CMC gives death record of ‘Ram Kisto’ to Ramakrishna Mission
The Calcutta Municipal Corporation has managed to fish out a piece of handwritten document that dates back to 1886 and certifies the death of Ramakrishna Paramhansa.
The Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission did not have any authentic document stating the date of Ramakrishna’s death, a reason why they sought the records from the civic body.
On Saturday, the civic body handed over a replica of the death register of Cossipore police station that contained the details of Sri Ramakrishna’s demise.
According to the register, he died on August 15, 1886.
In the register, Ramakrishna Paramhansa is spelt as “Ram Kisto Promohongsa”, who lived in 49 Cossipore Road and was 52 years when he died. Ramakrishna had breathed his last at the Cossipore Uddyanbati and he was cremated at the Cossipore crematorium.
The register identifies him as a “preacher” in the section for profession. The cause of death mentioned is “ulcer in the throat” though he is popularly known to have died of throat cancer.
Swami Suvirananda, the general secretary of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, said during that time it was common belief that the natives could not have cancer.
“It was a belief among people at that time that only the British could have cancer,” he said.
He added that Mahendra Lal Sarkar, the doctor who treated Sri Ramakrishna, had diagnosed “clergyman’s throat sore”.
“We did not have any official document regarding the death of Sri Ramakrishna. We knew about his death from other sources. We approached the corporation as we wanted to have his death certificate that would be an official document,” said Swami Suvirananda.
The general secretary of the Math and Mission also explained why the Ramakrishna Math and Mission’s website says that Ramakrishna passed away on August 16, while the register handed over on Saturday mentions that he died on August 15. “The British believed that a new day begins after 12 at night, while according to Hindu belief a new day begins after sunrise. Ramakrishna had died around 1am,” he said.
An official of the CMC’s records department said the corporation was aware that it had the death records of Ramakrishna. A replica of the death records is also available at the CMC headquarters, the official said.
“In those days, the police station used to maintain a register where all people dying in its jurisdiction was recorded. Subsequently, when Cossipore was included in the Calcutta Municipal Corporation, these registers came in the possession of the civic body,” said Atin Ghosh, the deputy mayor of Calcutta, who was present during the handing over.
The replica would be kept in the archives at Belur Math, the headquarters of Ramakrishna Math and Mission, and will be on display in the museum on certain days.
Ghosh asked the math and mission to request the state government to reintroduce a ferry service between Belur Math and Ratan Babu Ghat in Baranagar, where Ramakrishna was cremated. Ghosh said there used to be a ferry service between the two places and if it was reintroduced, disciples would benefit a lot.