M's Thakurbati (Kathamrita Bhavan)
13/2, Guru Prasad Chowdhury Lane, Kolkata - 700 006
Phone : 91 033 2350-1751
Mahendra Nath Gupta or M (14th July, 1854 - 4th June, 1932) the intimate disciple of Sri Ramakrishna and famous author of 'Kathamrita' and 'Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna'. The house of M-called M's Thakurbati (Kathamrita Bhavan), situated very near the famous Thanthania Kali Temple at College Street, Kolkata, is regarded as Great Place of Pilgrimage for the devotees of Sri Ramakrishna and Holy Mother. In a small room in the first floor of this house stayed Holy Mother for long at different times - sometime seven days, sometime for a fortnight, sometime for months together, along with her disciples, Nikunja Devi (M's wife and her usual companions). Bhagavan Sri Ramakrishna, visited this house more than once. One night in October 1888, Sri Ramakrishna appeared before Holy Mother in her dream in this room and commanded her to worship Goddess Durga in M's shrine.
In later years, M chose this small room as his own to live in for very many days of his life. In this very room of the house, M wrote a substantial portion of 'Kathamrita' and 'Gospel', and on completion of the fifth volume of 'Kathamrita', he entered into Mahasamadhi on 4th June 1932 in this room as well. Swami Vivekananda, Swami Ramakrishnananda and other brother disciples of M visited this house several times and met M in this room. Here exist well-preserved the sacred articles used by Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother and M - in a Glass Cabinet Panjabi, Moleskin Wrapper, a jug ('Chumki Ghati' as referred in the 'Kathamrita') used by thakur, a small jug of Holy Mother and the Ink-Pot used by M in writing 'Kathamrita' preserved for the visitors to see. Besides, the very old picture of Chaitanya Mahaprobhu and his party dancing in an ecstatic state - presented by Thakur to M on 24th Sept. 1885 is walled up in this room.At one side of this room exists the old cot, long used by M-on which is placed and adorned a big picture of M of his old age ever since the time M passed away in 1932. Still exists in the house well maintained old wooden staircase used by Holy Mother, Swami Vivekananda, M and other disciples of Sri Ramakrishna to enter into M's shrine in the second floor of this house.
M' shrine is rooted in the divine hands of Holy Mother - On 6th October, 1888, Saturday Holy Mother installed and worshipped Sri Chandi Mangal Ghat (Durga Ghat) and Sri Ramakrishna's original photograph in the shrine and arranged for their daily worship -which still continues even today in Morning - Afternoon -Evening. This historic event at once evoked warming inspiration for M to write the 'Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna' and Kathamrita. In this shrine, Holy Mother blessed and initiated a large number of devotees. Most of Sri Ramakrishna's disciples spent many an hour here deep in mediation, japa and worship. Here in a glass case are well adorned the sacred articles and relics of Sri Ramakrishna and Holy Mother - such as the 'Paduka' of Thakur, bundles containing holy hair and nails of Sri Ramakrishna and Holy Mother, a silken bag containing 'Rudraksha - Mala' of Holy Mother and Her 'Sindur Box' - for daily worship. Moreover, Holy Mother's direct foot-print well-preserved in a small glass case, is also there for daily worship. On a mount in the roof, adjacent to the shrine, Swamiji, M and others meditated for hours. At one corner of the roof stands the century old tree of Gulancho flowers, which in its infancy was implanted by M' and even today, it bears forth hundreds of beautiful and fragrant flowers in season to please the surroundings. For the perpetual preservation of this holy place, Kathamrita Bhavan has of late come under the Ramakrishna Math and mission, and is being run accordingly.
Here in the Thakurbati, the birthday celebrations of Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother, Swami Vivekananda, M and Others are held every year - and during DurgaPuja festival, on Maha - Astami day special puja of Sri Chandi Mongal Ghat (Durga-Ghat) is performed amidst huge crowd of devotees. The average number of daily visitors of this Thakurbati, including sadhus and sannyasins and foreign devotees, range between sixty to eighty, and thousands of devotees attend and participate in the five celebrations held every year as stated above in recent years.