Dakshineswar is a small town in north 24 pargana district of West Bengal. Located in the north of Kolkata, today Dakshineswar is a suburb of Kolkata. It is here, Rani Rasmoni of Jan Bazaar royal family had built a temple complex in 1855. Built by the river Ganges, with temple of mother Bhavatarini (other form of mother Kali) occupying centre of place, the complex had other temples, of Shiva, and Radha – Krishna, around a central courtyard.
Rani had hired Ramkumar Chattopadhyay as the head priest of Kali temple. Along with Ramkumar also came his eccentric or some say crazy, brother Gadadhar Chattopadhyay. Gadadhar had only one desire in his life. That was to see mother Kali with his own eyes. Such was his intoxication that Gadadhar would plead with mother Kali to reveal herself. Gadadhar felt his human life was futile without a vision of the mother, so he tried to end his own life using mother’s kharga (scimitar). Finally, Gadadhar was blessed by mother kali.
Here in this temple complex and around it, crazy Gadadhar emerged as Paramahansa Thakur Sri Rama Krishna. He attained ultimate spiritual experiences pursuing vaishnava, tantra, vedanta practices. He attained both savikalpa and nirvikalpa samadhis. He also practiced islam and christianity and had visions of the prophet and Jesus.
The room where Sri Rama Krishna had spent his time has been preserved. Just behind the room of Shri Rama Krishna is the small room in Nahabat where holy mother Sri Sarada Devi lived for more than a decade. The place was also frequented by future direct disciples of Sri Rama Krishna and Holy Mother Sarada Devi in the monastic order of Rama Krishna Math and Mission. Lumineries like Narendra Nath (Swami Vivekananda), Rakhal Chandra (Swami Brhmananda) and many others used to frequent the temple complex to see Sri Rama Krishna and Holy Mother. Many of theses young men were blessed by Sri Rama Krishna here and had experience of the ultimate.
Today, as I go to Dakshineshwar and stand in front of mother Kali, I get goosebumps. Hardly two hundred years before Sri Rama Krishna used to stand here and cry, cajole, plead with mother for a Darshan. On this holy premises, so many sleepless nights Sri Rama Krishna must have spent seeking a vision of the divine in his god intoxicated state. For a devotee, every inch of the Dakshineswar temple complex and beyond is blessed with touch of Sri Ramakrishna and Holy Mother Sarada Devi. Dust of this place is holy and air sacred.