Mata Sharbani Trust
Annual Report (2007-2008)
The activities of Mata Sharbani Trust are centered on the supreme spiritual realization of the holy Mother, Sree Sree Maa, the Chairperson of the Trust. Other than the general activities of relief, medical and educational aid to the needy, an important goal of the Trust is to foster, promote and strengthen the spiritual and cultural heritage of India and spread the message of oneness amongst all. This is achieved in many ways by the Trust, including spiritual practice of self-realization ─ primarily through Kriya Yoga, publication of books, journals, music cassettes and CDs on spiritual and related themes and topics that highlight the cultural heritage of India, study of Sanskrit and other important Indian literature, practice of music, maintenance of a library of spiritual books, holding of cultural events, satsang with saints and savants, etc. The current social activities include distribution of clothes and blankets to the poor, medical and educational support to the needy, provision of drinking water facilities to rural areas, improving the surrounding public infrastructure and providing support to other organizations that work for the upliftment of the poor, destitute and needy. An important on-going activity is the development of the Self-Realization Centre-cum-Cultural Complex within the Akhanda Mahapeeth premises of the Trust at Shibrampur. This, on completion, is expected to be a centre for spreading the universal message of self-realization that has been propounded by Sree Sree Maa as well as other great saints from their own realizations. Apart from the Holy Mother and Trustees, the activities are carried out through the selfless services of a set of monks, other permanent residents of the Ashram and most importantly by a large number of dedicated devotees of Sree Sree Maa and well-wishers of the Trust. In addition to the main Akhanda Mahapeeth premises at Shibrampur, Kolkata, the Trust now has two other centres in Varanasi and Puri. We highlight below some of the important activities that were carried out in the year 2007-8 during the period April 2007 to March 2008.
Three books were published in Bengali. They include Brahmanjali (Part V), Matrisanga-O-Satprasanga (Part II) and Pragyan Saroj. The publication of the book Pragyan Saroj is an important milestone because it brings to the public the rare and exemplary sadhana of our beloved Sri Sri Baba, one of the great reclusive saints of our time. The cassette and CD versions of Bhaktirasamrita (Part IV) were released during the year. In addition, CD versions of several cassettes published earlier were also released. A new quarterly journal called Bhargajyoti was started this year with the first issue released on the advent anniversary of Sree Sree Maa. Three issues of the journal were published during this period. Around 400 people have subscribed to the journal. Subsequently Bhargajyoti has been renamed Hiranyagarbha and this title has been accepted by the Registrar of Newspapers. Procedure for formal registration of Hiranyagarbha has been initiated. The library has now been moved to the basement of the Self-realization Complex. A number of new books have been added to the library and a complete renumbering has been done. Dr Uday Banerjee, Professor of Sanskrit in Behala College and an eminent scholar has been appointed to conduct classes in Sanskrit. Music classes are conducted by Sree Sree Maa herself. Cultural events and satsang were carried out throughout the year, particularly on some special occasions like Guru Purnima, Janmashtami, Holi, Navrarti, Diwali, etc. A special celebration was taken up to mark the advent anniversary of our beloved Sree Sree Maa on the auspicious day of Snan Yatra in 2007. The event was a huge success and more than 700 people attended it. About 150 poor and destitute children of Sarada-Ramakrishna Mahila O Shishu Sevasharam, an orphanage cum residential school in the village of Hotor on the outskirts of the city of Kolkata were the special guests. Each child was handed gifts of educational material for their studies from the Trust. A short cultural festival was held where the Hotor children also participated. Sree Sree Maa gave a short, inspiring speech that was subsequently published in the journal. This was the first public celebration of the momentous day and we have decided to celebrate it in a major way every year. The Akhanda Mahapeeth Ashram Foundation Day was also celebrated on Mahalaya marking the onset of Navratri. In order to highlight the spiritual significance of Navratri, a Nava-Durga Puja was held during this period. New clothes, including saris and dhotis, were distributed to more than 300 poor people of the surrounding villages by the Trust during Navratri. Later during the winter season, warm blankets were distributed to more than 300 poor people. This distribution was carried out on the request of the local Panchayat and was performed in their presence. The people of the area were suffering from a crisis of drinking water due to lack of sufficient tube wells and the absence of municipal water supply system. The Trust has set up two deep tube wells in two different locations for public convenience. The Trust continues to maintain several street lights in the surrounding area and pays for their running expenses. The mud roads in the near vicinity of Plaza Housing are continuously refurbished by the Trust for the convenience of the local people. All these activities are deeply appreciated by the local people and their representatives. Significant development and repair work in the Trust premises is being carried out in phases. Some of the marble work of the Self-Realization Centre-cum-Cultural Complex, within the Akhanda Mahapeeth premises, was taken up during the year. The basement of the complex is now open for spiritual practice. Work on the second floor of the residential building of the Trust was initiated.
Distribution of new clothes
Sri Kaluram Saraswati Swami
Tube well inauguration
The small premises acquired by the Trust at Puri, located very near the Sri Jagannath Temple, was inaugurated by Sree Sree Maa in January 2008. The People's Forum for Chaitanya Mahaprabhu organized a grand reception for Sree Sree Maa at Bhubaneswar, which was attended by a number of important spiritual and social leaders. During this visit to Puri, Sree Sree Maa also personally met with a number of saints and sadhus in their Ashrams. These included Swami Sri Dharmananda Saraswati in Bhubaneswar, Sri Prajnananda Paramhansa and others in the Sri Hariharananda Ashram in Balighai, Sri Kaluram Saraswati Swami and Mata Arundhati Devi near Konarak. Through an interesting communication, Sree Sree Maa and others went to Hyderabad to meet the reclusive but highly emancipated saint Sri K S Shiva Teja Baba at his small Ashram in Secunderabad. Sree Sree Maa also visited Rajasthan to meet with the saint, Sri Sri Alwar Baba at his Anand Ashram in Pushkar. Very interestingly, here she met another great saint, Sri Mouni Taat Baba, as well. During this trip to Rajasthan, she met with some other eminent Jain sadhus including Sree Sree Rajimati-ji in Churu and Sri Suvakaran Muni in Sambodhi. She also met Swami Avadesh Maharaj in his Ashram at the Galta hills near Jaipur. A visit to the Varanasi premises of the Trust was also made during the year. During this visit, Sree Sree Maa also visited Prayag where she again met with Mouni Taat Baba. From there she also went to Vindhyachal to visit the Brahmarshi Sri Sri Devraha Baba Ashram. Here she met with Brahmavetta Sri Devraha Hans Baba and Sri Narayandas Baba. In Varanasi, she also met the sadhus of Tapoban Ashram at Nakki Ghat including Mohant Sri Dinabandhudas-ji, Sri Ramdhunidas-ji and others. She also visited other ashrams in the holy city of Kashi. Several great personalities visited the Ashram this year. They include Sri Sri Babathakur, Sri Sri Ganganath Baba, Sri Gobindadas-ji, Sri Hironmoyananda-ji and Sufi saint Imtiaz Ali Jonab. The interactions with all these saints and yogis were moments of great learning and joy for those present. Some of it has been captured in camera for preservation and has also been published in the journal.
Shri Raj Kumar Daga, Chartered Accountant was retained as Auditor. The Trust accounts have been duly approved by the Trustees and audited by Shri Raj Kumar Daga. Donors who desire to have a look at the accounts statement may kindly contact the Joint Secretaries of the Trust.
Several initiatives for public charity and other activities related to the objectives and principles of the Trust are planned in the coming year. With the blessings and guidance of the Supreme Divine and Sree Sree Maa, we hope to be able to continue to serve the public with zeal and devotion. We thank all donors, devotees and volunteers for their selfless efforts in making our mission successful.
Prakash Sinha & Shri Siddhartha Nandi,
Trustees and Joint Secretaries
Mata Sharbani Trust
Akhanda Mahapeeth, Plaza Housing (Jagannathpur)
PO. Ashuti, Shibrampur, 24 Parganas (S)
West Bengal 743352, India
September 28, 2008