The year-long observation of the Centenary of the Ramakrishna Mission, Karimganj, which was inaugurated by Srimat Swami Gautamanandaji Maharaj (Vice President, Ramakrishna Math & Mission), on Wed, 10th May, 2017, was finally concluded with a 5 day closing ceremony, consisting of series of cultural programmes & other events, held from 1st Dec-5th Dec, 2018
We feel humbled to state that with the over-whelming support of the well-wishers, devotees and admirers of the Holy Trio, the conclusion of the Centenary Celebrations was smoothly accomplished. It will be an understatement to say that the programme was highly successful, seeing the unprecedented voluntary support we received from past one year and also the huge public participation, for the concluding events, which overpassed even our most liberal expectations. The events were also attended by 38 monks from various centres in India & abroad.
The programmes begun on Saturday, 1st of December, 2018, with Unveiling of a striking, life size bronze statue of Swami Vivekananda, by Revered Swami Gautamanandaji Maharaj, in the holy presence of Rev. Swamis Jyotirupanandaji & Tattwavidanandaji Maharaj. This historic occasion was further sanctified by words of benediction from Revered Swami Tattwavidanandaji Maharaj, addressed to a huge gathering.
This was immediately followed with a grand & colourful public procession in which 55 groups from various Schools, Colleges, Organisations and Institutions & other religious groups, apart from hundreds of devotees & volunteers, participated, with total head count exceeding more than 7000. All participants were provided with food packets at the end. The numbers of attendees were almost double of what we had anticipated while planning for this event.
During past one year, a beautiful Durga Mandop for the annual worship of Sri Sri Maa Durga, was constructed at the exact spot, where a small shrine of Sri Ramakrishna existed during the founding days of the Ashram, 100 years back, in 1917. Also, attached to it a two storied multi- purpose building came up, simultaneously. The new structure houses Maa Sarada Hall (Prasada distribution hall) on ground floor, and Sri Ramakrishna Mancha (an auditorium) on 2nd floor. All these were inaugurated by Srimat Swami Gautamanandaji Maharaj, after the completion of the public procession.
In the evening on the 1st day, there was a public meeting held, in which the Centenary Souvenir was released by the President of the Meeting, Most Revered Swami Gautamanandaji Maharaj.
Revered Swami Jyotirupanandaji Maharaj (Minister In-Charge, Ramakrishna Vedanta Centre, Moscow) who flew directly from Moscow, just to attend this function, addressed the public, reminiscing about his 70 years of association with the Karimganj Ashram, & comparing those olden days with the present times, to establish his observation about the silent influence and acceptance of the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda-Vedanta philosophy, all over the globe.
Swami Tattwavidanandaji Maharaj (Asst. General Secretary, Ramakrishna Math & Mission), who first visited this Ashrama in his youth, around 50 years back, recollected the impressions that the dedicated and selfless lives of the early founders of this Ashrama had on him. Swami Hitakamanandaji (Secretary, Ramakrishna Mission, Agartala) also spoke on this occasion. The meeting was closed with the Presidential address of Revered Swami Gautamanandaji Maharaj. The meeting was attended by several monks and more than 2000 devotees.
On 2nd day, the morning session was scheduled for another public meeting, which was presided over by Srimat Swami Gautamanandaji Maharaj, and was attended by a large gathering. Swami Sumanasanandaji (President, Ramakrishna Centre of South Africa, Durban), Swami Chandranathanandaji (Secretary, Ramakrishna Mission, Sylhet, Bangladesh) & Swami Satyasthanandaji (Secretary, Ramakrishna Mission, Shimla) gave religious discourses to the congregation.
A very crucial & special feature of the 2nd day was the community feeding programme, scheduled after the meeting, open for one and all. In our most generous expectations we had anticipated 8000 people to attend, but in the end almost 10,000 turned. Everyone partook of the cooked food prasada (consisting of Boiled Rice, fried potatoes, Dal, 2 Vegetable Curries, Paneer Curry, Chutney, Rice Payasam along with a Sweet & a drinking water bottle), served batch wise, in the newly inaugurated Multi-purpose building. With unexpected and unprecedented convergence of so many people, we had to mobilise all our resources, and the prasada serving which started at 11:00 am was continued till 5:00 pm. In the end all were fed satisfactorily.
The following evenings on 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th days were all studded with several cultural programmes. All the evening programmes were attended by more than 2000 people and were highly appreciated by all present. The gatherings were served with sweet prasad at the end, on all
There was an extensive coverage by several newspapers, for each day, & the events were also broadcasted live, by several news channels, including Doordarshan. Thus countless people came to know about these programmes. Consequently, in all, there were about 35,000 attendees for the events, on these 5 days.
We firmly believe that it was only due to compassionate divine grace of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Maa Sarada Devi & Swami Vivekananda, that the Centenary Celebrations were successfully concluded to the satisfaction of everyone involved.
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