- SHRI RAMKRISHNA ASHARAMA, RAJKOT
- (A branch of Ramakrishna Math, Belur Math, West Bengal)
- Swami Vivekananda in Gujarat
- During their Bharat Darshan, Swami Vivekananda and most of his
brother disciples visited the Western part of India. swami Vivekananda spent a lot of time
in Saurashtra . Between 1890 and 1892 he wandered over the State of Gujarat covering
Ahmedabad Wadhwan Limbdi, Bhavnagar, Sihor, Girnar, junagadh , Bhuj. Veraval, Porbandar,
Dwarka, Mandvi, Naravan Sarovar. Palitana and Baroda. Raj Diwan junagadh Shri Haridas
Viharidas Desai, Dewan of Porbandar Shri Shankar Pandurang, Lal Shankar Umia Shankar of
Ahmedabad and Dewan Manibhai of Baroda hosted him. He spent a two months in Porbandar
studing and teaching the Vedas, Panini, Patanjali Bhasya and learnt French at the
suggestion of his learned host Shri Shankar Pandurang who was then the Administrator of
the State. This learned Dewanjli suggested that Swamiji should go to the West for the
appreciation of his learning and wisdom. Obviously. during his long stay and frequent
travels Swamiji must have visited the other important places of Saurashtra. The then
Maharajas of Limbdi and Kutch became his disciplines.
- The Beginning
- In 1926, Swami Madhavanandaji Maharaj, one of the Chief
Administrators of the Mission Headquarters who later became the 9th president of
Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission visited Rajkot.The tending citizen of Rajkot
approached him for a centre.In 1927, thanks to the generosity of Maharaja Shri Lakhadhirji
of Morvi, his Rest House in Rajkot housed the present Shri Ramakrishna Ashrama.
Subsequently, Rajkot Thakore Saheb Shri Dharmendrasinhji gave a plot of land at a token
price for the permanent establishment of the Ashrama where it stands today. The Ashrama
shifted to its own building in jga4. The Ashrama is specially indebted to Maharaj Shri
Lakhajiraj and his Dewan Shri Chunilal Shroff, Shri Harishankar pandya, Maharaja Shri
Lakhdhirji of Morvi, Maharaja Shri Bhojrajji of Gondal, DhroI Thakore Saheb Shri
Chandrasihji, the illustrious Bombay industrialist Sheth Shri Mafatlal Gagalbhai, Sir
Mathurdas Visanji, Shri Mangaldas A. Patel of Jamnagar, Shri Shambhulal A. Shah of Bombay
Smt. Mithibal L. Chandarana Bhagat Shri Girdharram Hariram of Virpur, Shri Narandas
Gandhi, Rajkot etc. for their spontaneous help in organizing and building the present
Ashrama. This is the first affiliated centre of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission in the
whole of Gujarat. The second centre of the Ramakrishna Mission has been started in Feb,
1994.at Limbdi in Surendranagar District.
Footfalls of the following brother disciples of
Swami Vivekananda have also sanctified this part of our country Swami Brahmanandaji, Swami
Turiyanandaji Swami Saradanandaji, Swami Abhedanandaji, Swami Advaitanandaji Swami
Trigiunatitanandaji Swami Subodanandaji, Swami Akhandanandaji, and Swami vijnananandaji.
Swami Akhandanandaji had staled in Jamnagar for about a year besides travelling
extensively in Gujarat and Saurashtra.
It should be known that the Trustees of the Headquarters at
Ramakrishna Math, P.O. Belur Math,Dist. Howrah West Bengal are the Trustees of the
Branch Centre at Rajkot and the management of the Rajkot centre is carried, managed and
controlled according to the instructions of the Head Quarters. The Board of Trustees at
Belur Math appoints a President who conducts all the activities of the Centre. There is a
local Advisory Committee which is also appointed by the Trustees at the Head Quarters. The
annual audited statement of theaccounts of the Rajkot centre are sent every year to Head
Quarters and in the consolidated accounts of the Head Quarters, Raikot Ashrama's accounts
- The Present
- The service offered by the Ashrama may be broadly summarized as
- Temple Service
- The Ashrama has a big imposing Universal Shri Ramakrishna Temple
built in 1979 where regular Puja, Path, Arti, Prayer, occasional special Pujas and Havans
etc. are conducted. The Temple provides an opportunity to people of all denominations to
take part in meditation, bhajan, religious discourses, prayers and celebrations of the
great men of different faiths.
- Regular religious discourses are held usually every Sunday,
Wednesday and Saturday. Spiritual Retreats for students, teachers and general public are
held almost every month since 1991. The Monks also go to preach the lofty cultural,
religious and spiritual ideas of the nation to the people. The places which are covered by
such lecture-tours are Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Anand, Vadodara, Jhagadia, Jamnagar,
Junagadh, Bhavnagar, Porbandar, Bhuj, Mithapur, Dabhou, Dahod, Limbdi etc. Throughout the
years under review large number of Swamis, devotees and friends participated in the
functions of the Ashrama.
- During the years under review, Rev. Shrimat Swami Bhuteshanandaji
Maharaj (President, Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission visited the Ashrama in
Dec.1991. Similarly Rev. Swami Ranganathanandaji Maharaj (Vice-President) visited the
Ashrama in April 1991. Rev. Swami Gahananandali Maharaj, (Vice-President), visited our
Ashrama in Nov. 1992 Rev. Swami Atmasthanandali (General Secretary) visited the Ashrama in
1991, 1992 and 1994. Besides, many other senior Swamis also visited us.
- During their stay devotees and religious seekers got a rare
opportunity to listen to their talks, discourses and also receive their blessings and
guidance in spiritual life.
- The Publication Department
- Of the Ashrama has so far brought out the books of Ramakrishna-
Vivekananda literature for the Gujarati reading public. Eighty four books were reprinted
and sixteen new titles were printed during the period.
- Medical Services
- Medical Services froms an important part of the activities of the
Ashrama. Free outdoor Homeopathic and Ayurvedic Dispensaries serve the people of the city,
especially its poorer section. Both the dispensaries are located within the Ashrama
compound situated in the heart of the city. Vaidyaraj Shri Bhikhubhai Trivedi and Dr T.
Khira are working in the Ayurvedic Section and Dr. B.N.Thakar in Homeopathic
- The Vidyarthi Mandir
- accommodating school boys is run on the Gurukul system. They are
admitted without any distinction of colour and creed. They live as brothers using neat
uniforms. of the boys are taken from the villages. Care is taken for their a round
development-physical, intellectual, moral and spiritual. Training in self-help and
discipline form the essential features of the home Many meritorious but poor students are
also maintained free or part-free. Stipends are awarded on the merit of the case without
any reference to community. Various constructive programmes keep the bubbling energy of
the young boys channelised in the right direction of 'Character Building', 'Man-Making
and' Assimilation of ideas' towards bringing them up as worthy citizens.
- Free Library And Reading Room
- The Ashrama has a well furnished library and reading room for the
benefit of the local public. Both are growing all round from year to year.
- Annual Competitions for Students and Youths
- Swami Vivekananda Centenary Memorial Essay, Elocution, Recitation
Competition and Swami Vivekananda Vichar Prachar Exam for Schools, Colleges and
University Students are held every year as a Special feature drawing the attention of the
students and youths of the moral and religious values of life. Since 1993-94 various new
competitions like story-telling, fancy dress (depicting saints, prophets, gods-god esses
of various religion), quiz, drawing etc. were introduced. Attractive prizes were given to
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