It is the place which is the symbol of Universal faith. It respects the diversity of all religions. It believes religion is not going to the Church; or putting marks on the forehead; or dressing in a peculiar fashion. Religion is the principle, which is the highest knowledge of spirit. It cannot be acquired from book, nor can it be bought. It has to be realized. It means Realization of Self as Spirit. Yes, it is the place of the persons who realized their Self, the Monks. The Monks are controlling the place and it is open for all. The place is Belur Math. It is situated near Kolkata in India. It is located on the banks of the serine Ganges. It was established and conceptualized by Swami Vivekananda, the renowned disciple of Sri Ramakrishna and who took the Hindu religion to the Western world.
The temple of Belur Math is regarded as “A symphony of Architecture” and one of the architectural wonders of India. It is designed on the concept of Universal faith.The main temple is built in a way, that it resembles a temple, a mosque, and a Church if it is watched from different positions.You can see here the architectural signature of various countries and religions of the Earth. To know more, you can read this article, Belur Math.
Whenever I visit Kolkata, I go there. The river Ganges, the serenity of the environment and the meditation room where the idol of Sri Ramakrishna is placed and everything within the monastery make me feel so divine that I never want to come back again. But, the duties, responsibilities call me badly to do back into the worldly activities.
Taking a picture is prohibited there. Though I have managed somehow to get just about the images. The Campus of this monastery is about 40 acres and that is very well managed and decorated with the garden of beautiful flowers. There is a bookstore of Vedanta philosophy in the front main temple. The books published by the Monks are also sold there. I bought nine books from there. The books include Upanishad (philosophy of Hinduism), a book on Christianity and a volume on Buddhism. I love to experience the precepts of all faiths. There is also a custom of offering lunch to everyone. I also took that. The lunch was awesome though it a vegetarian dish.
One thing, I noticed there, is discipline. Everywhere you go in the campus, discipline is a must. All are maintained by the Monks , who are locally called Maharaj. The rules are not breakable even with the money. You have no option to buy any of these. If you go there with a wallet full of money, you must think your money is valueless. Money is not required there except you don’t go to buy books. But, there is a center for donation. If you wish, you can donate money. There is no obligation for money. Monks are living there and performing selfless social welfare for the state. They need more money to perform their duties. It is the Headquarter of Ramkrishna maths and Missions of India.
Swami Ji ( Swami Vivekananda) established this beautiful monastery after enthralling the West with his inspirational speech on Universal Brotherhood of all religion. His followers are still maintaining his ideology and performing humanitarian and social activities throughout the world. Just want to finish this article with a quote of Swami Ji.
“Everything that is excellent will come when this sleeping soul is aroused to self conscious activity.“