Talk: Holy Mother’s Assurances – Br. Shankara

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June 9, 2019

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Sri Sarada Devi
Sri Sarada Devi

June is a month for study of Bhakti Yoga. A bhakti yogi (bhakta) establishes a devotional relationship with God through study, prayer, ritual, and worship. As a bhakta, you practice giving every action, thought, emotion, perception and tendency “a Godward turn.” All your energies and attributes, both positive and negative, are offered to the Divine Presence. Your prayer is for self-surrender and, ultimately, union with your Belovèd.

The affectionate term Holy Mother refers to Sri Sarada Devi; she was Sri Ramakrishna’s wife and spiritual counterpart, and his first disciple. She lived from 1853 to 1920. After the Master passed away in 1886, Holy Mother carried on his ministry, serving as guide and inspiration for his new monastic order, and for numberless disciples.

Holy Mother was the ideal disciple, nun, wife, teacher, and mother to her many spiritual children. The Master said that Holy Mother was an incarnation of Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, art, wisdom and learning. Yet, she did not write books or play a musical instrument.

Instead, Holy Mother served others so simply and humbly that many took this Mistress of the Universe to be an ordinary village woman. Inwardly, she regarded the whole world as her own, and every living being as her child. Holy Mother loved and accepted everyone.

Many of her close disciples recorded their conversations with her. As spiritual aspirants, we can all take great solace in the memories they left for us. Here are a few of Holy Mother’s assurances, which we will discuss on Sunday morning:

  • My child, you are my own. Truly you are my very own.
  • Disciple: Those who receive your blessing now are fortunate indeed. What will happen to those who come later?
Holy Mother: What do you mean? Shall they not receive it? God is everywhere, all the time. There is the Master; by his mercy everything will be done. Is it not so in other countries?
  • He who has really prayed to the Master even once has nothing to fear. By praying to him constantly one gets ecstatic love (prema bhakti) through his grace. This prema, my child, is the innermost thing of spiritual life.
  • You see, my son, it is not a fact that you will never face dangers. Difficulties always come, but they do not last forever. You will see that they pass away like water under a bridge.
  • Those who have come here and think of the Master, will certainly see their Chosen Ideal one day. If they are not able to do so during their lifetime, they will at least have his vision at the moment before their death.

Note: There is silent meditation in the Chapel from 10:30-11am, before each Sunday’s talk. After the talk, devotees and friends meet in the Monastery from noon to 1:30pm, for tea, coffee, snacks and a continuation of our spiritual fellowship.

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