As these Conversations of the Holy Mother, now published under the title, The Gospel of the Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi, are likely to fall into the hands of many who are not at all acquainted with her life, we think it is proper to add a short biographical account of hers as an Introduction to it. For, to understand the relevancy of these conversations, to grasp how they are revelatory of a great character through small incidents and talks that took place outside the public gaze, a knowledge of the facts of her life is an absolute necessity. Hence the following short life-sketch of hers is added to this book as an Introduction.
Sri Sarada Devi the Holy Mother was the Divine Consort and first disciple of Bhagavan Sri Ramakrishna and thus an integral part of his spiritual self and of the saving message he delivered unto mankind. Unlike the spiritual counterparts of the past incarnations like Rama, Krishna and Buddha and some others. Sri Sarada Devi was born in a poor but cultured Brahmana family of Bengal in the village of Jayrambati in the Bankura District, situated about sixty miles to the west of Calcutta. Born on 22nd December 1853, as the eldest daughter of Ramachandra Mukherjee and Shyamasundari Devi, her early girlhood was spent, as in the case of most girls of rural upbringing, in various domestic chores like caring for the younger children, looking after cattle and carrying food to her father and others engaged in work in the field. She had absolutely no schooling, though she learnt the Bengali alphabet and practised a little of reading and writing in later days by herself. But the domestic environment of a pious Brahmana family supplemented by the holy associations she had in later days imparted to her- to one with such high natural endowments as she-an education that was far more enlightening than instruction in the three R's.
She entered into Sri Ramakrishna's life as his partner in it when she was aged only five. The strange marriage of Gadadhar