Today 4th March, Indians especially Bengalis all around the world are celebrating Ramkrishna Jayanti 2022. The day is an auspicious one, to celebrate the “Jonmo Tithi” or Birth anniversary of Ramkrishna Dev as per the Hindu lunar calendar. I am an ardent devotee of the divine saint. As a mark of respect towards him, I want to share the significant places in West Bengal related to him. These holy places have been established or are in existence to follow his teachings and preachings.
About Ramkrishna Dev
Ramakrishna Paramahansa was born on February 18, 1836, in the Kamarpukur village of Hooghly district in West Bengal. He was a devotee of Hindu Goddess Kali. His original name was Gadadhar Chattopadhyaya. It is believed that the title “Paramahansa” was given by his Vedantic guru – Totapuri. Totapuri was a renowned monk from Punjab. Ramkrishna was also the chief priest of the Dakshineswar Kali temple in Kolkata. The temple was built by “Rani (queen) Rashmoni” who was an extremely broadminded person, welcoming people of all religions and casts to worship at the temple. Initially, the elder brother of Ramkrishna Paramahansa was the head priest of the temple. After he passed away, the responsibility was on Ramkrishna whose spiritual dedication and devotion increased the fame of the temple.
Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission are two renowned worldwide organizations that have been established to spread the teachings of Sri Ramkrishna.
On the day of Ramkrishna Jayanti 2022, now let us check out the key places in West Bengal associated with the holy saint.
Belur Math was established by Swami Vivekananda, an Indian philosopher and the chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. The Math is situated at the banks of the river Hooghly at Belur in West Bengal. There are temples dedicated to Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi (wife of Sri Ramakrishna), and Swami Vivekananda within the Math premises. The entire campus is wrapped in serenity and peace; a place to refresh one’s mind and rejuvenate one’s feelings. The Math also has an art college, an industrial school, and a charitable dispensary.
Every day devotees visit the Math to have a glimpse of the shrines of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi, and Swami Vivekananda to offer their prayers. You will love to hear the beautiful and rhythmic hymns sung by the monks of the Math. Ramkrishna Jayanti 2022 is being celebrated at Belur Math. Devotees had already visited the Math in the morning and also in the evening when the Math was opened to the public. The Youtube link below captures the celebrations.
Dakshineswar Kali Temple, as mentioned earlier, was built by Rani Rashmoni. The story goes that once she had received instructions in her dream to construct a temple on the banks of the river Hoogly. As an indication from God, she followed the instructions, and hence the temple was born. Inside the temple premises, there are 12 shrines for Lord Shiva, a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha, a bathing ghat, and another shrine dedicated to Rani Rashmoni. The chamber where Sri Ramkrishna and Sarada Devi spent most part of their lives is called “Nahabat”. You can visit the chamber located at the end of the Shiva temples.
Ramkrishna Jayanti 2022 is being celebrated in Dakshineswar Kali Temple in a minimalistic fashion. The temple gates are opened to the public following all the protocols and mandates.
Ramakrishna Math (Yogodyan)
Yogodyan was established in 1883 by Sri Ram Chandra Dutta, an eminent disciple of Sri Ramakrishna. In 1943, the center has been included as a branch of Belur Math. Several activities are conducted in the center, following the footsteps of Sri Ramkrishna. There is a library consisting of almost 13000 books and 29 periodicals. It also has a reading room where you can sit and study. Besides, there is a computer training center, an allopathic-cum-homeopathic dispensary, and Balak Sangha where many needy kids are provided free coaching, food, and moral education. Daily worships, hymns, weekly religious classes. lectures and meets are conducted within the campus. Social welfare work is also performed by the center by providing educational and medical help to students and people in need.
Yogodyan celebrated Ramkrishna Jayanti 2022 with pujas, prayers, singing hymns, and performing yajnas.
I also offered my prayers to Sri Ramkrishna at my home.
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