“Shokoli tomari ichha
Bama Khyapa, one of the greatest tantriks of this era resided in Atla, a village near tarapur, now known as Tarapith in the district Birbhum, West Bengal.Tourists and devotees from all over the country come here because it is beleived that during"Dakshya -Jagna", Sati's third eye has fallen here and is considered as one of the "sati-pithas' of 52 sati-peethas. Bamdeb Ashram is situated near by the temple.Enshrined at the Temple is a “Brahma –shila”of the Goddess Tara, who according to legend suckled the thirst drenched by Lord Shiva, and saved him from suffering. The Murti is covered in a mask during the day, and during the night the covering is removed. She is described as holding two snakes in her hands, and Lord Shiva on her lap suckling, in the form of a mother.
Amrit Manthan was done with the objective of churning out Amrit from the ocean. The Devas and Asuras took part in this churning exercise together. Amrit is HOLY NECTAR which gives immortality to any body who drinks it. Both the Devas and the Asuras wanted to have it. Amrit, many invaluable gems, stones, medicines and also Poison were also yielded by the ocean.The poison was so strong that if it fell on the ground then all Life would be wiped out. Fearing such devastation the Asuras and Devas went to Lord Shiva for help. He promised that He would drink the poison and save the world from destruction. As He drank the poison and his body turned into blue and hence he is known as Neel Kanthya. He was filled with pain. His body started burning from inside. When the pain became unbearable Maa Tara came and she fed Shiva her milk and He was cured.
Brahmrishi Vashistdev wished to receive Siddhi from Tara Maa, for this he had to do Sadhana, but after years of Sadhana he could not earn Siddhi. Then one day he heard a devya vani from the skies. It asked him to visit Buddharupi Janardhan in Mahachin. On meeting Buddharupi Janardhan, Vashistdev was asked to meditate on the banks of river Dwaraka in Birbhum district of what is now called West Bengal. On doing so Vashistdev received Siddhi from Tara Maa. later bama Khaya, Mohshanannada, Gyan baba, Shankar Baba, Nigamananda and some other tantriks also attained siddhi on the 'Panchamundi Asana.'
JEEBITA KUNDAYears later Jayadatta, a rich trader was travelling by river on his boat with his family. After travelling for some time Jayadatta decided to take rest as he came across this place. As they camped there, his son was bitten by a poisonous snake and he died then and there. After his demise, Jayadatta was mad with grief and wandered about aimlessly . He came across a place where he saw a fisherman trying to wash cut pieces of a fish with water from a nearby pond. As the fisherman sprinkled water on the dead fish, the pieces joined together and the fish regained life and jumped back in the pond. On seeing this miracle Jayadatta decided to put the same magic water on his dead son. On doing so his son also regained life.Jayadatta realized this was a miracle pond in a very special place and so was named ‘jeebita kunda” and paved the sides of the pond.
In recent times this holy place which is now known as Tarapith was made famous by His Holiness Bamakhyapa. Bamakhyapa was a great devotee and Sadhak of Maa Tara, whose life totally revolved around Maa. There are many Miracle stories involving Bamakhyapa and Maa Tara. He was a chosen and beloved son of Maa. He got His salvation by His Sadhana and Bhajana. It is largely because of Bamakhyapa that we know of Tarapith. He is probably the last true enlightened tantric of the era.
On Thursday, 12th Phalgun of Maha Shiva Ratri in Beng 1244 (Eng-1837) , Bamdeb was born to a religious Brahmin Sarbananda Chattopadhaya and Brahmamoyee Debi, better known as Rajkumari Debi, in a small village named Atla, near Tarapur, which later is known as Tarapith. They had 2 sons and 4 daughters, among whom Bamacharan was second. They lived in a mud house with roof of stray. Since childhood, he was a great devotee of Tara Ma. He made idols of clay from the mud of the pond. He “sacrificed” –yum, maan as a branch of his Puja. After his father passed away in 1262, he tried to get into some jobs for the livelihood of his family. He stayed there till his 11 years. But nowhere, he could concentrate except for the Shayama Sangeet and devotions& Puja preparations of Tara Maa.
SUPERNATURAL INCIDENTS OF HIS LIFE
There are various myths and miracle incidents revolving round Bamdeb. Once, a little and fair boy from one of the windows of a second storey house of Suren Chakraborty, called Bama while he was going to Tarapith in a scorching noon of Chaitra . The boy told him that he is the Narayan o that house and as no one takes care of him and no one bothers him to give a single drop of water for last few days, he will no more stay there and he gave Bama, a Shalgram Shila (black stone-Lord Narayan) engraved in silver and told him to take him away. Bama was later accused as a thief but he smiled away. Lord Narayan himself came in front of him is all for Bama.Rajkumari Debi was bound to free Bama from daily bondage of daily routine life after Bama was restless and requested His mother repeatedly to let him do so. When he was 11 years old, He had His Holy Threading Ceremony and then left His home as a Brahmachari. After he was set free from bindings, he went to the Maha Shamshan of Tarapith and met Brajabashi and Mokshanananda, from whom later he attained Diksha, Sanyas and Abhishek. He attained salvation under a Shimul Tree of Maha Shamshan, on the Panchamundi asana, which was used by the sage Vashistdev. In Varanasi, He met with the living Shiva-Trailanga Swami. Tara Maa appeared before him and assured him that She is always with him for ever. From that day, Bamacharan had become the sage Bamakhyapa.
Another miracle incident happened after Bama’s mother’s death in the month of Shravana, Beng-1264... He loved his mother, the best among all others. She was the only bondage of love, affection and earthly trappings. The villagers bought her body on the other bank of the over flooded river of monsoon with huge tides but were unable to bring her on the Shamshan for they did not know how to cross the barrier of gigantic Dwaraka. They asked Bama for help. Taking Holy name of Tara Maa, He threw his bath towel on the river and took His mother’s body with Him, wore “khararam” and walked on the river and crossed it and went on the other bank for cremation in Shamshan. The villagers came in big” kadai “, one by one. And the cremation of Chhoto Maa was done peacefully under the supervision of Baro Maa. Before two days of Shradh, He called up his younger brother Ramcharan and told him to invite all the villagers of Atla and its 6 neighbouring villages on that ceremony. He also added that Chandan-dhenu ritual will be done. Though they were penniless but Bama knew that all arrangements will be over smoothly by the grace of His Baro Maa. And that happened too. On the day of Shradh, Tara Maa came with Bama, in the disguise of a young girl and brought plenty of fish, sweets and curd. All the invitees were very happy and went back. And not last but the least miraculous incident happened when the total area was flooded with heavy rain and storm but not a single drop of rain fell in Atla during the Shradh ceremony because he gave a “dandi” (a boundary) around Atla. After the sebas of the Brahmins, kangali and Nara Narayan, only a few drops of rain dropped and washed away the banana leaves of their foodings. All the visitors were utterly astonished at this incident. He was a pure sage.
Bama used to call Tara Maa as “Baro Ma” and “Chhoto Ma” to his own mother. Tara Maa has appeared in front of him and had taken Her favourite child in her laps, many a times. He used to talk with her a lot. He himself ate with one hand and fed his Maa with the other. He quarreled with Her and also did toilet, often on Her laps, just as a baby does on its mother’s. When Bama was not given food and was beaten by some of the purohits in his back for not doing the Puja rituals in the traditional ways, similar beating spots appeared in Maa’s back too and She was also in fasting for those days. She told that she won’t be staying in Tarapith any more. When all her devotees Then She gave a dream to Annada Shankari, the queen of Natore stating that she can stay if only Bama is recruited as the main purohits who can do all the Pujas fro Her, in whatever ways, he feels like and daily Bhog needs to give Khyapa first and later to Maa. This practice started onwards that day. All started to see the most unusual “mantra less Puja.”
His days passed on gradually in the mandir, in the Shamshan amongst the dead bodies, vultures, dogs with full merriment and contentment. He knew nothing except Maa and Maa. He attained Samadhi on and often while doing sadhanas.His. His touch and kicks healed many patients. Innumerable people came from far and off to listen His sayings. His blessings gave life to lifeless, child to childless, and home to homeless, and family to orphans and peace to the disturbances. He had always a dog with him as his eternal follower.
Bamakhyapa never gave Diksha in any celebrating manner. It was an unusual happening. If he felt of giving someone Diksha, he sometimes gave the mantra just by touching him, by giving mantra in the dream or someone in his heart. He never followed the path of mundane habits. Swami Gyanananda, Swami Nigamananda, Shankar Baba accepted Bamakhyapa as their Guru who showed them the original path of truth and enlightenment.
On 2nd Shravana, Beng-1318 (eng-1911) , Krishna Ashtami night at 1.30 A.M., this Holy Soul passed away, by enchanting the Holy name “Tara, Tara”, from this earthly binding to the Heavenly abode and in the lap of Tara Maa. A thin and tall sage with a piece of black cloth around his waist, with a great terrifying appearance appeared in front of His body and ordered others to bury His earthly body under a neem tree in the Maha Shamshan, according to His last wish. While digging the ruins of original mandir of Tara Maa appeared. On his Samadhi, the Samadhi mandir was built up. It seemed that the little boy is in deep eternal sleep in the peaceful lap of His loving Baro Maa.
If anyone wants to visit the Holy residence of the Holy soul, book a van-rickshaw from the rickshaw stand of Tarapith mandir and enjoy a magnificent green journey of 20 minutes to Atla with a bargaining rate of Rs. 40/- to and fro. Till date, you can see the mud staircase used by Him, his usable shawl (pictures given above) and other things and some portions of His original house. Many portions of the original house were washed away by flood. At present,”Nat mandir” is made in its place by His devotees. His birthday is celebrated with huge celebrations for 3 days in His house with 4 faced homas, yagnas and music. Many people come from far and near to visit here. Many give” Bhandara” also. His demise day is celebrated in a small scale in his house and in a big one in Shamshan. On daily basis, Baba is offered bhogs of atap rice, fish, meat, opium, marijuana, siddhi and country liquor. On every Amabasya night also, he is offered the same. Puja is done in the method of Tantra. Many of the above stated information are basically gathered from Sri, Pinakinath Roy, the grandson of Bamakhyapa himself (son of the daughter of Bamacharan, younger brother of Bamakhyapa).