Brought up in a poor brahmin family in rural Bengal, Śāradā was married to Rāmakṛṣṇa at the age of five. At 17 she joined him at the temple where he was resident in Kolkata (Calcutta), and thereafter served him as a disciple. He, in turn, identified her as a manifestation of the Goddess (Devī), and the embodiment of all wisdom. Taking their cue from this, the association founded in his name, the Rāmakṛṣṇa Mission, subsequently revered her as the ‘Holy’ or ‘Divine Mother’, Rāmākṛṣṇa's name for Kālī. After his death, she became the spiritual figure head of the association, resident at their headquarters at the Rāmakṛṣṇa Maṭha near Kolkata, and she, Rāmakṛṣṇa, and Vivekānanda (1863–1902) are worshipped as the ‘Holy Trio’ of the contemporary Mission.