Ramakrishna Seva Mandira, Tenkalamole:
Swami Vivekananda writes to Swami Shuddhananda from Almora on 11th July 1897: – “The easiest way is to take a hut — make it a temple of Guru Maharaj! Let the poor come here to be helped, also to worship. Let there be Kathâ (Puranic recitals) morning and evening there — through that you may teach all you want to teach the people. By degrees the people will be interested. They will keep up the temple themselves; maybe the hut temple will evolve into a great institution in a few years. Let those that go to relief-work first select a central spot in each district and start such a hut-temple, from which all our little work is to proceed.”
When Most Revered Swami Vireshwarananandaji Maharaj visited Mysuru in the year 1983, he expressed the need to start a chain of simple hut temples of Sri Ramakrishna in the rural areas, wherein the service and spread of culture is being taken up along with the worship of Holy Trio and local deities.
During his stay at BR Hills Swami Sureshananda initiated a few welfare measures for the tribal and rural folk. Approached by the Zilla Panchayat officials, the Swami joined hands with the State Government in constructing houses for the poorest of the poor in the most backward region of the Chamarajnagar district. With the financial aid received through Swami Prabuddhanandaji and devotees of the Ashrama, Swami Sureshananda bore the major share of the cost of the construction of 176 houses at three places of the district, Tenkanamole, Elakuru and Handijogi Colony (later renamed as Vivekananda Colony). These houses were constructed on the land site allotted to the beneficiaries by the Govt. After the construction the houses were handed over to the Govt. which in turn allotted them to the beneficiaries.
In order to support, safeguard and to continue to maintain their traditions and practices along with improved ways of living a new project to be implemented at Tenkanamole was conceived with the help of the service minded elders of the village and social workers in B R Hills. The project in brief has the triangular concept:
View this post on Instagram
- to construct a Sri Ramakrishna Seva Mandira worship of God through service to man worship of God through dissemination of knowledge.
In otherwords, the project includes the following three mandiras under one roof:
- a central mandira without much rituals where along with pictures of the Holy Trio and the local gods and goddesses/ deities are placed and worshipped. This mandira is to be named as Sri Ramakrishna Seva Mandira.
- Nara Narayana Seva Mandira where service to the poor is conceived as worship of God. This is in line with Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa’s teaching “Shiva Jnane, Jiva Seva”– know that service to man is equivalent to worship of Shiva (God). Here service itself is worship.
- the Jnana prasara mandira, to disseminate both spiritual, cultural and school subjects.
Swami Vivekananda stressed on quality education to the masses. In line with this message the Ramakrishna Seva Mandira will also be a centre to offer support free coaching to the children of the village in their academic subjects. In addition to this, the village children are also taught moral and spiritual values.
In this way the Sri Ramakrishna Seva Mandira serves the villagers under one roof as a Community Welfare Centre, a cultural hall and a place of dissemination of knowledge and not merely as a place of worship. Suitable training in all these will be offered to the local village youths and the social workers in the area. These volunteers will manage the project under the guidance of the Mysuru Ashrama.
The Tenkanamole Project may be a source of inspiration in other ways too:
- once it succeeds, the Ashrama may embark on extending similar rural welfare programmes to the other needy villages.
- the students of SRKVS get hands-on experience in serving the villagers under the Narayana Seva and the Friends of the Poor programmes and
- the youths participating in the Week-end Certificate Courses at the Mysuru Ashrama may be trained suitably in social service and field-work to serve in backward villages.
Tenkanamole Project may be a model in transforming the village temples into temples of service to the poor and a place for dissemination of knowledge to the needy.
It is a unique rural service project which has a potential to pave way for a future neo-temple movement to spread the culture and essential knowledge and values to the people living in the rural area along with the usual worship.
Temple was inaugurated on 26.11.2016 by Rev.Swami Bodhasaranandaji Maharaj, Assistant General Secretary Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math.