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"Holy Mother" painted by Swami Tadatmananda

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Forum: Dedicated to Sri Sarada Devi
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Radhu's Birthday

26 January is Yogamaya Radhu’s birthday and thought of sharing the following from Most Revered Swami Chetananandaji’s book: Sri Sarada Devi and Her Divine Play….

Maya makes it possible to function in this world. When the mind is free from maya, free from attachment to the world, it merges into samadhi. This happened to Holy Mother. After the Master passed away in 1886, she lost her attachment to the world and felt no reason to remain………..

Holy Mother was very fond of her youngest brother, Abhay. For some time he lived with M.’s family and went to school in Calcutta. After graduating from school he entered Campbell Medical School (now Nilratan Sarkar Hospital) and became friendly with the monastic disciples of Ramakrishna. Swami Brahmananda helped him buy medical books. Swami Vivekananda remarked: “I didn’t know that Mother had such an intelligent brother. Her other brothers are mere priests, practically illiterate, and always asking for their priestly fees.” Two of Holy Mother’s other brothers, Prasanna and Barada, lived at this time in a rented house in Chorebagan, Calcutta, performing rituals in private homes to support their families. Soon after obtaining his medical degree, Abhay contracted cholera. Swamis Saradananda and Prakashananda cared for him in his brothers’ residence. When Holy Mother went to see him, she sat at Abhay’s side, held his head on her lap, and began to caress his hair. Abhay kept his eyes on his sister’s face and said plaintively: “Sister, I am going. They are left behind. Please keep an eye on them.” Abhay passed away on 2 August 1899.

Abhay’s wife, Surabala, was pregnant at the time and living in her father’s house. She was an unfortunate woman, having lost her mother when she was very young. Now she lost her husband – and shortly thereafter she lost her grandmother and aunt, who had raised her. Her mind broke under the strain of so much grief. In October 1899, Holy Mother left Calcutta for Jayrambati and brought Surabala to stay with her. On 26 January 1900, Surabala gave birth to a baby girl who was named Radharani and called Radhu or Radhi. Responsibility for caring for this baby fell on Holy Mother, since Surabala was mentally incompetent. In February 1900 Swami Achalananda and a woman devotee named Kusum came from Varanasi to visit Holy Mother. Kusum volunteered to care for the infant and stayed in Jayrambati for five months. This was a great relief to Holy Mother……..

Later one day in Jayrambati Holy Mother narrated the following vision that she had of Yogamaya to Kedar Datta (later Swami Keshavananda):

After the Master’s passing away I felt that my life was empty. I was praying to the Master, asking why I should keep my body. Suddenly in a vision I saw a girl of 10 or 12 years old, dressed in a red cloth, moving about in front of me. Immediately the Master appeared, pointed to the girl, and said: “Take her as a support and live. Many spiritual seekers will come to you." The next moment both he and the girl disappeared. Another time, I was seated on the same spot facing west and I saw Surabala, who was then totally insane, dragging some cotton shawls and saris under her arms to the other side of the courtyard. Crawling behind her was Radhu, crying. As I watched this scene I shuddered and my heart was pierced with agonizing pain. I ran to Radhu and held her in my arms. I thought: ‘Ah! Who will look after the poor thing if I do not? Her father is dead and her mother insane." Immediately the Master appeared and said: ’l‘his is the girl you saw before. Take her as a support. She is Yogamaya.”

As soon as Holy Mother took Radhu in her arms, maya entered her divine body, meaning that her mind became drawn to worldly affairs. She told a monk: “There was no maya in my body before Radhu’s birth. The very moment I took Radhu in my arms, maya entered me.”
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"This constant doting of mine on Radhu is a form of attachment. But I can sever it this very moment by my mere wish. I do not do so only out of compassion. How can maya bind me?".... Shree Maa...

From Sri Sarada Devi And Her Divine Play – Swami Chetanananda. Vedanta Society of St. Louis (2015): pp. 275, 277-279, 281.

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