For Terror is Thy name,
Death is in Thy breath.
And every shaking step
Destroys a world for e’er.
Thou ‘Time’, the All-destroyer!
Come, O Mother, come!
– From “Kali the Mother” By Swami Vivekananda
Kolkata! 15 Feb 2012…. Navami….
From the Singaporean ambiance of Salt Lake City, Kolkata, one is now ready to go the heart of Kolkata… From the modern work environment of CCTV, electronic ID cards, secure-locked work areas that beep “Access Denied”, one is now ready to go to the freedom of fresh air, flowers, ponds, river Ganga, and the dance of Kali…
My good friend, Shiv, a Banarsi Babu in Kolkata, has ever so kindly offered to take me from here to there. We are good friends, thanks to the world of twitter, but this is the first time I meet him. And its like we have known each other from a long time….
Around 2:30 pm, we set off from Salt Lake City, the land of IT.
And we want to visit some of the places of Kolkata associated with that paragon of sages, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.
Shiv tells me that the roads should be free, as Kolkata folks take a siesta this time of the day, the pavement shops would have shut down, and would open around 4:30 pm or so… His driver, a Bengalee nods his appreciation, and tells me, “We Bengalees know how to take rest… we know the value of rest… Not like the marwaree shopkeepers… they keep their shops open all through the day… they know the value of money… but a good afternoon nap, they don’t know…” ..
This is the land of philosophers… I feel at home….
Driving through roads big and small, stopping and asking for directions, we arrive at our first destination….
We are at the garden house of Cossipore…
We begin at the end. This is the place where Sri Ramakrishna breathed his last.
The gates of the garden house open at 3:30 pm… We walk in… An oasis of peace…
Here’s a site map of the premises. Click on the picture to see it larger…
So what is this place? A banner inside the Mutt describes this… Click on the picture to see it larger…
The garden house where he stayed…. Picture below…
The ground floor has a few rooms, which are now shrines… The first floor has the room where Sri Ramakrishna stayed….
And what a heart rending scene it was, when the Master, Sri Ramakrishna, shuffled his mortal coils, and Mother Sarada Devi stood by his bedside and cried “Mother! O Kali! What have I done that you have gone away, leaving me alone and helpless?”
Oh yes, He was Kali!
And Cossipore is the place where he gave his ‘all’ to Narendra. This is the place where Narendra had his abidance in Nirvikalpa Samadhi… It is the place where Sri Ramakrishna gave ochre robes to twelve of his disciples. This is the place, where on January 1, 1886, he walked out into the garden and bestowed illumination on whoever was there in front of him… The day is celebrated since then as the Kalpataru day. To know more about that day, click here
A tree marks the place where he displayed his divinity, as the Kalpataru… A young Sanyasi tells me that this tree is an offshoot of the same tree that was there in this place on the Holy new year day of 1886…
Here’s a picture of the garden…
Here’s another picture…
Here’s a picture of a pond in the garden…. If there is peace in the world, it is here, it is here, it is here….
Signing off Cossipore now…. Next stop, Dakshineshwar…
Glory to Mother Kali!
** To be continued **