Manimohan Goswami was a young man during the rule of British India, born in Bangladesh, and like many others of that era, took to armed revolution as a means of overthrowing the foreign rulers. Manimohan had a spiritual inclination from childhood, having been intiated into some mantra in a dream when he was a kid, but other than that his primary focus was towards revolutionary activites. It is said he used to be feared by others, even his friends, for his great daredevilry, and his expertise is usage of firearms. One day he got an opportunity to perform the Amarnath Yatra, aided by a high official at the court of the king of Kashmir, and Manimohan, already with a latent spiritual aspiration, went ahead. The journey proved to be very difficult, with most of the people in his group falling ill and turning back, but that only made Manimohan more determined to reach his destination. On the day he visited the cave there was apparently inclement weather, with very few tourists. Suddenly he felt the presence of a gigantic figure, tall and fear-inspiring, standing right infornt of him and in a booming voice told him two words, “Bamakhepa, Tarapith“.
After a few months of further traveling Manimohan finally reached Tarapith and went to straight to the legendary Tara Siddha, Bamakhepa and asked him, “Why did you call me here?“. And Bama replied that it is time for him to start his spiritual journey. The next day incidentally was a surya grahan, and during that period Bama made him sit under the Shimul Tree of Tarapith, and gave him a mantra to chant. Tarakhepa [meaning: mad about Tara], as Manimohan became known eventually, turned out to be an expert Tantra sadhaka. Lore has it that he was one of few people who had performed sadhana-s in all the 8 famous cremantion grounds that are linked to Tara Mahavidya and experienced the power of the Goddess in myriad ways. Tarakhepa could travel to anyplace, if he so desired, in the blink of an eye using his supernatural abilities. He spoke very less, and interacted even lesser with ordinary people. He would divide his time between Tarapith and Kamakhya towards the later part of his life. His fearsome reputation and general stoicity discouraged the curiousity-mongers from interacting with him too freely.
The Trishul seen in the photo was given to him by Guru Bamakhepa. Before his own mahasamadhi, Tarakhepa threw it in a river because it had certain miraculous powers which, in the hands of the spiritually immature or wrongly-inclined, could cause unforeseen damages. The feature photo shows an iconic representation of the feet of Ma Tara kept inside the Tarapith temple, which devotees worship.
Such and more reports of actual sadhak-s have led to the sanguine belief that Tarapitha is a siddhapitha, where the power and grace of Smashan Tara is ever present.
या देवी सर्वभुतेषु तारारूपेण संस्थिता ।
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः ||