Temple for Swami Vivekananda in Belur Math

abt_rkm5aThe temple stands on the spot where Swami Vivekananda’s mortal remains were cremated in 1902. Consecrated on 28 January 1924, the temple has in its upper storey an alabaster OM (in Bengali characters). Beside the temple stands a bel (bilva) tree in the place of the original bel tree under which Swami Vivekananda used to sit and near which, according to his wish, his body was cremated.On July 4, 1902 at Belur Math, he taught Vedanta philosophy to some pupils in the morning. He had a walk with Swami Premananda, a brother-disciple, and gave him instructions concerning the future of the Ramakrishna Math. He passed away in the evening after a session of prayer at Belur Math. He was 39.  Vivekananda had fulfilled his own prophecy of not living to be forty-years old.From the reminiscences of Josephine MacLeod

At Belur Math one day, while Sister Nivedita was distributing prizes for some athletics, I was standing in Swamiji’s bedroom at the Math, at the window, watching, and he said to me, “I shall never see forty.” I, knowing he was thirty-nine, said to him, “But Swami, Buddha did not do his great work until between forty and eighty.” But he said, “I delivered my message and I must go.” I asked, “Why go?” and he said, “The shadow of a big tree will not let the smaller trees grow up. I must go to make room.”…

On the second of July, Sister Nivedita saw him for the last time. She went to inquire whether she should teach a certain science in her school. Swami answered, “Perhaps you are right, but my mind is given to other things. I am preparing for death.” So she thought he was indifferent. Then he said, “But you must have a meal.” Sister Nivedita always ate with her fingers, a la Hindu; and after she had eaten, Swami poured water over her hands. She said, very much the disciple, “I cannot bear you to do this.” He answered, “Jesus Christ washed the feet of his disciples.” Sister Nivedita had it on the tip of her tongue to say, “But that was the last time they ever met.” It was the last time she ever saw him. That last day he spoke to her of me and of many people, but when he spoke of me he said, “She is pure as purity, loving as love itself.” So I always took that as Swamiji’s last message to me. In two days he died having said, “The spiritual impact that has come here to Belur will last fifteen hundred years – and this will be a great university. Do not think I imagine it, I see it.”

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Temple of Swami Vivekananda with other Temples - View from the Ganga
Temple of Swami Vivekananda with other Temples - View from the Ganga

A few months before his passing away, Swami Vivekananda said:

“How often does a man ruin his disciples by remaining always with them! When men are once trained, it is essential that their leader leaves them; for without his absence they cannot develop themselves!” (CWSN 1: 260)

A few days before his passing away, the Swami said:

“I am making ready for death. A great Tapasyâ and meditation has come upon me, and I am making ready for death.” (CWSN 1: 261-62)

In Kashmir after an illness, Swami Vivekananda said as he lifted a couple of pebbles:

“Whenever death approaches me, all weakness vanishes. I have neither fear, nor doubt, nor thought of the external. I simply busy myself making ready to die. I am as hard as that [the pebbles struck one another in his hand] — for I have touched the feet of God!” (CWSN 1: 262)

“Work unto death—I am with you, and when I am gone, my spirit will work with you. This life comes and goes—wealth, fame, enjoyments are only of a few days. It is better, far better, to die on the field of duty, preaching the truth, than to die like a worldly worm. Advance!.”

4 comments

  1. Pranaams Revered Maharaj
    This beautiful of temple of Swamijee is indeed breathtaking!
    When one visits the temple, the spiritual atmostphere that prevails is overwhelming to the body and mind. The beautiful, shiny, lotus eyes of swamijee will remain embedded in my mind always. With the Grace of the Master I hope to visit Belur Math again and revisit Swamijee’s Temple.
    Pranaams

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  2. Pranams Swamiji Maharaj
    Thanks are due to Swamiji Maharaj for bringing to us a bit of Belur Math in the form of this beautiful picture. The temple is a fitting and majestic tribute to beloved Swami Vivekananda, and blessed indeed are those who are fortunate to enter and imbibe the vibrations that no doubt permeate the place. Swami Vivekananda had immeasurable love for humanity yet Swamiji’s attitude towards death attests to His sense of detachment.

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  3. Swami Vivekananda’s Shrine represents the glorious epitome of intellectual raptures which I have enjoyed during my Calcutta University education ranging from 1987 onwards.
    Even today I visit this wonderful universal Shrine of global composite culture of the world in realism. The very vibration of the Holy Shrine is a replica of world peace and international federation of unity of all religions under one umbrella of love of peace and amity propagating all the scriptures of the world with equal respect and honour. Many western thinkers dedicated themselves in his line, to universal thought.
    Some discordance from some parts took place which happened in India as well with respect to Swamiji. But Swamiji got maximum support of humanity in the globe from all quarters. Galaxy of Roman Catholic brothers in America and India supported his noble cause.
    I firmly feel that our nation stands on the fabric of universal ideas as propagated by Swami Vivekananda.
    Umesh Prasad Singh
    Chennai, India

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  4. Swami Vivekananda‘s shrine represents the glorious epitome of intellectual raptures which I have enjoyed during my 150th celebration of Swami Vivekanada Jayayanthi. Even today it represents the Universal brotherhood and composite culture of realism.
    Today I would like to be a silver lining. I firmly feel that our nation stands on the fabric of universal ideas propagated by Swami Vivekananda.
    Dr.Jayashree Rameshchandrababu
    Thrissur, Kerala, India

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