Sri Sarada Devi
Sri Sarada Devi, or the Holy Mother — as she is popularly called, was the illustrous consort of Sri Ramakrishna. To her came countless men and women seeking spiritual solace. By her maternal solicitude, winsome simplicity, and purity of character, she transformed the lives of many devotees. She nurtured the Ramakrishna Movement in its initial stages. In and through her Sri Ramakrishna sought to give India and the world a myriad-faceted gem of the ideal of womanhood at its noblest and best. We find in her life reincarnate all those ideals for which the greatest of Indian women stood for in the ages past — Sita’s unswerving devotion and service to her lord through all the vicissitudes of fortune, Savitri’s chastity and dauntlessness, Gargi’s grasp of spiritual truths, and Maitreyi’s scorn of wealth and yearning for Immortality.
Sri Ramakrishna recognized in Sri Sarada Devi the Divine Energy (Shakti) usually known as Divine Mother in Hinduism. This Divine Energy was manifested in and through Sri Sarada Devi for the welfare of the world. In Hinduism the Divine Mother represents a great spiritual power, a conscious and living power that acts in diverse ways and even takes a human form. Sri Ramakrishna believed that Sri Sarada Devi represented this very power. Sri Ramakrishna is considered by many to be the modern prophet of India. Sri Sarada Devi played a key role in continuing the work of this extraordinary religious teacher. She was an extraordinary teacher — a teacher that not only kindled the spiritual power of the disciples, but who also continued to help them until they attained liberation. She won their heart through her affectionate and loving nature. No one could escape her love and affection.
The outstanding virtues of Indian womanhood are courage, serenity, self-control, sweetness, compassion, wisdom, and an intuitive relationship with God. Holy Mother possessed all these virtues. Since the acquisition of such gifts is the dream of all women, Holy Mother may aptly be seen as the symbol of aspiration of women everywhere. As time passes, more and more people from all over the world, from a variety of cultural backgrounds, and from diverse religious traditions, are taking an interest in understanding her, in knowing her, in discovering her supreme moral and spiritual excellence, and in coming in contact with her divine nature.