HIGHLIGHTS & NEWS

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INTRODUCTION

The idea of the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture (RMIC) was conceived in 1936 as one of the permanent memorials to Sri Ramakrishna (1836-1886) on the occasion of his first birth centenary. It was formally established on January 29, 1938 as a branch of the Ramakrishna Mission to propagate the message of Vedanta as propounded by Sri Ramakrishna.

After functioning from different rented accommodation in North and Central Calcutta, the Institute was shifted to South Calcutta; first to a house donated by a devotee, and eventually to its present and permanent premises at Gol Park in 1961. An annexe to the main building, similar in aesthetic design, was commissioned in 2005. The entire building complex was deemed a ‘Heritage Building’ by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation in 2007 and continues as such.

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SRI RAMAKRISHNA

Sri Ramakrishna was born on 18 February 1836 in the village of Kamarpukur about sixty miles northwest of Kolkata. His parents, Kshudiram Chattopadhyaya and Chandramani Devi, were poor but very pious and virtuous.

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SRI SARADA DEVI

Endearingly known as ‘Holy Mother’, Sri Sarada Devi, the spiritual consort of Sri Ramakrishna, was born on 22 December 1853 in a poor Brahmin family in Jayrambati, a village adjoining Kamarpukur in West Bengal.

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SRI VIVEKANANDA

Swami Vivekananda, known in his pre-monastic life as Narendranath Datta, was born in an affluent family in Kolkata on 12 January 1863. His father, Vishwanath Datta, was a successful attorney with interests in a wide range of subjects.

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DEPARTMENTS & ACTIVITIES

The General Library

The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture has been maintaining a library since its inception. Its collection was initially confined to a few books and journals, stacked in one or two book-cases. In 1941, Dr. Barid Baran Mukherjee gifted over 33,000 volumes to the library.

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School of Language

Sri Ramakrishna preached equal validity of all religions on earth. Religions are parts of cultures; languages are expressions of cultures. The more refined a language, the more evolved is its culture. The study of languages which facilitate intercultural understanding is an important objective of the Institute. The School of Languages offers Beginners’ and Advanced – Level certificate courses in 19 languages – 14 foreign and 5 indigenous to India.

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The Centre for Indological Studies and Research

The Centre for Indological Studies and Research offers research facilities to scholars pursuing pre-doctoral or post-doctoral research, conducts a number of courses on Indology, and holds seminars – both national and international – in art, culture, philosophy, consciousness studies, and a range of other topics. Attached to the Centre is Vivekananda Archives devoted to preserving literature and documents on the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda movement. Recently, the Centre has embarked on an ambitious project of translating the entire Vedic literature into Bengali.

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The Museum and Art Gallery

Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda were both connoisseurs of the arts. From his earliest childhood, Sri Ramakrishna observed his father make beautiful garlands for the family deity, Raghuvir. He gradually developed a taste for painting and also learnt clay molding of images of gods and goddesses from the potters. At a later date he restored the broken leg of the idol of Lord Krishna in such an ingenious way that it still stands to this day (after a lapse of 150 years!) in the Vishnu Temple, also known as the Radha Kanta Temple, in the Dakshineswar Temple complex. The sketches and drawings he has left behind portray the firm and clear hand of an accomplished artist.

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The Cultural Activities Department

The Cultural Activities Department organizes a range of events throughout the year and supports other departments of the Institute in doing so. The major events organized are given below:

  • Foundation Day Celebrations on January 29, every year. The Governor of West Bengal presides over the Public Meeting held in the evening
  • Saraswati Puja Celebrations
  • Annual Procession from the Institute to nearby areas to highlight the message of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Ma Sarada, and Swami Vivekananda
  • Christmas Eve Celebrations.
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The Youth Programmes Department

“Men, men, these are wanted: everything else will be ready, but strong, vigorous, believing young men, sincere to the backbone, are wanted”.“It is man-making religion that we want. It is man-making theories that we want. It is man-making education all around that we want”.

“All power is within you; you can do anything and everything. Believe in that, do not believe that you are weak..”.

The above quotes are taken from two of Swami Vivekananda’s inspiring lectures – ‘My Plan of Campaign’ and ‘The Work Before Us’ – both delivered after his triumphant return to India from the West in 1897. Swami Vivekananda laid his hope on the youth of our country to regenerate India and revolutionize the world.

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The Department of Social Work

GADADHAR ABHYUDAYA PRAKALPA:

An informal primary school, Gadadhar Pathshala, is run by the Institute in its vicinity for 100 underprivileged students. Besides education, the students are provided with school dress, Tiffin, and books. Six teachers are engaged in educating the students. Similar schools with the approximately the same student number and facilities are run in 2 villages; Rajendrapur in North 24 – Parganas and Indrapala in South 24 – Parganas.

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The Publications & Sales Department

THE BULLETIN OF THE RAMAKRISHNA MISSION INSTITUTE OF CULTURE

The Institute publishes a monthly journal, “Bulletin of the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture”, with contributions from eminent scholars from India and abroad. Carrying thought-provoking articles on intercultural understanding, national integration, and the spiritual unity of mankind, the bulletin is subscribed by most of the leading universities and institutional libraries in India and a large number of such libraries abro

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The International Scholars’ House

The International Scholars House is a boarding and lodging facility for scholars, invitees and students who come from different parts of India (outside Kolkata) and abroad for study, research or exchange of ideas in cultural studies and stay more than one month.

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The Horticulture Department

GREEN SPACES WITHIN THE INSTITUTE

The Institute has a large garden within its premises split into four quadrants with a circle at the centre. The four quadrants have neatly laid out lawns lined with seasonal flowers. The circle at the centre is nicely decorated with potted plants and the best of seasonal flowers.

On the western corner of the garden is a statue of Swami Vivekananda in standing posture similar to the one inside the Gol Park Circle. A spectacular floral arrangement leads up to the statue. The northern side of the garden is lined with fruit trees. The quadrangle between the main and annexe buildings contains fruit trees. The southern side of the garden leads to the Institute’s Gate No. 5 and the eastern side to the International Scholars House.

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The Shrine and Meditation Hall

The Shrine and the Meditation Hall are located on the fourth floor of the Institute. A famous painting adorns the entrance of the Shrine and the Meditation Hall. It portrays Sri Ramakrishna pointing Keshab Chandra Sen to the harmony and coexistence of all religions.

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Audio Gallery

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