According To Smarta Tradition, Lord Siva, is one of the five chief forms of the Hindu Gods, (Siva, Vishnu, Shakti, Surya, and Ganesha) who along with Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu form the divine order of Trinity that controls and governs this universe.
In the above said divine order,
Lord Brahma is the Srishti Karaka – the Creator
Lord Vishnu is the Sthithi Karaka – the Mantainer or Preserver
Lord Siva is the Laya Karaka – the Destroyer or the Transformer.
Goddess Kali, who is the destroyer of negative or evil forces, is often considered the Sakthi form of Lord Siva. She is closely associated with Him in many sacred stories and history. The word, “Kali” is derived from the Sanskrit term, Kala and is hence regarded as the divine representative of all the Time, Power, Creation, Preservation and Destruction in this universe. (Above picture Sri Dhakshineshwar Kali Temple, courtesy: Wikipedia)
Goddess Kali is also considered the first of the ten ‘Maha Vidyas’ or the manifestations of the great Goddess, Parvathi. At all temples of Kali, anywhere in the world, is found in a standing position dancing on Her consort, Lord Siva.
Since Goddess Kali is considered as the annihilator of all the evil forces in this Universe, many followers of the Tantric Vidya worship Her as the Divine Mother, Adi Sakthi or Adi Parasakthi. It is strongly believed by many devotees Of Kali that, “Evil forces fear to enter any place where Kali is being worshiped”.
Although Goddess Kali has numerous temples in the world, there’s one Indian Temple which is unquestionably the most powerful of all the Kali Temples. This is because it is believed that Goddess Kali is residing in Her own real divine state at this Temple.
The Mystifying Story:
During the year 1847, when India was reeling under the British Rule, a titled lady by name Rani Roshmoni, belonging to a Zamindari in West Bengal, decided to go on a pilgrimage. She, along with her family members, friends decided to embark on this journey in four boats, to the holy city of Kasi.
As everything was planned and scheduled for her departure the next day, Rani had a dream with a vision. In her dream, the Divine Mother appeared in the form of Goddess Kali and told her,
“There is no need to go to Banaras. Instead, install my deity in a temple on the banks of a River and arrange for my worship everyday there. Then I shall manifest myself in the deity and accept worship at that place.”
Astonished by the words of the divine Mother, Rani Roshmoni instantly purchased a twenty acre land from a British official and intiated the construction of the Kali temple in 1847 which was subsequently completed in 1855.
On 31st May, 1855, on an auspicious day of the Snana Yatra, Sri Sri Sri Jagadeeswari Maha Kali Temple was inaugurated amidst chanting of Vedic Hymns by one hundred thousand Brahmins who specially came to that Temple from many parts of India, on the invitation of Rani Roshmoni.
On that very day, Rani Roshmoni employed the scholarly Ramkumar Chhattopadhyay as the head priest of the Temple. After about a few days, Ramkumar’s brother by name Gadai and his nephew by name Hriday joined him, to assist him in performing the daily rituals at the Temple.
Unfortunately, the following year, Ramkumar left this world and in his place his brother Gadai became the head priest of the Jagadeeswari Temple and remained in that position for thirty long years until he too left this world in 1886. Gadai and his wife were ardent devotees of Goddess Kali and would lead a humble life staying in a small room in that Temple.
While intiating the construction of this Temple, Rani Roshmoni had entrusted the important task of carving the statue of the main deity, Kali, to a famous sculptor, Navin Pal. Although a great sculptor, Navin Pal, was also an ardent devotee of the goddess and would follow many strict measures while sculpting.
Since the beginning of the process of sculpting of Kali statue for Jagadeeswari Temple, Navin Pal followed many strict measures including eating only one meal a day at 3 pm.
His entire focus was on the Goddess and sculpting to his best potential. Goddess Kali was extremely delighted with Her child’s devotion towards Her and the dedication to his work. She gradually started infusing Her own life into the statue.
After the immaculate sculpture was ready to be installed in the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Jagadeeshawari Temple, numerous sacred procedures were instilled including drops of life (Praana Pratishata).
While executing his daily rituals to Goddess’s Kali’s statue, the head priest Gadai would often find subtle movements in the deity. Gadai, however was not sure if this was real or his imagination.
Gadai had a strong intuition that Goddess Kali is living in that deity in Her own form as mentioned by her to Rani Roshmoni.
To erase his doubts and the constant puzzling moments, Gadai, on one fine day, took a piece of Cotton in his hand and placed it in front of the nostrils of the holy Goddess Kali.
To his sheer disbelief, he was stunned when he found a subtle movement in the cotton piece in his hand as though caused by the exhaling and inhaling of air.
Gadai immediately expressed to everyone associated with the temple that, “Goddess Kali is alive in the deity and receiving prayers from us every day.” People were shocked and rejoiced this information which made the temple immensely powerful and popular. The Goddess Kali, residing in this Temple in Her real divine form, is worshiped as Bhavatarini (the one Who liberates Her devotees from the ocean of maya or samsara) today. This Sri Jagadeeshawari 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.
In his later years, Gadai, the head priest of this Jagadeeshwari Temple, went on to become a worldwide renowned Hindu Saint who is widely known throughout today as, ‘Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa’. (Image courtesy: Pinterest.com)
Om Klim Kalika-Yei Namaha !
Jai Maa Kali !