Sri Sarada Devi (1853 - 1920)

Sri Sarada Devi is the living example of all-encompassing divine love. Her parents, Ramachandra Mukherjee and Shyamasundari Devi were humble and pious. They had beautiful visions indicating that Goddess Lakshmi would be born to them. Sri Sarada Devi was born in the village of Jayrambati on 22nd December 1853. Even as a little girl of four or five, Sarada displayed great strength of character and maturity.

She always helped her mother with household chores, which included cutting fodder for the cows, cooking and feeding the labourers in the fields. Sri Sarada Devi was married to Sri Ramakrishna at the age of five. It was only in 1871 when she was eighteen years, that she came to Dakshineswar to live with and serve her saintly husband. Their lives were so pure and immaculate that not for a single moment did they look upon each other as husband and wife. Seeing God in each other, each respected and revered the other.

Sarada Devi lived in a small room which she used for cooking, entertaining guests, sleeping, accommodating women devotees, and as a storeroom. She awoke before three in the morning and repeated God's name a hundred thousand times every day. The joy of serving her divine husband and his disciples, outweighed her physical discomforts. Sri Ramakrishna recognised Sri Sarada Devi as a manifestation of the Divine Mother. He taught her deep spiritual truths and awakened the dormant power of God in her. Outwardly, Sri Sarada Devi lived like an ordinary woman but inwardly she practised perfect renunciation.

Her love stands out as a unique example, never making any distinction between the deserving and the undeserving. Her heart held all humanity in its maternal embrace and she radiated unconditional love and compassion. Her character is a rare blend of humanity and divinity. None that saw her could ever forget those eyes full of love and divine grace. After Sri Ramakrishna attained mahasamadhi (final absorption of an illumined soul with the divine), Sri Sarada Devi became the guiding force of the Ramakrishna Movement. She was a pillar of strength and wisdom to the disciples.