Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama

T. Nagar, Chennai

Rain water never stands on high ground, but runs down to the lowest level. So also the mercy of God remains in the hearts of the lowly, but drains off from those of the vain and the proud.

-Sri Ramakrishna

I tell you the truth : there is nothing wrong in your being in the world. But you must direct your mind towards God.

-Sri Ramakrishna

All religions are true. God can be reached by different religions. Many rivers flow by many ways but they fall into the sea. There all are one.

-Sri Ramakrishna

The earth is enjoyed by heroes”—this is the unfailing truth. Be a hero. Always say, “I have no fear.

-Swami Vivekanada

A tremendous stream is flowing toward the ocean, carrying us all along with it; and though like straws and scraps of paper we may at times float aimlessly about, in the long run we are sure to join the Ocean of Life and Bliss.

-Swami Vivekanada

Be brave! Be strong! Be fearless! Once you have taken up the spiritual life, fight as long as there is any life in you. Even though you know you are going to be killed, fight till you “are killed.” Don’t die of fright. Die fighting. Don’t go down till you are knocked down.

-Swami Vivekanada

I am the mother of the wicked, as I am the mother of the virtuous. Never fear. Whenever you are in distress, just say to yourself 'I have a mother.'

-Sri Sharada Devi

Jayarambati

This beautiful temple has been built exactly on the spot where the Holy Mother was born and it was here that her father Ramachandra Mukhopadhyaya had his original dwelling-house.The Holy Mother's marriage also took place in this very house and her parents lived there till she reached the ninth year of her age.

This Mantrimandia was dedicated the the Holy Mother by Swami Saradananda on Thursday,the 19th April, 1923 (i.e. on the third day of the lunar half of the month of Vaisakh called Akshaya-Tritiya). The white marble statue of the Holy Mother was installed in the said temple on the 8th April, 1954, and a spacious Prayer Hall was also added as annexe to this temple.

The sacred relies of the Holy Mother have been preserved in the Sanctum (Garbha-Mandira) and the Holy Mother is daily worshipped with appropriate rites and offerings. The small-sized Shiva Linga (the stone emblem of God Shiva) which was found at the time of digging the earth for the construction of this temple is also worshipped there. The metallic flag embossed with the sacred word 'Ma' (Mother) adorns the crest of the white dome of the temple and is calling, as it were, all travellers to come here to receive the infinite love and grace of the Holy Mother.

Innumerable devotees are visiting this sacred place from day to day from far and near. The gate of this temple remains open for all visitors daily between 4 a.m. and 11 a.m. and between 4 p.m. and 8-30 p.m. from April to September, and between 4-30 a.m. and 11-00 a.m. and again between 3-30 p.m. and 8-00 p.m. from October to March during the year.

PURATAN-BARI (OLD HOUSE)

At the time of the division of properties among the brothers of the Holy Mother, the house, where she had so long been living, fell to the share of her brother Prasanna Mukhopadhyaya and she lived in that homestead along with him as before for a long time. This dwelling-place is called at present 'Mother's Old House' (Puratan-Bari). The authorities of the Belur Math purchased the aforesaid house from the son of Prasanna Mukhopadhyaya and placed it under the care and supervision of the Ashrama for the preservation of the sacred memories of the Holy Mother. She used this house for about fifty-two years (i.e. from 1863 to 1915). Many persons received initiation, Brahmacharya and Sannyasa from her in this house and thus it became blessed. Besides, she held the worship of the Goddess Jagaddhatri also in this very residence.

NUTAN-BARI (NEW HOUSE)

With the increase in the number of devotees, various kinds of difficulties cropped up regarding accommodation in the Original House. That was why Swami Saradananda bought a piece of land on the western side of the Tank called 'Punya Pukur', and got a separate house built thereon for the Holy Mother in 1915-16. It was registered in the name of Goddess Jagaddhatri. This New House consists of four mud-walled straw-roofed rooms in its four corners. She utilized one of these rooms as her bed-chamber and also for her worship of Sri Sri Thakur. She gave initiation, Brahmacharya and Sannyasa to many aspirants in this room also. At present, this room has been converted into a temple with a life-sized portrait of the Holy Mother installed therein. The room adjoining it was used as a kitchen whereas the room opposite to the kitchen was occupied by Nalini-Didi, a niece of the Holy Mother. The remaining room, which faces the west and is now encircled by railings, was reserved for the Holy Mother's worship of the Goddess Jagaddhatri and, at other times, for the accommodation of devotees. The monastic disciples of Sri Ramakrishna such as Swamis Saradananda and Subodhananda and also other devotees lived in that room on the occasion of their visit to Jayrambati.

The rivulet Amodar, which was regarded by the Holy Mother as the Ganga (the river Ganges), has formed on the northern outskirt of the village, a sort of a triangular-shaped peninsula which looks exactly like the back of a tortoise. Being dotted here and there with marks of cremation, it presents a picturesque sight that excites a spirit of renunciation by reminding people of the transitoriness of the world. The course of the Amodar is towards the north at this particular place. Swami Saradananda used to meditate daily under the shade of the Amlak (myrobalan) tree that stood in the middle of this small peninsula during his stay at Jayrambati. Srimatis Yogin-Ma, Golap-Ma and others also, after their bath in this sacred river, spent much of their time in meditation and in the reading of such scriptures as the Gita, Chandi, etc. On the occasion of the worship of the Goddess Annapurna, the Holy Mother is also worshipped on the bank of this Amodar at the Bathing-Ghat of the Holy Mother, and many Sadhus and devotees bathe and worship there on that sacred day. Moreover, fried rice, sweets and other articles of food are distributed among air present there. Subsequently, a brick-built Bathing-Ghat was constructed on the spot where the Holy Mother used to take her bath.

THE TEMPLE OF SIMHAVAHINI

The Goddess Simhavahini is none other than the Goddess Jagaddhatri represented in the form of a metallic pitcher. The Holy Mother said that, once while she was lying before the temple under a vow of fasting to get her blessing for the cure of an acute disease from which she had been suffering for a long time, the Goddess Simhavahini appeared before her and her mother Shyamasundari in the guise of a blacksmith girl of about eleven or twelve years of age and suggested remedial medicines to them, which cured her completely. The Holy Mother after her recovery preserved some quantity of earth of this sacred place in a small casket, partook of it everyday and also gave it to Radhu (Radharani), one of her nieces. After the discovery of the curative power of this earth, persons from far distant places began to swarm into this place to correct this holy earth with great devotion for the cure of various kinds of maladies, and also as an effective medicine for snake-bite. That was why this Goddess attained to wide celebrity and great popularity among all classes of people.

The old temple having been damaged beyond repair with the passage of time, the Goddess has of late, been reinstalled in the newly built permanent temple where she is now daily worshipped. The front portion is covered with shed for the devotees. The Goddess Simhavahini and her two companions Sri Chandi and Mahamaya represented in metallic pitchers have been installed therein on a raised platform and the Goddess Manasa has also been placed by their side on a separate pedestal. A good number of devotees are coming to visit and worship the Goddess especially on Saturdays and Tuesdays from far and near. During the Durga-Puja ceremony, the Goddess Simhavahini is worshipped with due eclat and solemnity for three days with various offerings. The descendants of the Holy Mother's ancestral Mukherjee-family have all along been carrying on the worship of the Goddess.

PUNYA-PUKUR

This tank lies on the eastern side of the Holy Mother's New House and in front of the temple(Matrimandira. It is called Punya-Pukur (the Holy Tank) because of its constant use by the Holy Mother.

DHARMA-THAKUR'S TEMPLE

Dharma-Thakur, who is the presiding Deity of the village, has been enshrined in a small mud- walled thatched-house consisting of two rooms. He is worshipped under two different names at two separate places. His temple is located on the north-western corner of the Punya-Pukur. In one of the rooms, there is the tortoise-shaped Dharma-Thakur named Sundarnarayana who is still worshipped by the members of the Mukherjee-family by turns, along with Sitala Devi and the stone-emblem of Narayana installed therein. The Goddess Kali was worshipped in the adjoining room, but it has been discontinued for good. There is another brick-built temple of Dharma- Thakur named 'Yatra-Siddhi Ray' who is the family Deity of the Ghosh family. It stands at the western end of the village in front of the 'Mother's Ghat'. It was the traditional belief among the common people of the locality that the tortoise, which is one of the ten incarnations of God, was worshipped in this temple as an emblem of Narayana.

But it has been conclusively proved and also recorded in the 'Sri Ramakrishna Lila-Prasanga' by Swami Saradananda after a good deal of research and scrutiny that, with the decadence of Buddhism in Bengal, Sri Dharma-Thakur, once of the Buddhist Triad (Trinity), has been transformed in the course of time into a tortoise and is as such being worshipped in that form on a small scale in this part of the country.

BARUJJEY-PUKUR

This tank is also called 'Tal-Pukur' as it is surrounded on all sides by a row of palmyra trees. It lies on the south-eastern corner of the village. The Holy Mother used to take her bath daily in this deep tank and also used its water for drinking purpose.

THE SITE OF BHANU-PISHI'S HOUSE

The ancestral home of Bhanu-pishi, who was fortunate enough to receive the blessings of Sri Ramakrishna and was a companion of the Holy Mother in her younger days, stood very near the Matrimandira. She was regarded by the Holy Mother as her aunt in terms of relationship existing between neighbours in a village. She was married in Phului Shyambazar which is not very far from Jayrambati. After the death of her husband, she came back to her ancestral home at Jayrambati. She entertained a very great respect for the Holy Mother, whom, she looked upon as the Goddess Hereself. The Holy Mother in her younger days very often retired to this house of Bhanu-Pishi to get mental peace and solace when the villagers wounded her susceptibilities by describing Sri Ramakrishna as her lunatic husband. Though the site of that house is seen at a little distance from the Mother's New House (Nutan-Bari), no trace of any house is now to be found thereon. Presently the site of Bhanu-Pishi House has been taken over by Sri Sri Matrimandir and is renovated.