1. Sri Sarada Devi The Holy Mother
I do not crave for ‘chaturvarga’ or heaven or liberation,
Only one desire have I, listen O Mother,
Lying in your lap and gazing at your face,
May I drink the nectar of your milk,
night and day.
The original manuscript,containing my happy memoirs of Thee, prepared with the longing of my soul to make an offering of love at Thy feet, is now lost. I gave it to a friend for perusal and left for another part of the country. On my return after a long time, I could not trace it. My friend was extremely sorry for the loss of it, but not I. Why should 1? For, O Mother, art Thou not Tara – the rescuer? It is all Thy Play. As old age advances, I feel my memory is becoming weaker, the writing on the screen of my mind dimmer. With the passing of days Thy affectionate call and the picture of Thy compassionate face do not arise in my mind with the former vividness. Lest I should become totally incompetent by any further delay to record my memories of Thee again, I proceed to do so now. In my earlier memoirs I had included mainly what I had witnessed or heard. But in this I am adding also what I have gathered from various sources in order to give a fuller picture of Thy human play. This attempt of mine may look crude to others, but not to Thee, who art my Mother!
The Holy Mother was born on December 22, 1853, (Paush 8, 1260 B.E.), Thursday, Krishna Saptami. Her marriage took place in the month of May, 1859 (the latter part of Vaisakh, 1266 B.E.). Sri Ramakrishna worshipped her as Devi Tripurasundari Sodashi-Mahavidya probably on the 5th June, 18721(24th Jaistha, 1279 B.E.) It was a new-moon night when the Phalaharini Kali Pooja was being observed. The end of her Leela (earthly play) took place on July 21, 1920 (4th Sravana, 1327. B.E.).
The Mother lived in her father’s house during her childhood, girlhood and youth. After her marriage she had been to Kamarpukur, her father-in-law’s place, for short periods from time to time. After that, in her youth, she went to Dakshineswar and stayed with Sri Ramakrishna till the end of his play on this earth, except when she visited
Kamarpukur and Jayrambati for short periods. During the Master’s illness she stayed at Syampukur and Cossipore, and engaged herself whole-heartedly in serving the Master, in spite of the great personal inconvenience she had to stand in those places. After his demise, she visited Deoghar and Varanasi and then Vrindavan, where she stayed in Kala Babu’s garden for about a year. In that holy place she circumambulated Vraja on foot, visited the various places which were scenes of the Divine Play of Sri Krishna, and practised great austerities’. From there she went to Haridwar and Hrishikesh too. During the (course of about a year, she made pilgrimages to Jaipur, Pushkar and Prayag too and then returned to Bengal and stayed at Kamarpukur. Later on, she spent her days sometimes in Calcutta and sometimes at Jayrambati, the village of her birth. Her last days were spent at the Udbodhan House at Calcutta. She went for a change for some time to Kothar and Kailayar at the earnest request of the great devotee Ram Babu, the son of the late Balaram Babu. In response to the devoted prayers of Swami Ramakrishnananda, she visited South India too on a pilgrimage, visiting Rameswaram, the Meenakshi temple at Madurai, Godavari and other places. On that occasion she also spent some time at Madras and Bangalore, giving great joy and devotional impetus to devotees there. Before visiting the South, she had spent some time at Puri for paying her homage to Jagannath.