visitations from Sri Ramakrishna also continued. He offered Annada
but Annada, confronted by a vision of thousands of his suffering
fellow humans, responded, "I do not care for liberation. I would
rather go through a hundred thousand hells doing good to others:
This is my religion."
In 1919, Sri Ramakrishna revealed what Annada's life's work was
to be: the establishment of a temple
to the Divine Mother Adya Ma.
The temple was to be in reality three temples enveloping one another:
the first to Sri Ramakrishna, the second to Adya Ma, and
the third to Krishna
and Radha. The altar was to be three altars built like large
stairsteps: Ramakrishna on the bottom, Adya Ma in the middle, and
Krishna and Radha on the top, encircled by the sacred syllable om.
In conjunction with the temple, there were to be separate ashrams
for men and women, boys' and girls' orphanages and schools, a free
clinic to prevent the spread of contagious disease, and distribution
of food and clothing to the poor.
At Sri Ramakrishna's behest, Annada Thakur spent a year with his
parents in Raujan, in what is now Bangladesh, and then returned
to Calcutta and carried out spiritual practices for a year on the
bank of the Ganges. Then, on January 14, 1921, a celebration was
held, which is still celebrated at the temple as Siddhotsab.
The same year a committee was formed for the establishment of the
Dakshineswar Ramakrishna Sangha.
In early 1927, the Sangha acquired a piece of land with some adjoining
old Shiva temples, and on January 31, 1928, Annada Thakur broke
ground for the temple on a compound of nearly 14 acres.