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Photographer's Note

This is world famous temple of Maa Kali..

Kali Ma, called the "Dark Mother," is the Hindu goddess of creation, preservation, and destruction. She is especially known in her Destroyer aspect, squatting over her dead consort, Shiva, devouring his entrails while her yoni sexually devours his lingam, penis. Kali, in this aspect is said to be "The hungry earth, which devours its own children and fattens on their corpses…" In India the experience of the Terrible Mother has been given its most grandiose form of Kali, which just is not simple imagery; it is the image of the Feminine, particularly the Maternal, for in a profound way life and birth are integrally connected to death and destruction.

Kali serves as the archetypal image of the birth-and-death Mother, simultaneously the womb and tomb, giver of life as well as the devourer of her children: the identical image was portrayed in a thousand ancient religions. Current psychologists face this image with an uneasy acknowledgement of its power. Apparently the image of the angry, punishing, castrating Father seems less threatening than the destructive Mother--perhaps because she symbolized the inexorable reality of death, whereas he only postulated a problematic post-mortem judgment. Perhaps this is one reason the Roman Catholics maintain the teaching of purgatory, to divert the final end.

TEMPLE ORIGIN:


In the year 1847, the wealthy widow Rani Rasmani prepared to go upon a long pilgrimage to the sacred city of Banaras to express her devotions to the Divine Mother. In those days there was no railway line between Calcutta and Banaras and it was more comfortable for rich persons to make the journey by boat rather than by road. We are told that the convoy of Rani Rasmani consisted of twenty four boats carrying relatives, servants, and supplies. But the night before the pilgrimage began, the Divine Mother, in the form of the goddess Kali, intervened. She appeared to the Rani in a dream and said, "There is not need to go to Banaras. Install my statue in a beautiful temple on the banks of the Ganges river and arrange for my worship there. Then I shall manifest myself in the image and accept worship at that place." Profoundly affected by the dream, the Rani immediately looked for and purchased land, and promptly began construction of the temple. The large temple complex, built between 1847 and 1855, had as its centerpiece a shrine of the goddess Kali, but also had temples dedicated to the deities Shiva and Radha-Krishna. A scholarly and elderly sage was chosen as the head priest and the temple was consecrated in 1855. Within the year this priest died and his responsibility passed to his younger brother, Ramakrishna, who over the next thirty years would bring great fame to the Dakshineswar temple.

In this temple maa Kali is the goddess in her form as Dakshina Kalika - one of the most popular Bengali images of the goddess. Her guises are many, and include Bhadra (auspicious) Kali, Shmashana (cremation ground) Kali, Guhya (secret) Kali and a host of others. It is only in the great tantrik traditions that we find a clue to the real meaning of the gruesome images associated with Kalika. Although Hinduism was much reviled by early Western colonisers for its idolatry and pantheistic practices, this was a very narrow view. Tantrik texts repeatedly speak of the Devis or goddesses as being aspects of the one goddess. The same holds true for the male aspects. As individual humans all reflect the macrocosm, it's fair to describe the gods and goddesses of tantra as specialised aspects of ourselves - and, therefore, of life itself.

THE PHOTOGRAPH WAS TAKEN SNEAKING OUT AS IT IS PROHIBITED TO TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS HERE.
IN KOLKATA THIS PLACE HAS GIVEN MEANING TO LOTS OF LOTS OF LOVE STORIES WHEN PARENTS OPPOSE MARRIAGE..THE COUPLE JUST VISITS THIS TEMPLE AND GET MARRIED EXCHANGING GARLAND WITH MAA KALI BEING THE WITNESS...

JAI MAA KALI....!!!!

NOTE COURTESY:
http://www.dakshineswar.com

ksvijayb, rajju, arjun_das, thaprem, jaja1970, goodwill has marked this note useful

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Indranil Kar (indoka28) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 417 W: 744 N: 1237] (5237)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2006-08-09
  • Categories: Architecture
  • Exposure: f/5.6
  • More Photo Info: view
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2006-09-20 5:13
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Additional Photos by Indranil Kar (indoka28) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 417 W: 744 N: 1237] (5237)
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