Mother, in 1918 at Udbodhan House on the occasion of your birthday, your devoted children were offering flowers at your lotus feet and prostrating to you one by one. Towards the end, you had asked me to offer flowers at your holy feet on behalf of all your children-known and unknown!
Mother, I had the rare opportunity to be in your holy presence for eleven years! Today, half a century after the aforesaid event, as I reach the sunset of my life, I am offering at your lotus feet, as I reach the sunset of my life, I am offering at your lotus feet, in a book form, a few of your holy form, a few of your holy memories. By going through these pages, may the men and women endowed with sraddha[faith] attain the peace and divine bliss of your serene presence, is my prayer at your serene presence, is my prayer at your holy feet.
Swamy Ishananda had the blessed privilege of serving the Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi since his boyhood. He was initiated by Mother at a very young age and later received brahmacharya diksha from her. He served Mother from 1909 until the end of Her divine play in 1920. In the Bengal original, Matrisannidhye of which the present book is a translation, he describes many events from this period of Mother’s life in vivid detail.
While a translation cannot adequately convey the sweetness of Holy Mother’s language and expression, we shall consider our efforts fruitful if the readers get a glimpse through this book, of the Mother’s all-encompassing and unconditional love.
Sri Ramakrishna’s life and spiritual practices were the spectacular events in the spiritual firmament of the nineteenth century-a time when the soul of India was lying by the way side, bruised and battered as it were, afflicted by foreign domination, inter-religious conflicts and the vainglory of pleasure-seeking atheism.
He, by virtue of whose advent the ideals of romanticism and service got established spontaneously, theistic philosophies got a new lease of life, religious hatred came to be regarded as ravings of lunatic minds and finally, the tyranny of foreign domination came to be part of a bygone era, is the latest manifestation of the soul of India-highly revered and adored as Sri Ramakrishna.
And the partner in his divine play who accomplished and fulfilled his life’s mission, while keeping herself away from public gaze, is Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi, the Sakti of Sri Ramakrishna.
Sarada Devi was born, more than a century ago, in a poor family in the village of Jayrambati, located in the eastern part of Bankura district. In spite of their straitened financial condition, her father Ramachandra Mukhyopadhyay and mother Syamasundari Devi had religious piety in abundance and everyone loved and respected them as embodiments of compassion.
On a Thursday evening, 8th Poush of the Bengali Year 1260 [December 22, 1853 AD] when a child was born in their humble cottage, who would have imagined there that one day that child’s birthplace would be adorned with a beautiful temple and emerge as a place of pilgrimage for the whole world?
Saradamani met Gadadhar-the Lord of her life, even as early as, when she was five. Son of a pious Kshudiram Chattopaddhyay of the nearby Kamarpakur village, Gadadhar was the priest of the Kali teple at Dakshineswar. His method of worshipping the deity was amazing. He would cry piteously before th Divine Mother saying-Mother, reveal Thyself---reveal Thyself to me! ---- He would feed and dress Her and also make demands with childlike innocence. Aggrieved at not obtaining her vision, Gadadhar would tell Her sobbingly, "Mother you revealed yourself to Ramprasad, why not to me?" At last, when the aspirant was about to sacrifice himself, the Mother of the Universe blessed him with Her vision. From then on, he became ecstatic, always absorbed in Her name like a bee intoxicated by honey. News spread that the priest had become mad uttering Maa----Maa----(Mother! ----Mother!). His mother Chandradevi brought him back to Kamarpukur and tried to arrange his marriage. Gadadhar himself gave a clue, as to where to find an ‘ideal one’ who turned out to be Saradamani, daughter of Mukherjees from Jayrambati.
That is how this sacred union happened. Sarada Devi was five and a half years old and Gadadhar was twenty-three.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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