The Story Of Tarapith

Tarapith


Tarapith (Bengali: তারাপীঠ) is a small temple town near Rampurhat in Birbhum district of the Indian state of West Bengal, known for its Tantric temple and its adjoining cremation grounds where sādhanā (tantric rites) are performed. The Tantric Hindu temple is dedicated to the goddess Tara, a fearsome Tantric aspect of the Devi, the chief temples of Shaktism. Tarapith derives its name from its association as the most important centre of Tara worship and her cult.

Tarapith is also famous for Bamakhepa, known as the avadhuta or "mad saint", who worshipped in the temple and resided in the cremation grounds as a mendicant and practised and perfected yoga and the tantric arts under the tutelage of another famous saint, the Kailashpathi Baba. Bamakhepa dedicated his entire life to the worship of Tara. His ashram is also located close to the temple.




 Tarapith is a small village of Sahapur Gram Panchayet, Tarapith Police Station located at 24°06′48.2″|N|, 87°47′48.4″|E| (Try to locate °′″ on Wikimapia) on the banks of the Dwarka River in West Bengal. It is located in the flood plains amidst green paddy fields. It looks like a typical Bengali village with thatched roof huts and fish tanks. The town is located 6 km from Rampurhat Sub-Division in the Birbhum district. Rampurhat & 'Tarapith Road' in Chakpara is the nearest Railway Station from Asansol.


Tarapith Temple




The Tara temple in Tarapith steeped in the narrated myths is a medium sized temple in the rural precincts of Bengal. Its fame as a pilgrimage centre with the deity of Tara enshrined in it is due to "the temple’s founding myths, its type of worship (which includes blood offerings), the hymns sung there, the powers of the nearby tank, and the inhabitants and rituals of the adjacent cremation ground".


The temple base is thick with thick walls, built of red brick. The superstructure has covered passages with many arches raising to the pinnacle with a spire (shikara). The image of the deity is enshrined under the eaves in the sanctum. There are two Tara images in the sanctum. The stone image of Tara depicted as a mother suckling Shiva – the "primordial image" (seen in the inset of the fierce form of the image of Tara) is camouflaged by a three feet metal image, that the devotee normally seen. It represents Tara in her fiery form with four arms, wearing a garland of skulls and a protruding tongue. Crowned with a silver crown and with flowing hair, the outer image wrapped in a sari and decked in marigold garlands with a silver umbrella over its head. The forehead of the metal image is adorned with red kumkum (vermilion). Priests take a speck of this kumkum and apply it on the foreheads of the devotees as a mark of Tara's blessings. The devotees offer coconuts, bananas and silk saris, and unusually bottles of whisky. The primordial image of Tara has been described as a "dramatic Hindu image of Tara’s gentler aspect".
The priests of the temple offer puja (worship) with great reverence to bring out her motherly aspect to the devotees, blending the North Indian fierce depiction of the Sati myth of the goddess with the peaceful motherly visionary form of Tara seen by Buddha and his disciple Vasishtha of the Tantric tradition – the Buddhist Tara form.  At Tarapith, though the softer motherly aspect of the fierce goddess is emphasized. Chanting hymns or poems in her praise is also a part of the devotional appeal made to the goddess.
The devotees take a holy bath at the sacred tank adjacent to the temple before entering the temple premises to offer worship and even after the worship. The waters of the tank are said to have healing powers and even restore life to the dead.
style="color: white;">Blood sacrifice of goats is the daily norm in the temple. Devotees who offer such goat sacrifices seek blessings from the deity. They bathe the goats in the holy tank near the temple before the sacrifice. They also purify themselves by taking bath in the holy tank before offering worship to the deity. The goat is then tethered to a stake, the designated post in a sand pit, and the neck of the goat butchered with a single stroke by a special sword. A small quantity of the blood of the goat is then collected in a vessel and offered to the deity in the temple. The devotees also smear their forehead with a bit of blood from the pit, as a mark of reverence to the deity.


Jivita Kundu 


Name of the pond in the picture, as Joy Dutta's Son became alive when his dead body was dipped into it, All the super-natural power of this area and the appearance of Goddess Tara before the temple was made was believed to take place in this pond. Finally, Maa Tara gave all Super Natural and Magical powers to Bama Khyapa.  


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