Ramakrishna Math to be set up in Ahmedabad for philanthropic mission

Ahmedabad: The city of Ahmedabad will get Ramakrishna Math. A function in this regard is scheduled to take place on 30th May at Sindu Bhavan in presence of Swami Suviranandaji Maharaj, General Secretary of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math, Chief Minister, Dy Chief Minister and other dignitaries. This announcement was made today in a press conference here by Rajkot based Swami Nikhileshwarananda. Ramakrishna Mission has total 200 Math across the world, of which 150 are in India. Gujarat has at present four Math at Rajkot, Porbandar, Limbdi and Vadodara. The Ahmedabad Math will initially function as sub center of Rajkot Math.

Swami Nikhileshwarananda, sharing the details said the Ahmedabad Math will be located at Kalyan Tower in Vastrapur. Efforts are on for acquiring a plot of land in and around Ahmedabad for the new Math.

Ahmedabad Math will gradually involve in activities such as education, operation of mobile medical unit, meditation sessions, discourses, literature sale, stress management, yoga, meditation programms, Vivek Vihar initiative for poor children, Narayan Seva for distribution of food among needy people, Bal Samskar Kendra, relief services and welfare activities.

Such activities are already taking place at other Math in Gujarat.

First Ramakrishna Math in Gujarat was set up in 1927 at Rajkot. The math has eye hospital, library, publication centre, medical centre and other activities. Limbdi Math was set up in 1993 in a palace whee Vivekananda had stayed. It has activities such as medical centre and Bal Samskar Kendra. Porbandar Math is in operation since 1997 at a place where Vivekananda had stayed. Another Math in Gujarat was set up in Vadodara in 2005 at the place where Vivekananda had stayed. The Math operates mobile medical unit and value education programme.

Swami said Ramakrishna Math had done Rs 20 crore post Kutch earthquake relief and reconstruction works in Gujarat by building 81 schools and 3 colonies.

He said the seeds for setting up a Math in Ahmedabad were sown when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Belur Math in Bengal on 9 April 2013. During the talk between Shri Modi and Sadhus of Ramakrishna Mission it was noticed/realized that there’s no Ramakrishna Math present in Ahmedabad. Based on this talk, a decision was taken to set up a Math in Ahmedabad. The decision of setting up Math in Ahmedabad was also due to the fact that Vivekananda had stayed in Ahmedabad. There are 1,000 centres all over the world that are waiting to be converted to Math. Many of them have more fund, good land, institutes in operation and more facilities, but Ahmedabad was given weightage over them and chosen for Math due to the fact that Vivekananda had stayed here. Due to shortage of enough Sadhus, each year only 4-5 centres are given affiliation as Math.

When asked to elaborate the issue of shortage of Sadhus, Swami said more Sadhus are coming to join the Ashrama but on the other hand demand has multiplied even more. Not anyone can walk in and become Sadhu. His medical and fitness test would be done. He must be below 28 if graduate and below 30 if doctor. Minimum age limit is 18. One would go through 9-year training including 2 years training at Belur Math. There shall be training classes, exams, pre-probation, probation, brahmachari and sanyas diksha stages in the journey. One can be from any social/religious/nationality background to become Sadhu. Major department heads in institutions run by Maths would be Sadhus. Suppose if there’s a college run by us, the principle would be Sadhu. He will of course have educational qualification for the post. There are total 1500 Ramakrishna monks, of them 30 are active in Gujarat. With a new Math, the city of Ahmedabad will also have Ramakrishna sadhus stationed here permanently.

Elaborating Ahmedabad and Gujarat’s role in Swami Vivekananda’s life, Swami Nikhileshwaranand ji said, ‘Swami Vivekananda visited and stayed a a guest of Shri Lalshankar Umashankar Travadi in the year 1891. Travadi was sub judge of Ahmdabad at that time. Houses of Travadi are existing in Amritlal Pol and behind Town Hall at present. The plan is to convert these two buildings into memorials of Swami Vivekananda.

Swami said, it was a station master in Gujarat’s Jetalsar who informed Swami Vivekananda about world religion conference. Vivekananda stayed for four months at Shankar Pandurang Pandit’s house in Porbandar and his study during this period helped him in his speech at the world religious conference. It was Ahmedabad where Vivekananda received in-depth knowledge about Jainism.

Ramakrishna Mission and Math was set up in 1897. Its headquarters is Belur Math in Bengal. Ahmedabad center of Ramakrishna Mission which is now going to be converted to Math was set up in year 1988.