Monday, February 28, 2011

The house where Swami Vivekananda was born

Last Sunday we have visited a holy place in north Calcutta. We have seen the house where Swami Vivekananda was born. Swami Vivekananda was born on the 12th January, 1863. He was the eldest son of Viswanath Dutta and Bhuvaneswari Devi. About 300 years ago this house was built by the great grandfather of Swami Vivekananda. After a long time, Ramakrishna Mission has restored the ancestral house of Swami Vivekananda. The total cost of this project was Rs 20 crores. We have visited the sacred birthplace, the museum, and the rooms where his mother, Bhuvaneswari Devi (1841–1911) and two brothers, Mahendranath Dutta (1869–1956) and Bhupendranath Dutta (1880-1961) stayed. We have seen the place where Biley (the childhood name of Swami Vivekananda) played king-king game with his friends. His father Biswanath Dutta was a famous attorney-at-law in the Calcutta High Court. We have seen his drawing room and study room. We have read Swamiji`s childhood life in the books. Today we have seen the actual place. Really it is a historical place to visit.

Address: Swamiji’s House
Ramakrishna Mission Swami Vivekananda Ancestral House and Cultural Centre 
3 Gour Mohan Mukherjee Street
Kolkata, West Bengal 700006 India
Phone: 033-2257 0213/0214/0215, 033-2257-1182

How to reach: From College Street junction (Calcutta) the ancestral house of Swami Vivekananda is a walking distance of 15 – 20 minutes towards Shyambazar (Bidhan Sarani). Buses, Taxi are also available.

Visiting hours: Morning & Evening. (Monday Closed)

Entry fees Rs 5 each.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Protect your life

Human life is precious. Our life is our capital. Our physical and mental strength is our passage money in the journey of life. We have to protect our life. If we have a sound body and sound mind, then we will be able to serve more to others. We have no right to destroy our own life – which is a gift of God. So, protect yourself – physically and mentally.

Increase your physical strength by regular physical exercises. You know the benefits of physical exercises. Make a habit of walking either in the morning or in the evening. Start from today. Walk as much as possible in your daily life. You will get fresh energy.

Another important item is `food`. Food makes our body and mind. Food items and drinking water must be neat and clean. Don’t take food here and there, specially the uncovered food. Try to avoid too much spicy food. Eat according to your capacity. There must be a certain time for your lunch and dinner.

 But remember, food means not only the eatable items, but also what we are absorbing through our five senses. Our eyes, ears, nose, skin and tongue are always absorbing food from the external environment. No network is busy here, network is always active. Suppose, when you are reading a good book (which is giving you mental strength), you are eating positive food. Our five senses are very strong. Remember this and act accordingly.

The holy books and the lives of great men will give you mental strength. If you read the letters of Swami Vivekananda, you will certainly imbibe by his sprits. If you read the students life of Iswarchandra Vidyasagar you will certainly get mental strength to overcome your own problems of student life. Positive reading will give you positive results and vice versa. Use your local library.

Be neat and clean – externally and internally. All your work will be neat and clean. All your thoughts will be neat and clean. Your conversation will be cordial and sweet. Your behaviour will be cordial and hearty. You must have an unalloyed love for your friends, neighbors and colleagues. Gradually your heart will be expanding and you will feel the unlimited joy of oneness.

When you are going to protect your life, you must leave the negative thoughts and ideas. But the question is what is positive and what is negative? Swami Vivekananda gave us a formula: ``anything that makes you weak physically, intellectually and spiritually, reject as poison; there is no life in it, it cannot be true. ``

If your surrounding environment is not healthy or unfavorable for your growth, don’t sit idle and blame your fate. Create your own environment. Ultimately that good and holy companion will protect you.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Weekend Tour

A weekend tour can relief you. Stress and strain is increasing day by day; deadlines are the subject of nightmares. Key issues are always hammering.

Leave Sunday for yourself or for your family especially for your tender kids. Please go to a short tour, enjoy the day. It will relief you mentally. Enjoy the beautiful landscapes or riversides. Take some dry food and drinking water with you. Don’t forget your digital camera. Capture every moment. Switch off your mobile phone. Play with your kids. Motivate them to love the natural beauty. Every tour is a tour, whether it is for a long distance or short. Distance does not matter. A short journey can also give you unlimited joy.

Make a plan for the coming Sunday, but don’t disclose it to your wife or children. Give them surprise with a pleasant smile in the fine morning.

My best wishes for your weekend tours.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Magic Reaction

If you have a baby then you are a lucky man in the world. Help them to bloom properly by creating a favorable environment. Your duty is like a gardener. They will grow naturally. From their early childhood give them proper morale education. Only academic education is not sufficient. Grow their good habits by demonstrating your life as an example. First you make your life beautiful. Then only you are able to guide them properly. Understand them. Carrot and stick approach is the word of past. Strict control will hamper their natural growth. Everybody wants freedom as freedom is the song of the soul.  Your babies are the visible representation of the God. They are so innocent! From their early childhood tell them the stories of faith, courage and self confidence. Uncanny stories will not give you the desired results. Brick by brick build their good character. Then only they can face the problems of life individually in their adolescence period.
Do you know that your babies consider you as their hero? They are following your activities.
Your Action
Magic Reaction
If you wash thoroughly your hands with liquid soap before every lunch and dinner
Your children will also wash thoroughly their hands with liquid soap before every lunch and dinner.
If you watch television hours after hours
Your children will also watch television hours after hours.
If you are punctual in office
They will also punctual in schools.
If you neat and clean in every matter
They will also neat and clean.
If you respect your parents
Your children will also respect their grand parents.
If you are financially honest
They will also financially honest in future.
If you help your wife in domestic work
They will also help their mother in domestic work.
If you read newspaper daily
They will also try to read the newspaper from their early childhood.
If you are able to create a good culture in your home
They will follow it.

A sweet home

Friday, February 18, 2011

SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis is a popular term in management. SWOT (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats) is vital when we are going to create any strategic plan. We can apply this analysis in our life making process. If any individual wants to enhance his/her level of performance, it is essential.

As a human being, we have infinite energy in each one of us. This is our strength. We have to believe in our strength. We are not zero. Each one of us there are certain number of good qualities. We have sound body and mind. We can think properly, we have power of analysis. We can feel for others. These are our strengths. Apply these positive qualities in your life making process.

At the same time, locate the areas of weakness in your life. Don’t be disappointed. You may have weakness, but don’t sit idle. Try to overcome the areas of weakness by constant practices and sincere prayers. Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) gave us a formula: `` The remedy for weakness is not brooding over weakness, but thinking of strength. Teach men of the strength that is already within them. ``

Always try to use the opportunities. The opportunity, which you are receiving now, may be small. But don’t neglect it. Always see the bright side of the opportunity. Don`t miss it.

Locate the sources of threats when you are going to build your life. The way of life making is very difficult. Ancient sages said that, it is like the edge of a razor. So, external and internal control is necessary.

Take a sheet of paper. Write your SWOT. Locate the areas and try sincerely to improve them. Rome was not built in a day.  Gradually you will improve your inner qualities. You will be self confident. Your human life will be meaningful. Forward.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The flower of life

We can make our life beautiful. Human life is precious. Each one of us there is infinite energy and potential power. We have to manifest it by constant practice. This is life making or you can say, character building. Character is a bundle of habits – good or bad. If the habits are good, there is a good character or vice versa. A repeated work may form a habit. So, we must take utmost caution when we are going to do any work. In this position, we can take the help of our analysis power. Analyze every work –whether it is giving you strength or weakness. If the work gives you the strength, accept it.  If it is produces weakness, leave it. Always cultivate good and holy thoughts in your mind. A good reading will help you. There are certain qualities of a good character, such as self respect, self confidence, punctuality, courage etc. Exercises of these qualities are essential from the childhood. Early risers will get the advantages. A gardener helps the flower blooming. He takes every care for the protection of the bud, supplies water, give fertilizers etc. Through his hard labor, we are getting flowers in the garden. Protection of bud is essential. From the childhood, we must take care of our precious life to make it meaningful. If we build our life, we can serve more - like flowers.

Theoretically, the method of character building is very easy to understand. But only the travelers know the up and downs of the road. There is no short cut formula. It is a matter of life long practices. I will make my life beautiful, I will manifest my inner qualities – this type of determination is essential. A positive attitude towards the life will make us strong. Each step in the life making process will give us success. May be the successes are small, but they will give us strength to go forward.

If we can make our life beautiful, then we will be a good citizen. We can serve more to our society. Our personal life will also good and peaceful. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The power of work

When we are going to do any work, we have to take utmost care to make it perfect. Through this perfect work, we can make ourselves perfect. Take this opportunity. Don’t take any work as a `load `. We must change our attitude. A positive attitude is essential to do any work. If we have negative attitude, we must not get peace of mind, our present daily life will be restless and our inner growth will hamper. We must cultivate positive attitude among ourselves. Each and every work is great. There is no division of work. We have divided the work as great, medium and petty. Swami Vivekananda (1863 -1902) wrote in a letter to one of his disciples, Swami Shuddhananda, `` No work is petty. Everything in this world is like a banyan-seed, which, though appearing tiny as a mustard-seed, has yet the gigantic banyan tree latent within it. He indeed is intelligent who notices this and succeeds in making all work truly great. ``

When we are going to do any work, first we have to make up our mind. Our mind is not under our control. It is restless. Our mind controls ourselves. So, mental concentration is necessary. If we have concentration, our work will be better because a trained mind never make mistake.

Mental concentration is difficult but it is not impossible. It is a matter of life long practices. When we are performing worship in the temples, we make utmost caution but when we are going to perform other allotted duties, we are not so serious. This type of dual personality is the result of our tricky mind. Each and every one of us there is infinite energy, we must manifest it.

We have to do every work with our full concentration to make it perfect. If we have respect, love and positive attitude towards our work, it will give us the best result. Through this perfect and selfless work we can grow our inner life.

Swam Vivekananda told a story: `` whatever you do, devote your whole mind, heart and soul to it. I once met a great sannyasin, who cleansed his brass cooking utensils, making them shine like gold, with as much care and attention as he bestowed on his worship and meditation.``

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The smiling face

Recently I have seen one beautiful photograph taken by one of my relatives Dr. Batukeswar Roy in February 2009. He went to Sadardi (now in Bangaladesh) to see his native land after a long interval. There he took some photographs of his relatives along with his old ancestral house. The photo of this old woman who is standing in front of her house is telling an untold story. Ignoring her personal difficulties, she is waiting to receive the guests as a representative of the whole Sadardi village with a smiling face. Really beautiful.  Many thanks to Dr. Roy for this presentation.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sri Ramakrishna Kutir

If you are going to visit Amarkantak, you can stay at Sri Ramakrishna Kutir. We stayed there three days in 2007 during our tour at Amarkantak. It was an unforgettable memory. The cordial behavior of Secretary Maharaj and other monks were remarkable. We took part in daily evening prayers in the temple. Daily we got prasada from the temple. Still today we recollect that golden memories.

Amarkantak is an old pilgrimage centre (Topobhumi). This place is the source of three rivers – the Narmada, the Sone and the Johila. It is also the meeting point of the Vindhyas, the Satpura and the Maikal hills. The natural scenery is very beautiful and calm. You can visit Sri Narmada mata temple, Narmada Udgam (Source of river Narmada) , Mata ki Bagia (Garden of Sri Narmada mata), Sonmuda (Source of river Sone), Kapildhara, Dugdha Dhara, Durga Dhara, Vrigu Kamandul, Sri Yantra Mandir, Sri Jaleswar Mahadev Temple and many other old temples. The calm and holy environment of this place will certainly give you some inner feelings.

Sri Ramakrishna Kutir (a monastery) is situated on the banks of river Narmada. You can stay here for two or three days. There are other Ashrams and lodges near the temple.

 Address:          Secretary Maharaj
Sri Ramakrishna Kutir
Post: Amarkantak
District: Anuppur
Madhya Pradesh. India.
PIN 484 886
 Phone: 07629 269410

How to Reach:
1)      From Howrah to Bilaspur by train. From Bilaspur to Pendra Road by train. From Pendra Road to Amarkantak by bus or reserved car.
2)      From Bilaspur to Amarkantak by bus or reserved car (via Achanakmar)
3)      From Anuppur by bus or reserved car.

Nearest Rail head: Pendra Road.

Friday, February 11, 2011

They want nothing except Love

Love your parents. Think of your childhood days. You were baby, unable to do your own work – a helpless state. Your mother nurtured you, your father earned by his hard labor. They invested their all. They gave you proper food, protection, shelter and education. They had no high hopes. They only wanted to see your smiling face.

You may think that this is a chain process. I am also giving my babies proper food, protection, shelter and education etc. It is my duty. You may be correct. But as you are growing older day by day, your parents are also growing older day by day. Just thirty years ago they were young and active, now they are struggling with their diminishing physical strengths. You are now very busy, no time to spend with your family, especially with your old parents. Sometimes they are feeling neglecting.

The time is going on. One day you will retire from your busy schedule, you will be old, your senses will give you wake up alarms. Who will look after you? Who will give you a glass of drinking water? Your son? Remember, he is watching your activities from his childhood.

Leave logic. Do you know your old mother is eagerly waiting for your letter or a phone for several days? Do you know even today, she is praying every night to God for your welfare? It is said that the depth of an ocean may be fathomable but the loving heart of a mother is unfathomable.

Love your parents. Respect them. Education, money, social statuses are all meaningless without the blessings of your parents.

v     Make arrangements for their annual health check up.
v     Involve them in family decision making system.
v     Respect their long experiences.
v     Make arrangements for a family tour, at least once in a year.
v     Give them occasional gift.

Swami Vivekananda said, `Knowing that mother and father are the visible representatives of God, the householder, always and by all means, must please them. If the mother is pleased, and the father, God is pleased with the man. That child is really a good child who never speaks harsh words to his parents.
Before parents one must not utter jokes, must not show restlessness, must not show anger or temper. Before mother or father, a child must bow down low, and stand up in their presence, and must not take a seat until they order him to sit.
If the householder has food and drink and clothes without first seeing that his mother and his father, his children, his wife, and the poor, are supplied, he is committing a sin. The mother and the father are the causes of this body; so a man must undergo a thousand troubles in order to do good to them. ` (C.W. 1:43)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Jamtara Ramakrishna Math

This is an old Math started in 1921 under the guidance of Rev. Swami Shivanandaji (Mahapurush Maharaj). One noble-hearted devotee of Calcutta donated this plot of land of three bighas to the then President, Swami Brahmananda. If the monks are ill, then they can take rest in this monastery for climatic change- this was the intention of the donor. Jamtara was then a sub-division of Santhal Parganas. Some years later, Swami Turiyanandaji and Swami Shivanandaji came to Mihijam. During their stay at Mihijam, they visited this plot at Jamtara because they were keen interested to start a Math here. At that time it was a small monastery, a cottage made of straw of three rooms. The financial condition was very poor.

 In 1926, Swami Shivananda returned from Deoghar to Jamtara Math before the day of Sivaratri. On the day of Sivaratri, Mahapurush Maharaj dedicated the new temple of the Ashrama. We can get a brief picture during his four days stay at Jamtara Math from the book `The Saga of a Great Soul` by Swami Vividishananda (Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai, 1985, page 94- 95).

 Once Swami Shivananda said in the early period of this Ashrama that this particular place is just like the `back of a tortoise` (`Kurma-pristha`) which is favourable for meditation and worship.

Address: Ramakrishna Math, Jamtara
   Post: Jamtara, District: Jamtara.
   PIN- 815 351. Jharkhand. India.
   Ph. No. 06433-222192

How to reach:  Jamtara is a district town in the state of Jharkhand. Jamtara is situated in the Asansol - Jhajha section of Eastern Railways. From Jamtara railway station rickshaws are available to the Math. Fare Rs 30 (approx.)


Good Handwriting

Every student from his/her childhood must strive for good handwriting seriously. The overall picture of student’s handwriting is not satisfactory. Most of the students are not aware of good handwriting. They have sized the letter according to their choice. Many students are aware that their handwritings are not good, but they have no intention to make it better. Years after years they are getting promotion in higher classes with their diminishing quality of handwriting. Few students are eagerly wanted to improve their handwriting, but due to lack of serious practice the condition is unaltered.

Good handwriting is a matter of practice, not a magic. If you want to improve your handwriting, you must follow and try to write every letter as printed in text. Early risers will get the advantage.

Parents and guardians must take utmost attention when they are guiding their school going kids in this matter. Please instruct your children to follow and write every letter as written in the scripts. Repeated corrections are essential. If available, motivate them to use fountain pen and ruled copy in the beginning. Success will come through practice.

Mahatma Gandhi wrote in his autobiography (`The Story of my Experiments with Truth`):
``……..I do not know whence I got the notion that good handwriting was not a necessary part of education, but I retained it until I went to England. When later, especially in South Africa, I saw the beautiful handwriting of lawyers and young men born and educated in South Africa, I was ashamed of myself and repented of my neglect. I saw that bad handwriting should be regarded as a sign of an imperfect education. I tried later to improve mine, but it was too late. I could never repair the neglect of my youth. Let every young man and woman be warned by my example, and understand that good handwriting is a necessary part of education. ``

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Myopia is an alarming problem among the tender kids nowadays. Sometimes it is not detected in proper times as there is no report to the guardians from the other side. Most school going kids are wearing spectacles day and night with many difficulties.

A recent study:
``That outdoor activity protects you from myopia? Myopia, or short-sightedness, is usually triggered during the school years. A recent study by a team of researchers suggests that intensive reading or other ``near work`` or genetic inheritance are minor factors in myopia. What plays a more significant role is the amount of outdoor activity. And, apparently, the time spent outdoors is of more significance than the physical involvement in games. So, maybe, it is the intensity of light outside that is more important. `` (Telekids, The Telegraph, Wednesday, 9 Feb, 2011)

We have passed our childhood days in outdoor games and activities. BNR football ground at Kharagpur was our oasis. This football ground is a silent witness of our golden days. The scenario has changed. There is no scope of outdoor games of modern school going kids. The problems are:
  1. They are mostly single child;
  2. As they are single, they are mostly attention seekers;
  3. They want to play but they have no friends;
  4. Naturally, they are indoor oriented.
  5. In the beautiful afternoon they have to go for private tuition.
  6. They are watching television hours after hours or playing computer games.

Parents and guardians must come forward to solve these problems. Please go to an afternoon walk with your kids. Leave your car in the garage. Enjoy the walking. Play with your kids in the play ground. Your kids will be delighted and also you. Give one hour of your busy schedule to your kids. In the long run, it will return.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Saraswati Puja 2011

Today is a holy day. Sri Sri Saraswati Puja is celebrating in school and colleges. Today I have created this blog. Joy Ma Sarada Devi.
Dr. Goutam Saha of IIT, Kharagpur instructed me in this matter. Thank you Goutam.