Shri Ramakrishna

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Baranagore Math Restoration

From The Dailypioneer
Ramakrishna Mission to restore Swami Vivekananda's math

Saugar Senguta / Kolkata

Lying in ruins for decades and buried under the debris of time for more than a century, the historic first monastery of the Ramakrishna Mission at Baranagore, in the northern precincts of Kolkata, is all set to be restored to its past glory.

Originally a "bagaanbaari", it was at this Baranagore garden house that Swami Vivekananda laid the foundation of the Ramakrishna Mission Order in October 1886 along with 15 disciples of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa after the seer-saint's departure. It became the mission's first math.

In 1886 it was an imposing building that stood amid sprawling land owned by the landlords of Taki in North 24 Parganas. Today, only two imposing pillars of the math stand mute witness to history.

The Ramakrishna Mission has now adopted an ambitious programme to restore the math to its original glory. With this end in view, the Mission started a branch centre on the premises in May 2001 in a small building in the area adjacent to the old pillars. Much of the property has been taken over by squatters.

"The task is daunting and things have to be done in phases... At present, we are trying to restore the math area to its original size," says Swami Vamananda, president of the branch housed in barely a few kathas of land. The reclamation and restoration project could involve a whopping Rs 5 crore as more than 20 families who own pucca houses and 15 to 20 slum-dwellers on the premises have to be "adequately compensated and rehabilitated". A special fund has been launched for this purpose.

Once this is done, the second phase, involving cultural and philanthropic activities ranging from providing free medical services to setting up educational and research institutions, will begin. "At present we conduct daily worship, organise spiritual discourses, a non-formal school, coaching classes for slum children, charitable homeopathic dispensary, general library and offer regular financial aid to the distressed from this centre," says the president of the Baranagore math.

After the death of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, fondly called "Thakur" by his followers, there was a frantic search for premises to establish a math. The house at Baranagore was located and Suresh Chandra Mitra, a devotee, came forward to pay the rent.

It was a deserted, dilapidated and reportedly haunted house, rented out for Rs 11 by the landlords of Taki. Even as the math's expenditure increased by the day, Suresh Chandra Mitra increased his contribution to Rs 100. With the half-buried ground floor overrun by rats, jackals and snakes, the first batch of monks led by Swami Vivekananda decided to establish the math on the first floor, which could be approached only through a broken, trembling staircase - as trembling as the financial might of the 16 disciples of "Thakur".

Undaunted, they worked out of this math for the five years during which Ramakrishna Mission was headquartered there. Such was the plight of the founders of Ramakrishna Mission, one of the biggest monastic orders in India with centres across the world today, that they often went without food. "They were so short of resources that they had only one decent dhoti to wear and hence the disciples wore it by turn if they had to go outside the math. It was at this math that the 16 original disciples of Thakur accepted sanyas," says a senior monk.

"The Baranagore math is important not only because Ramakrishna Mission started its journey from there but also because the great monks took to formal monastic life from there," he adds.

As part of the restoration programme, says Swami Vamananda, the math and the adjoining more than one acre of land that changed hands in subsequent years even as the building crumbled to dust has to be restored to their original shape. "This includes vacating and purchasing back the land that originally fell within the premises of the math, and construction of a replica of the original building," he explains. Other buildings will be constructed to house monks and for philanthropic activities.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Activities of RKM Belgaum

Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama
(A Branch of the Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math, Howrah)
FORT, BELGAUM - 590 016, KARNATAKA
Phone: (0831) 2432789, 2430789
E-mail : rkmissionashrama@rediffmail.com

Service Activities of the Ashrama
1. Vidyarthi Devo Bhava
  • Daily feeding of poor students: One hundred poor students are being fed daily with milk and tiffin in the evening. This activity has been started from Sri Guru Purnima day (July 21, 2005)

  • Scholarships to poor and meritorious students: Ashrama has started this scheme from the last year. Out of the interest earned annually from the corpus fund donated for this purpose, scholarships are given to students throughout Karnataka.
2. Narayana Seva
  • Ashrama is distributing woolen blankets to 100 poor people from the surrounding areas of Belgaum city as winter relief. This service will be extended by supplying various other articles whenever the need is felt.
3. Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Sahitya Seva
  • The Ashrama is supplying Ramakrishna–Vivekananda literature, useful for students, youths and teachers to the libraries of 1000 schools and colleges in the whole of Gadag district at a highly subsidized price. Each set contains 33 books covering the interest of the student-teacher community.
You can participate in these service activities for the benefit of the poor people by contributing to the Ashrama for any of these projects.

Monday, August 22, 2005

RKM Belgaum, Prabuddhananda visit

Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama
(A Branch of the Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math, Howrah)
FORT, BELGAUM - 590 016 KARNATAKA
Phone: (0831) 2432789, 2430789
E-mail : rkmissionashrama@rediffmail.com

Dear Friend,
We are fortunate that two of the senior Swamis of the Ramakrishna Order will be visiting Belgaum. Srimat Swami Prabuddhanandaji Maharaj (Minister-in-Charge, Vedanta Society of Northern California, San Francisco, USA) and Srimat Swami Sureshanandaji Maharaj (Sri Ramakrishna Ashrama, Mysore and its former President) will be in Belgaum from the 13th to the 15th of September. These two senior Swamis have very kindly agreed to distribute the scholarships to poor and meritorious students and also woolen blankets to 100 people as a token of our service to the society.

Sri H. K. Patil, Hon’ble Minister for Law & Parliamentary Affairs, Government of Karnataka and Sri D. R. Patil, MLA, Gadag will be the Chief Guests of this programme.

The programme details are given below.

We extend a very warm welcome to you all to participate in this programme.
Yours in the Lord,
Swami Raghaveshananda
(Secretary)

PROGRAMME
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
4:00 pm : Vedic Chanting, Welcome and introduction
4:15 pm : Scholarship distribution & Blankets distribution
5:30 pm : Offering Pranams to the Senior Swamis
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm : Bhajans and Arati

Note:
1. Children below 12 years are not allowed during the programmes.
2. Please be seated at least 10 min before the start of the programme.

RKM Belgaum - Jitatmananda programmes

Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama
(A Branch of the Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math, Howrah)
FORT, BELGAUM - 590 016 KARNATAKA
Phone: (0831) 2432789, 2430789
Email: rkmissionashrama@rediffmail.com

Dear Friend,
We are happy to inform you that Srimat Swami Jitatmanandaji Maharaj, Secretary, Swami Vivekananda's Ancestral House and Cultural Centre will be coming to Belgaum. He will be delivering lectures as per the programme given below. We extend a warm welcome to you, your relatives and friends to participate in this programme.
Yours in the Lord,
Swami Raghaveshananda
(Secretary)

==============

PROGRAMME
Friday, September 2, 2005
Time : 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Venue : Institute of Management Education & Research, Vadgaon

Saturday, September 3, 2005
Time : 11:00 am – 12:00 noon
Venue : Central Hall, Lingaraj College, Belgaum
Topic : Personality Development – Swami Vivekananda’s perspective’

Time : 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Venue : Jeerge Auditorium, J.N. Medical College, Belgaum
Topic : Spiritual Science in Redefining the Modern Civilization’

Time : 6:30 – 7:30 pm
Venue : Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, Belgaum
Topic : Sri Ramakrishna’s Message for the Modern Man’

Note:
1. All programmes are open to the public
2. Popular books by Swami Jitatmanandaji Maharaj will be available for sale.
3. Ramakrishna-Vivekananda-Vedanta literature will be available for sale.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Bangalore Math Centenary Celebrations

Centenary Celebrations
(2004-2005)


Spiritual Retreat for the Youth

Theme: Human Excellence & Personality Development
August 21st and August 28th 2005

Entry Fee – Rs 15/- Only

RAMAKRISHNA MATH
Bull Temple Road, Bangalore-560019
Tel: 26613149/26616161
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* RETREAT FOR YOUTH – FEMALE *
Date: Sunday, August 21, 2005

Time: 8.30 AM to 5.00 PM

Place: Swami Vivekananda Centenary Auditorium

Chief Guest:

Pravrajika Amalaprana Mataji
General Secretary, Sarada Math &
Ramakrishna Sarada Mission

Sunday, August 21, 2005
Retreat for Youth-Female
Detailed Programme

8.30 AM Registration
9.00 AM Prayer & Meditation
9.35 AM Coffee Break
10.00 AM Inaugural Session & Address by Chief Guest
10.45 AM Lecture by Pravrajika Bhavaniprana Mataji
11.30 AM Lecture by Sister Chandrika
12.15 PM Questions & Answers by Swami Harshanandaji

1.00 PM Lunch & Visit to Book Shop
2.30 PM Talk by Swami Yuktatmanandaji, Minister Designate, Florida
3.30 PM Film Show on Swami Vivekananda
4.30 PM Valedictory Session
5.00 PM Mangalam, Coffee, Dispersal
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* RETREAT FOR YOUTH – MALE *

Date: Sunday, August 28, 2005

Time: 8.30 AM to 5.00 PM

Place: Swami Vivekananda Centenary Auditorium

Chief Guest:

Dr M S Thimmappa
Vice Chancellor, Bangalore University

Sunday, August 28, 2005
Retreat for Youth-Male
Detailed Programme

8.30 AM Registration
9.00 AM Prayer & Meditation
9.35 AM Coffee Break
10.00 AM Inaugural Session & Address by Chief Guest
10.45 AM Lecture by Swami Yuktatmanandaji, Minister Designate, Florida
11.30 AM Lecture by Dr G Karajagi
12.15 PM Questions & Answers by Swami Harshanandaji

1.00 PM Lunch & Visit to Book Shop
2.30 PM Talk by Swami Bodhamayanandaji, Chennai
3.30 PM Film Show on Swami Vivekananda
4.30 PM Valedictory Session
5.00 PM Mangalam, Coffee, Dispersal

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Emblem of Ramakrishna Math



Designed and explained by Swami Vivekananda, given in his own words:

The wavy waters in the picture are symbolic of Karma; the lotus, of Bhakti; and the rising-sun, of Jnana. The encircling serpent is indicative of Yoga and the awakened Kundalini Shakti, while the swan in the picture stands for Paramatman (Supreme Self). Therefore, the idea of the picture is that by the union of Karma, Jnana, Bhakti and Yoga, the vision of Paramatman is obtained.