Saturday, July 02, 2005

The Historical Temple of Kali at Dakshineshwar Kolkata...

My Visit to the Temple....

I had reached Kolkata for some of my work and I wanted to visit Ganga Sagar and also visit the temple that I had kept hearing a lot about since the time I was a child. I was wondering how Guru of Vivekananda used this place and how he was enlightened and how he was involved in shaping the destiny of millions of devotee’s world wide…

In the year 1847, the wealthy widow queen Rani Rasmani prepared to go upon a long pilgrimage to the sacred city of Banaras to express her devotions to the Divine Mother. In those days there was no railway line between Calcutta and Banaras and it was more comfortable for rich persons to make the journey by boat rather than by road. But in the night before the pilgrimage began, the Divine Mother, in the form of the goddess Kali, intervened. She appeared to the Rani in a dream and said, "There is no need to go to Banaras. Install my statue in a beautiful temple on the banks of the Ganges river and arrange for my worship there. Then I shall manifest myself in the image and accept worship at that place." Profoundly affected by the dream, the Rani immediately looked for and purchased land, and promptly began construction of the temple. The large temple complex, built between 1847 and 1855, had as its centerpiece a shrine of the goddess Kali, but also had temples dedicated to the deities Shiva and Radha-Krishna. (The image is by W. M Carey who was posted in East India Company a that time)

A scholarly and elderly sage was chosen as the head priest and the temple was consecrated in 1855. Within the year this priest died and his responsibility passed to his younger brother, Ramakrishna, who over the next thirty years would bring great fame to the Dakshineswar temple.


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