Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was formally married to Sri Sarada Devi, who in her later life was acclaimed as the Holy Mother by her devotees. But, he had a unique relationship with her. He looked upon her as the veritable manifestation of the Divine Mother and any thought of physical relationship never ever crossed his mind. Of course, other people were baffled by this attitude and someone even went to the extent of asking him as to why he did not lead the life of a normal householder with his wife. Sri Ramakrishna explained his attitude through a beautiful story from our Puranas.
One day Ganesha was playing with a cat and he deliberately scratched it with his nails. On returning home he was shocked to see a mark of scratch on the cheek of his mother Parvati. He was very much disturbed and asked her as to who did this to her. Parvati, who was none other than the Mother of Universe, replied, “This is the work of your own hands with a scratch of nails”. Ganesha was wonderstruck and he said, “How can that be a mother? Can I do this to you? I do not remember to have scratched you anytime”. The mother replied, “My dear, did you scratch and injure anyone during the day”? Ganesha replied, “Yes mother, I had scratched a cat playfully, but how did you get this on your cheek”? Parvati replied, “Dear child, I am the Mother of the entire universe. Hence, whenever you hurt anybody, you automatically hurt me”. Ganesha was ashamed and then and there resolved that he would never marry anyone since every woman was a mother to him. Realizing this motherhood of women Ganesh gave up a marriage.
Sri Ramakrishna added, “I am like Ganesha. I consider every woman as the Divine Mother”.