Ram Krishna Mission Sevashrama, Silchar
In 1915, the Cachar District of Assam was under the fury of a devastating flood. It was so destructive that people became homeless and so many lost their lives. The marooned people were fighting for being awfully affected with starvation, destitution and a number of ailments. At a time when their battle for survival was heading for an inevitable loss and the cloud of uncertainty were looming large over them, a small group of saffron-clad monks provided them a glimmer of hope. The helpless people were struck with wonder to see a few monks of Ramkrishna Mission bringing them succour in their hour of distress.
Encouragingly, that small group soon found a band of young men around. They felt irresistibly drawn to the ideal of service as taught by Bhagawan Sri Ramkrishna add disseminated by his illustrious disciple, Swami Vivekananda. All this paved way for bringing into existence ‘Ramkrishna Seva Samiti’ under the Chairperson of Late Kamini Kumar Chanda, a local celebrity. Actually this Seva Samiti started to take shape of an Ashrama in 1924 with conducting some religious and welfare activities. The body was renamed ‘Ramkrsihna Sevaashrama’ in 1927 following a resolution passed in the annual meeting of the seva samiti. Soon the service activities of the Sevashrama caught attention of the authorities of the Ramkrishna Mission, Belur Math, 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 center at Silchar. Subsequently, at the instance of the Mission authorities, Swami Premaghananda started looking after day to day affairs of the Ramkrishna Seva Samiti. His ministration began on the 6th of May,1927. It is a matter of great pride and happiness that even before its formal affiliation with the Mission Headquarters, the Seva Samiti was blessed with the holy association and guidance of the reputed monks of the Ramakrishna Order: Swamis Shantaswarupananda, Premeshananda and Premaghananda, to name but a few.
Finally, on the 15th February 1939, after well over a decade of its inception, the Ramkrishna Seva Samiti came to be formally affiliated with the Ramkrishna Mission, Belur Math as one of its branch center and came to be known as Ramkrishna Mission Sevashrama, Silchar. Swami Purushatmananda Maharaj took over the charge of the Sevashrama as its first secretary. The Sevashrama record his enormous and priceless contribution for the development of the center in its early days. His leadership with infinite patience and tremendous physical labour, would regulate every pulse of the center in those days, An affectionate disciple of the Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi, reverted Maharaja would radiate spirituality, love, and kindness due to which one would feel palpable in his company. All through his life he would fell the divine presence of Holy Mother was conspicuous even in the final hours of his life. The monthly bulletin (January 1963) of the Ramkrishna Mathand Ramkrishna Mission that carried obituary after his passing away, was a pointer to this. Here is an extract: ‘The end was inspiring. A few minitues before passing away he, thought physically extremely weak, suddenly set up on his bed and began to utter the name of Sri Ramkrishna. A little later he said ‘O Mother! You have come, wait a little, I am coming’. Saying he addressed the nearby patients thus-‘Brothers, are you awake? My time is up, I am going.’
Sri Ramkrishna is not a person but a principle personified. So to enlighten the people with the lofty ideals of Bhagaban Sri Ramkrishna and to cater to people’s spiritual needs, Swami Purushatmananda Maharj felt the necessity of erecting a temple, where Sri Ramkrishna would be enshrined. Accordingly, the foundation of the temple was laid in the Sevashrama premises on 11th November 1941 by Swami Madhavanandaji, the then General Secretary of Ramkrishna Math and Ramkrishna 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 a Secretary of the Sevashrama for approximately 3 years. In 1967, Swami Kshantyananda 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 center’s, mobile medical services, etc. in remote areas were introduced. After his passing away in June 2001, Swami Devadenanda served this Sevashrama as its Secretary for period of 10 years upto 2011. On April 10th, 2011 Swami Satyasthananda took over charge from Swami Devadevananda and continued till 7th April 2018. The present Secretary Swami Ganadhishananda has taken over the charges from Swami Satyathananda on 8th April 2018.
This Sevashrama is an epitome of service in socio-cultural and religious field and has now been carrying out extensive activities in mitigating the suffering of distressed humanity in various field such as education, health-car, value orientation, youth development, medical and general relief in addition to its regular, mora, spiritual and cultural activities.