Press Release (18 February 2006)
Consecration Ceremony of the Universal Temple of Bhagwan Sri Ramakrishna
RAMAKRISHNA MATH, NAGPUR Nagpur in History Nagpur is the most important city in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra State. Nagpur district formed part of an independent kingdom known as Vatsagulma (modern Wasim). In the 13th century, the city Srivardhana (near modern Nagpur) was a part of the kingdom of Yadavas, who ruled from Devagiri (modern Daulatabad – Aurangabad in Maharashtra). The fortified part of central Nagpur contains many palaces, Royal tombs, ancient temples and the mansions (wadas) of the nobles of the Bhosale Kings, who, under the suzerainty of the Maratha Empire ruled over the Vidarbha region from Nagpur as their capital. Till the Bombay state was formed in the year 1956, Nagpur was the capital of Central Province. Lying almost in the centre of the North-south axis of India, today Nagpur is not only the second capital of Maharashtra state but also it is an important commercial and educational centre in Central India catering to the needs of the northern region of Maharashtra and southern part of Madhya Pradesh. Nagpur is the geographical centre of India - the "Zero Milestone". At the exact spot of this Zero Mile, there is a pillar named as Zero Milestone. The important places of Pilgrimage in Nagpur city are
Ramakrishna Math at Nagpur Srimat Swami Shivanandaji Maharaj, the second President of the Ramakrishna Order during his first visit to Nagpur in the month of February 1925, sowed the seed for starting a centre of the Ramakrishna Order. The Nagpur Math was started in a simple hut, wherein various activities were started, and the Math grew into what we see today. At the place where the new temple is built, there was a building in which the old shrine was located. The capacity of the shrine grew shorter and shorter as the number of devotees went on increasing. During any celebration in the Math, a dire shortage of place for the devotees to sit in the shrine was felt. To accommodate all the devotees coming to the Math, the need for a big temple was felt and hence the foundation stone was laid two years back. The construction of the Universal Temple dedicated to Bhagwan Sri Ramakrishna was started two years back. Joint efforts of Architect Shri G. V. Reddy from Hyderabad and M/s. Bhaskar Constructions from Nagpur erected the Beautiful building structure of the Temple. The whole work is finished within the stipulated time of two years. The temple has the capacity to accommodate nearly 450 devotees. In the basement, a lecture hall of the capacity of 500 persons is built. This will be utilised for arranging religious discourses and devotional songs. The Consecration of the Universal Temple The Consecration ceremony of the Universal Temple was on 10th Feb. 2006 from 6.30 am to 7.30 am. Most Revered Srimat Swami Gahananandaji Maharaj, President, Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math dedicated the temple to Bhagwan Sri Ramakrishna. Most Revered Srimat Swami Atmasthanandaji Maharaj, Vice-President, Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math were also graciously present on this grand occasion. Nearly 381 Sadhus from the various Branch Centres of Ramakrishna Mission all over the world, private centre monks and the monks from the different Akhadas of Nagpur were assembled in the Nagpur Math to participate in the ceremony then the Sadhu Bhandara. The photos of Bhagwan Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi, Swami Vivekananda, Swami Shivananda and Swami Akhandananda were taken in a procession (Parikrama) from the Temporary shrine. All the Sadhus participated in the parikrama. The parikrama started at the scheduled time from the Temporary Shrine and entered the new Temple campus from the main gate. It went round the new temple thrice and entered the new temple at 7.30 am. The procession of 381 Sadhus was witnessed with devotion by nearly 9000 devotees. Most Revered President Maharaj offered the Arghya to Sri Ramakrishna and performed the first Mangal Arati in the New Temple. A Samskrit hymn Savra Mangal Mangalye was sung in chorus by all the Sadhus. Thereafter, all the Sadhus offered the Pushpanjali to Bhagwan Sri Ramakrishna. Swami Atmasthanandaji Maharaj performing the Arati All the devotees, then, offered their devotional pranams by entering the newly consecrated temple. Devotees expressed their joy of witnessing the whole programme. The Prasad was distributed to all the devotees (nearly 9000 devotees). The Swami Akhandananda hall was also inaugurated on the same day at 11 am. Besides the consecration, various programmes comprising of lectures by learned Sadhus and dignitaries; musical performances by the renowned artists; devotional songs by the famous vocalists were arranged on 9 th, 10th and 11th Feb. 2006. The programmes of our Narayanpur School boys were the great attraction. The boys of Warkari Shikshan Sanstha, Sri Sant Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan, Shegaon did the excellent kirtan and then Marathi BHARUDA, a light drama on spiritual theme. The total number of devotees who attended the programmes including Local delegates, Residential delegates, Non Residential delegates, Special invitees and guests were around 5000. The pandal was always full for every programme. Narayan Seva was performed by feeding nearly 3000 poor Narayanas on 12th February 2006. By the grace of Bhagwan Sri Ramakrishna the whole programme was very peaceful and spiritually elevating. The whole hearted co-operation of all volunteers, caterers, Pandal erectors, music system, electric power suppliers, traffic controlling police and various other agencies rendered the programme successfully. Heartfelt thanks are, therefore, due to them all. Salient Features
- Telang Khedi – Hanuman temple,
- Kalyaneshwar - Shiva Temple.
- Tekdi Ganesh – The place where there is Swayambhu Ganesh. Devotees believe that this Ganesh fulfils the wishes of the devotees and hence this place draws lots of crowd.
- Koradi – Devi Mahalaskhmi temple.
Memento Presentation The Mementos were presented by Srimat Swami Atmasthanandaji Maharaj to the people who actively participated in the Temple construction work on 11th February 2006. The few names are as follows.
- The total number of devotees who attended the programmes including Local delegates, Residential delegates, Non Residential delegates, Special invitees and guests were around 5000.
- Lady devotees were accommodated in 7 Mangalkaryalayas / Halls nearby the Math and Gents devotees were accommodated in 4 Mangalkaryalayas / Halls where transport was provided to bring devotees to Math.
- Reception counters at Railway Station and at Math to welcome the Delegates.
- Extensive use of Laptops and mobile phones to communicate and to register the delegates coming from various parts of the country and abroad.
- The Public Telephone Booth, Police Help counter, Fire brigade counter, Medical First-Aid, Tours, Travels and Tickets counter, Reception and Enquiry counter were installed to help the delegates.
- Separate stall on payment for snacks, tea and coffee etc.
- 50% discount was offered for the purchase of Ramakrishna-Vivekananda-Vedanta Literature published from Nagpur Math.
- Release of Souvenir and many new publications by Srimat Swami Atmasthanandaji Maharaj on 8th February, 2006.
- Temple Consecration on 10th February, 2006 by Most Revered Srimat Swami Gahananandaji Maharaj between 6.30 am to 7.30 am.
- Sadhu Bhandara on the same day which was attended by 381 Sadhus from the various Branch Centres of Ramakrishna Math and Mission all over the world, private centre monks and the monks from the different Aakhadas of Nagpur.
- Bhoondi prasad and photo of the temple was distributed to each devotee coming out from the temple after the Darshana of Sri Ramakrishna.
- Nearly 9000 devotees took Khichudi and Bhoondi Prasad.
- Main Function from 9th to 11th February, 2006 included various programmes comprising of lectures by learned Sadhus and dignitaries; musical performances by the renowned artists; devotional songs by the well known vocalists.
- To start the programmes, Special Programme was arranged on Holy Mother. Pravrajika Amalaprana Mataji, General Secretary, Sri Sarda Math and Ramakrishna Sarada Mission, Dakshineshwar, Kolkata, Pravrajika Amitapranaji, Sarada Mission, Indore, Smt. Jayashri Natu, from Pune, Dr. Nivedita Bakshi from Mumbai and Dr. Kamala Jaya Rao, from Hyderabad were on the stage to grace the occasion.
- Week long programmes from 8th to 14th February, 2006 included Marathi Kirtan and local programmes.
- Close Circuit Televisions and Big LCD Projectors were used to show the live programmes and the Temple consecration programme to the devotees.
- Local Pilgrimage on 12th February, 2006 to Telankhedi Hanuman temple, Koradi Mahalaxmi temple, Ramtek and Kamptee Dragon Palace Temple. (Nearly 260 monks went for this pilgrimage)
- Shegaon Pilgrimage from 13 th February, 2006 to 15th February, 2006 morning including visit to Sri Sant Gajanan Maharaj temple, various activities, Anand Sagar project. (Nearly 233 monks went for this pilgrimage)
- Initiation on 12th, 14th and 16th February, 2006 by Most Revered Srimat Swami Gahananandaji Maharaj.
- Narayan Seva by feeding nearly 3000 poor Narayanas on 12th February 2006.
- 450 volunteers including 160 outstation volunteers rendered services for this function. There was a separate department to serve the volunteers (Volunteers for Volunteers).
- A team of around 50 doctors to provide the medical help with emergency handling capacity with Ambulance.
1. Shri. G.V. Reddy Honorary Architect, Hyderabad.
2. Shri. Rajendra Mahulkar Counsulting Architect, Ramakrishna Math, Nagpur
3. Shri. D.D. Sharma Engineer- in -Charge
4. Shri. Srinivas Warnekar & Shri. Sumant Mundle Contractor, Bhaskar Construction, Nagpur
5. Shri. M. R. Joglekar Project Engineer, Ramakrishna Math, Nagpur
6. Shri. Shankar Sthapati Shilpi M/s Shankar Shilpa Shala, Chennai
7. Shri. Hanumant Rao Structural Engineer,M/s Descon Pvt. Ltd.,Hyderbad
8. Shri. G. Paul and Company Murtikar
9. Shri Hemant Mundle Painting Contractor
10. Sri Kanchan Dapke Electrical Contractor, Nagpur
11. Shri Dinesh Luthara Wood Supplier
12. Shri Shekhar Gupte Water Proofing from Team Engineering
13. Shri. Amol Shringare Soil Testing
14. Shri. Vivek Deshpande Furniture M/s Space Wood, Nagpur.
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