On January 1, 1886, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa experienced divine bliss. That day is celebrated as `Kalpataru Day by his followers.
ON THE night of December 31, at the stroke of midnight, the world will be awake to ring in yet another New Year — 2011 while for the monks and members of the Ramakrishna Mission, January 1 holds a special significance. They celebrate this day as `Kalpataru Day', to commemorate an awe-inspiring moment in the life of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. On this day, in 1886, the Master entered into divine ecstasy and touching several disciples, pronounced the words, `Ye be illumined'! Instantly, those he blessed experienced profound bliss. And one of Master's disciples, Ramachandra Dutta named January 1 as `Kalpataru Day'.
This is the day of the Self Realization of the great master, when he became, what is now popularly called the Kalpatru 'The wish full filling Tree' .
Sri Ramakrishna said, " I have seen that (He) God and the one who dwells in my heart are one and same person.I shall make the whole thing public before I go,' the Master has said some time before. On January 1, 1886, he felt better and came down to the garden for a little stroll. It was about three o'clock in the afternoon. Some thirty lay disciples were in the hall or sitting about under the trees. Sri Ramakrishna said to Girish (Ghosh), 'Well Girish, what have you seen in me, that you proclaim me before everybody as an Incarnation of God?' Girish was not the man to be taken by surprise. He knelt before the Master and said with folded hands, 'What can an insignificant person like myself say about the One whose glory even sages like Vyasa and Valmiki could not adequately measure?' The Master was profoundly moved. He said: 'What more shall I say? I bless you all. Be illumined!' He fell into a spiritual mood. Hearing these words the devotees, one and all, became overwhelmed with emotion. They rushed to him and fell at his feet. He touched them all, and each received an appropriate benediction. Each of them, at the touch of the Master, experienced ineffable bliss. Some laughed, some wept, some sat down to meditate, some began to pray. Some saw light, some had visions of their Chosen Ideals, and some felt within their bodies the rush of spiritual power
Swami Akhandananda writes, "It is an auspicious day for all of us. Our Master became the Kalpataru to bless his disciples at Cossipore (a Calcutta suburb). Kalpataru is one of the five trees of Heaven or Indra's Paradise that is supposed to fulfil desires. The other four are Mandaram, Santanam, Harichandanam and Parijatam.
It is interesting to note that Ramakrishna Paramahamsa shed his mortal coils in August, 1886, in the same house at Cossipore, where he attained divinity. He suffered his bad health (throat cancer) silently. After his mahasamadhi, his disciples took shelter with his holy `asthi' in a dilapidated house at Baranagar. This is the sacred place where Narendra (Swami Vivekananda) and a few others took up sanyasa and spent more than five years performing unprecedented spiritual austerities.
Later Swami Vivekananda realised that service to humanity was more important than spiritual penance. He advised his followers to spend some time in the morning and evening in japa and dhyana, but to occupy oneself during the rest of the day in spiritual study and to work for the good of the world.
This seed sown by the Swamiji bore fruit in the form of the worldwide organisation, Ramakrishna Mission, which is engaged in service to the poor and the needy.