Sri Sarada Devi (1853-1920), affectionately known as the Holy Mother, was the spiritual counterpart of Sri Ramakrishna and his first disciple. Sri Ramakrishna molded her life by giving her valuable spiritual instructions, as well as practical advice for everyday life. He also literally worshiped her as the Divine Mother and awakened her innate divinity and sense of motherhood. She thereby became an intimate sharer in his spiritual practice and experience.
Holy Mother selflessly served him and all who came to visit. Outwardly she appeared to be an ordinary village woman but inwardly she was fully illumined. She was known for her gentleness of spirit, compassion for all living beings, and keen intelligence and wisdom.
Toward the end of his life Sri Ramakrishna asked her to carry on his ministry. She was reluctant to do so at first, but was persuaded when he implored her in various ways, saying, “This is not my burden alone. You, too, shall have a share in it.” In fact, she served humanity for a much longer time than either Sri Ramakrishna or Swami Vivekananda.
Holy Mother was a perfect teacher, mother, and wife. Her pure and selfless life brought and continues to bring to all who turn to her inspiration, solace, and fulfillment.
“I tell you one thing—if you want peace, do not find fault with others. Rather see your own faults. Learn to make the world your own. No one is a stranger, my child, the whole world is your own.”
“One who makes a habit of prayer will easily overcome all difficulties and remain calm and unruffled in the midst of the trials of life.”
“God is one’s very own. It is the eternal relationship. He is everyone’s own. One realizes Him in proportion to the intensity of one’s feeling for Him.”
“What else does one obtain by the realization of God? One develops discrimination between the real and the unreal, obtains spiritual consciousness, and goes beyond life and death.”
“I am the mother of the wicked, as I am the Mother of the virtuous. Never fear. Whenever you are in distress, just say to yourself, ‘I have a mother.’ ”
—Sri Sarada Devi