Dakhineswar Maa Kali temple; a journey through one of the most spiritually alive places in the whole of Bengal. How can I talk of Dakhineswar Kali temple without not becoming aware of Rani Rashmoni and Swami Rama Krishna?
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This post is a introductory thought on my very first visit to Dakhineswar Temple to fulfill a desire of seeing Maa Kali at the place where she was paid homage to, by none other than Sri RamaKrishna himself for close to 39 years. I shall always remember this visit on a early winter morning to see Maa, omnipresent as ever.
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Before i begin about this visit to Dakhineswar , let me take the opportunity to talk about Lord Rudra. If shakti & Kali Maa is synonymous with Bengal, it is Uttarakhand which is the realm of Shiva. Read here about my journey to the Paanch Kedar. Then there is the TriyugiNarayan where the marriage of Shiva & Parvati took place. There are legends galore in DevBhoomi Uttarakhand which i had the good fortune to visit. ( Note : The highlighted words are links to related articles )
If history still interests you? We all go to Goa to see the beaches , but have you heard about the ancient Shiva Temple in Goa which is the oldest temple in entire Goa region. Read here about Tamdi Surla.
Dakhineswar Maa Kali & Rani Rashmoni
Rani Rashmoni, on whose vision we see the present day Dakhineswar Temple. She was a great devotee of Maa Kali and was a great philanthropist as well. What does one say about Swami Ji as Shri RamaKrishna was known as or about Maa Sharada, his worldly wife in human form. The Belur temple across the Ganges is the beacon of Swami Ji and his spiritual teachings.
Maa Kali, the more I am becoming aware of this Great Goddess, the more I feel my understanding of her has just begun and will continue perhaps this full life of mine. Next year i hope to see Kali Puja and immerse myself in celebration of the Goddess. This year was my first introduction to Durga Puja in Kolkata. Would you like to read the same here ?
Jai Kali, Jai Ma Bhavatarini
There is a legend on Devi, the Mother Goddess, let me recite the same here. This legend forms the basis of Dakhineswar Maa Kali temple.
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When the GODS were unaware and exhausted, demon King Mahishasura took the opportunity to assemble an army and declare himself Ruler of Heaven and Universe.
This act of his angered Lord Vishnu from whose forehead there shot a beam of intense light. Lord Shiva too beamed an intense ray of light in the same direction as that of Lord Vishnu. Seeing the same Lord Brahma too emanated a single beam of intense light in the same order. The point where these three beams of light & energy met transformed into the form of a woman.
The light of Lord Shiva gave her face while Yama gave her hair and Vishnu her arms. From the light of Chandra, the moon god her breasts were formed while Indra modelled her waist and Lord Varuna her thighs. Earth gave her waist while Brahman her feet. The light from Lord Agni gave her three eyes. Thus from the aura so many gods and the holy trinity Devi, the Great Mother Goddess was manifested. Maa Kali is but a form of this Goddess herself .
The end of Mahishasura
Seeing the creation of the Devi, everyone understood the power that she amalgamated within herself. The demon king Mahishasura fought her with all his army and might, but then there was no stopping the Devi. After she felled the demon King, her fierceness could not subside, and thus the Gods appealed to Lord Shiva to calm her down. The only way Lord Shiva calmed her down we all know, and in that moment of self-realization, she stretched out her tongue in recognition of her mistake committed as a Hindu wife and calmed down immediately. Thus was born the image of Maa Kali, the main goddess of Dakhineswar Kali Temple. ( Note: I rewrote this extract from the book KALI – The Black Goddess of Dakshineswar authored by Elizabeth U Harding)
As my eyes fell on the image of this nine spired white Dakhineswar Maa Kali, so pure on the bank of the Ganges with 12 small shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva. I knew that it was indeed a calling that ensured that I made my way to the Great Ma Bhavatarini temple at Dakshineswar. Dakshineswar Maa Kali will be always be synonymous with Hoogly flowing nearby.
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