Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi
The most extrordinary Divine living amidst the ordinary
Devotee: Well, Mother, according to our Hindu conception, the husband is our most adorable Guru. The scriptures say that by serving him one can go to heaven, and even be united with God. Now if a wife, somewhat against the will of the husband, tries to practise self-control through prayer and spiritual pursuits, is she committing a sin?
Mother: Certainly not. Whatever you do for the realization of God cannot have any sinful effect. Self-control is absolutely necessary. All the hard disciplines enjoined upon Hindu widows are meant to help them practise self-control.
All the acts of Sri Ramakrishna were directed to God alone. He once performed the Shodasi Puja, making me the object of worship. I asked him what I should do with the bangles, the clothes and other articles of worship. After a little thought he said that I could give them all away to my mother. My father was then alive. Sri Ramakrishna said to me, “When you present your mother with these articles, don’t think that she is an ordinary human being. Think of her as the direct embodiment of the Divine Mother of the Universe.” I acted accordingly. That was the nature of his teaching.
It was 4 September, 1918. Mother was seated on her meditation carpet, counting beads. The evening service was over. A sister-in-law of the Mother came there and said to her, “Please set my mind right. I am full of worries. I do not wish even to live for a day. I shall make a will and leave all my property to you. After my death, you execute my will.” The Mother laughed and said, “When are you going to die?”
Suddenly she became serious and reprimanded that sister-in-law for her foolish thoughts, which she attributed to a heated brain and idle life.
Looking at me, the Mother smiled and said: “Do you notice, my child, the inscrutable play of Sri Ramakrishna? Look at my own relatives! See the evil company I am in! One is already mad and this one also is verging on insanity. And look at. the third one (Radhu)! How much care I took to train her up, but all to no effect! She does not have the slightest trace of wisdom. Look there. She is standing in the porch, leaning against the railing and wistfully looking forward to the return of her husband. She is afraid that her husband may enter the house where that music is going on. Day and night she has been trying to keep him within her sight. What an inordinate attachment! I could never dream that she would be so much attached.”
The woman relative of the Mother left the place with a sorrowful air and lay down on her bed.
Mother: My child, you have been extremely fortunate in getting this human birth. Have intense devotion to God. One must work hard. How can one achieve anything without effort? One must devote some time for prayer even in the midst of one’s household duties. What shall I say about myself, dear? In those days, at Dakshineswar, I used to get up at 3 0′ clock in the morning and sit in meditation. Often I used to be totally absorbed in it.
On moonlit nights I would look at the moon and pray with folded hands, ‘May my heart be as pure as the rays of yonder moon!’ Or, ‘O Lord, there is a stain even in the moon, but let there not be the least trace of stain in my mind!’ If one is steady in meditation, one will clearly see the Lord in one’s heart and hear His voice. The moment an idea flashes in the mind of such a one, it will be fulfilled then and there. You will be bathed in peace.