Visit of Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi to Varanasi
Some devotees believe that during her second visit in 1895 along with her mother and a few other relatives, she experienced first-hand that Sri Ramakrishna was none other than Lord Vishwanath.
Holy Mother arrived in Varanasi for the third time on 5th November 1912. After resting for a while at the Ramakrishna Advaita Ashrama she went to "Lakshmi Nivas" the house completed hurriedly for her visit by the Dutta family of Bagbazar. She was accompanied by Master Mahasay, his wife and sister-in-law, Golap-ma, Bhanu-pishi, Bibhuti Ghosh (affectionately referred to by her as 'kalomanik') and others.
Holy Mother along with other ladies stayed on the first floor while others put up in the ground floor. The next day Mother went to visit the deities Vishwanath and Annapurna in a palanquin.
On November 9th, following the day of Shyamapuja Holy Mother visited the Ramakrishna Mission Home of Service, in presence of Swamis Brahmananda, Shivananda, and Turiyananda, Charu Babu (later Swami Shubhananda), Dr Kanjilal, and other devotees. Kedarbaba (Swami Achalananda) accompanied her palanquin and showed her round the entire campus. She expressed great delight at the place and all the arrangements and remarked, "The Master himself is present here and Mother Lakshmi is here in all her majesty." While talking to Kedarbaba she wanted to know about the initiation and the taking shape of the institution. Soon after going back to Lakshmi Nivas, she sent a ten-rupee note as donation to the Sevashrama. The note is still kept there as an invaluable asset. Later that day at her residence she said to a devotee, "I saw the Master himself present there, and that is why this work goes on here. These are all his work."
She visited Kedareswar temple and saw the vesper services. She remarked that the Kedar of Kedarnath in the Himalayas and that in Kashi were the same and sight of the later would kindle the same spiritual fervour as would be with that of the former. She visited other temples including Tilbhandeshwar where she said that it was a 'Swayambhulinga'. She used to have a fond feeling for the Shivalinga of Shooltankeswar near Dasaswamedh Ghat.
Holy Mother visited Sarnath during her stay. Devotee Miss Josephine Mcleod had arranged a large carriage for her but on the day of the visit she organized another carriage since the one arranged by Miss Mcleod did not arrive on time. The same was used by Swami Brahmananda and a few other devotees after its late arrival to proceed to Sarnath after Holy Mother had left. At Sarnath Holy Mother went around seeing the relics. On seeing a couple of European tourists she said "Those who had built this place have come again and are astonishingly saying that what remarkable things have been done!"
While coming back though she insisted that Rakhal (Swami Brahmananda) and others who had come by the bigger carriage take the same one back, she had to change plans and take the bigger carriage at the behest of Swami Brahmananda who took the one Holy Mother had come by. It so happened that on the way back that carriage upturned while negotiating a bend. Though there was no grave injury to the passengers, Swami Brahmananda was relieved that Mother had not taken the ill-fated carriage. Holy Mother coming to know of the incident said that what was in store for her was deliberately taken by Rakhal on his shoulders.
The Mother visited two holy men this time at Banaras (Varanasi now) - one of them was a follower of Sri Nanak, and the other was Chameli Puri. The former was new to the place and was seated on the bank of the Ganges. The Mother offered a rupee at his feet and saluted him. The grand old monk Chameli Puri was asked by her companion Golap-Ma, 'Who arranges for your food?' And the Puri replied with faith and warmth, 'It is Mother Durga alone who does; who else does?' The monk's faith and deportment pleased the Mother immensely and on returning home she said, 'Ah! The old man's face comes to my mind it is so very like that of a child!' Next day she sent him some oranges, sweets, and a blanket. When on a subsequent day there was a talk of her going out to see more holy men, she remarked, 'What more holy men have I to see! For there indeed I have seen a holy man! Who else can there be?"
During her stay she listened to discourses on "Kashikhanda" and on a day, the Srimad Bhagavat at the Ramakrishna Advaita Ashrama. She witnessed Raaslila at the Advaita Ashrama and prostrated before the young boys playing the roles of Radha and Krishna and offered them money. On 30th December 1912, her birthday was celebrated at the Advaita Ashrama.