According To Smarta Tradition,
Lord Siva is one of the five primary forms of the Hindu God, (Siva, Vishnu, Sakthi, Surya, and Ganesa in the panchayatana puja – the five shrines of worship) who along with Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu form the Divine order of Trinity that controls this universe.
In that said Divine order, while Lord Brahma is the Srishti Karaka – the Creator; Lord Vishnu is the Sthithi Karaka – the Maintainer or Preserver; and Lord Siva is the Laya Karaka – the Destroyer or the Transformer.
Goddess Kali – the destroyer of evil forces – is often considered the Sakthi form of Lord Siva and is also closely associated with Him in many of our sacred Puranas. The word, “Kali” is derived from the Sanskrit term ‘Kala’ which means Time. Therefore, Goddess Kali is regarded as the one unified Divine form of Time, Power, Creation, Preservation and Destruction in this universe.
Goddess Kali is also the first of the ten ‘Maha Vidyas’ that which are the manifestations of Goddess Parvathi. Any deity of Kali anywhere in the world, as you may have observed, is found in a standing position dancing on Her consort, Lord Siva.
Since Goddess Kali is highly regarded with great reverence as the Annihilator of all the evil forces in this Universe, many followers of the Tantric Vidya worship Her as Divine Mother, ‘Adi Sakthi’ or ‘Adi Parasakthi’. It is also strongly believed by many devotees Of Kali that, “evil forces fear to enter any place where Kali is being worshiped”.
Although Goddess Kali has many Temples all around the world, there’s one Indian Temple which is undoubtedly the most powerful of them all because Goddess Kali Herself is residing in Her own Divine form in this Temple, even today.
Here’s The Beginning Of This Baffling Story
Some time during 1847, when the whole of India was reeling under the British Rule, an aristocratic lady by name Rani Roshmoni, belonging to a Zamindari family of the North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal, had decided to go on a pilgrimage in 24 boats to Kashi (Benares) along with her family members, relatives and friends.
Just a night before the day of the beginning of the pilgrimage, Rani Roshmoni had a Vision. In that vision, Divine Mother appeared to her in the form of Goddess Kali and told her, “there’s no need to go to Banaras. Instead, install my deity in a temple on the banks of a river near you and arrange for my worship there everyday.. Then I shall manifest myself in the deity there and accept all worship”.
Amazed by her vision of the divine Mother more so with what She told her in the vision, Rani Roshmoni immediately purchased a twenty acre land from a British official near a river nearby and commenced the construction of the Kali temple in that land in 1847 and completed it in 1855. She spent about nine hundred thousand Indian rupees on construction of that Temple.
Finally, On 31st May, 1855
On the most auspicious day of the Snana Yatra, Sri Sri Sri Jagadeeswari Maha Kali Temple built by Rani Roshmoni, was inaugurated amidst chanting of Vedic Hymns by one hundred thousand Brahmins who specially came there from many parts of India on the invitation of Rani Rashmoni.
On the same day, Rani Roshmoni appointed a great scholar, Ramkumar Chhattopadhyay, as the head priest of the Temple. After a few days, Ramkumar’s younger brother by name Gadai and his nephew, Hriday, joined him to assist him in performing the daily rituals at the Temple.
Unfortunately, after about a year in 1856, Ramkumar left this world. In his place his brother Gadai became the head priest of the Jagadeeswari Temple. Gadai remained in that position for thirty long years until he too left this world in 1886.
Gadai and his wife were great devotees of Goddess Kali and would lead a humble life staying in a small room in that Temple. During his thirty years of tenure as the head priest of Jagadeeswari Temple, Gadai developed the Temple in a big way. Not only had he expanded the Temple but also had made it immensely popular among the devotees of Bengal.
Here’s The Actual Baffling Story Behind This Temple
After commencing the construction of this Temple, Rani Roshmoni had assigned the most important task of carving the idol of the main deity, Kali, to a famous sculptor of those days by name, Navin Pal. Navin Pal was not only a great sculptor but also was a great devotee of Goddess Kali.
He would normally follow many austerity measures while sculpting any deity. Because sculpting was like performing penance for him. When he was assigned with the job of sculpting the deity for the Jagadeeswari Temple it was more than performing a penance for him than sculpting an idol.
From the day he commenced the sculpting of Kali statue for Jagadeeswari Temple, Navin Pal followed many strict measures one of which was to eat only one meal a day at 3 pm everyday. Other than that, he would never touch anything else in the day and used to spend many hours sculpting, carving and designing the Goddess Kali’s statue.
Impressed with Her child’s devotion towards Her more so with his dedication towards his work, Goddess Kali slowly started infusing Her own life into the statue that was being sculpted by Navin Pal.
On an auspicious day, after Navin Pal carved out a stunning idol from a stone and made it a Deity of Kali to be worshiped in a Temple; after the idol was sanctimoniously placed in the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Jagadeeshwari Temple; after following many sacred procedures instilling drops of life (Prana Pratishta) into that deity; and after Gadai became the head priest of the Temple, many amazing changes have gradually started taking place in that Temple.
While performing daily rituals to the Goddess’s Kali’s statue, everyday in the Temple, Gadai would often find subtle movements in the deity.
However, he was not sure whether it was just his feeling or was there really any movement in the deity. Still he had a strong feeling that Goddess Kali is residing in that deity in Her own real form as She told Rani Roshmoni when She appeared in her vision.
Just to make sure whether it was only his doubt or was there really any life in that deity, Gadai, on one fine day took a piece of Cotton in his hand and placed it close to the Divine nostrils of the holy Goddess Kali’s idol.
To his utter shock, his whole body shivered as he clearly noticed movement in the cotton piece he held closely to the Divine nostrils of Goddess Kali. That movement, he could know, was a clear indication of Goddess Kali’s inhalation and exhalation process of respiration.
Gadai immediately called everyone associated with Sri Jagadeeshwari Temple and told them,
“Goddess Kali is alive in this beautiful deity and is receiving all our prayers everyday”.
While Goddess Kali – residing in that Temple in Her real divine form – is worshiped today as Goddess Bhavatarini (the one Who liberates Her devotees from the ocean of existence or the samsara); the then Sri Jagadeeshwari Temple is more popularly known today as the famous ‘Dakhineswar Temple’ located on the Eastern bank of River Hooghly near the historic city of Kolkata.
And that great head priest, Gadai, who noticed the Divinity in the deity of the Dakshineswar Temple that day went on to become the globally renowned Hindu Saint, ‘Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa’.
“Annapurne Sadapurne Sankara Prana Vallabhe.. Gnaana Vairaagya Siddhyartham Bikshaam Dehicha Parvati”
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