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Sannyasini GauriMata Puri Devi "is not" a "lay disciple" of Sri Ramakrishna as Swami Chetananda professes in his book; They lived with God. This is false and untrue, in accordance with the archives and books published by Sri Saradeshwari Ashram. The book "Saradeshwari in a Glance" written by President Mataji Vandana Puri Devi, direct monastic diciple of Sannyasini Gauri Mata Puri Devi and President of Sri Saradeshwari Ashram speaks and writes the "truth". This book is available at www.motherstrust.org. Sannyasini Gauri Mata Puri Devi "is" a "Monastic Disciple of Sri Ramakrishna" and Founder of the oldest womens convent Sri Saradeshwari Ashram in Kolkatta India established in 1895, in the direct lineage of Sri Ramakrishna and Sri Sarada Devi. The "Saradeshwari Ashram Kolkatta, India" is Headquarters to Mothers Trust Mothers Place, Ramakrishna Sarada Ashram in Ganges, MI USA. Sri Ramakrishna, the prophet of Dakshineswar, was born in 1836. To him, love of God and realization of the Divine was found manifesting in his life partner Sri Sarada Devi, who he worshipped as the Holy Mother. While Gauri Ma was living with Sri Ramakrishna and Holy Mother at Dakshineswar; Sri Ramakrishna gave Gauri Ma the ocher robes of a Sannyasini (nun), and made arrangements for the accompanying rituals of sannyas. Sri Ramakrishna himself offered a bilva leaf into the homa fire. Sannyasini Gauri Mata Puri Devi was the only woman monastic disciple, that was given her formal vows during Sri Ramakrishna s life time. In 1895 commissioned by Sri Ramakrishna, Sannyasini Gauri Mata Puri Devi founded the oldest Womens Math (convent), Sri Saradeshwari Ashram, in Kolkatta, India. In 1897 Swami Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Mission and in 1901, the Ramakrishna Math. In 1954, Trustees of the Ramakrishna Math funded and started the second womens math (convent), Sarada Math. Sri Ramakrishna was a mighty spring, his disciples so many powerful streams carrying his universal message forward. Mothers Trust/Mothers Place, also known as Ramakrishna Sarada Ashram, Lakeshore Interfaith Institute, Ganges, MI., USA is an affiliated branch of Sri Saradeshwari Ashram where the nuns take their final vows of Sannyas from the oldest womens convent commissioned by Sri Ramakrishna. The Ramakrishna Monks and Ramakrishna/Sarada Nuns, work together as equals in their service in their mission. A Must to Read! for persons interested in Religion, Hinduism, Spirituality, Vedanta, Philosophy, Comparative Religions and Women Studies. For photos and archives view www.motherstrust.org. Archives and books are presently being translated into english and published by eastern and western professionals and devotees. Sarada Ramakrishna written by Mataji Durga Ma will be available soon along with many others. For more information please contact www.motherstrust.org.

Mataji Gauribrata, President; Mothers Trust Mothers Place, Ramakrishna Sarada Ashram, Lakeshore Interfaith Institute, 6676 122nd Ave., Ganges, Michigan, USA. Phone: 616 293-6884 or Fax: 269 543-4183 www.motherstrust.org

Gauri Ma (1857-March 1, 1938), born Mridani,[1] was a prominent Indian disciple of Ramakrishna, companion of Sarada Devi and founder of Kolkata's Saradeswari Ashram.[2]

Early life Edit

Gauri Ma was born in Sibpur, Howrah, India. She possessed a strong tendency toward Hindu spirituality. By her thirteenth year, Gauri Ma had developed a distaste for marriage, telling her mother, “I shall marry only that bridegroom who is immortal,” meaning she wished to marry Krishna and no other.[3]

Gauri Ma received from a nun, a stone image of Vishnu. She was instructed by the nun, “This image of God is my all in all and is very living. He fell in love with you, so I hand him over to you. My child, worship him. It will do good to you.” [4] Gauri Ma accepted the gift and took the image of Vishnu as her husband. For the rest of her life she carried the stone image with her and served him.[5]

In 1875 Gauri Ma left with relatives and neighbors to go on pilgrimage to Gangasagar. On the third day of her stay, she disappeared into a crowd of pilgrims, eventually disguising herself as a nun to evade recognition. She began traveling by train and by foot to holy sites and monasteries throughout India. Gauri Ma practiced severe austerities such as fasting, observing silence, meditate and the studying of Hindu scriptures.[6]

Ramakrishna and Sarada Devi Edit

Gauri Ma lived as a companion to Sarada Devi whenever Sarada Devi was at Dakshineswar. Gauri Ma often cooked for Ramakrishna, and sang to him. Ramakrishna had a very high opinion of her, declaring, “Gauri is a perfect soul – a gopi of Vrindaban.” [7]

Ramakrishna encouraged Gauri Ma to settle down from her life of pilgrimage and devote herself to begin working on behalf of women in India. The women of India’s plight was great, and Ramakrishna wished her to work for their better education and development, both intellectual and spiritual. Gauri Ma protested, that she had neither the proper training nor education for such a feat. Ramakrishna replied, “Knead the clay. I am pouring the water.” [8]

Swami Vivekananda echoed Ramakrishna’s praise for Gauri Ma stating, “Where is Gauri Ma? We want a thousand such mothers with that noble stirring spirit.” [9] Gauri Ma was gently reminded by Sarada Devi, “The Master (Ramakrishna) said that your life was meant for serving women – the living goddess.” [10]

Saradeswari Ashram Edit

In 1895, the Saradeswari Ashram was started by Gauri Ma. Residence, board and instruction were free to unmarried, married and widowed women. Village girls also came in the afternoon. After returning from his first visit to America, Swami Vivekanada visited the ashram and told Gauri Ma, “I have talked to the western people about you, and shall take you there and show them the type of women India produces.” [11]

In 1911, the Ashram moved to Calcutta. Sarada Devi often visited the ashram, serving as an inspiration to those who dwelled within. For thirteen years, the ashram served in rented houses, moving four times to accommodate its growing population. After raising funds, in 1924 a three-story permanent ashram was constructed in its present location.[12]

Educational Ideas Edit

Education, to Gauri Ma, was a national duty. She taught that if the training of women is neglected, the whole nation suffers. The mother’s intelligence, love and insight build up the child. The Saradeswari Ashram, therefore, pursued programs of education that strived for the regeneration of womankind.

Gauri Ma carefully selected teachers at the ashram who lived ideal lives of plain and pure living, of high thinking, and who dedicated themselves to the cause of women. The Saradeswari Ashram had four plans: 1. Spread education among women according to the ideas of Hinduism and society; 2. Organization of women workers for the purpose; 3. Giving shelter to girls and widows in indigent circumstances but belonging to respectable families; 4. Helping women in their endeavor to live decent and virtuous lives.[13]

References Edit

  1. [ Swami Mumukshananda (1997), Great Women of India, Published by Advaita Ashrama, ISBN 81-85301-30-1]
  2. [ Sri Sarada Devi – The Great Wonder, (1984) Published by Advaita Ashrama, Calcutta, ISBN 81-85301-57-3]
  3. [ Swami Mumukshananda (1997), Great Women of India, Published by Advaita Ashrama, ISBN 81-85301-30-1]
  4. [ Durga Puri (1955), Gauri-ma, Published by Saradeswari Ashram, Calcutta]
  5. [ Swami Chetanananda, (1989), They Lived With God, Published by the Vedanta Society of St. Louis, ISBN 0-916356-61-2]
  6. [ Swami Chetanananda, (1989), They Lived With God, Published by the Vedanta Society of St. Louis, ISBN 0-916356-61-2]
  7. [ Durga Puri, (1955), Gauri-Ma, Published by the Saradeswari Ashram, Calcutta]
  8. [ Subratapuri Devi, (1996), Durga-Ma, The Only Sannyasini Disciple of Sri Sri Sarada Devi, Published by Saradeswari Ashram, Calcutta]
  9. [ Swami Vivekananda, (1968), The Complete Works of Swami Vivekanada, Published by Advaita Ashrama, Calcutta, Volume IV. ]
  10. [ Durga Puri, (1955), Gauri-Ma, Published by the Saradeswari Ashram, Calcutta]
  11. [ Gauri-Mata, Published by the Saradeswari Ashram, Calcutta]
  12. [ Gauri-Mata, Published by the Saradeswari Ashram, Calcutta]
  13. [ Gauri-Mata, Published by the Saradeswari Ashram, Calcutta]

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