In this Issue . . . A few words about us................................................. 1 Pearls of Wisdom ...................................................... 2 President's Page ........................................................ 3 Karma and our Spiritual life - I Swami Samachittananda .................................. 4 Leaf of Harmony ........................................................ 8 The Stalwarts of our Order-III Swami Virajananda .......................................... 9 Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan on Sri Ramakrishna ........................................ 10 Lal Bahadur Shastri on Swami Vivekananda .................................. 11 Birthdays of the Direct Disciples of Sri Ramakrishna.......................................... 12 Vedanta Through Stories .......................................... 18 Vedanta Art ............................................................. 19 News and Notes ...................................................... 20 Synopsis of Berlur Math report for 2019-20.............. 27
A few words about us . . . "Order of Sri Ramakrishna" "Everything happened what Sri Ramakrishna had wanted to happen later. The young boys who came in contact with Sri Ramakrishna, later became monks and built the Ramakrishna Sangha. The illness of Sri Ramakrishna became the reason for the disciples to come together, got to know each other, felt a sense of affinity towards each other. It is this affinity that is the strength of a Sangha or organisation. It originated from the love the disciples felt towards their Master, Sri Ramakrishna. They had understood, Sri Ramakrishna was one of the greatest men of all ages. That he is the crucible of all spiritual wealth. Love towards him means love among men for the highest ideals of life. This love is the source of unity among his disciples. Being in close association with Sri Ramakrishna resulted in progressive increase of this dedication towards the highest ideals of life. The disciples had understood the purpose of human life and were willing to sacrifice their lives to attain this purpose. Their objective was the same, path was the same and determination to seek the path was also the same. The seed of an organisation lies in this kind of sense of unity and Sri Ramakrishna was the root of this unity. He is the body and soul of this Sangha while truth is the nucleus of this organisation which is bereft of any kind of communalism, bigotry and fanaticism." 1
Pearls of wisdom True Happiness Na áÐÚòÀyÀã satyÀã sukhasya gandhamÀtraã api upapadyate (Ādi ŚankarÀcarya's commentary on Bhagavad GītÀ , Chapter II. Verse 66)
Translation In the presence of thirst for objects, there cannot be even tinge of happiness.
Note by the Editor We have an understanding that happiness comes from the objects of desire when we come in their contact or when we get them. In other words, our happiness comes from the objects of desire. If that was true how the same object loses the capacity to give us happiness? First piece of chocolate gives us happiness. The second, the third or the tenth loses the capacity to make us happy. Rather it makes us angry and miserable if forced. Happiness without any object as is felt by a child or by all of us in deep sleep, needs analysis. Unless we realise that the source of all happiness is within us, we will keep on running behind the objects and thereby we keep on suffering. Once a person is free from ‘I’ and ‘mine’, only then can he expect to be happy; the rest of us look at mirages thinking it to be water. 2
President's Page ‘108’ – Its Significance (On the occasion of 108th issue of ‘Nirvana’)
108 or its fractions and multiples are considered very significant in all the Eastern Religions mainly in Hinduism. These are some interesting facts about the number 108. In India and in Hinduism, all the beings are part of the cosmos. The distance and the movement of the planets effect the Mind and Body of everyone. The distance of Earth from the Sun is about 108 times the diameter of the Sun. The distance between the Earth and the Moon is also about 108 times the diameter of the Moon. Modern astronomers like Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) to Mike Brown (1965 -) used modern scientific instruments and their calculations reaffirm the ancient Indian astronomers’ findings. When the human body’s internal temperature reaches 108 degrees Fahrenheit the human body’s vital organs begin to fail from overheating. According to Ayurveda, there are 108 pressure points in the body, where consciousness and flesh intersect to give life to the living being. The Indian, Chinese, and other Asian countries have developed their traditional martial arts based on these pressure points in the body. In Buddhism there are 108 earthly temptations a person must overcome to achieve Nirvana and in most of their traditions they use malas or roseries with 108 beads. In Jainism there are 108 types of karma that one must practice in life before achieving the highest. In Hinduism, the followers of Shaivism and Vaishnavism also give importance to the number 108 in their scriptures and practices. So, in Asian Religions and cultures number 108 plays a very important roles in deciding their paraphernalia of rituals etc. 3
Karma and our Spiritual life - I Swami Samachittananda
Any living being, for their existence must do Karma. Any action done to get certain result is Karma. As the famous Sanskrit maxim says ‘prayojanam anuddishya mando’pi na pravartate’ that means ‘even a fool will not undertake a task if it does not serve any purpose’. We do not do anything without a purpose. All actions cannot be called Karma effectively. Karma are those actions to which you attach your doer-ship. If you are conscious of your deed, that I am doing such and such action for such and such purpose, it is Karma, otherwise it is not your Karma. For example, you killed a mosquito while you are fast asleep. You do not remember to have done this action. It doesn’t bind you. It is not added into your Karma which can bring you good or bad. There are some Karma which we do ourselves, but we do not have feeling of doing it. Who digests your food? We digest the food which we take. No one else does that for us. And you do not say that you were busy in digesting the food. The process of digestion is not in our hands. We cannot start or stop the process of digestion at our will. This action, though we do it, we do not have a doer-ship in doing so. Our hearts beat continuously, our blood flows in our veins and arteries continuously, continuous electric current is generated and makes the heart pump incessantly, growing of our hairs and nails; everything happens without our conscious 4
participation. Who does all these actions, if not we? But our doer-ship is not involved in it. So, we do not feel that we are performing these actions. Karma has many definitions. An action becomes effective karma with the purpose behind it. Same Karma with different purposes has different results and reactions on us and on the society. For example, killing other human beings is a hideous crime resulting in capital punishment but the same action of killing done by a soldier on the battlefield receives medals. How can the same type of action have different results? It is because the purpose is different. The Wavy Waters (karma yoga) state of mind while performing action is different. Sri Krishna also says in Bhagavad Gita (Ch.4, Verse 17) ‘GahanÀ karmano gatih’ ‘The true nature of action is inscrutable’. Why do we do Karma in the first place? It is to fulfil our desires. As our desires are, so our Karma will be. If we do not have desires, we do not need to do Karma. So, our Karmas are based on our desires. The desire comes from a state of Avidya, or ignorance about the self, which makes one believe that: I am incomplete. If I get this or that, then only I become complete. We don’t have a sense of the Atman. We are born with this ignorance that we are the body. These desires are the product of ignorance. Ignorance about our perfect and blissful nature. The scriptures say that our real nature is Sat-Chit-Ananda or Satchidananda. Existence, Knowledge and Bliss. No living being wants to die or wants to be extinct. Every living being has an exploring nature or have a strong desire to know. And, lastly, every living being is mad after being happy. All our actions and activities have only 5
one goal and that is, to be eternally happy. No one wants misery or unhappiness. These three inherent tendencies are guiding our lives. We can’t live without them. That is why Satchidananda is our nature. As the fish cannot live without water and always wants to be in water, we also always want an existence which is eternal with knowledge eternal and bliss eternal. If we want to end the cycle of Karma and its effect or reduce it then desires should be reduced. If you want to reduce your desires, then your ignorance must be destroyed. If ignorance is not destroyed, you cannot be free of Karma. Therefore, we all are, the way we are. The cycle of Karma doesn’t come to an end. Let us say a person retires from work, but what will he/she do after retirement? Keep on talking with people? Keep on going here and there? No one can live without karma, not even for a moment. So, the way is to do ‘selfless work’. Swami Vivekananda talks about this at length in his famous lectures on ‘Karma Yoga’. Scriptures also talk about ‘Naishkarmaya’ or ‘to be free from work’. This does not mean workless free life. ‘Naishkarmya’ is a state of mind, where a person is free from doer-ship. The root for karma is desire and root of desire is ignorance. Once the desires are reduced, Karma also reduces.
Karma is something which you choose to do, or you choose not to do or you choose to do Karma in a different way. Jnana is like sunrise which dawns; you do not have a choice to receive or not. Jnana is not information. Knowledge is the result of the contact between the senses and the sense objects with the presence of mind. That is why even thinking and meditation etc are also classified as karma. Knowledge is a result; karma is an effort. What generally is considered as secular knowledge is just information. There is difference between information and knowledge. Knowledge is permanent. Information can change anytime. Today I am informed about something, tomorrow it can change. But when knowledge comes, it becomes a part of yourself. Once it comes, it never goes back. So, one who has knowledge, is called enlightened as knowledge is light. With knowledge the person is enlightened. For example, a person learns how to ride a bicycle. Once he knows that ability becomes part of him. People are interested in different subjects. Why are our interests different? That which naturally and instinctively gives us happiness, we are interested in.. Then we get attached to those subjects. The things we are attached to, are those things that seem important to us. We are affected by the things which we are attached to. Worship of God is one activity which the religious or spiritual people do as Karma. “God is that whom the eyes cannot see but because of whom eyes are able to see. God is that, about whom the Mind cannot think, but God is that, because of whom the Mind can think”. (to be continued…) 7
Leaf of Harmony
“Whom the Shaivas worship as Shiva, the Vedantins as Brahmam, the Buddhists as Buddha, the Naiyaayikas who specialise in knowledge as the chief agent(Karta), the followers of the Jaina code as the Ever Free, the Ritualists as the principle of law, may that Hari, the Lord of the Three Worlds, grant our prayers.” 8
The Stalwarts of our Order - III Swami Virajananda 'The first of the second generation of monks of the Ramakrishna Order ' Once Swami Vivekananda asked to two of his disciples to go to the East Bengal (presently Bangladesh) to go and preach the gospel of sublime spiritual life. “But what do I know that I can speak of?” said Kalikrishna, who became Swami Virajananda, the sixth president of Ramakrishna order. Swami Vivekananda then told them the words that got imprinted in the hearts of his disciples forever. Swamiji said: “All right. Stand up and say that you do not know anything. To admit that you do not know anything is itself a great teaching. The feeling that “I know everything” comes from ignorance. Look here, if you seek your own salvation, you will surely go to hell, but if you work for the salvation of others, you will become liberated this moment’*
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan on Sri Ramakrishna (Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was an Indian philosopher, academic, and statesman who served as the first Vice President of India and the second President of India.) While the sayings of Sri Ramakrishna did not penetrate so much into academic circles, they found their way into lonely hearts who have been stranded in their pursuit of pleasure and selfish desires. Under the
inspiration of this great teacher there has been a powerful revival of social compassion…He has helped to raise from the dust the fallen standard of Hinduism, not merely in words merely, but in works also.
From: The Cultural Heritage of India (Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, 1970, Vol. 1, Introduction, p.xxxvi) 10
Lal Bahadur Shastri on Swami Vivekananda (Lal Bahadur Shastri was the Prime Minister of India from 1964-66. ) I remember that in my student days I have read the speeches of the Swami and was deeply attracted to it. Its impact on me was so great that my perceptions were all changed, and I started to have a different idea about life… When the nation was in deep slumber, he created the stir. He talked on the Vedanta, this age-philosopher aroused the people. India was alike an open picture before him. He wanted that the people of our country should embark on work and be active. His Advaitism was not a passivity, and he never directed to await luck or fate. He knew that if the people of the country were not ready for toil and sacrifice, India would hardly achieve wealth and prosperity. Subjugation of the country deeply troubled him…Aspirants of wealth and power were deeply despised by him. In a country where millions were living in deprivation, individual enjoyments were considered unjust by him…His message was to awake, arise and stop not till the goal is reached. He was a seer and a God-commanded entity. From: Vivekananda O Samakalin Bharatavarsa, Vol.7, p.234. 11
Birthdays of the Direct Disciples of Sri Ramakrishna "How Sri Ramakrishna taught Them" (During this quarter we observed birthdays of the following direct disciples of Sri Ramakrishna. These small notes are our humble and devotional tribute to the disciples of Sri Ramakrishna. All the pictures in section are the drawings of late Shri Sanatbhai Thakkar of Rajkot, Gujarat, India. All the originals are permanently displayed in Sri Ramakrishna temple at Rajkot. We are thankful to Shri Ramakrishna Ashrama, Rajkot for giving their kind permission to use these photographs.)
Swami Shivananda An incident during the period of Sri Ramakrishna’s final illness is worth recounting. Narendra (later Swami Vivekananda), Tarak (later Swami Shivananda), and Kali (later Swami Abhedananda), were at this time very much engaged in the thought of Buddha and of Brahman without any quality. Impelled by this they went for tapasya (life of austerity and meditation) to Bodh Gaya. They sat in meditation under the Bodhi tree, lost to outer consciousness. Swami Abhedananda later affirmed that he heard from Narendra that the latter saw a light flash out of Buddha’s image and proceed towards Tarak. The Master too seems to have had a similar estimation of Tarak’s core of personality. About this estimation, we have it on the evidence of Swami Turiyananda that one day when Tarak was returning from the Kali temple, the Master remarked, ‘His “home” is that high Power from which proceed name and form.’ Tarak had something of the Transcendental Verity in him. 12
Swami Saradananda Sri Ramakrishna had noticed the spiritual potentiality of the boy Sarat (later Swami Saradananda) at the very first sight and began to give directions and to watch his spiritual development. One day the Master was seated in his room at Dakshineswar surrounded by a group of devotees. Ganesha, the Hindu god of success, was the topic of conversation. The Master highly praised the integrity of character of this deity, his utter absence of passion and singleminded devotion to his mother, the goddess Durga. Young Sharat was present. Suddenly he said, ‘Well, sir, I like the character of Ganesha very much. He is my ideal.’ The Master at once corrected him saying, ‘No, Ganesha is not your ideal. Your ideal is Shiva. You possess Shiva attributes.’ Then he added, ‘Always think of yourself as Shiva and of me as Shakti. I am the ultimate repository of all your powers.’
Swami Turiyananda Harinath (later Swami Turiyananda) was a deep student of Vedanta and tried to mould his life according to its teachings. Once he happened to keep away from Dakshineswar for a longer time than usual. When he came next, the Master told Harinath, ‘They say you are studying and meditating on Vedanta nowadays. It is good. But what does the Vedanta philosophy teach? “Brahman alone is real and everything else is unreal” isn’t that its 13
substance, or is there anything more? Then why don’t you give up the unreal and cling to the Real?’ These words pinpointed the main theme of Vedanta in such a clear way that they turned the thoughts of Harinath in a new fruitful direction.
Shanti Ashrama started by Swami Turiyananda in California, USA
Swami Vivekananda One day in November 1881, Narendra (later Swami Vivekananda) went to meet Sri Ramakrishna who was staying at the Kali Temple in Dakshineshwar. He straightaway asked the Master a question which he had put to several others but had received no satisfactory answer: “Sir, have you seen God?” Without a moment’s hesitation, Sri Ramakrishna replied: “Yes, I have. I see Him as clearly as I see you, only in a much more intense sense.” Apart from removing doubts from the mind of Narendra, Sri Ramakrishna won him over through his pure, unselfish love. Thus, began a guru-disciple relationship which is quite unique in the history of spiritual masters. Narendra now became a frequent visitor to Dakshineshwar and, under the guidance of the Master, made rapid strides on the spiritual path. 14
Dakshineswar Kali temple, the place of austerity and spirituality
Swami Brahmananda Ramakrishna was a hard task master. He always insisted that his disciples unite their mind and speech. One day when Rakhal returned from Calcutta, the master asked: “Why can’t I look at you? Have you done anything wrong?” “No,” Rakhal replied. The master again asked, “Did you tell any lies?’ then Rakhal remembered that the day before, while chatting and joking with two friends, he had told a fib. The master told him: “Never do it again, Truthfulness alone is the spiritual discipline of this age (Kaliyuga).
Shikra Kulingram, the birthplace of Swami Brahmananda
Swami Trigunatitananda Saradaprasanna (later Swami Trigunatitananda) had amazing control over his mind and body. Once while in Calcutta Swami Trigunatitananda developed fistula, which needed surgery. Dr. Matilal Mukherjee of Baranagore informed the Swami that since the operation would take some time and would be painful, he would use chloroform to put him to sleep. Trigunatitananda told the doctor to do the surgery without chloroform and that he would endure the pain. The surgeon was amazed but agreed to perform the surgery as he requested. The doctor spent half an hour to remove fistula, cutting nearly six inches. The surgeon and nurses did not see any change in Trigunatitanandaji’s face – he was as calm as if he were in deep meditation.
The first Hindu temple in the west conceived, constructed and dedicated by Swami Trigunatitananda in San Francisco, California 16
Swami Adbhutananda One day Latu (later Swami Adbhutananda) was meditating sitting on the bank of the Ganga. Then there came the floodtide, and waters surrounded Latu. But he was unconscious of the external world. The news reached Sri Ramakrishna, who at once came and brought back his consciousness by loudly calling him. Another day Latu went to meditate in one of the Shiva temples just after noon. But it was almost evening, and still there was no news of Latu. The Master was anxious about him and sent someone to search for him. It was found that Latu was deeply absorbed in meditation and his whole body was wet with perspiration. On hearing this, Sri Ramakrishna came to the temple and began to fan him. After some time Latu returned to the plane of consciousness and felt greatly embarrassed at seeing the Master fanning him. Sri Ramakrishna, however, removed his embarrassment by his sweet and affectionate words.’
The temple of Sri Ramakrishna in Chapra, Bihar, India, the birthplace of Swami Adbhutananda
Vedanta Through Stories Swami Sambuddhananda (We
are grateful to Ramakrishna Math, Mumbai for allowing us to publish this story from their publication "Vedanta through Stories" page 45)
Workings of Karma A gentleman who lived with his wife and two sons got initiated by a monk of a high order. The elder son was given to evil ways while the younger was spiritually inclined and liked to spend his days in studying sacred scriptures. One day a learned man came to that village and it was arranged that he should give a spiritual discourse. All the people of the village went to hear the discourse. The elder brother, however, did not attend though asked by the younger brother. When the father returned after hearing the discourse, he found his younger son had not returned. The elder son, however, came back and handed over a lump of gold to his father saying, he’d picked it up on the way back home. The father and his elder son went with the servants in search of the younger son. They found him lying unconscious under a banyan tree. He was brought back home and when he regained consciousness, he said, on the way back from the religious discourse, his foot had struck violently against the stump of a tree and he had fallen down unconscious. The father found it strange that the son who never thought of God even once in a day had found a lump of gold whereas the boy who was deeply devoted had met with an accident while returning home. Next day when his Guru came, he told him all that had happened and then spoke about the doubt that had entered his mind. He said, it seemed useless to him to say prayers to God if he was going to be awarded in this fashion. The Guru sat silent for a while engaged in deep concentration 18
and then said that the past Karma of the elder son was so good that he could have become a king but that his evil conduct in the present life had reduced the good luck in his finding only a lump of gold. While the younger boy had been fated to die at the time of the accident, but through the grace of God he had survived after meeting with a trifle accident.
A painting by Sra. Maria Gracialla Caivano of Buenos Aires, Argentina
News & Notes Kalpataru Day 1st January celebrated every year in all the centres of Ramakrishna Math & Mission. On the same day in 1886, Sri Ramakrishna became the ‘Wish Fulfilling Tree’ and blessed the devotees who are present there. On 1st January 2021, we resumed our celebrations. This being the first celebration, we invited devotees to watch and hear only via our Facebook live streaming
Birth Anniversary of Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi On 5th of January 2021, we celebrated 168th Birth Anniversary of Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi. We invited devotees to watch/hear not only via our Facebook live streaming but also invited them to visit the temple in pre-fixed time slots. Four slots were created, and we took care not to assemble more than 50 persons in the temple at any point of time. In total about 165 devotees visited the temple on that day. Simple take-away food prasad was given to all of them. 20
Groups visiting us…… Ramakrishna Mission, Singapore is now part of the Hougang Heritage Trail. On 16th, 17th and 21st of January 2021, around 50 volunteers visited our centre in 5 different groups. Swami Samachittananda received them and interacted with them on all the five occasions and discussed about the history and philosophy of Ramakrishna Mission and also Mission’s contribution in Inter-Religious understanding in Singapore.
India’s 72nd Republic Day On 26th January 2021 Swami Samachittananda attended India’s 72nd Republic Day celebrated by the High Commission of India in Singapore, via Zoom.
Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda On 4th of February 2021, we celebrated Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. We invited devotees to watch/hear not only via our Facebook live streaming but also invited them to visit the temple in pre-fixed time slots. Total about 150 devotees visited the temple on that day. Simple takeaway food prasad was given to all of them after all of four sessions.
COVID-19 relief service continues……. In the month of January 2021 we provided 60 meals everyday, total 1860 meals along with fruits / biscuits / cupcakes. We thank everyone whoever is helping directly or indirectly for this activity .
Maha Shivaratri On Thursday, 11th of March 2021, we celebrated Maha Shivaratri. Total about 102 devotees visited the temple or attended the programme on this day. No Abhishekam or Pushpanjali was done for the devotees. Simple take-away food prasad was given to all of them after the event.
Birth Anniversary of Sri Ramakrishna On Monday, 15th of March 2021, we celebrated 186th Birth Anniversary of Sri Ramakrishna. Total about 236 devotees visited the temple or attended the programme on this day. 150 attended live on Facebook. In the evening, Swami Samachittananda spoke on the significance of ‘Sri Ramakrishna Pranama Mantra’ written by Swami Vivekananda. Simple take-away food prasad was given to all of them after all the four session. 23
Birthday of Sri Chaitanya On 28th of March 2021, we celebrated Birthday of Sri Chaitanya with Puja, Sri Syam nam Sankirtan, Hymns and devotional songs. In total about 50 devotees visited the temple on that day. Simple take-away food prasad was given to all of them after the programme.
Rising to the challenge: Our COVID response
At the height of COVID in April 2020, the Ramakrishna Mission saw a need to rise to the challenge and serve those most vulnerable – Migrant Workers. It was an impetus to begin RELIEF WORK in Singapore. On 11th April 2020 an appeal was sent to devotees and well-wishers. It touched many hearts and funds rolled in. Within a year (April 2020 to March 2021) we raised $88,320.23 and spent $89,317.13 in our COVID response. Our RELIEF WORK entailed collaboration and cooperation with suppliers, kitchens, agencies, volunteers and staff. We worked with Annalakshmi and Krishna’s Kitchen (by supplying groceries for them to cook meals) and agencies such as Willing Hearts and ItsRaining Raincoats for ground connections. In total we served more than 37,500 meals (lunch, dinner or breakfast) in addition to providing fruits, biscuits, packet drinks and snacks. Additionally, we provided groceries and essentials to vulnerable families and persons in need. This work continues…
We thank all the Donors and the Volunteers for their continued support! 25
After the gap of 14 months, we resumed our weekly classes in the ashrama. 26
Phone PBX: (033) 2654-9581 / 9582 FAX: (033) 2654-4346 Email: email@example.com Website: belurmath.org
RAMAKRISHNA MISSION (The Headquarters) P.O. BELUR MATH, DIST. HOWRAH WEST BENGAL : 711202 INDIA
SYNOPSIS OF THE GOVERNING BODY’S REPORT FOR 2019-20 The 111th Annual General Meeting of the Ramakrishna Mission was held at Belur Math on Sunday, 7th March 2021, at 3.30 p.m. A synopsis of the report presented in the meeting is given below. The Ramakrishna Mission won the following recognitions: (i) The University Grants Commission (UGC): (a) selected RKMVERI (deemed university), the College of Education (of Coimbatore Mission Vidyalaya) and the Sikshanamandira (of Saradapitha centre, Belur, Howrah ) as Mentor Institutions for helping other higher education institutions to improve their quality and get NAAC accreditation and (b) extended the autonomous status of Vivekananda College of Chennai Vidyapith for 10 years and (ii) the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), Ministry of Science and Technology (MST), Government of India has recognized Vivekananda Centenary College of Rahara centre, Kolkata as a Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (SIRO). New branch centres of the Ramakrishna Mission were started in: (i) Kasundia in Howrah, West Bengal (ii) Rourkela, Odisha and (iii) Villupuram, Tamil Nadu. A new branch centre of the Ramakrishna Math was started at Purnea in Bihar. Ramakrishna Math (Kathamrita Bhavan), which was functioning as a sub-centre of Ramakrishna Math (Shyampukur Bati), was made a full-fledged branch centre. The ancestral house of Swami 27
Trigunatitananda Maharaj in Kolkata was taken over by the Ramakrishna Math and named as Swami Trigunatitananda Memorial. The Ramakrishna Vedanta Society of the Philippines in Manila was affiliated to Ramakrishna Mission. Vedanta Centres in Vancouver (Canada) and Curitiba (Brazil) were affiliated to Ramakrishna Math. The retreat centre in Piñon Hills, USA, was made a sub-centre of Hollywood Vedanta Society. In the educational field, the following new developments deserve special mention: (i) Chennai Students’ Home started a skill development centre to train students in the fields of mechanical, automobile and computer engineering. (ii) Coimbatore Vidyalaya started an incubation centre in its Arts and Science College to create an industrial working environment in the college. (iii) Ranchi Morabadi centre was nominated by the Government of Jharkhand to start a ‘Value-based Multi Skill Development Training Course’ under the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) for minorities. In the medical field, mention may be made of the following new developments: (i) Kankhal centre added an operation theatre complex, ICU, surgical ward, dialysis unit and CT scan facility to its hospital. (ii) Manasadwip centre built a new dispensary building. (iii) Vrindaban centre added to its hospital, a state-of-the-art Sarada Block. It is built as per NABH standards and has two modular operation theatres, a cancer ward and MRI and CT scan facilities. In the rural development field, the following new projects deserve special mention: (i) Ranchi Morabadi centre brought 644 acres of fallow land under cultivation and trained farmers of 25 villages under the Seed Village Programme to produce quality seeds. (ii) Sargachhi centre conducted 5 On Farm Trials (OFT) on 28
55 farms, published 4 research papers and provided veterinary training to 690 people in treating simple disorders/injuries in animals. A number of our centres took forward Swachchha Bharat Abhiyan by holding cleanliness drives and awareness campaigns. The work done by the following centres require special mention: (i) Mangaluru centre held (a) 26 cleanliness drives in and around Mangaluru, (b) magic shows on cleanliness theme at 99 schools in Udupi district, (c) cultural competitions and workshops in 236 schools in which 23,736 students participated. The centre also guided 130 schools to observe Cleanliness Day in which 13,000 children took part. (ii) Salem centre conducted a special programme for sanitation workers of Salem Municipal Corporation. Under the Ramakrishna Math, the following developments deserve special mention: (i) Kalady Math added a new division in its primary and higher secondary schools. (ii) Barisha Math started an allopathic dispensary. (iii) Chennai Math started a 4D virtual reality film show at Vivekananda House on Swami Vivekananda’s wanderings in India. (iv) Koyilandy Math built a multipurpose hall. The Mission and Math undertook several relief and rehabilitation operations in the wake of the outbreak of COVID19 pandemic, natural calamities including devastating floods in Kerala, Karnataka, the North East and other parts, and cyclonic storms such as Fani, Vayu and Bulbul which affected Odisha, Gujarat and West Bengal. The operations involved an expenditure of Rs. 38.24 crore and benefitted 8.24 lakh people.
During the year, the Mission and the Math undertook general welfare work by way of providing scholarships to poor students and pecuniary help to old, sick and destitute people. Expenditure incurred was Rs. 29.42 crore. Medical service was rendered to more than 83.11 lakh people through 10 hospitals, 87 dispensaries, 39 mobile medical units and 985 medical camps run by the Mission. Expenditure incurred was Rs. 272.31 crore. Nearly 2.66 lakh students studied in Mission’s educational institutions ranging from kindergarten to university level and also in non-formal education centres, night schools, coaching classes, etc. A sum of Rs. 396.19 crore was spent on the educational work. A number of rural and tribal development projects were undertaken by the Mission with a total expenditure of Rs. 131.62 crore, benefiting about 5.73 lakh people. The year-long celebrations of the 125th Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s Addresses at the World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago, USA, had a grand finale with various programmes organized by the headquarters and the branch centres. A two-day All India Alumni Meet of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission educational institutions was held at Belur Math in December 2019. Some of our centres in the USA and other countries also held public meetings, lectures and cultural events. Outside India, the following developments deserve special mention: (i) With the initiative of Headquarters, Belur Math, a bronze statue of Sister Nivedita was installed at her family 30
cemetery in Great Torrington, United Kingdom. The project was funded by the Government of West Bengal. (ii) The newly built Vivekananda Bhavan at Dhaka centre (Bangladesh) was inaugurated. We take this opportunity to express our heartfelt thanks to our members and friends for their kind cooperation and help in carrying forward the service programmes of the Ramakrishna Mission and Ramakrishna Math.
07 March 2021
(Swami Suvirananda) General Secretary Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission
Belur Math, Howrah 31
Schedule of Religious Classes 5.00 pm
Every Saturday Discourse on "Hindu Scriptures" in English By Swami Gitasarananda at the Conference Room of the Mission Library Q&A with Swami Samachittananda at the Conference Room of the Mission Library Every Sunday Discourse on “Yoga Sutras" in English by Swami Satyalokananda at the Conference Room of the Mission Library Discourse on "Bhagavad Gita and Our Spiritual Life" in English by Swami Samachittananda at the Sarada Hall
Programmes for Apr-May' 2021 Swami Yogananda Jayanti ................................................... Thursday, 01st April Ekadashi (Sri Ramnam Sankirtan) ..................................... Wednesday, 07th April Sri Ramnavami ................................................................. Wednesday, 21st April Ekadashi (Sri Ramnam Sankirtan) .............................................. Friday, 23rd April
Ekadashi (Sri Ramnam Sankirtan) ............................................... Friday, 07th May Sri Shankara Panchami .......................................................... Monday, 17th May Ekadashi (Sri Ramnam Sankirtan) .......................................... Saturday, 22nd May Sri Buddha Purnima ......................................................... Wednesday, 26th May
Ekadashi (Sri Ramnam Sankirtan) .......................................... Saturday, 05th June Ekadashi (Sri Ramnam Sankirtan) ............................................ Monday, 21st June
“God is everywhere but He is most manifest in man. So serve man as God. That is as good as worshipping God.” ― Ramakrishna