Teachings of Sri Sarada Devi 9

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1. Disciple: “Those who are obtaining your blessings are fortunate indeed. What will happen to people in the future?”

Mother: “What do you mean? Why won’t they too succeed? God exists everywhere and at all times. The Master is always there. They will succeed through his grace. Are not people realizing God in other countries?”

N215 & TN341

2. To someone who asked if there is any truth in image worship, Mother said, “From time out of mind, innumerable people have worshipped images and thus attained spiritual knowledge. Can you deny this fact? The Master never cherished dogmatic views. Brahman exists every-
where. Prophets and Incarnations are born to show benighted humanity their way. They give different instructions to suit different temperaments. There are many ways to realize truth. So all these instructions have their relative value. For instance, many birds are perched on the branches of a tree. They are of different colours: white, black, red, yellow, and so on. Their sounds, too, are different. But when they sing we say that the sounds are made by the birds. We do not designate one particular sound only as the sound of the birds, and refuse to acknowledge the other sounds as such.”

N199 & TN236

3. “All teachers are one. The same power of God works through them all.”


4. “Naren once said, ‘Mother, everything is taking flight nowadays. I see everything flyaway.’ I said (here Mother
laughed), ‘Well, see that you don’t put me to flight as well.’ And Naren said, ‘But Mother, if I put you to flight, where shall I stand? Knowledge which sets at naught the lotus feet of the Guru is ignorance. Where can knowledge stand if it denies the sacred feet of the Guru?’ ”


5. “You should not doubt the words of your own teacher.”


6. “One must have reverence for one’s Guru. … One’s chance of salvation lies in one’s reverence for him. Observe how the disciples of the Master revere him. Out of this reverence for him they revere not only all the members of his family, but even the cats from his home-district!”


7. “One may commit a fault while serving a great soul. It happens in this
way: while he enjoys the privilege of such service, his egotism increases. He then wants to control, like a doll, the person he serves. He wants to boss the latter in everything — eating, sitting or rising. He loses the spirit of service. But why should it be so with those who serve their superiors, forgetting their own comforts and looking upon the latter’s pleasure and pain as their own? And you are talking of the downfall of the attendants! Many great souls surround themselves with riches and splendour. This attracts many to come to them as attendants. Such attendants become intoxicated with the enjoyment of their position and so they pave the way to their own ruin. Tell me how many there are who can render service in the proper spirit? … You see, the reflection of the moon falls on the water of the lake. At this the small minnows jump about in ecstatic joy, thinking that the moon reflected in the water is really one of them. But when the moon sets, they remain as
before. After exhausting themselves in glee, they fall into a state of depression. They cannot understand what it is all about.”


8. “Where is that competent student who can understand spiritual instruction? First of all, one should be fit; otherwise, the instructions prove futile.”


9. “If the disciple is good, the Guru is benefited thereby.”


10. Disciple: “Do those who give up their bodies in a state of unconsciousness attain to a higher spiritual state afterwards?”

Mother: “The thought that is uppermost in the mind before one loses consciousness determines the course of one’s soul after death.”


11. “Though one gets a new body on account of desires, yet one does not completely lose spiritual consciousness if one has to one’s credit merits from previous births.”


12. A devotee came to Mother one day and called her “Mother”, to which she replied, “Yes, my son.” The devotee then said, “Mother, I called you ‘Mother’ and you responded saying ‘Yes’. What more fear need I have?” Mother corrected him saying, “No, my boy, don’t you speak thus. ‘He who is diffident wins in the end.'”


13. One day a disciple said to the Mother, “Mother, no bad ideas come to my mind.” With a start she stopped him and said, “Don’t say that. One must not say such a thing.”


14. “One who speaks out at the proper time is a true friend. There is no use for sympathy at the wrong time.”


15. “Everyone can break down some thing, but how many can build it up?”


16. “The Master used to say that one should learn from the scriptures that God alone is real and the world illusory. Suppose I write to you a letter asking you to bring certain things for me. How long do you need the letter? So long as you do not know its contents. But when you have known the contents of the letter do you need it any longer? Then you will procure those things and come to me. On the other hand, what is the good of reading the letter day and night?”


17. “In the opinion of worldly men,
it is not proper to visit a holy place at an inauspicious time. It is true that one may put off such a pious intention, considering the impropriety of the time, but death does not make any distinction of time. As none knows when death may come, one should carry out pious intentions whenever the opportunity presents itself, without waiting for a particular time.”


18. “Whenever you go from one place to another, observe the things around you, and also keep yourself well informed about what happens in the place where you live. But keep your lips shut.”


19. “It is essential that one should work. It is through work alone that one may break asunder the bonds of Karma; only then is one free from desires. One shouldn’t be without work even for a single moment”


20. “New devotees should be given the privilege of service in the shrine room. Their new zeal makes them serve the Lord carefully. The others are tired of service. Service, in the real sense of the word, is not a joke. One should be extremely careful about making His service perfectly flawless. But the truth is, God knows our foolishness and therefore He forgives us.”


21. “One must work in the shrine room with great attention. Offerings and the rest should be made in proper time.”


22. “I want people here who are careful in work. There are those who perform great deeds on the spur of the moment. But a man can be really known from the interest he shows in the details of each duty.”


23. After someone finished her sweeping work and threw the broom into a corner, Mother said, “How strange, my dear! The work is finished, and you throw it away carelessly. It takes almost the same time to keep it slowly and carefully as to throw it away. Should you despise a thing just because it is insignificant? ‘Him that you save, saves you in turn.’ Won’t you need it again? Besides, this thing too forms a part of our household. From that point of view also it deserves some consideration. You must give each one his due share of honour. Even a broom must be shown some honour. The smallest work must be done with reverence.”


24. One day the pet cat was lying on one side of the courtyard. A devotee was caressing it with her foot. Gradually she placed her foot on its head. At this the Mother said to her, “Oh my child, what are you doing? The head is the place of
the Guru. One should not touch the head with the foot. Salute the cat


25. “Is the value of a thing to be gauged by its price? It is the love and devotion with which a thing is offered that really counts.”

S1979; 96

26. A beggar arrived and began to cry for alms. The monks were annoyed and scolded him, “Go away, don’t bother us now.” Mother heard this and said, “Just look at that! They have sent him away, just because they would have to leave their own work to bring him alms. Even this little thing they couldn’t do! How lazy of them! They couldn’t give a handful of alms to a beggar! Is it right to deprive a man of his just dues? Look at this vegetable peel — even this is the cow’s due; one must place it before the cow.”


27. A man came with a basket of fruits. The fruits were meant for offering. He asked the monks what he should do with the basket. They told him to throw it out in the lane. Mother looked at the lane and said, “Look there. They have asked him to throw away such a nice basket! It does not matter for them in the least. They are all monks and totally unattached. But we cannot allow such a waste. We could have utilized it at least for keeping the vegetable peelings.” She asked someone to fetch the basket and wash it. It was kept for some future use.


28. Regarding Asanas Mother said, “Be a little careful about it. If you continue such exercises for a long time, the mind may be diverted to the body. Again, if you give it up, it may affect your health. Therefore you should exercise your discretion.”


29. “Whatever you eat you must first dedicate to God; you should not take any other kind of food. The quality of your blood depends on the quality of the food you take. Ifyou take consecrated food your blood and your mind will be purified; you will find strength. Ifyour mind is pure, your faith and love will be pure.”


30. Disciple: “Mother, we householders live in families with many relations. Sometimes it happens that while the food is being cooked, some members of the family partake of it; later on that food is brought to me. I hesitate to offer that food to God.”

Mother: “That is inevitable in the case of householders. We also have to face similar situations. Take an instance: there may be a sick person in the family. Part of the food may be kept aside for him. But when food is placed on the plate, remember the Master, think that he himself
has given this food, and eat it. Then it will not have any injurious effect on the growth of devotion.”


31. “Everyone should serve his mother. It is all the more incumbent upon you, because you have all come to me with the purpose of dedicating your life to the service of others. … Always talk to her about God. You will really fulfill the duty of a son if you can help her to gather the means for her ultimate journey. You have grown by sucking her milk. How much suffering she has undergone to raise you to manhood! Know that service to her is your highest duty. But it is quite a different matter if she stands in the way of your spiritual life. … Beware! Don’t involve yourself in worldliness on the plea of serving your mother.”


32. Some women devotees came to see
Mother one evening. One of them had a showiness about her with her dress and ornaments, and she was a little restless. Addressing them Mother said, “Mark you, my dear, modesty is the greatest ornament of a woman. A flower best serves its purpose when it is offered to a deity; else it may as well wither on the plant. But it pains me greatly when the dandies take up flowers either in a bunch or singly, smell them with their nose a little, and say, ‘How sweet the smell!’ And, oh dear, the next moment they may throw these down on the floor or walk away crushing them under the shoes.”


33. Regarding controversy over social customs, Mother said, “Don’t let your mind be disturbed over these trivial details. That will make you forget the Master. Whatever people may say, remember the Master and do what you consider to be right.”


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