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"Holy Mother" painted by Swami Tadatmananda
Used courtesy of the Vedanta Society of Southern California
Reading from Sri Sarada Devi And Her Divine Play - Swami Chetanananda
Epilogue - p. 774-775
Golap Sundari Devi, known as Golap ma, was born in a brahmin family of North Calcutta, sometime in the 1840s. She was at least 10 years older than Holy Mother. Her parents arranged her marriage to a poor brahmin when she was young, but her husband died after a few years, leaving her with two small children, a son and a daughter. When Golap-ma's son was still very young, he also died, and her mainstay in life then became her daughter, Chandi. She was a charming, beautiful, and well-mannered girl. When she grew up, Golap-ma arranged her marriage to Saurindra Mohan Thakur, an eminent and wealthy landlord of Calcutta. But fate was again cruel to Golap-ma. Chandi died prematurely, creating a tremendous void in her mother’s life.
Golap-ma cried and cursed herself but could find no cure for her grief. Yogin-ma, a neighbour, came to her aid. Seeing Golap-ma's terrible suffering, Yogin-ma took compassion on her and one day in 1885 took her to Ramakrishna at Dakshineswar.
Sarala reminisced: "Golap-ma's daughter Chandi was a beautiful girl. Seeing her beauty, Raja Saurindra Mohan Thakur married her, spending a lot of money. Chandi would visit her mother from time to time during the day. She sent a pension to her every month. Chandi died after giving birth to two sons and one daughter. The sudden death of Chandi was a terrible blow to Golap-ma. She almost lost her mind. Sometimes she would sit alone on the bank of the Ganges. During this time Yogin-ma met her and took her to Sri Ramakrishna. Then the Master introduced her to the Mother, saying, 'This girl will stay with you and serve you.'"
Golap-ma later described her first meeting with the Master: "When I first went to the Master I was tormented with grief for my daughter, Chandi. Yogin took me to him. He touched my head and removed all the grief from my heart. It was amazing. In a moment, my mind became calm and serene. I immediately laughed like a jnani. I felt that I had come to this world to act in a play. Who is whose mother and who is whose daughter? In my childhood I had played with cloth dolls, and after that I played with flesh-and-blood dolls. This world is nothing but a play with dolls, so Why should I cry for my daughter? It is a glorious thing to cry for God. Such was the power of the Master!"
Jai Maa 🙏🙏🙏
Location: Bangalore, India