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Bamakhepa (1837–1911),(Bengali: বামাক্ষ্যাপা) born Bamacharan Chattopadhyay, popularly known as the "mad saint," was a Hindu saint, held in great reverence in Tarapith and whose shrine is also located in the vicinity of the Tara temple in Birbhum. He was born at Atla village in Rampurhat subdivision of Birbhum district.
Bamakhepa, goddess Tara's ardent devotee lived near the temple and meditated in the cremation grounds. He was a contemporary of another famous Bengali saint Ramakrishna. At a young age, he left his house and came under the tutelage of a saint named Swami Makshadananda, who lived in a village name Dakshingram,in Birbhum district. Later he relocated to maluti, an old temple village on the banks of Dwarka River. He stayed in Mouliksha temple for continuing the worship of Holy Mother.
He perfected yoga and Tantric sadhana (worship), which resulted in his becoming the spiritual head of Tarapith. People came to him seeking blessings or cures for their illness, in distress or just to meet him. He did not follow the set rules of the temple and as result was even once roughed up by the temple priests for taking food meant as offering for the deity. It is said: Tara appeared in the dream of Maharani ("Queen") of Natore and told her to feed the saint first as he was her son. After this incident, Bamakhepa was fed first in the temple before the deity and nobody obstructed him. It is believed that Tara gave a vision to Bamakhepa in the cremation grounds in her ferocious form and then took him to her breast.
Beginning in 2007, a teleserial named 'Sadhak Bamakhepa' about Bamakhepa ran on television in Bengal. By late 2011, it had run for 1500 episodes.
- Kinsely, p. 111
- Harding, Elizabeth U. (1998). Kali: the black goddess of Dakshineswar. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. pp. 275–279. ISBN 81-208-1450-9. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
- Gomolo news desk. (29 Nov 2011). "Sadhok Bamakhyapa becomes highly popular" (accessed 31 Jan 2013)
- Dalrymple, William (2009). Nine Lives. The Lady Twilight. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. pp. 203–233. ISBN 1-4088-0153-1. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
- Kinsley, David R. (1997). Tantric visions of the divine feminine: the ten mahāvidyās. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-20499-7.
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