RKMUTT ELK HILLS OOTY was established in the year 1924 by Swami Shivananda
Swami Shivananda was one of the foremost disciples of Bagwan Sri Ramakrishna. Swami Vivekananda called him ‘Mahapurusha Maharaj’ as He was married at an young age due to some family commitments, ‘against His will and remained a Bachelor with the consent of His wife’ . After 3 years of married life, His wife passed away and He met Bagwan Sri Ramakrishna and surrendered to His divine power, being Sri Ramakrishnar ‘s foremost Disciple !
Ooty Ramakrishna Mutt was founded by Him in 1924 in ELK Hills, known as Bishop’s Town at that time! This 2 Acre plot was donated by a Washerman, Thiruvengadam Pillai, who was a great devotee of Devi Mariamman! One day he had a dream and Devi wanted him to donate this plot for a Temple. It so happened that when Swami Shivananda was looking for a plot to build the RK Mutt, He met Thiruvengadam, who said “I have been searching for some one like you, Swamiji, for the last 2 years!”
The structure we see is the same as built in 1924, even today spreading the Gospel of Bagwan Sri Ramakrishna and serving the local community in various ways like other RK Mutts. Swami Shivananda started RK Mutts in Mumbai and Nagpur also later on.
One of His Disciples is Swami Chidbhavananda (see my blogSwami Chidbhavananda) who started various RK Ashrams all over Tamilnadu and today educating nearly 80000 students every year!
Earlier years of Swami Shivananda :
He was employed in McKinnon and Mckenzie before He was attracted towards Bagwan Sri Ramakrishna!
We get inspired so much when we go back to that time and imagine the selfless sacrifice made by such Great Saints!
Group photo taken on 30 January 1887 In Baranagar Math, Kolkata.
Standing: (l–r) ) Swami Shivananda, Swami Ramakrishnananda, Swami Vivekananda, Randhuni, Debendranath Majumdar, Mahendranath Gupta (Shri M), Swami Trigunatitananda, H.Mustafi
Sitting: (l–r) Swami Niranjanananda, Swami Saradananda, Hutko Gopal, Swami Abhedananda
He wrote after His first visit of Sri Ramakrishna “I have not yet come to a final understanding whether He [Ramakrishna] was a man or a superman, a god or the God Himself, but I have known him to be a man of complete self-effacement, master of the highest renunciation, possessed of supreme wisdom, and the supreme incarnation of love.”
Tarak Ghosal , as His original name, continued to visit Dakshineswar till Ramakrishna fell ill and was brought, first to the Shyampukur house and then later to the Cossipore Garden House. In Cossipore, Tarak joined with others including Narendranath Dutta, later known as Swami Vivekananda, to serve Sri Ramakrishna.
After the death of Ramakrishna in 1886, the small group of direct disciples who decided to embrace monastic life gathered round in a dilapidated house in Baranagar; Tarak was one of the first to settle there. Thus began the Baranagar monastery of the Ramakrishna Math.
Swami Shivananda passed away in 1934 and His memory is kept alive next to Sri Ramakrishnar’s in Baranagar!
Whenever I spend a few days in Ooty, I just can’t imagine what an amnt of Dedication and Guru Bakthi , Swami Shivananda, Swami Vivekananda and others have had, for Bagwan Sri Ramakrishna ! Unimaginable!
Every year Sri Ramakrishnar’s Birthday is a great festive activity here with poor feeding and many cultural activities, attracting 10s of 1000s to this temple!
This RK Mutt quietly helps all poor in this area with free education, medical facilities and does feeding as a regular activity!
God Bless such Great Temples of Selfless Sacrifice!