THE LAST MESSAGE
The years rolled by. It was 1920. The Holy Mother was now 67 years old. The number of her devotees had gradually grown to so many that she had no respite. Day and night, at Jayrambati and Calcutta, people crowded to have her ‘darshan’.
The strain was telling upon her health. Nevertheless, her compassion and love for the devotees was all the greater. She was seeing the Lord in all things—even in birds and animals.
In the beginning of 1920, at Jayrambati, she began running a slight temperature every day. Her feet were swollen. Swami Saradananda and the devotees decided that she should go to Calcutta for treatment. She bade farewell to Jayrambati on 24 February 1920. No one could have thought that it was her final departure.
She was lodged in the Udbodhan House in Calcutta. But her condition was worsening. She began detaching her mind from her surroundings and fixing it on Sri Ramakrishna. One day a woman devotee came and saluted her. Weeping, she said: ‘Mother, what will happen to us?’ In a feeble voice the Holy Mother replied: ‘Why should you be afraid? You have seen the Master.’ Then she added slowly: ‘Let me tell you something. My child, if you want peace, then do not look into anybody’s faults. Look into your own faults. Learn to make the world your own. No one is a stranger, my child; the whole world is your own.’ This was the Holy Mother’s last message to humanity.
The Mother left the world on 21 July 1920. A serene slumber settled over her emaciated body, which now gave out a celestial light. The body was carried across the Ganga to the Belur Math. A funeral pyre of sandalwood was lit in the afternoon.
Today on this very spot on the bank of the Ganga stands a beautiful little temple in white, attracting thousands of devotees. The Mother dwells there in spirit blessing them all, and reminding them: ‘The whole world is your own. No one is a stranger.’