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Baranagar Mission History

DSC03284The “Brahmananda Ramakrishna Mission ” of Twentieth century is today’s “Baranagar Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama”.Then the Twentieth century was in its childhood -the great hero and saint Vivekananda had elevated himself like a phoenix from the ashes- his divine preaching had enchanted the young mind. India was then under the British bondage. The British Government had already issued the order, of partition of Bengal in accordance with the divide and Rule policy of Lord Carzon. The air was being rented with the melodies of Rabindranath ” Banglar Mati Banglar Jal” Bengal became turbulent and agitated like “Nataraj” with the waves of Anti – Partition movement and this turbulence had given birth to a number of brave dreamers who were inspired by the paradigm of Swami Vivekananda. Sri Yogindnanata Tagore, a disciple of Rakhal Maharaj -a brave soldier of the anti-British Movement and an active member of Anushilan Sarniti, set up an orphanage in the name of his preceptor at the house of Panjas at Alambazar in North Kolkata. In 1912 on the pious day of Akshay Tritia the organisation started its journey with the name “Brahmananda Balakashrama”.

Chiefly due to the objection given by the volunteers the Ashrama shifted to another place named “Lalkuthi” at Alambazar and was named as ” Baranagore Home of Service “. But the venue changed again. In May 1961 the Ashrama got the new address at Kuthighat Lane, near Joymitra Kali Bari at Baranagore Bazar and the new name was ” Baranagore Ramakrishna Mission Anaath Ashrama”.

“Swadeshi” Yoginbabu was imprisoned later on. His place was filled in by the social worker Shri Bhutnath Cahttapadhyay. As the result of the humble request of the then organisors ” Brahmananda Balakashram” was affiliated as a branch of Belur Ramakrishna Math and Mission in 1924. Shrimat Swami Apanandaji Manaraj took the charge of the Ashrama as the representative of Belur Math.

thakur_hridayRamakrishna said, ” The heart of the devotees is the drawing room of the God”. The great philanthropist Roybabu, the famous zamindar of Narail (now in Bangladesh) and the disciple of Swami Abhedananda, donated nearly 10 bighas of land and the famous educationsist Harendranath Chowdhury donated 10 Kothas . The inhabitants of Baranagar still remember the generosity of Barister Dhirendranath Roy and his brothers, the sons of the Zaminder and that of Mr. Chowdhury . The new address of the Ashrama shifted from Alambazar to Baranagar -Gopal Lai Tagore Road. “Brahamananda Balakashrama” was rechristened as “Baranagar Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama”. On 11 May, 1929 Saturday, the pious day of Akshay Tritia’ , Baranagore Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama bagan its journey at its new address.

This Ashrama of Ramakrishna Mission of North Kolkata is the spectator of many histori­cal events – it has witnessed many changes, many revolution. This Ashrama paved its way through the Second World War, the movement of 1942, the great famine of 1943, the summon of Netaji Subha Chandra, the Post and Telegraph Strike of 1946 and the great movement of Indian Navy. Swami Bhairavanandaji (Kartik Maharaj) joined the Ashrama and it moved ahead to getting flourished. In 1938 Swami Nirantaranandaji Maharaj (Gour Maharaj) took the charge of the Ashrama and established the Students’ Hostel. The communal riot of 1946, the fear of bombing of the Second World War compelled the urban people to leave the city and the Asharama sank into seclusion being deprived of the patronage of common people.

swamiji_statueThe temple door reopened with the sound of gong of evening worship in 1947. The Ashrama was then 36 years old. India got the freedom from the slavery of the British after a huge bloodshed -there took birth new dreams -The heart of free India   flourished with the love of mankind. The Ashrama’s dream of reconstructing the nation was enriched with generous dona­tion and cooperation of the state and central government from the very begining of the Ashrama’s journey • The student’s Hostel was an inseparable part of the Ashrama.This Ashrama was Crowded with the refugees coming from East Bengal that had been included in Pakistan as the result of the partition of the country. Then it was the days of the seventh decade of the 20th, century. A political termoil emerged from the division of political ideology. West Bengal was being rocked by the political upheavel. The dream got shattered and the Ashrama had to cease its activities. The school got closed in June ,1971, the students’ hostel also closed its doors being drenched in tears and blood. The camps in Ashrama became the Military BarracLOnly a few brave monks kindled the lamp in temple of Sri Sri Ramakrishna with the hope of the betterment of “mankind and society”.

The new Sun of optimism emerged again amidst the bleak cloud. The school reopened-the prayer began to be chanted again. The teaching and learning resumed but the Students ‘ Hostel closed its doors forever. Different charitable activities started again. The Ashrama got back its proper rhythm in course of time and reached the verge of centenary having flown from its origin.

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