HINDUISM AND SANATAN DHARMA

Hinduism,Cosmos ,Sanatan Dharma.Ancient Hinduism science.

DEVI SHARADA

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In the Rig Veda there is Bhūmi Sūktam in the 5th mandala. Strangely enough, this Bhūmi Sūktam addresses Bhū devi in dual number.
बळित्था पर्वतानां खिद्रम् बिभर्षि पृथिविप्र या भूमिं प्रवत्वति मह्ना जिनोषि महिनि। [Sanskrit has three numbers: singular, dual and plural. Plural number is used out of respect sometimes. But] Dual number for a single goddess?
Sāyanāchārya explains this strange anomaly with these words.
द्विरूपा पृथिवी चैषा प्रत्यक्षा देवतापि च। मध्यस्थाना देवतोक्ता सात्र सम्बोध्य वर्ण्यते
Goddess earth has two forms. One is the Pratyaksha or visible form. The other is the Divine form. So at Will, the Divine Mother can be present in both forms

In the first mandala, as in many other places of Rig Veda, Dual Devis are mentioned. The same Divine Mother appears in similar but two forms.
मही द्यौः पृथिवी च न इमं यज्ञं मिमीक्षताम् । पिपृतां नो भरीमभिः । ।
May the Deities of Earth and Space, Dual in form, come and accept our sacrifices and sustain us with all that is good and beneficial.
In Sri Durgā Saptashatî or Chandi [5.84,85], the sage says: “एवं स्तवादि युक्तानां देवानां तत्र पार्वतीस्नातुं अभ्याययौ तोये जाह्नव्या नृपनन्दन” When the gods were singing Her glories in this way, Mother Pārvatî walked towards the River Ganga to take bath. Seeing the Gods in prayer, She asked, “bhavadbhiḥ stūyate atra kā, Who is being adored by you all here?”
It was Mother Parvati Herself who was being worshipped. Immediately the Divine form of Devi Ambikā came out of the person of the Divine Mother Parvati. Same in every way. This Ambikā removed the evil of asuras from the earth.

The Birth Story
Sri Sharada Devi’s birth was divine. It was just like her previous incarnations. Nothing is known about the incarnation of Sri Radhika, as she was a personification of the Prema ideal (bhāva rūpinî). But about Sri Sita, we know. Her name Sita came from her birth in the ploughing fields. Sri Sarada Devi’s birth was extraordinary. Sarada’s mother, Shyamasundari Devi, sat down under a Bilwa tree in her village, Shihor. She heard the most melodious jingling sounds of anklets from behind her. A divine little girl of supreme beauty got down from the Bilwa tree and hugged her from behind. The soft and divine touch made Shyamasundari lose her external consciousness. For how long she was in that state no one knows. Eventually, when family came and picked her up, Shyamasundari was most certain that the girl had entered her womb.

Why are Trees Important?
There is an extremely sweet similarity between the tree and the Divine Mother. We know from Durga Saptashati that [eleventh chapter, verses 48 and 49] the Divine Mother called Herself Shākambarî. Why? She said that when there is difficulty, she would fill Herself in the form of life-giving leaves etc in trees until there is water. भरिष्यामि सुराः शाखैः आवृष्टेः प्राणधारकैः Mother Herself became the green trees, the green earth!
In the Rig Veda there is
इमा जुह्वाना युष्मदा नमोभिःप्रति स्तोमं सरस्वति जुषस्वतव शर्मन् प्रियतमे दधानाउप स्थेयाम शरणं न वृक्षम् ऋग्वेदः ७.९५.५
This extraordinary hymn, from which this particular mantra is taken, is about Mother Saraswati. In this mantra, the living being is submitting before the Divine Mother Saraswati. “O Mother, you are extremely dear to us. O Saraswati Devi, you are the bestower of all knowledge-benovelence and liberation. We surrender ourselves at your feet. Like a Tree, please protect us.”

Again the Rigveda presents the Tree as the Divine Mother. In one of the hymns, it is said that just as the Divine Mother protects and sustains the universe, the tree too protects and takes care of living beings.
ओषधीरिति मातरः तद्धो देवीरुप ब्रुवे [ऋग्वेदः १०.९७.४]
“We shall look upon the oshadhis [that is, trees] as the Goddess, as Mother herself.”
Why should the tree become the goddess? The tree is like the Divine Mother because, as another mantra of the same Rigveda explains, the tree is niṣkŗti, the doer of supreme good or the remover of ailments.

इष्कृतिर्नाम वो माताथो यूयं स्थ निष्कृतीः
“ O trees, your mother, the Divine Mother Herself, is Ishkriti, that is, the destroyer of all diseases—even existential disease. You also are doing the same. You remove hunger-disease and give medicines too. You are Nishkritis.”

Mother Sharada proved the Truth of the Vedas

Mother Sharada got down from the Bilwa tree and embraced Shyamasundari from behind. She then entered her womb. There is tremendous importance, significance and spiritual meaning to this great event. To explain. We mentioned that the trees are called Nishkritis, the destroyers of ailments. The king of kings of trees in this respect is the Bilwa tree. The leaves of Bilwa are sacred, pleasing to Shiva, and liberate us. The fruit is medicine. Everything is sacred. It was from such a sacred tree that the Divine Mother, the destroyer of existential sorrow, misery and suffering, came down that day and embraced Shyamasundari. Divine Mother grants liberation by removing karma, which is the cause of suffering and rebirth. She is the Ishkriti, the remover of sorrow. As is the tree for physical diseases, so is the Mother for spiritual life.
One thing. Not just the bilwa tree. As trees are all called Nishkritis in the Veda, Mother Durga is thus worshipped symbolically in nine trees called nava-patrika.

The Significant Proof from Chandi
We have shown that there is tremendous significance for Mother’s coming down from the Bilwa tree in Shihor village. This has another significance. You have seen that the awakening of Divine Mother Durga takes place in the Bilwa tree during Durga Puja. On the sixth day of Ashvin, Durga is awakened in the Bilwa Tree. Just imagine how Sri Sarada Devi came down from the Bilwa Tree to begin her lila on this earth!
अस्मिन् नवरात्रे षष्ठ्या बिल्वशाखादि निमन्त्रणं कार्यम् [লিঙ্গপুরাণ]
The Linga Purana says that during Navaratri, you must welcome the Divine Mother in the Bilwa branch.
श्रीशैल-शिखरे जातः श्रीफलः श्रीनिकेतनःनेतव्यो`सि मया अद्य, पूजा दुर्गास्वरूपतः [लिंगपुराणम्]
‘শ্রী শৈল শিখরে জাতঃ শ্রীফলঃ শ্রীনিকেতনঃ।
নেতব্যsসি ময়া অদ্য পূজ্য দুর্গাস্বরূপতঃ। [লিঙ্গপুরাণ]
“O Sri Phala tree! Your birth is in Sri Shaila. You shall be worshipped as Durga today.”
Thus the Vedas speak of the Divine Mother and the sacredness of the tree—both are medicines to suffering living beings. The Vedas speak of Saraswati as the tree. The Durga Saptashati [Chandi] says that Mother became Shakambari. It also says that Durga is worshipped in the Bilwa tree. And the scriptures declare that Mother Durga should be worshipped in the Bilwa branch.
All this shows how important the descending of Sri Sarada from the Bilwa is! She proved that the scriptures are true. While Sri Ramakrishna did tremendous sadhana to prove that Hindu scriptures are true, Mother showed this from Her very birth itself. They came to establish the truth of Sanatana Dharma.
Studying Her life carefully, we can see that Mother Sarada Devi is an embodiment of the Durga Saptashati. Krishna says that the life and works of an incarnation are divine. [जन्म-कर्म च मे दिव्यम्]. That is, the birth and life of we creatures are forced by our past karma. The Avatar is free from all that. They do it out of compassion for jivas. Their lives are only to redeem souls and make us free from bondage. To do this, they undergo immense pain. Mother Sarada’s birth and life were all extraordinary.

An Extraordinary Happening

Mother Sri Sharada Devi was a little girl of 13 years. She was in Kamarpukur then, for some time. Mother was shy. But she had to go along the village road to Haldar Pukur, the village pond, to take bath and bring water. Those were days when women in tiny villages wouldn’t move about freely. So Mother stepped out of the backdoor early morning and thought, “How can I go for my bath?” Suddenly there came eight girls. Four of the girls walked in front of her, four behind her. They all had their bath in the pond. They returned the same way. This continued all the time so long as Mother was in Kamarpukur. This is the incident which Mother narrated long after, quietly, to some devotees. It’s an extraordinary event of tremendous importance.
It is generally said that the Divine Mother has eight companions or maids. And that is all the explanation is.
So what could this extraordinary event mean from the scriptural viewpoint?
First of all, let us be clear about the Divine Mother. Whatever Her form, either earthly physical form or the mystical form like Kali, Durga, etc, She comes to give knowledge. She comes to remove ignorance, burn our karmas, and give us liberation through Self-knowledge. She is the source of Brahma-jnana. So, this time, She came in the form of Sri Sarada Devi.

1. THE EIGHT VASUS
In the tenth mandala of Rig Veda, there is the glorious hymn about Divine Mother, as if She is speaking.
अहं रुद्रेभिः वसुभिः चरामि अहमादित्यैः उत विश्वदेवैः I
अहं राष्ट्री संगमनी वसूनां चिकितुषी
Called Vāk-Sūktam, this hymn is the self-expression of the Divine Mother. She says here that She moves with the Rudras and the Vasus, the Adityas and the Vishvadevas. According to Sāyanāchārya, this is the Self-expression of Brahman as knowledge. In the Kena Upanishad, we read the story. Once, after victory over the demons, the gods becoming proud. They never thought for once who actually was behind their victory. The Divine Mother wanted to give them true knowledge. So we read how Divine Mother reveals Brahman-knowledge to the gods. She asks the gods to burn or blow away a little dry piece of grass blade. They fail to do that. Then Uma Haimavati reveals Herself. She shows that Consciousness is supreme and not matter. She tells the God that Brahman or Reality is the only Truth. This deeply symbolic story is about the sense organs trying to “think” they are powerful, forgetting the Atman behind. It is just like your computer screen thinking that it is everything, forgetting the processor or electric power behind.
Here the Divine Mother reveals Brahman knowledge. She says that She is with the Rudras and the Vasus.. That is, all the forces of Nature and all the powers are subservient to the Divine Mother. Who are the Vasus? The Eight Vasus are eight supreme wealths [वसूनां धनानां], according to Sāyanāchārya, of which the eight yogic powers are mere shadows. Further, the eight vasus are eight celestial things, like the fire etc. We shall read about it now.

There is a sweet “relationship” between the Divine Mother and the Vasus. Remember the Daksha story? Daksha Prajapati had several daughters, of whom Dharma was one. Vasus are Dharma’s children. Daksha Prajapati had one more daughter by name Sati. She jumped into the fire of Daksha’s Sacrifice. Some of the other Daksha’s daughters were, Fame [khyāti], Urjā [Energy], Creation [Sambhūti], Tushti [Contentment], Pushti [strength], Medha [Intelligence], Kriya [Activity], Sati [Truthfulness], etc. What do these names tell you? They tell you that the Puranic story is not a family story after all. It is the story of creation process. All the names are different qualities of creation.

Though all this appears like human-like story of human beings or gods, this is not. It is a symbolic explanation, through simple words, of the process of Srishti. Daksha Prajāpati means Brahmā the creator. His creation or manifestation is this universe—the name and form which glitters and binds the soul. We forget the Reality and become enamoured with the glitter. The truth of Brahman or Reality is forgotten behind name and form [nāma-rupa]. But we are here to know the Truth! So Creation takes our mind away from the Spirit towards matter. Name and Form is all that this Creation is! Name and form are time bound. They change. But we hold on to them.
Now, whatever you create, you want that to remain forever. You don’t want your creation to be destroyed. However, there is Time. Time or Kāla changes everything. Nothing escapes Time. So the best thing to do is to keep away Time from the “Daksha Yajna”. Keep away Kāla or Time from your creation. But Truth will not like this. Sati is Truth. She is sacrificed in this glitter. So Shiva or Kāla or Time roams about with Truth and destroys name and form.He reveals the Truth of the Eternality of Consciousness and temporality of name and form.

During Durga Puja, you can see how elaborate the bath of Mother is. Different elements from different sources are collected for the bath. Water from many rivers, clay from different places, and so on. This is to make it universal. This brings us to Vasus. Vasus are eight in number. The eight Vasus are eight powers or elements of the universe. They are Dharā [Earth], Dhruva [Pole Star], Soma [Moon], Ap [Water], Anala [Fire], Anila [Air], Pratyusha [Dawn] and Prabhāsa [Brightness].
Symbolically, these eight represent almost all of the universe. Dharā represents all earths or matter, Dhruva represents all the stars, Soma represents all the moons, etc. The Eight Vasus, thus, are natural elements and not “male”, as it is generally thought. These puranic stories are to make complex scientific truths simple. Can “fire”, “dawn”, “earth”, etc be male or female?
In this way, while Divine Mother shows that Her words that “I move with the Vasus etc” becomes true, She also as Durga makes it a universal participation in the adoration of the Mother, which means universal desire or longing for overcoming delusion. Further, the Vasus are also represented as eight female elephants in the Puranas
They are the protectors of the eight diksh or directions of the universe.
करिण्यो अभ्रमुकपिला-पिंगलानुपमाः क्रमात् ।
ताम्रकर्णी शुभ्रदंती चांगना चांजनावती। [Narada Purana, Purvardha, 72.14]
It is supposed that there are eight female elephants protecting the eight directions: Their names are, Abhrā,, Kapilā, Pingalā, Anupamā, Tāmrakarṇî, Shubhradantî, Anganā, Anganāvatî. This is another attempt to show the power of protection. Elephant means strength. And female means empowering the women. All over Sanatana Dharma, we see women given higher respect. Durga Herself is an example.

Thus, the holy village of Kamarpukur is such a blessed part of not only the earth but the whole universe! Even before Sri Ramakrishna was born, Brahmā came, Vishnu came, Shiva came, Lakshmi walked there, and the gods moved about….let alone the greatest of the avatars Mother and Ramakrishna living there. Just Amazing!

2. SRI RADHIKA AND EIGHT SAKHIS
Mother Durga is the source of divine Knowledge. Without Her grace, the jiva cannot attain liberation. So she comes in diverse forms to awaken the living beings.
She came as Radhā in the past. In that incarnation, the path of the love of God was thrown open to all. Radhā was the personification of supreme love for the Divine. Mother Sarada expressed Herself as Sita and Radha many times during Her life on earth. Just as Sri Ramakrishna used to live in diverse moods during the day, Mother Sarada also lived in different moods. Suppose Sri Ramakrishna saw a boy standing with his arms and legs bent. Sri Ramakrishna would be reminded of Sri Krishna. And he would go to that mood. Similar was the case with Mother Sarada.
Kamarpukur is Sri Ramakrishna’s village, her husband’s village. The Divine Mother was naturally in the Radha mood there. As Sri Radha, she had her gopis with her. Gopis are categorized into eternally illumined, illumined through sadhana, and so on. The Eight friends [sakhis] of Sri Radha were the eternally illumined gopis. They were Lalitā, Vishākā, Campakalatā, Sudevi, Rangadevi, Tungavidyā, Chitrā. They were always with Radhika, helping her and aiding her. Thus, when little Mother Sarada wanted to go for a bath in the lake, in Kamarpukur and felt shy, there came the eight divine friends to accompany her.
Sri Ramakrishna says: “This bhava of the gopis is the highest kind of love. Do you know who the gopis were? When Ramachandra was roaming in the forest, there were six thousand rishis seated there on whom Ramachandra cast his loving glance. They began to yearn to meet him. In some Puranas, it is stated that those very rishis became the gopis.”
Thus, through the simple words of Mother, we come to know (a) how the avatar comes to establish the truths of shāstras [scriptures] and (b) how this time, in the form of Sri Sarada Devi was the supreme Divine Mother Herself! Whether it is as Radhika, Durga or Shakti, every single act of Hers is for the purification of the earth, cleansing of jivas and bestowing of knowledge.

THAT LITTLE GIRL’S STORY
Ramhriday Ghoshal’s Vision
Ramhriday Ghoshal of Haldepukur. His story is told very briefly in Holy Mother’s biography. It was the day of Jagaddhātri Puja in Jayrambati. It was morning. As worship was going on, a brightly shining little girl sat in front of the Mother’s image in deep meditation. Ramhriday Ghoshal saw. And saw again. He rubbed his eyes and saw again. He was amazed. The Two had become One. Who is Jagaddhatri and who is the little girl? He sees the little divine girl in the Image. And the Divine Mother in the little girl. Because he was a great spiritual aspirant, Ramhriday Ghoshal did not shout or howl and create a pandemonium. He repeatedly saw the Divine Mother in the image and the little girl to be one and the same. And so he got up and walked away in fear.
That little girl was Sarada.

The First Mandala of Rig Veda has this mantra:
सुसंकाशा मातृमृष्टेव योषाविस्तन्वं कृणुषे दृशे
कम्भद्रा त्वमुषो वितरं व्युच्छ न तत्ते अन्या उषसो नशन्त।
“O Divine little girl! Your mother has decorated you! And you are shining brightly like a million Suns. You have revealed yourself in this form for all to see now. Why? In order to bring happiness to everyone. O Divine Mother! Please remove the darkness that has enveloped all around. Never before or never in the future shall there be a Goddess like you in bringing Light.”
This is a mantra addressed to the Divine Mother of Light, Ushā. Ushā is Devi, the remover of sorrow and giver of knowledge. That is, She gives, everything. Ushā is the physical symbol of the Divine Mother.

Ushā and Aditi
Ushā is called the goddess of dawn. She is the representative of the Sun, āditya, to all the planets in our Solar System specially, to the earth. She comes daily, carrying sunrays–removes darkness, ignorance, etc and gives everything. Similarly, there are millions of Suns and trillions of planets in the universe. Everywhere, the same Ushā, the Divine Goddess, brings light, life, brightness, and dispels darkness.

If Ushā does this, what about the Sun? The Sun is called Savitā or Surya. Savitā is the awakener, the stimulater of life, the giver of everything. Surya or Aditya is the remote control of this earth, or our solar system, and all the millions of Adityas do the same elsewhere. The Sun gives Light and heat, which means everything to us. Usha is Sun’s manifestation on the planet.
But one point. Ushā and Surya have one more power behind.
That is Sun’s mother, Aditi. Aditi is Ȃditya’s mother. You may ask, what is all this mother-son business with the Sun? True, Extremely high philosophy is brought to us common people through simple stories by Purānas. Thus we have family-like stories of father, mother, children etc.

Aditi means the “boundless, seamless, inexhaustible, unbroken, whole,” etc. That means, Aditi is the Infinite, endless. Aditi means eternal Consciousness. This Eternal Infinite cannot be many. Can you have two infinities? It is One. So this Infinite is Brahman or the Divine Mother. Thus the Veda declares:
अदितिर् द्यौर् अदितिर् अन्तरिक्षम् अदितिर् माता स पिता स पुत्रः ।
विश्वे देवा अदितिर् पञ्च जना अदितिर् जातम् अदितिर् जनित्वम् ॥१॥ [Rig Veda 1.89.10 and Atharva Veda 7.6.1]
aditir dyauḥ aditir antarikṣam aditir mātā sa pitā sa putraḥ
viṥve devā aditir panca janā aditir jātam aditir janitvam
Aditi is Space, upper regions, Mother, Father, Son, all the divinities, all that is born, and all that shall take birth.
Aditi of Veda is Jagaddhātri
This simply means Aditi is everything. She is the Divine Mother, Jagaddhātri. Aditi of the Vedas is Jagaddhātri. She is the Source of everything. She was worshipped as the Lion-riding Cybele in Rome. She is worshipped as Jagaddhātrî in India. All the gods are Aditi’s children. Naturally, because “All the gods” means all the powers of the universe. Thus, Aditi is Jagaddhātri So, Aditi’s “son” is Surya. He sends Light. This light comes as Ushā to the world
Now, Aditi-Surya-Ushā. Ushā is the concrete, physical form of Jagaddhātri. We can’t experience the Infinite, but can experience the rays of the Sun. The same Infinite Brahman or Aditi becomes Ushā.
The rays and their source, the Sun, are one and the same. The waves and the ocean are one and the same. The Source is the same Infinity. So, Divine Mother Aditi and Ushā are the same. In different forms.
Thus, on the one side the physical manifestation of daughter, Ushā, or Light, or Divine Mother. On the Other side is the Unending, Infinite, Universal Mother, Aditi. Both look the same. On the one side was Mother Jagaddhātri and on the other, little Sarada. We must have the eyes to see that. Someone had such eyes. That was Ramhriday Ghoshal.
THE EXPERIENCE
Coming back to Ghoshal’s experience
As the Rig Vedic mantra we mentioned above says, Her mother Shyāmāsundarî Devi had decorated her little daughter, Sarada, that morning and had taken her to witness Puja. Just like Aditi had decorated Ushā because of the Sun. Sarada was only three years old then. Ushā is also always adored as a young little girl. So this little girl Sarada came, sat down in deep meditation. And she revealed Herself for the first time to Ghoshal as the Divine Mother Herself.

But why didn’t this news of Ghoshal’s vision spread like wildfire? Why didn’t Jairambati people not understand Sarada’s greatness, or create a huge commotion? It is the same old story. Krishna opens his mouth and reveals the entire universe. Within a few minutes, he covers the incident with his yogamaya. Just like you push leaves in a pond, take water, and within seconds, leaves cover the water again.
You may say. Yashodā and Ghoshal were different. Yashodā was Krishna’s mother. Can God reveal Himself to ordinary souls like some Ghoshal? Yes, He can! In the battlefield, Krishna revealed himself to Arjuna and thus to many others, like Sanjaya etc. “divyam dadāmi te chakshuh, pashya me yogamaishvaram. See my divine form, I shall give you special vision.” Krishna said. Ramhriday Ghoshal had that special eye to see Mother.

Sri Ramakrishna revealed Himself as Shiva and Kali to Mathuranath.
Every breath, every act, and every thought of an Avatar is divine and is for the good of the world. Their “work” begins from their very birth. Mother Sarada came that day to witness Jagaddhatri worship. But there She blessed a seeker, maybe a tapasvi of many births, who had done a lot of austerities. Not just that. She for the first time revealed to the world who she was. And then, within moments, She covered the minds of all with Her yogamaya so that they can continue thinking of her as Saradamani Mukherjee. And this is how their lila continues on earth.
Avatara comes to show the path to humanity, to liberate jivas, to bless devotees, to protect the good, to establish the truths of the scriptures, and to become the ideals for future humanity.

THAT WAS A FAMINE
The year 1864 was peculiar. Famine in parts of Bengal and Orissa, and cyclone in Calcutta. The October 1864 cyclone killed 70000 people and destroyed tonnes worth of crops.
Mother Sri Sarada Devi was just 11 years old then. She was in Jayrambati. All around, there was famine and hunger. The already poor villagers were starving and seeing hungry children die. Seeing death and starvation all around, a poor Brahmin did something extraordinary.
Ramachandra Mukherjee had stored some rice from the previous year’s crop. His was a poor but big family. There was extreme hardship. Yet, he opened his house for everyone. That is, the Mukherjee family started feeding hundreds of starving villagers from all around, using all the rice they had. How many of us, especially the big liberal people, who shout about “poverty removal”, are ready to do this? Even though nobody knew when famine would end, with the future totally uncertain, Ramchandra Mukherjee family spent all their reserve rice, cooked Khichuri, and fed hundreds of hungry people. Day and night. Little Sarada worked day and night, fanning hot food with both hands, cooking, consoling people, serving food, cleaning…. For the famine-stricken villagers around it was a heaven and an oasis in the desert.
This is one of the rarest, most touching and exemplary incidents in Indian history. Many donate, but for a poor family to give at such a time when the future was uncertain, with children at home to feed—is enormously great. Only Rantideva in the ancient times did it.

RIGVEDA ON GIVING
Rig Veda, which is at least 25000 years old in its present form, praises such extraordinary giving. There is great mantra: स्वादुक्षद्मा यो वसतौ स्योनकृद् जीवयाजो यजते सोपमा दिवः१.३१.१५ [svādukṣhadmā yo vasatau syonakŗd jîva-yājo yajate sopamā divaḥ]. That is, the householder, who feeds good food to numerous guests in his house, is performing jiva-yajana [the sacrifice for living beings]. He can only be compared to God, and his house can only compared with heaven. Only God can do it! And what does God do in return to such a family? Another extraordinary mantra of the Rig Veda declares:

यो वाघते ददाति सूनरं वसु स धत्ते अक्षिति श्रवः ।
तस्मा इळां सुवीरामा यजामहे सुप्रतूतिर्मनेहसम् । । १.४०.४। ।
That householder, who selflessly, without thought of oneself, gives away his wealth to people, will, by Brahmanaspati’s grace, have unending food. He will also have a daughter like the Divine Mother Ilā, who is invincible [anehasam], and who has an enormous number of strong-willed persons to serve Her. Further, this Ilā-like daughter will be the teacher of humanity. {Ilām akŗṇvan manuṣasya ṥāsanîm इळां अकृण्वन् मनुषस्य शासनीम् [1.31.4]}.
That is, in the family of the most exceptional givers, Divine Mother is born.
This Vedic mantra has come true in Ramachandra Mukherjee’s house. Even today that house is feeding hundreds and hundreds daily. And in the future, the number will only increase. Ramchandra Mukherjee’s great sacrifice of 1864 bore fruit in every way. What is more? The Divine Mother Herself is his daughter.

THE UNIVERSAL MOTHER
Ilā is the goddess of life. She is the source of light and life of the universe. Sāyanāchārya says that “ilā, sarasvatî tathā bhāratî ṥabdābhidheyāḥ vahni-mūrtayaḥ tisraḥ devîḥ dîpyamānāḥ. Ilā, Sarasvatî and Bhāratî are three forms of Vahni or Fire. They are glorious and divine Goddesses.” Fire means Energy, heat, light, fuel, everything. Chiefly, fire is Energy. Energy means Shakti. Shakti is the source of life, the Divine Mother. She is the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. So, Ilā, Bhāratî and Sarasvatî are three complete manifestations of energy. They are One but three. The three together nourish living beings physically, mentally and spiritually. The personification of all gods and goddesses, Mother Sarada was this Shakti.

FAMINE AND DIVINE MOTHER
Divine Mother has declared in Sri Sri Chandi or Durgā Saptashatî [11.48 and 49]
ततो’हम् अखिलं लोकम् आत्म-देह-समुद्भवैः ।
भरिष्यामि सुराः शाकैः आवृष्टेः प्राणधारकैः। ।
शाकम्भरीति विख्यातिं तदा यास्याम्यहम् भुवि । ।
‘Sometimes there shall not be rains etc and so famine. At such times of scarcity, I shall fill the world [which is born of Me] with life-sustaining plants and food till there is rain. Then people will call me Shakambhari on this earth. Later I shall be called Durga.’
Holy Mother’s birth name was Kshemankari. Mother Sarada kept her word given in the scriptures. She fed thousands at her house during a famine. And readers of her life all over the globe know that she used both hands to feed the distressed. During that period, Mother Sarada was in the mood of Annapurnā.

WHY FAMINE?
Why famines? The answer is, why do old cells in our bodies die? To make a place for new ones. The universe is an ongoing, continuous process. Old die, new come up. Srishti and Pralaya—Creation and Modification. What we call annihilation is just modification, and that is personified as Shiva. Shiva and Shakti. Shiva modifies, while Shakti creates and sustains. All need nourishment, especially the created beings. So Shiva begs before the Divine Mother in the form of Annapurnā.
Jivas have accumulated tremendous karma. They have to be cleansed from time to time. So there is famine etc. Along with that, jivas need nourishment too during this period. So Annapurnā. During the famine, Mother Sarada was in Annapurna’s mood. She is the Divine Mother and so lived in different moods at different times.
Coming back to Annapurna, many cultures have the concept of Annapurnā, the Goddess of Nourishment.
Like Dhānya Lakshmi of Sanatana Dharma, there is Ceres in Rome. Ceres represents the love of a mother for her child. She is the mother of grains. The other form of Ceres is Demeter, also Food Goddess. Demeter is like dhānya Lakshmi, the mother of cereals for the Greeks. Nyai Pohaci Sanghyang Asri is the Sundanese Goddess of food. She has the Balinese counterpart, Dewi Sri. Dewi Sri is the goddess of grain or food. The Japanese goddess of food is Ukemochi-no-kami. In all these goddesses the main thrust is for Grain and Bread, which is the most essential food of all living beings.
Mother Sarada also fed rice to the hungry.
However, there is a difference. While Ukemochi-no-kami, Dewi-Sri or Demeter are represented as goddesses of Grain or Food, Mother Sarada is not limited to food only. That was one of her various bhāvas. Just as her life shows, she lived in numerous moods. That is, Mother expressed her different divine forms at different periods. All for the good of the universe.
Finally, what is famine? If we look at ourselves spiritually, we can understand what true famine is. We think we have everything, but all we have is a few pieces of worthless glass and dust. Divine Mother can see we are suffering from extreme hunger due to famine. She gives us the essence, the spiritual light which satisfies us forever and makes us complete. Hence She is called Sarada, the Giver of Essence.

Above is a copy of the publication by suniirmalananda swamy

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This entry was posted on February 1, 2014 by in devi sharda and tagged , , , , .

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