Holy Mother Sharadamani Devi, Pencil Portrait

Sarada-Sapta1It is believed that behind progress of a man, there is helping hand of one woman. This saying is quite correct in the case of Saint Ramakrishna of India. Holy Mother Sharadamani was his wife. She lived throughout her life as his spiritual counterpart and active supporter of missionary activities. Honouring the responsibilities of her household, she had been partner to her husband in his monastic way of life. Here is her pencil portrait done by a Bengali artist Saptarshi Ghosh. the artist has marvelously drawn two major factors of her personality: the divinity and simplicity.

Pencil Portrait of Holy Mother Sharadamani Devi

Early Life

Daughter of farmer parents, she was born in 1853. As it was tradition in India, her betrothal was arranged with Ramakrishna at the age of five only, who was of the age of 23 years at that time. Her parents were poor and pious. They believed that the daughter born to them was incarnation of some divine being. Sharadamani Devi had given ample evidences of her being so divine. She had started doing meditation when other girls of her age would be playing with other children.

Worshiping Kali

Kali is regarded as the greatest divine force in Hindu scriptures. Worshipping Goddess Kali had been routine of Sharadamani from her early age. Ramakrishna was priest at the temple of Goddess Kali in Calcutta. He had vowed to practice austerity for whole life. But Sharadamani Devi was pleased to have a divine person like him as husband.

Divine and Sexless Marriage

The couple lived their entire life without entering into any corporeal act. They believed in the austerity of life and they lived the same. According to their disciples, the couple wanted to show the example of a married life that was lived without sex. By passing of the time, Ramakrishna had become a saintly figure. He had a large group of followers. But he always said that Sharadamani Devi was his first disciple. At later age when Ramakrishna suffered from throat cancer, Sharadamani Devi became his devoted nurse and tried her best to reduce his pain.

The Missionary Work

Swamiji-SaptaRamakrishna passed away in the year 1886. Holy Mother carried on the missionary work started by him. She led and encouraged the group of disciples for next thirty years. Among other followers of her husband, Swami Vivekananda was a favourite disciple.

Portrait of Swami Vivekanada

The divine lady, worshiped as Holy Mother, died on twentieth July, 1920. The followers of Ramakrishna do make a very large group in the present time. They do worship of Goddess Kali and engage themselves in social work like impart education in remote areas and helping poor people. They all respect Ramakrishna as saint and Sharadamani Devi as Holy Mother. [Images courtesy: Ma Sharadamani Devi By Saptarshighosh (Saptarshi Ghosh)[see page for license], from Wikimedia Commons , Swami Vivekananda By Saptarshighosh (Saptarshi Ghosh)[see page for license], from Wikimedia Commons]

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