History of the Math
Ramakrishna Math, Dhantoli, Nagpur is a religious centre at Nagpur. Revered Swami Shivanandaji popularly known as Mahapurush Maharaj was the direct disciple of Bhagwan Sri Ramakrishna. As the name suggests Mahapurush Maharaj was really spiritually enlightened great soul who could visualize the centre of Ramakrishna Order being established at Nagpur. He was the second President of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission (1922-34). Rev. Mahapurush Maharaj came to Nagpur twice. First in 1925 at the request of a group of devotees. This group was well organised and used to celebrate the birth anniversary of Sri Ramakrishna from 1898. During this visit devotees promised Swami Shivanandaji to donate a plot of land for the cause of Sri Ramakrishna. During the second visit in 1927 Swami Shivanandaji stayed in a temporarily erected tent on the same plot of undeveloped land where present building of Math stands. He assured the devotees to start the Math centre at Nagpur and to send a suitable monk to take charge.
Initial days at Nagpur Math – Swami Bhaskareshwarananda
The wish of God takes no time to fulfil and to take shape. Mahapurush Maharaj chose his able disciple Swami Bhaskareshwarananda to make his vision viable. The citizens of Nagpur were and are devoted and elite. By the grace of Bhagwan Sri Ramakrishna and the towering personality of Revered Swami Bhaskareshwarananda the centre started developing slowly. Initially it was only a small hut of clay walls and thatched roof which enshrined the Holy Trio – Bhagwan Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda. This small hut was a shrine, dispensary and living room, all in one. The Ramakrishna Math started functioning formally in 1928. Gradually the devotees started coming to the Math in a large number and gave donations for the work.
The City of Nagpur
The city of Nagpur, the second capital of Maharashtra, is in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra State. Lying almost in the centre of North South axis of India, it is also an important commercial and educational centre catering to the needs of the northern regions of Maharashtra state and southern parts of Madhya Pradesh. Nagpur boasts of being the ‘heart of India’, as the ‘Zero Mile stone’ of India is in the Civil Lines area of Nagpur. ‘The Orange City’, as it is widely known, was once a small town. The dominance of deadly snakes had given this town the name Nagpur meaning where large number of snakes live. It is situated on the banks of the river ‘Nag’ so also the name – Nagpur it had – in the 4th century A.D. Earlier it was also known as ‘Fanindrapur’.
Ram Mandir, Ramtek
Formerly it came under Nandivardhan district of Vakataka Kingdom. At that time the ruler of the kingdom was Rudrasena II who married Prabhavati – the daughter of the Emperor Chandra Gupta II, also known as Deva Gupta. This queen issued a charter in favour of Ramagiriswami (Shri Ramchandra) whose abode was Ramagiri, which is now known as Ramtek (near Nagpur). Ramtek is a place of pilgrimage. Bhagwan Shri Ramchandra visited the place while roaming in Dandkaranya. The place is also known due to its contribution in the field of Sanskrit literature. The famous Sanskrit poet Kalidas – also known as the ‘Shakespeare of India’ composed the Sanskrit classic ‘Meghadoot’ at the Holy temple town of Ramgiri adding a special feather in the pride of Nagpur. In his honour the Sanskrit University established in Ramtek is given the name – ‘Kavi Kulguru Kalidas Sanskrit University’.
Zero Mile Stone, Nagpur
Kalidas Smarak, Ramtek