Monday, October 24, 2005

Baranagar Math - appeal for funds

Here is a request from Swami Vamananandaji, President, Ramakrishna Math, Baranagar, Kolkata (a branch of the Ramakrishna Order).

Baranagar Math plays a crucial role in the formation of the Ramakrishna Order. This is where the Order had started, with 14 of the 16 direct disciples practicing severe
austerities and intense study & contemplation. The Baranagar Math, which was a dilapidated building at that time, was the focal point of the order between 1886 to 1892 (For a vivid description of the life & times of that time, one may refer to the recently published book ‘The early History of the Ramakrishna Movement’ authored by Swami Prabhananda). All that now remains of the dilapidated house where these disciples of Sri Ramakrishna lived are two pillars. In the inexorable march of time the property changed hands, the old monastery building crumbled to dust and the whole place became a slum.

But the legacy of Baranagar Math cannot be forgotten. Ramakrishna Math, Belur has taken it as its endeavour to restore this monument for posterity. With this end in view, the authorities of Ramakrishna Math started in May 2001 a branch center in a small building in the area. Daily worship, spiritual discources, non-formal school, coaching classes for slum children, charitable homoeo dispensary, general library, health care & regular financial aid to the distressed are being conduced now at this new center.

(Please refer to the website www.rkmbaranagar.org for details of activities).

The Ramakrishna Math has drafted a plan to restore the original spiritual ambience of the first monastery at Baranagar Math and thereby conduct various services for the poor. The total cost of such an endeavour is estimated at Rs 2.50 crores (Approximately USD 550,000), which includes rehabilitation of displaced owners/tenants at the premises, purchase the premises, construction of a memorial,
construction of Monks Quarters.

We appeal to all good-hearted people to contribute for this noble cause. Donors may install memorial plaque to perpetuate the memory of the nearer and dearer ones.
Cheques/Drafts may be drawn in favour of ‘Ramakrishna Math, Baranagar’. Donations are exempt under Indian Income Tax Act. Those who want to send donations thro’ wire transfer from foreign countries may also do so (Details of the beneficiary account will be provided by Swami Vamananandaji). Swamiji can also be contacted at info@rkmbaranagar.org

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