Travelogue: Dakshineswar, The Temple of Ramakrishna
This temple is special to our lineage as this is where Ramakrishna had spent most of his life worshiping. Shree Maa and Swamiji have long been connected with this temple.
We arrived at Dakshineswar by mid-morning and immediately noticed a long line of devotees in queue to receive darshan of Mother Kali in the main temple. We followed Shree Maa’s lead and first walked down the large staircase to the Ganga, which peacefully flows right in front of the temple grounds.
As Shree Maa stepped into the Ganga, She performed a beautiful puja to the river and then, together, we chanted one mala (108 repetitions) of the mantra “Om Hrim Gangayai Namah.” Some of the devotees filled up empty water bottles with Ganga water as requested by Shree Maa, as we were about to do pujas to the 12 Shiva Lingams.
As part of the worship, Shree Maa and Swamiji poured the Ganga water over each of the lingams.
At the end of every puja, Shree Maa touched her head to the Shiva Lingam and prayed “Lord Shiva please give everyone peace.”
As we went from temple to temple, it was exciting to listen to Swamiji’s stories and his tidbits of knowledge. For example, much to my surprise, he explained that the Devi Mandir Shiva Lingam, Napeshwar, is shaped in the exact same way as the Shiva Lingams at Dakshineswar. However, Napeshwar is many times larger than those of Dakshineswar.
Upon completing the pujas to the Shiva Lingams, we then made our way to the main temple for Mother Kali. They allowed Shree Maa, Swamiji and a number of the devotees to enter into the inner sanctum.
Shree Maa and Swamiji worshiped Mother Kali, doing the traditional puja as done by Shri Ramakrishna himself. Then, Shree Maa offered Kali Maa a beautifully jeweled red cloth and various ornaments. Mother Kali looked absolutely radiant!
I became very sentimental standing in front of the Goddess. I realized that this is the very same temple and the very same Kali Maa that Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa worshiped when He was the pujari!
Now, we were here with Shree Maa and Swamiji in the same temple, performing the worship in the same way that Ramakrishna himself did. All of our hearts soared to watch the beautiful worship performed by Shree Maa and Swamiji in this sacred place.
After the worship we went to see Ramakrishna’s living room, where He had held many satsangs. Upon arrival, everyone there was in silence and meditating. We sat down and joined them for some time and were filled with a divine attitude upon seeing the place where so many great satsangs with Ramakrishna had taken place.
Swamiji fell into a deep meditation and sat deeply absorbed for some time. Our beloved Shree Maa meditated for a while and then stepped outside to wait for Swamiji. As She sat peacefully on the steps, She attracted many local temple devotees to Her. They were hoping to just get a glimpse of our radiant Mother. In Her infinite compassion, She blessed each of them with a Rudraksha Bead.
Afterwards, Swamiji recounted to us that, in the days of his intense tapasya, after he would complete a sankalpa, he went to this very same room. There, he meditated and expressed his gratitude to Ramakrishna for giving him the opportunity to worship God.
Jai Maa! Jai Swamiji!