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Life of a Saint

Sri Sarada Devi (vegetarian): The Manifestation of Divine Motherhood

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Born on December 22, 1853, in Jayrambati, West Bengal, in India, Sri Sarada Devi was the wife and spiritual consort of 19th-century Hindu Master and Saint, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa. Sarada Devi is also endearingly known as the Holy Mother or Sri Sri Maa by the followers of the Sri Ramakrishna monastic order. A venerated woman Saint and mystic of the 19th century, Sri Sarada Devi was the embodiment of purity. She prepared for the future generation of women to take up monasticism and played an important role in the growth of the Ramakrishna Movement. Sri Sarada Devi was filled with compassion and lived to ease the suffering of people around Her.

Sri Ramakrishna regarded Sri Sarada Devi as a special manifestation of the Divine Mother of the Universe, addressing Her as Sree Maa, meaning “Holy Mother.” As a priest, Sri Ramakrishna performed the customary ceremony “Shodashi Puja.” Sri Sarada Devi would sit on the seat of Goddess Kali, and She was worshipped as the Divine Mother Tripura Sundari, thus awakening Her latent Universal Motherhood. Sri Sarada Devi looked upon Sri Ramakrishna’s disciples as Her own children. She lived in contentment, serving the increasing number of devotees who came to see Sri Ramakrishna without any complaints and residing in a small room with few amenities.

Sri Sarada Devi received the highest respect from the Ramakrishna Order and its devotees. Sri Ramakrishna had requested that She continue His mission after His death and wanted His disciples not to make any difference between Himself and Sri Sarada Devi. She looked upon Herself as the Mother of all beings, including animals and birds, and spent Her whole life serving them, experiencing unending sacrifice and self-denial. Swami Vivekananda regarded Sri Sarada Devi as the ideal for women in the modern age on account of Her immaculate purity, selfless service, unconditional love, wisdom, and spiritual illumination. He believed that the spiritual awakening of women in modern times had begun with the advent of the Holy Mother.

Considered as Sri Sarada Devi’s last message to the world are the words: “… I tell you one thing. If you want peace of mind, do not find fault with others. Rather see your own faults. Learn to make the whole world your own. No one is a stranger my child: this whole world is your own!”

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