Mathru Sri Sarada
Sarada was given the name Mathru Sri Sarada by Bhagavan Sri
Lakshmana Swamy when Sri Sarada realised her self. Mathru means
mother. Mathru Sri Sarada realised her self through her intense
love and surrender to Bhagavan, thus becoming one with him. The
book, No Mind, I am the Self, contains details about them.
Brief Life Sketch (based on No Mind, I am the Self):
Ramanadham, Saradamma's father, was a
childhood friend of Lakshmana Swamy. However, they lost touch
of each other after their college days. Ramanadham and his
wife, Bhanumathy, were devotees of Sri Ramakrishna and Swami
Vivekananda. Therefore, when Saradamma was born in 1959, they
named her after Sarada Ma, wife of Sri Ramakrishna.
Though initially healthy, Saradamma was
afflicted with many ailments as a child, thereby losing her
good health and her light complexion. Saradamma had a
curiously ascetic nature, not caring for good clothes or food.
Many people mistook her for a servant because of her dark
complexion and poor clothes. Saradamma was indifferent to such
views. Young Saradamma also had a very generous disposition.
Ramanadham, on becoming aware that his
childhood friend had become a great yogi, started visiting
Lakshmana Swamy for the annual and eventually bi-annual
darshans. Lakshmana Swamy became more accessible in 1972 but
it was not until 1974 that Saradamma started visiting
Lakshmana Swamy regularly. Lakshmana Swamy's face would light
up with a big smile whenever he looked at her. He recognised
her as an advanced devotee who was capable of realising her
Saradamma started having dreams of Lakshmana
Swamy after each darshan. Shortly, Saradamma started to
meditate on Swamy's form and accepted him as her Guru. Within
a year, the frequency with which Saradamma had Lakshmana
Swamy's darshan increased. During this time, apart from going
to school, Saradamma would spend her evenings and weekends
with Lakshmana Swamy. Eventually, she was spending so much
time thinking about Lakshmana Swamy that her studies suffered.
Saradamma's education ended when she was in her 8th standard.
Recognizing her devotion and love for him, Lakshmana Swamy
informally adopted Saradamma as his daughter.
Details about the period between 1975 and
1978 are sketchy since Saradamma had stopped maintaining her
diary by then. Lakshmana Swamy's mother, jealous of
Saradamma's increasing prominence, harassed her in numerous
ways. Lakshmana Swamy also tested Saradamma's devotion and
faith many times. During this time, Saradamma would do japa or
meditate on Lakshmana Swamy's form for up to 20 hours a day.
In the remaining four hours she would be dreaming about him.
The holy mountain, Arunachala, has had a
significant positive influence on Saradamma's spiritual
progress. During her third visit to Arunachala, as Lakshmana
Swamy, Saradamma and other devotees were sitting on its
slopes; Lakshmana Swamy looked and smiled at Saradamma.
Saradamma lost thought and body consciousness. During the next
few days, whenever Saradamma looked at Lakshmana Swamy during
darshan she would go into the same state.
On returning back to Gudur, Saradamma resumed
her meditation. She discovered that she could enter into the
thought-free state whenever she was in the presence of
Lakshmana Swamy. During all these years, Lakshmana Swamy tried
a few times to persuade Saradamma to do self-inquiry. However,
self-inquiry had no attraction for Saradamma. Her path was
that of surrender.
It was at Bangalore, where Saradamma had gone
to help her sister, that Saradamma had her first experience of
Kevala Nirvikalpa Samadhi. This was in October of 1978. The
last few weeks of her stay there were spent in either a
thought-free state or Samadhi.
Saradamma returned back to Gudur on the 16th
of December, 1978. The next day, Saradamma went to the
Ashramam and sat before Lakshmana Swamy. She went back into a
thought-free state and eventually into Kevala Nirvikalpa
Samadhi. She remained so all day and night. The next day,
Lakshmana Swamy, realising that she was close to
self-realisation, recorded her words using a tape recorder.
Her 'I' thought repeatedly sank into her heart, but every time
it came back up into her brain, banging against her skull
causing intense pain. Saradamma unable to bear this pain took
Lakshmana Swamy's hand and placed it on her head. This made
her 'I' thought go back into the heart. Three minutes later it
again came back causing similar pain. Saradamma placed her
head on Lakshmana Swamy's feet, upon which her 'I' thought
returned to its source and died forever. Saradamma had
realised her self permanently on 18th December 1978.
Lakshmana Swamy gave Saradamma a new name
Mathru Sri Sarada. Mathru means mother and Sri is a common
Hindu honorific. Initially, Saradamma wanted to give up her
body; however, Lakshmana Swamy wanted her to retain it, since
sincere devotees would be benefited by her bodily presence.
The next one year was a struggle for Lakshmana Swamy to keep
Saradamma alive. She would lose body consciousness and
withdraw into the self almost daily. She was also not
interested in the outside world. Lakshmana Swamy was able to
keep her interested in the world by making her play with
dolls. In the next phase, Saradamma spent the whole day
playing with dolls. People would not believe that she was a
Jnani, but she did not care. Jnanis do not care for name or
Slowly, over the years, Saradamma has taken
up the role of catering to devotees' needs. Now-a-days, it is
she who interacts with devotees, Lakshmana Swamy having become
more reserved. While neither of them is available to the
general public, Saradamma occasionally gives darshan to some