutable creative power. This power and Brahman are inseparable - like fire and its power to burn, like a gem and its lustre, like a word and its meaning.

Shakti resembles an earthly mother in a special manner, for all created beings come out of its womb and are subseuently protected by it. Every normal woman feels the urge of motherhood, which has been planted in her heart by the Lord Himself. Women who are creative in body satisfy this urge through physical offspring, but a rare few, creative in spirit, satisfy the same urge through children of the spirit.

(to be continued....)

 

 

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Thursday, October 23rd 2014

12:05 AM

Daily Reading

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

Page 12

Sri Ramakrishna respected Sarada Devi for her intelligence and wisdom. One day a rich man offered him ten thousand rupees to meet his daily needs. The Master, who was the embodiment of renunciation, refused the gift immediately.

The man then asked if he could leave the money with Sarada Devi. Sri Ramakrishna told her of the offer but was met with a stern refusal. "I certainly cannot accept it", she said. "My acceptance would be the same as yours. If I kept the money it would be spent for you. So it would be in fact your money." Hearing her words, the Master felt greatly relieved.

Sri Ramakrishna was fully aware of Sarada Devi's divine nature and her future misson. He gave her detailed instructions about how to awaken the spirituality of her future disciples. One day, a short time before his passing away, Sri Ramakrishna said to her: "Won't you do anything? [pointing to his own body] Must this do everything?" "But," she demurred, "I am a mere woman. What can I do?" "No, no" said Sri Ramakrishna, "You will do many things."

(to be continued....)

 

 

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Wednesday, October 22nd 2014

12:05 AM

Daily Reading

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

Page 11

Sarada Devi's life at Dakshineswar alternated between unceasing activity and stillness of prayer. She woke up before four o'clock in the morning and spent an hour and a half in meditation and worship. Then began her round of duties: preperation of vegetables, cooking, attending on Sri Ramakrishna at mealtimes, and taking care of the women devotees who happened to be staying with her.

She seldom went to bed before eleven o'clock. The joy of serving her divine husband outweighed all her physical privations. But she did not always have the privilege of being near him. Sometimes she scarcely had a chance to enter his room even once in two months. Naturally she felt distressed.

But she would console herself with the words: "O mind, why should you think yourself so lucky as to be able to see him every day?" She would stand for hours behind the screen on the porch of her room and listen to his singing. It was thus that she contracted rheumatism.

(to be continued....)

 

 

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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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