What are the teachings of Sri Sarada Devi


On Devotion and Self-surrender

At Udbodhan 1909
As for those who depend upon God and have faith in Him, well, that itself is their spiritual practice, sadhana. God is one’s very OWN. It is an eternal relationship. One realizes Him in proportion to the intensity of one’s feeling for him. Don’t be afraid. Always remember that somebody is protecting you.
If you love any human being you will have to suffer for it. That person is blessed, indeed, who can love God alone. There is no suffering in loving God.
Repeat the name of God always in the innermost core of your heart and in all sincerity take refuge in Sri Ramakrishna. Do not bother to know how your mind is reacting to things around. And do not waste time in calculating and worrying over whether or not you are progressing in the path of spirituality. It is egotism to judge progress for oneself. Have faith in the grace of your guru and God.
What does one become by realizing God? Does one get two horns? No. What happens is, the person develops discrimination between the real and the unreal, gets spiritual consciousness, and goes beyond life and death.
One who is able to renounce all for His sake is a living god. Even the decrees of fate are cancelled if one takes refuge in God. Fate strikes off with her own hand what she has written about such a person.
Those who are really anxious to cross the ocean of the world will somehow break their bonds. No one can entangle such people.
Does one get a faith by mere study of books? Too much reading creates confusion. Sri Ramakrishna used to say that one should learn from the scriptures that God alone is real and the world illusory.

On Japa and Meditation

At Udbhodhan 1909
Pray to the Lord to make your heart as pure as the star. As a result of sincere and regular japa and meditation you will find that the Lord will speak to you. All your desires will be fulfilled and you will experience pure bliss.
Realization of God, or meditation, all these depend on the mind. Concentrate, and everything will come to pass.
Do not give up japa even if the mind is unsteady and unwilling. You must go on with the repetition. And you will find that the mind is getting gradually steadier-like a flame in a windless corner. Any movement in the air disturbs the steady burning of the flame; even so the presence of any thought or desire makes the mind unsteady. The mantra must be correctly repeated. Incorrect utterance delays progress.
One should practice japa and meditation at regular times, giving up idleness. While living a Dakshineswar I used to get up at 3 o’clock in the morning and practice japa and meditation. One day I felt a little indisposed and left the bed rather late. The next day I woke up still late through laziness. Gradually I found that I did not feel inclined to get up early at all. Then I said to myself, “Ah, at last I have fallen a victim to idleness.” There upon I began to force myself to get up early.
Gradually I got back my former habit. In such matters one should keep up the practice with unyielding resolution.
One must do some work. Through work alone one can remove the bondage of work, not by avoiding work. Total detachment comes later on. One should not be without work even for a moment.
(To a person who carelessly threw away the broom after sweeping the courtyard) “What is this? You have thrown away the broom with such disrespect when the work is done. It takes only the same length of time to put it gently in a corner as it does to throw it aside. One should not trifle with a thing, though it may be very insignificant. Will you not again need that broom? One should perform even an insignificant work with respect.

On Instructions and Spiritual Practice

At Jayrambati 1918
Be sincere in your practice, words and deeds. You will feel blessed! His blessings are always showered on all creatures on the earth. It is needless to ask for it. Practice meditation sincerely and you will understand His infinite grace. God wants sincerity, truthfulness and love. Outward verbal effusions do not touch Him.
The more intensely a person practices spiritual disciplines, the more quickly he or she attains God… Those who spend their time idly, without practicing prayer and meditation, will take a long time to attain Him.
Continue to pray without losing your heart. Everything will happen in time. For how many cycles did the sages of old practice austerities to realize God, and do you believe you will attain him in a flash? Is it so easy to realize God? But this time Sri Ramakrishna has shown an easy path.
One has no control over illness, but even in the midst of illness or intense activity, one should at least remember God and salute him.
If you do not call upon God-indeed many people never even remember him-what does it matter to him? It is your own misfortune. Such is the maya of God; he keeps them ignorant of himself saying, “They are happy enough, let them be so!”
Don’t puzzle the mind with too many inquiries. One finds it difficult to put one thing into practice, but dares invite distraction by filling the mind with too many things.
If the mind feels at rest in a particular place, there is no need of pilgrimage.
If you are constantly in touch with the objects of enjoyment, you are likely to succumb to their influence.

Compiled by a Monk of the Ramakrishna Order