Ramakrishna Math, Puranattukara, Thrissur, has a long history of more than eighty years of service to society. It renders services at all levels: spiritual, mental and physical, through an array of diverse activities. All the activities of the Math — whether it be sweeping the courtyard or educating students at a school, nursing patients in a medical facility or serving in the temple or kitchen, tending cattle or cultivating vegetables and removing weeds from vegetable and flower garden or working for the empowerment of people or reaching out to the suffering people during any calamity natural or otherwise — are considered different forms of a single act of worship. Through this act of worship, one can evolve spiritually and simultaneously work for the betterment of society. This is the principle behind the multifaceted activities of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission—the twin organizations, headquartered at Belur Math near Kolkata, and having centers worldwide.
Sri Ramakrishna Temple
Foundation stone for the temple was laid by Mahatma Gandhi when he visited and stayed in the Math for one night on 30th January 1934. To commemorate the Birth Centenary of Swami Vivekananda the construction of the temple was started in 1963. The temple was consecrated on the 11th November 1966 by Most Revered Swami Vireswaranandaji Maharaj, the then President of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission
In 2003 the beautiful marble image of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna was installed by Most Revered Swami Gahananandaji Maharaj, then Vice-President of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission
Sri Ramakrishna Gurukula Vidya Mandiram Higher Secondary School
The main feature of this institution is that it gives much importance to the character formation of the students, following the ideal of Swami Vivekananda, the foremost disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. The school keeps up a good academic standard also. As a school in the rural area it can be considered as a good achievement. The students actively participate in co-curricular activities and win prizes in district and state level competitions. The school undertakes projects such as elimination of plastics, which causes pollution, rainwater harvesting, and making compost from waste etc. Plastic waste is prohibited in the school compound and cloth bags are produced in work experience section to reduce the use of plastic bags.
Sri Ramakrishna Creche
It was not until the creation of the Central Social Welfare Board in 1953 that the national government started playing a role on a broader scale. The board sponsored voluntary agencies that would set up balwadis (Kinder garten) for the children of the less privileged. The objective of the programme was to shift the focus towards rural areas and the poor and to emphasise the integral development of the child rather than pre-school education alone.
Aiming at the all round development of children of the daily agricultural labourers of this locality Sree Ramakrishna Math, Puranattukara started a crèche in 1953. At present the crèche is functioning in a tiled roof building at Adat, around two kilometres from the Main campus of the Math.
Now after a period of more than sixty years the building is to be replaced and modern facilities are to be provided for the children who attend the crèche. At present around twenty children avail this facility.
Sri Ramakrishna Gurukulam
In 1924, Thrissur District was affected by an unusual flood. Many areas of the district were inundated. Belur Math, the Head quarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission conducted a flood relief camp for two years. Devotees of the Ramakrishna Math from the local area also took part in the relief operations. A young man named Sri Krishna Menon got really involved in the relief activities.
The then public prosecutor of the Kerala High Court, Krishna Menon had given up the advocate’s profession, when he realized that legal profession does not suit his steadfastness to truth. During 1924, Krishna Menon was working as the Headmaster of the Vivekodayam School, Thrissur.
A senior Swami of the Belur Math who had been associated with the relief camp exhorted Krishna Menon to start a permanent establishment to alleviate the sufferings of the local people. Accordingly Krishna Menon started a Gurukulam with two girls. This was in 1927. In the July of 1927, he purchased the land where the present Ramakrishna Math, Puranattukara is situated. The first activity that was started at this Math was a Gurukulam. Krishna Menon later joined the Ramakrishna Math and was initiated into Sannyasa in the year 1932. Swami Tyagisananda was the name given to him by his Sannyasa Guru.
From the very beginning of the Gurukulam the inmates were trained to become men of character. The Gurukulam was functioning to provide man-making, character-building education as envisaged by Swami Vivekananda. Among the inmates there was no discrimination based on caste, religion or wealth.
Admission to the Gurukulam is for students from classes 5 to 8th. Aspiring student is interviewed along with his guardians. Educational standard and aptitude is tested in the interview. Selected students are asked to join a month-long camp conducted from April 15th May 15th. Ascertaining the aspirant’s level of discipline, likes and dislikes, ability to lead a community life etc. is the purpose of the camp. At present the Gurukulam has 34 students from class 5 to class 10. They get their formal education at the Sri Ramakrishna Gurukula Vidya Mandir Higher Secondary School, situated in the same campus and run by the Math.
Apart from formal education, the daily routine in the Gurukulam consists of Yoga, prayers and bhajans at the Ramakrishna Temple and voluntary services. Play is an important part of daily routine in the Gurukulam.