A year and a half after his marriage, Ramakrishna returned to Dakshineswar and once more plunged into his spiritual practices. He again longed intensely for the vision of the Divine Mother. All his mind was centred on Her. He forgot food or clothes. He hardly slept and wanted to have the vision of Her continuously.
It was at this time that a middle-aged woman in ochre clothes arrived at Dakshineswar. She was a nun and was called Bhairavi. She was brahmin by caste; so she was called Bhairavi Brahmani. In her hand, she carried a trident.
When she met Ramakrishna, she exclaimed: ‘My son, how long have I been searching for you! The Divine Mother had shown me that I would have to guide you in some spiritual practices.’ She was like an old acquaintance, and loved Ramakrishna like her own son.
The teaching began. The Bhairavi found that Ramakrishna had had such spiritual experiences as only great teachers of mankind have. She declared him to be an Incarnation of God—an Avatar—and challenged the scholars to disprove it at a conference. They did not challenge her; rather, they agreed with her.
Later, under her guidance, he practised the worship of the Divine Mother following the methods called the Tantrik Sadhanas. It was under the Bel tree, at the northern end of Dakshineswar garden, that he did these extremely difficult practices.
Ramakrishna went through everything like an expert. But, withal, he was like a child depending entirely on his mother. He did whatever the Divine Mother directed him to do. As a result, he saw God by means of every path he followed.