Sri Ramakrishna Saves a Temple


    There was an old, dilapidated, neglected temple of the Divine Mother in the heart of Kolkata. Sri Ramakrishna struggled to save the temple. This is the story.

    Ramakrishna, the Great Master states an important aspect of Sri Ramakrishna’s life. There is a temple even now in Kolkata, near Kuthighat, in the region of Baranagar. It is the Dashamahavidya Temple. Dasha-mahâ-vidyâs are the ten aspects of the Divine Mother or ten forms of the Divine Mother. This temple in Kolkata has the images of the ten mahavidyas. Near the temple is a bathing place, called ghat, on the bank of the River Ganga. This ghat was built by a landlord called Ratan Roy. He was from a village called Naral. For some time, the temple was in a dilapidated condition. This decaying condition continued for quite a long time.


    The Dashamahavidya Temple is near Dutch Kuthi. Dutch Kuthi is the place where the Dutch did business of hogs and jute from 1605 to 1825.

    Once, Sri Ramakrishna went with Mathura Nath to see the temple. Finding the temple in such a condition, Sri Ramakrishna asked Mathur to provide rice and money monthly so that the service of the deities could be continued. Mathur readily agreed to that. Since that time, Sri Ramakrishna would visit the temple occasionally. One day, when he was returning from the temple, he met Jaynarayan Bandopadhyaya, a landlord of that place, who had also constructed a bathing ghat in his name. This landlord was associated with the Dashamahavidya temple. Jaynarayan knew Sri Ramakrishna well. So he welcomed the latter and showed respects. Jaynarayan asked Sri Ramakrishna: “Sir, we have heard that the Govinda image of the Dakshnieswar temple is broken. Is that so?” Sri Ramakrishna replied: “Ah, what a fine understanding! Can one, who is the indivisible Whole, be broken?” Seeing that various vain topics were being raised, Sri Ramakrishna changed the course of the talk. He advised Jaynarayan: “Give up unessential parts of everything and accept the essentials only.” Jaynarayan was intelligent enough to understand the depth of Sri Ramakrishna’s words.

    Most of us are busy with the non-essentials of dharma. Critics are always ready to pounce upon certain practices and customs which have very little to do with the essentials of dharma. Customs and practices are additions from time to time, due to the nature of human beings. Human nature is to give up the essentials and go to non-essentials of dharma. Sri Ramakrishna, therefore, told Jaynarayan, and through him the world, that the essentials are more important and we should hold on to them.


    We generally quote convenient phrases and incidents from the great personalities, especially avataras like Bhagavan Sri Ramakrishna, Mother, and Swamiji. We conveniently forget these incidents which are vitally important to the Hindu race.

    If Sri Ramakrishna feeds the poor in Deoghar, it is the beginning of a great movement of feeding the poor. If Sri Ramakrishna revives a temple, it should be the beginning of the revival of Indian temples, which were destroyed intentionally, due to negligence, and due to lack of shraddha. If the Deities are honoured, India shall rise again.