Revered President Maharaj will be visiting Bamunmura from 5 to 8 February. He is keeping well.
Swami Vagishananda ji is scheduled to visit Mumbai from 5 to 12 February. He is keeping well.
Swami Gautamananda ji will be visiting Guwahati and Aalo from 1 to 6 February, Bengaluru from 19 to 21 February, and Dhaka (Bangladesh) from 26 February to 1 March. He is in good health.
Swami Prabhananda ji is scheduled to visit Baranagar Mission Ashrama from 7 to 11 February. He is keeping well.
Swami Shivamayananda ji is scheduled to visit Ghatshila from 1 to 4 February, Baranagar Math from 9 to 11 February, Jayrambati on the 18th, and Sandelerbil village in North 24 Parganas district from 28 February to 6 March. He is in good health.
Swami Suhitananda ji will be visiting Silchar and Karimganj from 2 to 11 February and Gourhati from 21 to 23 February. He is keeping well.
The birthday of Swami Vivekananda was celebrated at Belur Math on Monday, 8 January. Thousands of devotees attended the celebration throughout the day. Cooked prasad was served to about 19,000 devotees. Swami Jyotirupananda ji presided over the public meeting held in the afternoon. Videos | Photos | Audio
Revered President Maharaj laid the foundation stone for the proposed Vivekananda Sadhu Nivas, near Akhandananda Memorial at Belur Math, on 12 January, the National Youth Day.
New Mission Sub-Centre
A sub-centre of Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama, Lucknow, has been started in Ayodhya under the name “Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, Ayodhya” with 379 square metres of land near Saryu River received from a devotee. Its address is: “Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, Ayodhya Bypass Chauraha, Near Saket Petrol Pump, Mohalla: Basudev Ghat, Ayodhya, Dist. Faizabad, U.P. 224123”. Construction of the Ashrama building will start shortly.
National Youth Day Celebrations
The Headquarters (along with Saradapitha) and our branch centres in India celebrated National Youth Day (12 January) with great enthusiasm, holding various programmes such as processions, youths’ conventions, speeches and cultural competitions. National Youth Day at Belur Math | National Youth Day at our Branch Centres
Sri Manik Sarkar, Chief Minister of Tripura, and several other dignitaries addressed the meeting held by Agartala centre on 12 January.
Sri Padmanabha B Acharya, Governor of Nagaland, inaugurated the youths’ convention held at Mangaluru Ashrama on 13 January. About 750 youths participated in the convention.
Sri Ganga Prasad, Governor of Meghalaya, among others, addressed the meeting conducted by Shillong centre on 12 January.
Cultural competitions held by the following centres as part of National Youth Day celebrations deserve special mention:
Celebration of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Abhedanandaji Maharaj
Hyderabad Math conducted a two-day national seminar on Indian Culture and Philosophy on 26 and 27 January which was attended by about 1000 delegates. The General Secretary among others addressed the delegates. Photos of the Seminar at Hyderabad
The centre also hosted an exhibition from 17 to 24 January on Indian Art which was inaugurated by Swami Gautamananda ji.
Pune Math held a national seminar on Indian Culture and Philosophy on 21 January which was attended by 343 delegates.
Institute of Culture, Kolkata, conducted a national seminar on Indian Culture and Philosophy on 17 and 18 January spread over seven sessions. Swami Gautamananda ji and the General Secretary among others spoke in the inaugural session. The seminar was attended by 255 people. Detailed Report and Photos of the Seminar at Gol Park
Celebration of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Sister Nivedita
The following centres commemorated the 150th birth anniversary of Sister Nivedita by holding the programmes mentioned against their names:
Institute of Culture, Kolkata: An international seminar on 2, 3 and 4 January in which about 300 people took part. Detailed Report and Photos of the Seminar at Gol Park.
Baranagar Math: A students’ convention on 9 January which was attended by about 400 students. The General Secretary and others addressed the convention. In addition, cultural programmes were held on 10 and 11 January.
Barisha: A devotees’ convention on 28 January which was attended by nearly 1300 devotees.
Delhi: Cultural competitions on the life and message of Sister Nivedita in which 1176 students from 162 schools participated. Prizes were awarded on 27 January.
Halasuru: A public meeting on 10 January which was addressed by Sri Vajubhai Vala, Governor of Karnataka, and others. About 900 people attended the meeting.
Hyderabad: A youths’ camp for girl students on 30 December in which 180 girls took part.
Kamarpukur: Conventions for youths, devotees and teachers on 12, 13 and 14 January respectively. They were attended altogether by 3750 people.
Kankurgachhi: Two lectures on 7 and 10 January.
Madurai: A public meeting on 28 January attended by about 800 people.
Nagpur: Two students’ conventions and a lecture on 6, 7 and 8 January in Gadchiroli District which were attended by 1200 people in all, mostly students.
Ponnampet: A workshop for primary school teachers on 12 January in which 22 teachers from different schools participated.
Rajamahendravaram: A music concert on 21 January.
Rahara: Vivekananda Centenary College: A two-day seminar on Swami Vivekananda and Sister Nivedita on 10 and 11 January; release of a book Sister Nivedita and her contributions to India, published by the college.
Ranchi Morabadi: Three youths’ conventions in Sonahatu, Tamar and Burmu blocks in Ranchi district on 17 and 20 December and 10 January. In total, 1240 people took part in the conventions. Detailed Report and Photos of Youth Convention by Ranchi Ashrama.
Salem: The newly installed statue of Sister Nivedita was unveiled on the centre’s campus on 5 January. About 1400 people attended the function held on this occasion.
Sarisha: A two-day residential youths’ camp on 16 and 17 December which was attended by nearly 280 youths.
Swamiji’s Ancestral House: (i) A devotees’ convention on 15 January in which about 400 people took part, (ii) Eight lectures at the centre and another eight lectures in and around Kolkata between 22 December and 20 January which were attended by 7600 people in all.
Postal Address: Kathmandu centre now has a P.O. Box. The postal address of the centre is ‘Ramakrishna Ashrama, P.O. Box No. 1467, Kathmandu, Nepal’. There is no change in the physical address of the centre.
Email ID: Hollywood centre, USA, has got a new email id: <[email protected]>.
News of Branch Centres (in India)
The newly set-up cancer centre at Vrindaban hospital was inaugurated on 4 January. View photos of the Cancer Centre at Vrindaban.
Seva Pratishthan conducted a round-the-clock medical camp during Makar Sankranti Mela at Sagar Island in South 24-Parganas district from 10 to 16 January. In all, 7100 patients were treated, out of which 242 received indoor medical care.
On the occasion of Gangasagar Mela, Manasadwip centre held a camp at the Mela area from 11 to 16 January. In all, 875 pilgrims were provided with free board and lodging at the camp and the Ashrama. In addition, free meals were served to about 3000 non-resident pilgrims from 13 to 15 January. Discourses and devotional singing were also arranged in the camp.
Kamarpukur centre held a kisan mela (farmers’ fair) on 16 and 17 January in which about 600 farmers took part.
Swami Gautamananda ji inaugurated the newly constructed monks’ quarters at Garbeta centre on 19 January, the sacred birthday of Swami Brahmananda ji Maharaj.
Ranchi Morabadi Ashrama held a kisan mela at a village in Khunti District on 20 January; it was visited by about 10,000 farmers. Detailed Report and Photos of Kisan Mela, Ranchi.
The newly built first floor of the cerebral palsy clinic at Visakhapatnam centre was inaugurated on 23 January.
Jamshedpur centre conducted a blood donation camp on 12 January in which 163 people donated blood.
Cooch Behar centre conducted a teachers’ convention on 7 January in which 71 teachers from different schools of Cooch Behar district participated.
On 29 January, Ramanathapuram centre held a procession and a public meeting in commemoration of Swami Vivekananda’s stay at Ramanathapuram in 1897 on his return from the West.
Brigadier (Dr) B D Mishra, Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, visited Narottam Nagar centre on 30 January and participated in its annual prize-giving function.
Kalady Ashrama conducted cultural competitions from 4 to 6 December in which about 60 students from 7 educational institutions took part. On 9 January 2018, Brahmanandodayam Schools (High, Upper and Lower Primary), Kalady, conducted its Annual Day Celebration. View Report and Photos of Annual School Celebration, Kalady.
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has recently issued a circular to all its affiliated schools recommending deployment of Delhi centre’s Awakened Citizen Programme in their schools. It is a three-year graded values education programme for students studying in class 6 and above.
Lucknow hospital has been accredited by NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers) for a period of three years from 8 January.
Values Education and Youth Programmes
Jalpaiguri centre, in association with Kankurgachhi Math, held talks and a quiz competition at Khagrabari in Cooch Behar on 31 December which were attended by nearly 200 people. View Report and Photos.
Delhi centre held a values education workshop on 27 January, which was attended by 20 teachers.
Halasuru Math conducted a symposium for teachers on 11 January in which about 200 teachers from various schools and colleges took part.
Haripad Math held two camps on values education on 4 and 5 January which were attended by 206 students.
Salem Ashrama conducted three values education programmes at three colleges in Salem district from 27 December to 23 January which were attended by 548 students in all.
Swachchha Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Campaign)
Mysuru Ashrama held the concluding programme of its 40-week Swachchha Mysuru Swastha Jeevana campaign on 31 December: About 600 students and 200 volunteers participated in the cleaning drive and also campaigned to spread awareness about cleanliness; a procession and a meeting were also conducted. Detailed Report and Photos.
Boys of Chennai Students’ Home cleaned Marina Beach in Chennai on 16 January, following the Pongal celebration at the beach.
Coimbatore Mission Vidyalaya conducted three cleaning drives on 10, 18 and 19 January in which the Vidyalaya students cleaned a public road and the premises of a school and a government office.
Deoghar school was awarded Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar 2017 (District Level) by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, on 26 January.
Kailashahar Ashrama held a cleanliness drive on 11 January.
Kamarpukur centre carried out a cleanliness drive at Kamarpukur village on 28 January.
Lalgarh centre cleaned an open field in Lalgarh on 21 January subsequent to the week-long Makar Sankranti Mela held there.
Mangaluru Ashrama conducted the following activities in January: (i) four cleanliness drives in Mangaluru, (ii) a campaign in which about 1200 volunteers visited nearly 2800 households in Mangaluru and spread awareness about cleanliness, (iii) cleanliness drives at 62 villages in Dakshina Kannada district, and (iv) observation of Swachchhata Divas in 108 schools: on this occasion, 10757 students participated in the cleanliness drives in their respective schools.
Varanasi Home of Service carried out a cleanliness drive on 14 January.
We record with sorrow the passing away of two of our brother-monks.
Swami Rajeshananda ji (Ishwar Maharaj) passed away on 1 January at 1 pm at Apollo Hospital, Madurai. He was 68. He had undergone open heart surgery at the hospital on 28 December and was gradually recovering. But his condition deteriorated rapidly from the night of 31 December, and the end came rather unexpectedly on the following day. Initiated by Swami Vireshwarananda ji Maharaj, he joined the Order in 1970 at Salem Ashrama and received sannyasa diksha from his guru in 1979. He served as an assistant in Salem and Ooty centres, and later as the head of Ooty centre for about two years. After relinquishing the headship, he was serving as an assistant in Madurai centre for the last 13 years. The Swami was austere and unassuming by nature.
Swami Swatantrananda ji (Ajit Maharaj) expired on 29 January at 10.50 pm at Belur Math owing to a massive cardiac arrest. He was 78 and had been suffering from diabetes, hypertension and cardiac problems for some years. Initiated by Swami Shankarananda ji Maharaj, he joined the Order in 1959 at Narendrapur centre and received sannyasa diksha from Swami Vireshwarananda ji Maharaj in 1968. He served as an assistant at Narendrapur, Dehradun, Seva Pratishthan and Kankurgachhi centres; as the monk in charge of Balaram Mandir; and as the head of Antpur centre. He also served at the office set up in Belur Math to commemorate Swamiji’s 150th birth anniversary. After completion of the celebration in January 2014, he retired from active life and continued to stay at Belur Math. Amiable by nature, the Swami was a good speaker and also contributed articles to different Bengali journals.