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: Tantrabhilasir Sadhu-sangha: 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.
Some incidents in the masters life
The Widow's Marriage
One day a young, beautiful girl and her father came to see Bama Khepa. The young girl bowed down to the Master and offered him some Indian sweets which she herself had prepared. Bama was extremely pleased with her and said, "I am blessing you. You will be blessed in the future with a beautiful son." The girl cried out, "Father, Father, look what this sadhu is saying! How can I have a child when I have lost my husband? I am a widow." Bama said, "You are a widow. So what! You will be remarried. My words will prove true." In three months' time a very rich young man fell in love with her. Although in those days it was not at all appreciated if a widow remarried, this girl did get married in a special Hindu Vaishnava manner. Needless to say, in a year's time after she got married, she was blessed with a beautiful son.
The Dying Man
A young man suffering from a serious case of tuberculosis was brought by his relatives to Bama. The young man's days were numbered. Bama said to them, "Why did you bring him to me? Am I a doctor? You rascals, you will never give me peace of mind." Then the Master stood up and started strangling the patient. Everybody was stunned. The man was already so week. The disciples started crying because if the young man died, the Master and all of them would be in serious trouble. But Bama continued to strangle and abuse the man like anything, saying, "When you do bad things, unbearable things, don't you know you will pay the penalty?"Then he said, "All right, I have forgiven you," and he threw the man down on the ground. Everybody thought he was dead. But in a few minutes, to everyone's astonishment, the young man stood up and said, "I am so hungry. Please give me something to eat. I have never felt this kind of hunger in my life." The dying man was now totally cured. The relatives left the Master's house offering utmost gratitude to Bama, whom they affectionately called the "insane spiritual Master."
The Suicide Attempt
Once in the thick of the night a middle-aged man named Nimai was tying a rope to the branch of a tree and was about to hang himself. He could not support his family, and for this reason the members of his family had tremendous disrespect for him. Therefore he wanted to commit suicide. At that moment Bama appeared in his subtle body and said, "What are you doing? You rascal, don't you know that committing suicide is the worst possible sin? Don't you believe it?" Nimai said, "All right, I will not commit suicide, but I will never go home again." Bama said, "You don't have to go home. Come and stay with me, in your real home. God will take care of your family, I assure you." Bama's words proved true. Very soon, two of Nimai's older sons got jobs and were in a position to support the rest of the members of the family. The Leper Bama had a dear attendant named Nanda, who had developed leprosy. Even then, Bama used to take food from him regularly and not from other disciples. Gradually, Nanda's case became extremely serious. His hands and arms were totally covered with infected wounds and it was a very ugly sight. So he stopped coming to his Master's place. One day, Bama's attendants said to their Master, "Master, you have the capacity to cure your dear disciple, Nanda. Why don't you cure him?" Bama said to them, "All right, bring him today." When Nanda came, Bama started striking him, saying, "Can you count on your fingertips how many times you have done unthinkable things? I say you can't, you rascal. I have forgiven you and I am curing you, but in the future never, never do anything immoral or undivine." In a month's time Nanda was totally cured. Then he once again started preparing meals for Bama and serving him with utmost love and devoted surrender.
Calcutta Kalighat temple
At the Calcutta Kalighat temple, while in a state of bhava, he tried to lift the statue of the Mother and take her on his lap. When stopped by the priests, he shouted, "I do not want your black Kali! She looks like a demoness coming to devour [someone]. My Tara Ma is beautiful, with small feet. I do not want your black Kali- my Akasa Tara is good enough for me." People would call on him, asking him to pray to their household images, to enliven them with his bhava. He would fall into trance when he visited their statues, and often he performed neither worship nor chanting of mantras. He would loudly call into the air for the Mother, and many observers saw the statue appear to take the form of a human being.
His Holiness's worship of Maa Tara
He took a handful of flowers marked with sandal paste and stood before the goddess. He cursed her and threw the flowers at the statue. He wet the flowers with his tears. Although the flowers were thrown with an attitude of abuse instead of reverence using mantras, they arranged themselves into a neat and beautiful garland around the goddess' neck, and the observers were amazed at the mantraless form of worship of the madman. He then went into trance which continued all day, and he emerged from it on the following day. He was not a priest who followed schedules- often the time for worship would have passed and no one could find Bama anywhere. He would later be seen in trance under a Hibiscus tree, on in the jungle, having arguments with the goddess. Bama, Maa Tara's dearest son 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.Shortly before his Mahasamadhi in 1911, 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.