I came across few lines by Sir Romain Rolland very recently. Sir Romain Rolland was a French Nobel Laureate who was a literary genius, art historian and mystic. The lines are “It is my desire to bring the sound of the beating of that artery to the ears of fever-stricken Europe, which has murdered sleep. I wish to wet its lips with the blood of Immortality. It is always the same Man-the Son of Man, the Eternal, Our Son, and Our God reborn. With each return he reveals himself a little more fully, and more enriched by the universe. Allowing for differences of country and of time, Ramakrishna is the younger brother of our Christ.” I had read these lines before but never did this strike me. It shook me so hard that I just decided to drop everything and run to a Ramakrishna Math and sit there.
I was at office and I just couldn’t leave just like that. I tried hard to divert my mind and focus on work. However, I felt restless. In the afternoon I had to go to Kankurgachi for some office work that day and I went there. After accomplishing the work at Kankurgachi, I suddenly remembered that there is a Ramakrishna Mission Centre at Kankurgachi, called Yogodyan where I had never visited before. While checking on google I realized that the visiting time suited me and I rushed there. It took me 5 minutes (by car) from where I was (Kankurgachi More).
The porch was well decorated with lovely flowers. There is an embanked pond at the centre. The main temple has a marble shrine of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansha and images of his wife Sarada Ma and his favourite disciple Swami Vivekananda. I wanted to sit and meditate but as I tried I was drawn outside to the garden. It was confusing for me, yet I listened to my heart. While strolling around I found the treasure.
While strolling around amidst lovely flowers, I came in front of a little room marked as Vedi Ghar. It is a closed room where visitors can’t enter but has large windows. There is an image of Sri Ramakrishna. This room is considered the most sacred spot in the temple complex as it was exactly here that Sri Ramakrishna sat with his devotees on 26th of December, 1883. This was Sri Ramakrishna’s deciple, Ram Chandra Dutta’s new garden and Sri Ramakrishna said that this was a good place to sit and meditate. I sat on the porch, in front of a window and meditated. I prayed, getting answers to a lot of questions. The peace and serenity experienced was out of the world.
This centre was founded in 1883 by Sri Ram Chandra Dutta, a distinguished devotee of Sri Ramakrishna. It was made a branch of Belur Ramakrishna Math (Head Quarters of Ramakrishna Mission) in 1943. The old ashram campus consists of the pond, the main temple, Vedi ghar, monastery for the monks to stay, office, the hall called Vivekananda Sabhangan and the showroom where one can buy souvenirs and books. One has to contact the office for making donations or offerings because the centre carries out numerous social serving activities. I went to the showroom and bought ‘The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna’, Swami Nikhilananda’s English translation of the Bengali sacred scripture ‘Sri Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita’. ‘Kathamrita’ recounts conversations and activities of Sri Ramakrishna by the mystic Mahendranath Gupta, a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna.
The new campus looks beautiful too. As I walked towards the parking lot at the new campus, I found that the new campus consisted of Vivekananda Library, free computer centre for the needy and a free dispensary. I donated for the dispensary and urge all to do whatever little amount possible. There’s an organic farm too for the monks.
Reason for sharing this experience
Sri Ramakrishna’s birthday is being observed today, following the Bengali Calendar. So I wanted to share this experience today. Actually I haven’t been able to explain everything. All I can say is that after that day, I feel abundance in my heart. I understand that a cup that runs full can flow and share. I read few pages of ‘The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna’ daily and that helps me begin my day with loads of positive energy. Sri Ramakrishna walked the earth last in 1886, just 136 years ago. This 18th February when I returned home and opened the new book, I discovered that by the Gregorian calendar Sri Ramakrishna was born on 18th February, 1836. I have never seen any greater coincidence in life.