Every person needs a few things to live in this world, like basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter. Other than that, a man needs inner peace, which makes a person sane. A person can achieve inner peace through the good surrounding people and spirituality. Spirituality is a belief that leads a person to a path of freedom and happiness. A place that feels safe for every person. So today, we will see about Belur Math and its history of serving people.
Belur Math is a temple which is situated in the Hooghly river of Kolkatta and run by Ramakrishna Math&Mission. The Ramakrishna Mission is an organization that helps spread spirituality and assists the community in making a better world. The organization was started by Swami Vivekananda, who was the disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. His teaching and his life ethics made Swami Vivekananda create this organization to make this world a better place.
The temple covers an area of around 32,900 sq. ft, and buildings represent all religious temples like mosques, churches, and Hindu temples. The architecture plan was ideated by Swami Vijnananda, the disciple of Ramakrishnan, and he was once an architect before he became the disciple of Ramakrishna. So Swami Vijnananda traveled across India, America, and Europe to see many architectural buildings in the country.
The architecture of the building represents many things, like the three umbrella-type domes in the temple representing the thatched roof of Kamarpukur village, the birthplace of Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. The design of the central dome represents the European renaissance. The windows and balconies are Mughal and Rajasthani. The pillars are inspired by Greek and Doric cultures, and the beam above them is a replica of the Meenakshi Amman temple of Madurai.
The east and west entrances of the temple have a carving of Hanuman and Ganesha on the pillars.
There are buildings like Belur Math, Samadhi of disciples, Swami Vivekananda temple&room, Ramakrishna museum, Ramakrishna temple, and Swami Brahmananda temple under the radar of the organization.
History of Belur Math
The primary purpose of building and forming the organization is to pass on the teachings of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and his vision of serving humanity. So with the help of other monks, Swami Vivekananda founded Belur as a monastery place to build the temple. So the Belur Math was started in 1899 and became the headquarters for the Ramakrishna mission.
Swami Shivananda laid the foundation stone for the temple in 1935, and Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam mentioned that the Belur math is a place of heritage and national importance.
Places to visit in Belur Math
People who are planning on a spiritual tour can come and visit Belur Math to spend a peaceful and spiritual time here. There are many places that people should never miss on Belur math. They are:
- The Ramakrishna temple is the main icon of Belur math. This temple consists of holy relics of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. In this place where one person can sit in silence and meditate. A marble statue of Sri Ramakrishna is also placed inside here.
● Swami Vivekananda temple is one of the important temples to visit because the mortal body of Vivekanandar is cremated there. The Bel tree near the temple is where Swami Vivekananda used to meditate.
● The Belur Math campus has the Swami Vivekananda’s room in which people can see the preserved artifacts he used, and this is where he lived his last days.
● We can visit the temple of Sarada Devi, the wife of Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. The temple has relics used by her and her tomb, and the temple faces the river Ganga because she was so fond of it.
● People can find samadhis of Sri Ramakrishna’s direct disciples with everyone’s name engraved on it.
● Swami Brahmananda temple is built to honor Swami Brahmananda, who is a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna. The temple is built near mother Sarada Devi’s temple.
● The Ramakrishna museum is a treat for history fanatics because the museum consists of many relics and products used by Sri Ramakrishna, Mother Sarada Devi, Swami Vivekananda, and many more disciples. We can see a charcoal drawing of Sri Ramakrishna and letters written by Swamiji. The museum has a literature section in which we can find many books related to the mission.
People who visit Belur Math should visit the places mentioned above to spend some spiritual time. People who are on tour to Kolkatta can visit Belur Math to spend some quiet and happy time over here. So let’s pack our bags for a spiritual tour and clear up our minds.