Alambazar Math, the second math of Ramakrishna Movement was started in February, 1892. The Spiritual flood which was ushered in Dakshineswar Temple garden by Sri Ramakrishna brought the new Ramkrishna movement which took its first root in late 1886 in Baranagar monastery situated on the Eastern Bank of Ganga, near Calcutta. After nearly five years, in 1892, the Baranagar monastery was shifted to Alambazar on a land measuring 2 bighas and 22 square ft. The name Ramakrishna Math was not yet coined and hence, the holy place was called as Alambazar Math.
The building of the Math was known as a ghost house since two persons died here by hanging themselves. The holy urn containing Thakur’s relics, his sandals, cloths, and utensils for the worship and all other belongings, all were shifted from Baranagar Monastery to the new Math. The new Math continued the some tradition of austere spiritual practice and down to earth living in poverty like the Baranagar Math.
The shrine in the new Alambazar Math was situated on the first floor. In the big room on the Eastern side of the ground floor which was known as “Hall” in those days, the brother disciples used to sleep all together in an old rag – like carpet. In the day time Swamiji used to take classes in the Hall and inspire the inmates. In June, 1897 a terrific earthquake caused huge destruction to the Alambazar Math building and made the old house of the Alambazar Math uninhabitable. Therefore, this Math, the second Math of the Ramakrishna movement, after continuing at Alambazar for nearly six years, was shifted to Nilambar Babu’s Garden house in the village Belur on the western side of the river Ganga in February, 1898.
Alambazar Math formed a key cornerstone of the great Ramakrishna movement. It is the place where the cloistered life of the Ramakrishna monks of the earlier Baranagar Math was turned into a global movement for individual liberation and human welfare. It is in the place where Swami Vivekananda envisioned the future direction of Ramakrishna movement and framed the rules for the future Math in the name of his Master.
Alambazar Math had provided shelter to many great monks and scholars including the direct disciples of Thakur Shri Ramakrishna. The Homa birds of Sri Ramakrishna who had left the Baranagar Math for pilgrimages, and wandered in search of God all over India, gathered in their new nest, their new place of rest and providence- the Alambazar Math.The call of their leader Swami Vivekananda made them realize that the days of individual wandering and passion for self-realization must now be converted to a life of collective service for the welfare of many and good of many, for the “intense propagation” and practice of Sri Ramakrishna’s life-giving message, all over the world.
While at the math, SwamijiVivekanandalived in the second room in the western side of the first floor of Alambazar Math. In other rooms lived the other disciples of Sri Ramakrishna during the six years (1892-1898), at different periods of times. During these years, a number of new disciples of Swamiji began to live here. Sometimes they felt inspired to serve people in distress and attended them.
The congregation of the monk brothers began to galvanize the atmosphere of the historic Alambazar Math which was later materialized by the establishment the Ramakrishna Mission.
In addition to the names mentioned here, there were many more monk brothers who stayed at Alambazar Math and contributed for the development of Ramakrishna Math and Mission. There was Swami Nirbhayananda who carried on his shoulder-a more than 40 ft long bamboo- from the Baranagar Math to the Alambazar Math, which was earlier used to dry the cloths in theBaranagar Math. There was Swami Virajananda, a monk disciple of Swami Vivekananda who was stunned at the very moment he first saw Swamiji in 1897 at Alambazar Math. The Master’s women disciples Gauri Ma and Gopaler Ma alsoused to stay at Alambazar Math.