Alambazar Math is the second Math of Sri Ramakrishna Movement. Here the direct disciples of Sri Ramakrishna lived, between February, 1892 and February, 1898. After the western conquest Swamiji returned to Calcutta on February 19, 1897 and the same day he came to Alambazar Math. He lived in this Math for one whole year with occasional trips to North India and Calcutta.
In Alambazar Math Swamiji entered not as a wandering monk but as a prophet. Here, he inspired his brother monks and disciples to come out of their dream of individual liberation and dedicate their lives for the service of the human and convert the spiritual power of Sri Ramakrishna Movement into a global movement for elevation and purification of the world civilization. Here, Swamiji first gave the vow of Sannyasa to his disciples. Here, he framed the rules of the future Ramakrishna Math.
After the shifting of Alambazar Ramakrishna Math to Belur, the Math building was left uncared for nearly 70 years. After seventy years, the dilapidated but historically important building drew the attention of the monks of the Ramakrishna Ashrama at Suri, Birbhum district. Swami Satyananda, a disciple of Swami Abhedananda with his disciples and brother monks, decided to make a memorial here and struggled hard even at the cost of suffering physical assaults from trouble-makers, to purchase the old building which was a place of spiritual practice of his Guru Swami Abhedananda. As the second monastery of the Ramakrishna movement, it was finally purchased by the disciples of Swami Satyananda. In the beginning, major portion of the building where Swamiji and other disciples of Sri Ramakrishna lived, worshipped, held classes and practiced meditation, was purchased after some initial opposition in 1968.
When first the main half of the Alambazar Math building was purchased after a lot of hurdles, a bigger hurdle came up. The tenants, as usual, decided not to leave the campus and declared no Sadhu will remain alive if they entered rooms occupied by them. Ultimately, one of them had a death due to an unfortunate situation. The original shrine room and a side room was first available. The other tenants were, however, adamant. However, slowly all of them left, leaving the original Math building rooms free. All the rooms were acquired including the original shrine room, Swami Abhednanda’s room (later Swamiji’s room), Swami Ramakrishnananda’s room, the rooms below and the small spacious room in the ground floor where Swamiji would meet disciples and devotees. Meanwhile, the local public and the devotees of Calcutta in general become aware of the historic importance of the Math building and more people started flocking to visit the holy Math premises once sanctifies by Swamiji and the disciples of Sri Ramakrishna.
The newly acquired Math by Swami Satyananda and his disciples began to observe the birthday of Swamiji through austerity and prayer during the day time, and making Japam standing in the Ganga for half an hour at night in winter. This tradition which was started by Swami Satyananda still continues.
Since then the Alambazar Math has been continuing regular worship of Sri Ramakrishna in the same shrine where Swamiji and other disciples worshipped the holy relics of Sri Ramakrishna. Since 1968 morning and evening prayers, and spiritual classes has been going on regularly for the last forty years. Later on some philanthropic activities were also started in distant centres under this Math.
Originally when half the Math building was purchased, 200 children would be given free milk from a corner room. Old tenants were frightened by the public popularity of the monks and one day they protested and threatened to kill a monk trying to suffocate him. Each tenant stood with a stick in front of their room. But ultimately by the grace of Sri Ramakrishna no one was hurt and the holy peace of Math prevailed. This area, incidentally, was known to Sri Ramakrishna who one day came from Dakshineswar to Chatterjee’s house right in front of the Alambazar Math, to take his noon food.
In 2007, with great difficulty the so long un-purchased portion of the old Math building was purchased with a substantial financial sacrifice. Some tenants of this portion have already left after sufficient compensation was given to each of them. Some, who are still occupying some portions, are expected to vacate soon. The clearance of this Vivekananda monastery from the tenants is urgent, so as to expedite a full-fledged reconstruction of this monumental monastery as a centre of Ramakrishna Vivekananda Culture during the 150th Birth Celebration of Swamiji in 2013. The Government of India has officially recognized Alambazar Math, as a national monument and has taken active steps to implement the programme of its reconstruction, and setting up of a Vivekananda Centre for Spiritual Culture. Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh wrote a letter appreciating the activities of the Math, especially the annual celebration of Swamiji’s return to Calcutta and stepping into Alambazar Math on 19th February, 1892.
With the support from the Honrable Prime Minister of India, correspondences were made with Ministry of Culture, Government of India. Recognizing its national importance National Culture Fund (NCF), a wing of Ministry of Culture, Government of India has come forward for the restoration work of the Math. By their instruction an approximate budgetary cost has been estimated by the Archaeological Survey of India as Rs. 320 lakhs. Out of the amount, NCF will give Rs. 107 lakhs and Rs. 213 lakhs to be raised by the Math authority. The work relating to restoration and reconstruction would be carried out as a deposit work by the Kolkata circle of Archaeological Survey of India.