Math puja and song for monk

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By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT in Calcutta
  • Published 10.03.08
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Calcutta, March 9: Thousands of devotees and monks of Ramakrishna Math and Mission observed the 173rd janmatithi of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa at Belur Math today.

A programme to mark the occasion was also held at Sri Ramakrishna’s birthplace at Kamarpukur in Hooghly.

At Belur, there was a string of programmes — pujas, chanting of vedic hymns, devotional songs, discourse and dance.

The day started with mangal arati at the main temple around 4.30am in the presence of Swami Atmasthananda, the president of the Math and Mission. The vedic chanting by Sadhu Brahmacharis and the Usha Kirtan that followed had an audience of monks and over 5,000 people.

Around 7, a puja was offered to Sri Ramakrishna and a yagna was held.

The number of devotees on the temple premises on the bank of the Hooghly swelled as the day wore on. A Math official put the figure at more than a lakh.

Over 35,000 devotees were given prasad, he added.

Around 8.45am, thousands thronged the giant pandal set up for the occasion to listen to the monks speak on Sri Ramakrishna’s life and messages.

Swami Tattwasarananda read out from Sri Ramakrishna Lila Prasanga and held a discourse on the subject.

Apurba Roy Chowdhury sang Ramakrishna Sangeet and Swami Purnananda read from Ramakrishna Katham-rita.

Srikumar Chattopadhyay presented Shyamasangeet and Mansur Ali Fakir folk songs.

There were recitals of Manipuri dance to the rhythm of mridangam and Gauriya Nritya in the afternoon, followed by Anirbnan Banerjee’s devotional songs.

At the culmination, senior monks of the order participated in a public meeting on the Life and Teachings of Sri Ramakrishna.

The speakers included Swami Atmajnanananda, who is in charge of the Vedanta Society in Washington DC, Swami Devarajananda, the principal of the Brahmachari training centre in Belur Math, Swami Tattwajnanananda, the head of the Mission’s polytech- nic, and Swami Prabhananda, the general secretary of the Math and Mission.