Details about Bamacharan Chattapadhyay (Bamdev):-


Bamacharan Chattapadhyay known as a son of Goddess “Tara Mata”. People thoughts he was a “Mad Saint”. He was throughout his life continually violating the normative rules of society and religious practice.

Bamdev was born in “Atla” Which is located in Birbhum(West-Bengal),in the year of 1837.He was named Bamacara by his father, a religious man named Sarvananda Chatterji. He was the second son and had a sister who was later widowed. Because of his sister's religious zeal, she was called ksepsi, or madwoman.

He had little interest in studies,His family was too poor to afford schooling for him. His father was a professional singer, and Bama would often sing songs with him. Bama's father was an ecstatic, falling into states of bhava (strong religious emotion) while he sang. While singing, he would sometimes forget who and where he was. Even when not performing, he spent so much time in bhava that his wife would beg him to pay some attention to his physical circumstances so they would not starve.

Bama’s father(Sarbananda chattapadhyay)revealed to bama that he is a yogi. When Bama would role on the ground shouting "Jaya Tara" (victory to the goddess Tara) his mother became upset, but his father only smiled. His father also took Bama for his first visit to the burning ground (a place sacred to the goddess Tara) at Tarapith.

when Bama was age of sixteen he took initiation from his family guru and had his sacred thread ceremony. His father died soon afterwards and his mother asked him to get work, to keep the family from poverty. However, he was absent-minded, and indifferent towards work and found it difficult to keep a job. He spent much of his time at Tarapith, the great burning ground and shrine of the goddess Tara. He spent days and nights there singing before the goddess' image.

When propular monk(sannyasi) Brajabasi Kailaspati came to Tarapith in 1864,Who wearing sacred tulsi beads, and the red cloth of a renunciant. He violated traditional purity rules by eating with dogs and jackals. People thought him to be a powerful monk who practiced black magic (pisaca siddha). When Bama began to follow him and do as he did, the villagers began to refer to him as one without caste (he lost his Brahman priest status in their eyes and became an "outcaste"). Kailasapati was rumored to have brought a dead tulsi tree to life, walked on the flood-waters of the Dvaraka river, lived under water and flown in the sky. He was also said to have instructed ghosts and demons. Bama often saw ghosts and spirits assembled who would jump into trees and disappear into the dark when he was with his companion. Kailaspati explained that they had done meditation in this graveyard during their time on earth, but had died afraid and would come to him seeking advice.

Bama's mother tried to have him locked up, as she thought him mad, but he escaped to Kailaspati. She feared Kailaspati and only watched from a distance. Bama called her "small mother" and the goddess Tara "big mother".

Bama took initiation from Kailaspati and saw a great light condensed into the form of the Tara mantra, which was his personal mantra. He saw a demoness with long teeth and fiery eyes, and later the environment was transformed- the bushes turned into mythical divine figures, and he heard the voice of Tara, who told him she lived forever in the "salmoni" tree, and that she would be its fiery light. The tree shot forth flames and he saw a blue light which took on Tara's form. Wearing a Tiger's skin, she stood on a corpse with four arms, matted hair, three eyes, and a protruding tongue. She wore snake ornaments, and an erect snake on her head. She embraced him and vanished at dawn. Some accounts say that this experience was preceded by a vision of Kailaspati walking on water in the form of Bhairava. Bama also learned about religion from Vedagya Moksyananda, who taught him religious texts - the Vedas, Puranas, and Tantras.

Bama became a priest at Tara's temple at Tarapith, and his stay there was marked with confrontation. He roamed around the cremation grounds happily, making friends with the dogs, naming them, and sharing his food with them. He would eat food to be offered to the goddess before the worship ceremony was finished thus making it impure and unsanctified. The caretakers of the temple were angry at this and beat him severely. He insisted that the goddess Tara asked him to take food in this way. After this, the temple owner, the Rani of Natore, had a dream:

She dreamt that the stone image of Mother Tara was leaving the temple at Tarapith and going to Kailasa. Tara Ma looked very sad, and tears were flowing down her face, and she wore no mark on her forehead. She was bewildered and emaciated. Her back was bleeding and full of cuts, and vultures and jackals followed behind her, lapping the blood from her wounds.

In fear, the Rani asked, "O Ma, why do you show me these terrible things, and why are you leaving us?"

The goddess answered, "My child, I have been in this sacred place (mahapitha) for ages. Now your priests have beaten my dear mad son, and as a mother, I have taken these blows upon myself. See how my back is bleeding, I am in great pain ... For four days I have been starving, because they have not allowed my mad son to eat my ritual food. So for four days I have refused to take their offerings of food ... My child, how can a mother take food before feeding her child? You must arrange for food to be offered to my son, before it is offered to me, at the temple. If not, I will leave there permanently.

Bama got his priest job back, and people began to visit him, to come as devotees, or simply to see him.

Bamdeb was in the Tarapith burning ground, amid rain and thunder, meditating. Eight miles away, over the river Daroga, his mother died. Bamdeb knew instantly, for he heard her voice as she died. He swam the river during the storm to get her body and swam back with her body to get her cremated at Tarapith, a holy place. The family and relatives objected, but he would not listen and shoved them aside, taking the body. Ten days after her death, there were last rites and food for hundreds of people. Rain clouds gathered, and a storm broke. But Bamdeb made a circle with a bone, and no rain fell inside that circle. All around was pouring rain, but in the circle all was dry.

Because of his continuous bhava, normal etiquette could be rejected. He would share the food offered to him with dogs, jackals, crows, and low-caste people, all from the same leaf, and would eat temple offerings on the burning grounds, sharing them with whoever or whatever wished to eat. He would drink liquor from the broken neck of the bottle, or from a skull. Yet he became highly respected, and was called Sri Sri Baba Vamaksepa. It was believed that he had gained spiritual perfection, and had regained all memories from previous lives.

One person came and asked for initiation, saying that he wanted to renounce the world. Bama told him to bathe in the river. When he returned, Bama gave him a kick and told him angrily to leave and never come back. Bama's disciples protested, and he told them that this man was still thinking of his business in Calcutta while taking his ritual bath.

His rituals were famous for their sacrilegious (ashstriya) character, but as they were done in a state of bhava, they nevertheless had great power- to cure illness, to stop epidemics and natural disasters, to affect the mood of crowds.

Bama, who practiced a form of kundalini yoga, was interviewed by Promode Chatterji. The author tells some of Bama's ideas in his book of interviews with saints:

Ma (the Mother goddess) is asleep in the muladhara chakra and should be awakened- if she is not awake, who is there to give one liberation? Only she can do this.... The first sign of the awakening of Kundalini is that the person does not feel satisfied with the ordinary state of life- one gets a great urge within to get over this confinement. The awakening of Kundalini gives men great pleasure, a kind of pleasure that ordinary men never attain ... as you pass through and move from one chakra to another, you feel the manifestations of the varied bhavas of Kundalini Sakti. But what is important, as a result of kundalini Shakti's functions in every chakra, is the kind of bhava it creates, a different bhava in each place, and the feeling of these bhavas brings such a state of bliss that it cannot be described.

He felt that the soul departs the body through the spinal channel at death, through an aperture in the skull, and it enters a state of emptiness and peace, nirvikalpa samadhi. This is the home of Tara Ma, which is beyond the material world, the heaven worlds, and the home of Kali. Tara's grace is necessary to reach this state.

Bamaksepa was a Shakta with strong shamanic tendencies, who became the symbol of devotion for millions of Bengali Saktas. Divine madness was present in him from childhood, when he would have tantrums because the stone image of the goddess would not speak to him. He was associated with impurity (sharing food with jackals, eating the flesh of corpses, refusing to bathe, using urine in ritual, performing corpse rituals, and daily consuming wine and hashish) and shamanic powers (reading minds, acquiring knowledge at a distance, perceiving ghosts, spirits, dakinis, and yoginis, having skill in nature-magic and healing. His techniques of' worship also included aggressive elements: he would curse both goddess and devotees, and set fires in which to have visions. Yet he is the saint seen by many Saktas as the ideal child of the Mother, more faithful to his goddess than any other devotee.

Westerners may find it difficult to understand Indian devotional traditions where devotion creates both powerful positive and negative emotions. However from the Indian standpoint, true surrender to the god means total involvement and dependence on him or her for everything. The acceptance of negative emotions in devotion along with the positive ones leads to a kind of obsession where the concentration on the god becomes almost yogic. This same intense concentration is cultivated by the yogic practitioner but without the strong emotional component that is normally part of the path of devotion.

Shortly before his death, he became withdrawn and spent most of his time in trance and meditation. He ceased to talk with his disciples, speaking only rarely about death and Tara Ma. His love-hate relationship with her continued until his death in 1911.