Sri Bharati Prana also known as Sarala Devi was the first president of the Sri Sarada Math and Ramakrishna Sarada Mission. She was a student of Sister Nivedita and a direct disciple and personal attendant of Sri Sarada Devi. She was born in July 1894 in an ordinary brahmin family in a village called Guptipara. She was the eldest daughter of Sri Rajendranath Mukherjee and Sushila Devi.
As a child bride, She was unwilling to live with her husband and walked out of her house alone to Sudhira Devi, a teacher in the Sister Nivedita school, where Sarala was a student.Under the guidance of Sudhira, Sarala practised rigorous austerities.
Later Sudhira got her trained as a nurse. She nursed the Holy Mother, Sri Sarada Devi for nearly 7 years during which period she was privileged to watch the disciplined life of the Holy Mother. Later She received Sannyasa from Swami Saradananda, direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna.
Later when within a short period, Sudhira, the Holy Mother and others close to her passed away, young Sarala went to Varanasi and lived alone for a continuous stretch of nearly 30 years. She spent a life of deep meditation and penance.
In 1954, when the Sri Sarada Math, the women’s wing of the Ramakrishna Order was established, Sri Bharatiprana became its first president. She was like a rock on which the Sri Sarada Math was built and she guided its destiny for nearly two decades.