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Brief History

Ramakrishan Order

Ramakrishna Math & Ramakrishna Mission are worldwide, non-political, non-sectarian spiritual organization which has engaged in various forms of humanitarian, social service activities for more than a century. Inspired by the ideals of renunciation and service, the monks and lay devotees of the Math and Mission serve millions of men, women and children, without any distinction of status, caste, religion or race, because they see the living God in them. The organization were brought into existence by Sri Ramakrishna (1836-1886), the great 19th century saint from Bengal who is regarded as the Prophet of the Modern Age, and Sri Ramakrishna’s chief disciple, Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), one of the foremost thinkers and religious leaders of the present age, who is regarded as ‘one of the main moulders of the modern world’, in the words of an eminent Western scholar A.L. Basham. Although Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission are legally and financially separate, they are closely inter-related in several ways and are regarded as twin organizations. These twin organizations have set in motion a non-sectarian, universal spiritual movement which has been silently working for more than a hundred years to catalyze the spiritual regeneration of humanity. The chief catalyst in this ongoing transformation is India’s ancient religious philosophy known as Vedanta. Although several other systems of philosophy arose in India at different times, they were confined to small groups. Vedanta alone has remained the dominant philosophy of India’s religious tradition from Vedic times to the present day. In modern times this ancient system of thought has been purified, unified and energized by Sri Ramakrishna, and expounded in the modern idiom by Swami Vivekananda and thus made available to all people all over the world without any distinctions of caste, creed or race. The Ramakrishna Order does not believe in conversion, nor does it indulge in the occult or the sensational. The Order places utmost importance on personal spiritual unfoldment and selfless service. Inspired by the idea of the harmony of all faiths, its centres encourage adherents of different faiths to meet in a spirit of friendship and mutual appreciation, and to learn from one another without having to give up one’s own faith. In the words of Sri Ramakrishna: “God has made different religions to suit different aspirants, lives and countries … all doctrines are only so many paths; but a path is by no means God Himself. Indeed one can reach God if one follows any of the paths with whole-hearted devotion.”

Old Temple

Ramakrishna Mission Silchar

In 1915 the Cachar District of Assam was under the fury of a devastating flood. It was so destructive devastating that thousands of people became homeless and so many lost their lives. The marooned people wear fighting for life being awfully afflicted with starvation, destitution and a number of ailments. At a time when their battle for survival was heading for an inevitable loss and the clouds of uncertainty were looming large over them, a small group of saffron-clad monks provided them a glimmer of hope. The helpless people were dtruck with wonder to see a few monks of Ramakrishna Mission bringing them evash in their hour of distress. Encouragingly that small group soon found a band of young men around. They felt Sevashrama y drawn to the ideal of service as taught by Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna and disseminated by his illustrious disciple Swami Vivekanand. All this paved way for bringing into existence ‘Ramakrishna Seva Samiti’ under the chairmanship of Late Kamini Kumar Chanda, a local celebrity. The body was renamed as ‘Ramakrishna Sevashrama’ in 1927 following a resolution passed in the annuall meeting of the Seva Samiti. Soon the service activities of the evashrama caught the attention of the authorities of Ramakrishna Mission, Belur, West Bengal. Accordingly Swami Premaghanananda, one of the disciples of Swami Shivananda, was sent by the Mission authorities to take stock of the activities and possibilities of starting a new mission centre at Silchar. Subsequently at instance of the Mission authorities Swami Premaghanananda started looking after day to day affairs of the Ramakrishna Sevashrama. His administration began on the 6th May of 1927. It is a matter of great pride and happiness that even before its formal affiliation with the Mission Headquarters the Sevashrama was blessed with the holy association and guidance of the reputed monks of the Ramakrishna Order: Swami Shantaswarupananda, Swami Premeshananda and Swami Premaghanananda, to name but a few. Finally on the 25th February 1939 after well over a decade of its inception, the Sevashrama came to be formally affiliated with the Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math as one of its branch centres and came to be known as Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama, Silchar.

New Prayer Hall

Swami Purushatmananda Ji Maharaj took over the charges of the Sevashrama as it first secretary. The Sevashrama records his enormous and priceless contribution in the development of the centre in its early days. His leadership with infinite patience and tremendous physical labour would regulate every pulse of the centre in those days. An affectionate disciple of the holy mother Sarada Devi, revered Maharaj would radiate spirituality, love and kindness which one would feel palpably in his company. All through his life he would feel the divine presence of Holy Mother which was conspicuous even in the final hours of his life. The monthly bullet (January 1963) of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission that carried obituary after his passing away was a pointer to this. A few minutes before passing away he, though physically extremely weak, suddenly sat up on his bed and began to utter the name of Sri Ramakrishna. A little later he said,’ O Mother, you have come, wait a little, I am coming.’ Saying this he addressed the nearby patients thus- ‘Brothers, are you awake ? My time is up, I am going.’ Sri Ramakrishna is not a person but it principal personified. So to in enlighten the people with the lofty ideals of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna and to cater to people’s spiritual needs, Swami Purushatmananda Maharaj felt the necessity of erecting a temple where Sri Ramakrishna would be enshrined. Accordingly the foundation-stone of the temple was laid in the Sevashrama premises on 11th November 1941by Swami Madhavanandaji, the General Secretary of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission. The temple , on its completion, was consecrated by him on 22nd January 1943. After passing away of Swami Purushatmananda in 1962, Swami Tattwasthananda acted as the Secretary of the Sevashrama for approximately 3 years. In 1966, Swami Kshyantananda joined the Sevashrama as its Secretary and during his tenure from January 1967 to June 2001, a lot of service activities like rural welfare schemes, free coaching centers, mobile medical services etc. in remote areas were introduced. After his passing away in June 2001, Swami Devdevananda served this Sevashrama as its Secretary for a period of 10 years upto 2011. Thereafter, Swami Satyasthananda took over charges from Swami Devdevananda on 10th April, 2011. After passing away of Swami Satyasthananda, Swami Ganadhishananda has been acting as the Secretary of the Sevashrama.