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Sarada Devi was born on 22 December 1853 in the little village of Jayrambati in the district of Bankura in West Bengal. Her parents,Ramachandra Mukhopadhyaya and Shyamasundari, were orthodox Brahmins. They were poor but generous and utterly simple. Many years later, Sarada Devi speaking of her parents’virtuous nature, remarked: ‘If they had not led a life of spiritual discipline, how could divinity have been born as their child?

’It is said that before Sarada’s birth, both parents had had visions foretelling the advent of a divine being. Once Ramachandra went on a visit to Kolkata. There he had a dream in which he saw a radiant little girl of golden complexion was clasping his neck, ‘Who are you?’ he asked. She replied: ‘Well, you see, I have come into your family.’

On his return home he told Shyama about it. She was surprised, for she too had had a vision. She described it thus: ‘One day, as I was going to the river, I sat down under a big tree there. Suddenly, I saw a charming little girl coming down from the tree. I was frightened at first, but she was full of angelic beauty and clasped my neck with her tender arms. I lost consciousness, and people carried me home. I feel she has entered my body.’

To be continued…