This Christmas Eve, Ramakrishna Mission Will Play Host to Calcutta Archbishop
The event will begin with Christmas carols and Bible reading and later Archbishop Thomas D’Souza will deliver a Christmas message.
Archbishop of Calcutta Thomas D’Souza (L), Ramakrishna Mission Math at Belur (C) and Swami Suvirananda (R), general secretary of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission.
Kolkata: Not just carols and Bible reading, it is the arrival of a special guest that has got monks at Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture in Kolkata thrilled this Christmas Eve. In a goodwill gesture, the spiritual math has invited the archbishop of Kolkata to join the celebrations.
Accepting the invitation, Archbishop Thomas D’Souza said, “I am touched by their decision to invite me. Sri Ramkrishna Mission has a very special groups of monks who spread the message of togetherness and love. This is the reason I have decided to attend the event on Christmas Eve. I am happy to be there and I appreciate what they are doing to spread the message of harmony.”
He will be addressing a gathering at the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture located in the Golpark area.
The Ramakrishna Mission’s Christmas connection goes back to over a century. Four months after Sri Ramakrishna passed away in 1886, Swami Vivekananda, along with eight of his disciples, gathered at Antpur village in Hooghly district’s Serampore area and took informal monastic vows on Christmas Eve.
The disciples pledged sanyas (asceticism) on the same day and later built an ashram in Antpur village as a tribute to their guru. “Since then, the Christmas Eve is observed as an important day by the monks and devotees across 237 Ramakrishna Math and Missions centres in 27 countries,” said Swami Suvirananda, general secretary of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission.
The event will begin at 6:30 pm with Christmas carols and Bible reading, Suvirananda said, adding that Archbishop D’Souza will deliver a Christmas message.
The gesture, Suvirananda added, is meant to spread the message of love and religious harmony. “Sri Ramakrishna spoke of assimilation and acceptance of all religions. He was the only godman who practised all religions because he believed that all religions lead to the same goal. He preached his disciples to believe in inclusiveness,” he said.
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