Sri Sarada Devi and Her Divine Play! 304
Passages from “Sri Sarada Devi and Her Divine Play” – p: 306 – 308
By Swami Chetanananda
Vedanta Society of St Louis
RADHU – 12
With Holy Mother in Koalpara
It was decided that the party would rest in Koalpara for a couple of days before continuing to Jayrambati. However, Radhu slept well for two nights, and she wanted to stay in that quiet village. The Mother consulted with Kalikumar and others, and they suggested that it would be good for Radhu to stay in Koalpara rather than continue to Jayrambati. Radhu remained in Koalpara for six months (29 January to 22 July 1919).
Koalpara Ashrama stands on the main road from Kotalpur to Desra on the way to Jayrambati. It has a shrine, a kitchen, a dining room, rooms for the monks and devotees, and a well. On 14 November 1911 the Mother had installed photos of the Master and herself on the altar of the ashrama shrine. Holy Mother and Radhu stayed at Jagadamba Ashrama, which was at the farthest end of the village, about two furlongs east of the monastery. It had been built in 1915. This compound was in a solitary place, surrounded by high walls. The Mother’s cottage was spacious and had a cement floor. Near it was the kitchen. A big cottage at the southeast corner could accommodate seven or eight women devotees. Another cottage at the southwest corner served as a visitors’ room for the men devotees who visited the Mother from time to time. Monks and men devotees ate at Koalpara Ashrama while the women ate at Jagadamba Ashrama. Nearly 40 people lived in the two ashramas and Saradananda bore most of the expenses. During this period many devotees came to Koalpara and received initiation from Holy Mother.
After spending a few days in Koalpara, the Mother said to Brahmachari Barada: “Something has happened lately—whatever thought arises in my mind comes true, be it good or bad. Radhu likes this wild jungle because it is quiet. You are gone the whole day doing all sorts of errands. You come here before dusk to eat and you stay in the visitors’ room at night. I am a little scared because Radhu and Maku have jewellery here. I have asked Brahmachari Rajen also to come here at 10 or 11 at night after finishing his work in the ashrama.”26 [26 Swami Ishanananda, Matri Sannidhey, Udbodhan Office: Calcutta, 1969, p. 91-92]
After supper the Mother used to talk to Brahmachari Barada about the Master and about her problems. They would sit under a tree in the courtyard and speak in low voices so that Radhu could not hear. One evening the Mother said: “Look Barada, this jungle is so dense that I wonder if one day a bear may appear here.”
“Mother, we have never seen any bear in this area.”
“Well, my son, this jungle is so dark that it frightens me.”
A couple of days later, news came that the mother-in-law of Ambika, the village watchman, was mauled in the Desra field by a big bear. The villagers shot and killed the bear.