It is known that Sri Ramakrishna was initiated by a Bhairavi, who was believed to be from the Vaishnava sect.

Later he was also initiated into Sannyasa-Vedanta by TotApuri Maharaj.

What was his lineage for shaktism ? Was it from Bhairavi mAtA herself or from someone else ?

1 Answer 1


From pp25 of the condensed biography of Sri Ramakrishna "A short life of Sri Ramakrishna":

As it is not considered advisable to undertake the worship of Shakti, or Kali, without being properly initiated, Sri Ramakrishna, at the advice of his elder brother, got the necessary initiation from a Brahmin in Calcutta named Kenaram Bhattacharya who was noted for his devotion and experience. It is said that as soon as the sacred Mantra was uttered in his ears, Sri Ramakrishna, overwhelmed with religious fervour, gave a shout and plunged into deep concentration, which greatly astonished the Guru.

This happened after Sri Ramakrishna was appointed as a priest of the Kali Temple. I don't know anything about the higher Gurus of this lineage though.

But, Sri Bhairavi, the Tantrik female-Guru of Sri Ramakrishna, initiated him into Vishnukranta Tantras (i have read this in a Bengali biography of Sri Ramakrishna), which are Shakta Tantras.

It is said that, under her guidance, he practiced the 64 Vishnukranta Tantras. (Not sure, though, what it means by saying "practicing 64 Tantras" probably the meaning is- practicing all the principle Mantras contained in each of the Tantras?). So, Sri Bhairavi may well have been his 2nd Shakta Guru.

  • But if she was from.vaishnava sect how can she initiate into shakta tantras ? Jan 5, 2018 at 13:57
  • Under her he practiced 64 Vishnukranta Tantras, and by doing so he became quite close to the Advaitic realisation which the Shakta Agamas talk about. He felt little or no differences between impure and pure things- This is what i have read in the Bengali book. And, it is published by Ramkrishna Mutt. So, it is true but i do not know the answer to ur question. @RakeshJoshi
    – Rickross
    Jan 5, 2018 at 14:38
  • i think it could be mixture of sri bhattacharya and bhairavi mata. But sadly all credit.is given to totaluri ji because many of sri Ramakrishna pupils became vedantins Jan 5, 2018 at 14:55
  • Sri RK actually already went quite close to ultimate stage before Totapuri came in his life. And that's because of his Tantrik practice. What is there to practice in Vedanta? And because of Sri RK, totapuri was forced to believe about the existence of Goddess Kali as not different from Parabrahman. And, Sri RK made his Sannyas Guru realise that because of his Tantrik sadhana only. @RakeshJoshi
    – Rickross
    Jan 5, 2018 at 15:01
  • yes i am fully convinced that his most progress in spiritual path was due to goddess and Shaktism. But in mutts and most of books majority of credit was given to totapuri ji with whom his encounter was so long. So this is the most famous fact among the masses Jan 5, 2018 at 15:06

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