After the Maha-Samadhi of Sri Ramakrishna Deva (1836-1886), his direct disciples under the spiritual guidance of Swami Vivekananda formed an order in pursuance of the instruction of the Master to preach the vedantic way of living among the people along with a mission to serve the people to remove earthly miseries of them. The mission started taking shape with the foundation of a new monastery (Math) at Barahnagore, Kolkata in December, 1886. As most of the direct disciples took monastic vow under the name of the Master and joined the Math, the teaching of the Master for ‘Own salvation and Service to the Man-kind’ was started to be turned into a reality. Within next twelve years, the Math found its permanent take at Belur, at the western bank of the river Ganga, in the district of Howrah (the then Bengal province and now under West Bengal).
Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), returning to India after his triumphant victory in the West, took the initiative to carry out the missionary and philanthropic works, irrespective of caste, creed colour and religion of the people served, under the banner of an association, called the Ramakrishna Mission Association, since 1st. May, 1897. The Ramakrishna Math, Belur Math, was registered as a trust in 1901 and the Ramakrishna Mission Association was renamed as ‘Ramakrishna Mission’, which was registered as a society in 1909 (under Act XXI of 1860) with head-quarter at Belur Math. Ramakrishna Mission, since then, is managed by a Governing Body of the monastic members of Ramakrishna Math.
At present, Ramakrishna Math & Ramakrishna Mission, through their 171 branches in India and various countries of the World, are rendering human services under the motto of ‘Atmano Mokshartham Jagat Hitaya Cha’ (Salvation of the Self and Service to the Mankind). The activities of Ramakrishna Math & Ramakrishna Mission are spread over spiritual, cultural, educational, disaster relief, medical, rehabilitation sphere.
The local people of Jalpaiguri first formed a ‘Patha-Chakra’ (Study-Circle) in Kadamtala area of Japaiguri, in 1923. In 1928, under the initiative and stewardship of Swami Vimalananda, a direct disciple of Swami Abhedananda, the study-circle took the form of an Ashrama at the Present site. This Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, Jalpaiguri was affiliated 1941 by the Ramakrishna Mission, P.O. Belur Math, District Howrah, West Bengal, and became one of the most important branch centres of North Bengal.
In 1966, the honourable Daga family of Jalpaiguri town donated their entire ‘Bagan Bari’. At present the total area of land of this centre is about 42 Bighas.
Situated at the foothills of the sub-Himalaya range, this Ashrama, surrounded by lush green field, is a place of natural beauty. The serene atmosphere of this centre attracts devotees from far and near. The beautiful Temple and the white marble image of Sri Ramakrishna Deva have created a holy atmosphere. The serene and holy atmosphere of the Ashrama has become a source of solace for all.
Spread over a sprawling compound of 42 Bighas, the main campus of the Ashrama the Temple, Students Home, Monks’ Quarter, Office-cum Book Stall, Vivekananda Library and Assembly Hall, a vast open field left for paddy cultivation, horticulture, fisheries and dairy. At around 150 meters away from the main campus, the Charitable Dispensary cum Guest House complex is situated over around 6 bigha land.
Daily worship of Sri Ramakrishna, evening prayer, every day chanting from Vedas and Gita, at early morning and on special occasions, Ramanama Sankritanam on Ekadasi day after evening Arati and Prayer of Sri Ramakrishna, occasional festivals and meeting in the Ashrama and outside, celebrations of birth anniversaries of Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi, Swami Vivekananda and direct disciples of Sri Ramakrishna, reading from the disciples life and teachings in the temple after evening Prayer, regular discourses and exposition on scriptures and deliberations on allied topics were conducted by the Monks and occasionally by the guest speakers. Religious festivals like Durga Puja, Kali Puja, Saraswati Puja, Shiva Ratri Puja, Sankara Panchami and other religious festivals like Buddha Purnima, X-mas etc. were also observed as per Schedule.
The district of Jalpaiguri was formed on 1st. January, 1869 by amalgamating the Western Dooars with a part of the then Rangpur district of the then Bengal province. After the independence of India and partition of Bengal, the district became a part of the state of West Bengal. The Area of the district is 6227 sq. Kilometer, population of 34, 03,204 (2001 Census). The geographical domain of the district is 2700’ to 26016’ (North) and 89053’ to 88025’ (East). This districted is surrounded by Darjeeling district and Bhutan in the north, Coochbehar district and state of Assam in the east, Cooch Behar district and Bangladesh in the south and Darjeeling district in the west. Since the pre-historic era, the district has been home for various mongoloid tribal people, namely, Mech, Rabha, Toto, Drukpa, Jalda, Pani-Koch, etc, who form aboriginal part of the population of the district. With starting of tea plantation in the foot-hills of the Himalayas (commonly known as ‘Dooars’, being the door to Bhutan) in the last part of nineteenth century, migration of Bengalee people from the southern region was started. The British planters also forcefully resettled the tribal people from Chhoto-Nagpur & Santal Pargana into the newly established tea gardens as workers.
Jalpaiguri town is the district head-quarter, situated at the western bank of the river Teesta. The town under its previous name of Baikunthapur was formed in the eighteenth century by the then Raikot, Jayanta Deb. Since 1875, this town is the head-quarter, first, of the then Rajashahi Division and after partition, of the Jalpaiguri division. The temperature of the town is warm and humid, rainy season stretches 3 months per year, average temperature is 220C. The town is attached with Jalpaiguri and Jalpaiguri Road railway stations at the south-western and northern fringes respectively. The population of the town is 1,02,622 (as per Census, 2001).
The Universal temple of Sri Ramakrisna is situated at the centre of the Ashrama premises. The foundation stone of the temple was laid by Srimat Swami Shankaranandaji Maharaj, the seventh President of Ramakrishna Math & Mission, on 10th. April, 1953 and its consecration was done by Srimat Swami Yatishwaranandaji Maharaj of Ramakrishna Math & Ramakrishna Mission on 28th. April, 1961. The structure is a mixture of reinforced cement concrete and brick masonry with covered area of around 3320 sq. Feet. The top height of the temple from the ground level is 44 feet. The temple consists of Garbha-Mandira (Sanctum), Nata-Mandira (Prayer Hall), Pradakshina (corridor) and Bhandara (Store).In the temple architecture, one can see assimilation of different forms of Hindu architecture of India. Swami Vivekananda once dreamt that the universal temple of Sri Ramakrishna Deva would be a true assimilation of all religions and architectures of the world. The concept was put into reality during the construction of the temple also, where; one can find Utkal, Dravida, Saracenic, Moghul, Rajasthani type of architecture.
Inside the sanctum, the white marble idol of Sri Ramakrishna Deva is installed on light reddish marble lotus. The idol was sculptured by late Mani Pal of M/s G.Pal & Co., Kolkata. On two sides of the idol, the photographs of the Holy Mother Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda are placed on wooden abode. The holy Trio is worshipped here every day.
The Temple consists of a Nat-Mandira or universal prayer hall, where, the devotees assemble during the prayer or Aratrik time. In this hall, Durgapuja, Kalipuja, Saraswatipuja, and Christmas Eve, etc. are celebrated.
|Managing Committee For 2011 - 2012|
|Shri. Pijush Kanti Rahut||President|
|Swami Purnabrahmananda||Vice President|
|Shri. Mihir Banerjee||Vice President|
|Swami Jitamohananda||Asst. Secretary|
|Shri. Debkumar Ghosh||Asst. Secretary|
|Shri. Subrata Sanyal||Treasurer|
|Shri Barun Kumar Paul||Member|
|Shri. Nanda Bhushan Dawn||Member|
|Prof. Nakul Chandra Sadhukhan||Member|
|Shri Gouranga Chandra Das||Member|
|Shri Subhas Bose||Member|
|Shri Nimai Kundu||Member|
|Shri. Goutam Das||Member|
|Shri. Barun Dasgupta||Member|
|Sri.Barun Bose Majumder||Member|
|Monastic Heads of The Ashrama Since Inception|
|Name of the Secretary||Tenure|
|Swami Vimalananda||1928 - 1946|
|Swami Vedhasananda||1946 - 1959|
|Swami Vagalananda||1959 - 1965|
|Swami Mitrananda||1965 - 1965|
|Swami Ijjyananda||1965 - 1975|
|Swami Riddhananda||1975 - 1991|
|Swami Prabhakarananda||1991 - 1996|
|Swami Lokanathananda||1996 - 2000|
|Swami Akshayananda||2000 -|