Mata Sharbani Trust
Annual Report (2014-2015)
Mata Sharbani Trust aims to live up to the ideals of its principal and patron, Sree Sree Maa Sharbani who, in the spirit of highest universal values, has charted a path that combines realization of supreme truth with service to humanity. The goals of the Trust cover humanitarian, spiritual and cultural aspects in an attempt to serve people, irrespective of caste, creed, religion or race and spread the message of unity and eternal Truth. Preserving our prized heritage and reviving them in the modern age, providing relief to the needy and poor, assisting people with educational and medical support, helping destitute homes and educational institutions, etc., form some of the core activities of the Trust. Spreading the message of unity of spiritual paths, practice of Brahmavidya as a means to attain self-realization, publication of books/CDs/cassettes on Indological themes, study of Sanskrit and devotional songs through regular sessions, teaching of yoga as a means for good health, dissemination of knowledge through maintenance of a library of rare books, holding of cultural events on heritage and Indological themes, regular spiritual discourses on auspicious occasions, satsang with saints and sadhus, distribution of relief materials including clothes, blankets, food and medicine to the poor, educational support for the needy, providing drinking water facilities and other infrastructural support for development of adjoining rural areas, rendering support to similar organizations working especially for the well-being of forsaken women and orphaned children, are some of the regular activities of our Trust. The Trust carries out its activities through its main centre at Akhanda Mahapeeth, Plaza Housing Shibrampur and subsidiary centres in Varanasi, Puri, Nabadwip and its associated organization, Sarada-Ramakrishna (Shishu O Mahila) Sevashram, an orphanage cum residential school in the village of Marjada (Hotor), located on the outskirts of the city of Kolkata. The main centre at Akhanda Mahapeeth also has a Self-Realization Centre-cum-Cultural Complex inside the main Trust premises and the Bhakta Nivas and Annapurna Kshetra inside Plaza Housing locality of Shibrampur. We highlight below some of the important activities that were carried out during the period April 2014 to March 2015.
Several charitable activities were carried out from the main Ashram premises of the Trust at Akhanda Mahapeeth, Shibrampur. In particular, more than 1000 poor people were donated new clothes during two sessions, one prior to Durga Puja and one before Kali Puja. These included sarees for women and dhotis / lungis for men. Later in December, more than 500 woolen blankets were donated to the needy people of the region. Other clothes including woolens (received from devotees) were freely distributed to children during these events. During the Navratri festival, ‘bhandara’ was organized for several days and food was distributed for people of the locality. During the Annapurna festival, children of the locality were especially provided food, served by Sree Sree Maa herself. During the anniversary of enthronement of the guru Maharajas, ‘bhandara’ was held for all and a special food arrangement was made for the children of Aikyatan School of the vicinity. Several ongoing services in the locality were continued. The Trust provides for street lighting in a part of the road in the area. In addition, regular road refurbishing has been carried out to enable people of the region to have better access from the main road to their homes. Infrastructure was improved in the main ashram premises during this period. The marble fixing work of the main dome was partly completed. Also, construction of a new floor of the guest room complex in the main Ashram premises was initiated for enabling stay of monks and lady devotees. Repairs were carried out for drainage and water supply. A new bore well was dug in view of blockage of one of the old bore wells. The main dome of the Bhakta Niwas and the building were completed and made fully operational. Several charitable and spiritual activities are carried out from the premises of Bhakta Niwas / Annapurna Kshetra.
The following activities were carried out for the Hotor Sevashram - Classes V and VI was started for the Sarada Siksha Mandir, the primary school run by the Sevashram. For this, all infrastructure setup including renovation of rooms, electrical wiring, painting, classroom furniture, copy books, pens and pencils were provided for and facilitated through the Trust. In addition, regular ration supplies of nutritious food, clothes and educational material including books were provided. Several devotees of the Trust have regularly visited the Sevashram on a weekly basis to provide services, especially to teach the children studying in the Sevashram School to help improve their academic performance. The computer centre of the Sevashram was completely renovated and new computers were facilitated though donations. The kitchen, overhead water tanks, roof, boundary wall and main gate of the Hotor premises were repaired, refurbished and painted. A special drive to ‘Support a Child’ for food and education purposes was initiated and it received excellent response. Two brahmacharini inmates of Hotor Sevashram were given sannyas by Sree Sree Maa to dedicate their lives to service and spirituality.
Significant works were carried out in the Nabadwip Ashram of the Trust. Much of the first floor was thoroughly renovated to develop a Kriya Sadhana room, rooms for monks and visitors, dormitory for devotees, new toilets and bathrooms were constructed. The sewerage system was repaired and the entry gate was enlarged. The electrical wiring was completely redone to ensure proper illumination. More works are planned for the future. Regular maintenance of the Ashram was carried out. The Trust continues to meet all requirements for Sri Dayananda Giri Maharaj, resident monk in charge of the unit and devotee sadhika Jogamaya Devi. Sree Sree Maa and other devotees visited the Puri Ashram and carried out charitable activities like sadhu seva. Some minor repairs were carried out in Puri Ashram. The Varanasi Ashram was well looked after by resident monk Sri Gurudas Ashram Maharaj.
Many other activities that form part of the core objectives of the trust were carried out with full fervor. Several publications were made from the Trust during the year. These include the Bengali version of the book, ‘Sree Sree Maa: Tvam Devi Janani Parah’ translated by Dr Durges Chakrabarti, English version of ‘Pragyan Saroj’, translated by Dr Barun Dutta, Hindi version of ‘Bodhoday’, translated by Smt Jyoti Parekh, a new Bengali book ‘Sri Sri Andhababa Prasange’ written by Sree Sree Maa and a new English book ‘Mahavatar Babaji Maharaj – An Omnipresent Enigma’ authored by Dr Partha Chakrabarti. The following nine CDs were published during the year - Maa Sharbani Bandana, Hari Sankirtan, Bhagawat Sudha Pradip I and II, Sa Devi Jaganmata, Sree Radha Madhuryam, Devi Mahatyam, Bhakti Rasamrita – 5 and Ram Sumiran. Four Issues of the quarterly journal Hiranyagarbha were published, each having a special feature on Sri Chandradas Maharaj, Mata Annapurna, Maa Durga and Sri Sri Nanga Baba, respectively.
Yoga classes and teaching of Sanskrit texts were held regularly. The invaluable spiritual library, containing more than 2000 books, was functional throughout the year. Several new books have been added to the library in the last year. The bi-weekly discourse on the Bhagwat Gita by Dr Barun Dutta was a unique feature that was initiated and has been one of the key attractions of every alternate Sunday morning. The other extremely valuable feature is the monthly class on Patanjali Yogasutras conducted by Sree Sree Maa herself, especially for women sadhikas. Sree Sree Maa continued with her Saturday evening music classes on a regular basis. Several new songs were composed by her and some devotees during this period. The Ashram holds four Spiritual Discourses every year on topics of interest. The 12th and 13th sessions were delivered by Dr Barun Dutta, focusing on the philosophy of the Divine Mother and Shakti while the 14th and 15th sessions were delivered by Dr Partha Chakrabarti, who gave a couple of introductory talks on the Upanishads.
A number of events were held highlighting Indian culture. These included regular programmes by devotees during various special occasions. Several eminent people performed in the Ashram premises to highlight various aspects of Indian culture. These included a wonderful Kathak recital by students of Padmasree Smt Rani Karna, bhakti-geeti by Smt Laboni Lahiri, Rabindrasangeet by Shri Indrajit Mukherjee and later by Shri Subrato Sengupta. Ashram devotee Shri Arijit Bandyopadhyay presented a melodious violin recital of Rabindrasangeet and bhajans. A nice cultural programme on bhajans was presented by Ms Vasundhara Mantri. Absorbing dance recital programmes were presented by Odishi Ashram under the guidance of Guru Pandit Giridhari Nayak on two occasions during the year. A wonderful dance programme was presented by Smt Mome Ganguly and her troupe. Other than chorus songs by ashram devotees and individual songs by Sree Sree Maa, Smt Aditi Mukherjee, Ratna Basu Roy and others, Ashram devotee girls Shradha, Ashoka, Rita and Poulomi gave able dance performances. Sree Sree Maa scripted some unique storyline-based songs interspersed with small pieces of speech that highlighted deep spiritual thoughts accompanied by blissful music. The children of Hotor Sevashram gave their annual cultural performance in the Akhanda Mahapeeth premises and presented ‘Balmiki Pratibha’. It was a delight to see how the little children had slowly mastered Indian culture, music and dance to come up with a unique dance drama. As usual, the annual spiritual quiz was held during Buddha Purnima and those who gave correct answers were given gift of books.
Several meetings with saints and savants were held during this period. During the visit to Varanasi, Sree Sree Maa and devotees went to meet Sri Devraha Hans Baba in the Vindhyachal Ashram and several magical moments were spent in the presence of the two saints. Sri Hans Baba, a great Yogi of high order and Sree Sree Maa paid respects to each other and Sri Hans Baba also displayed some of his yogic powers of mastery over nature. The devotees were also blessed with the warm presence of Sri Narayandas Baba there. A wonderful satsang was held in the Varanasi Ashram of Sree Shova Mata in honour of Sree Sree Maa where Sree Sree Maa was warmly felicitated by Sree Shibani Mata, Sree Meera Mata and others. During her visit to Puri, Sri Jitomahanandaji, Mahanta of Divine Life Society, Puri, visited Sree Sree Maa and spent some time in spiritual discussions. During her visit to Nabadwip, Sree Sree Maa went to the 'Tapovan Ashram' to meet Swami Taijasananda. Thereafter Sree Sree Maa visited Uma Maa's residence in Krishnanagar. Akhanda Mahapeeth was blessed by the visits of Sri Sri Taat Baba of Pushkar, Dandi Swami Sri Nitya Bodhashram Maharaj of Chinsurah, and Sri Gobindadas Udasi Maharaj of Banga Udasi Math and Swami Shuddhananda-ji of Barasat Yogashram. Sree Sree Maa also paid a visit to the Chinsurah Ashram of Dandi Swami Sri Nitya Bodhashram Maharaj. Subsquently our beloved Udasi Baba left his mortal coil at the age of 105. Sree Sree Maa also paid visits to Sri Sant Ashram in Vindhyachal and visited Bodh Gaya on the way back.
Shri Raj Kumar Daga, Chartered Accountant, has been retained as Auditor. The Trust accounts for financial year were audited by Shri Raj Kumar Daga and duly approved by the Trustees. Donors who desire to have a look at the accounts statements may kindly contact the Joint Secretaries or Treasurer of the Trust.
With the grace and guidance of the Supreme Divine, Sree Sree Maa, all patrons and well-wishers, we hope to continue serving mankind with dedication and devotion. We express our sincere thanks and gratitude to all donors, devotees and volunteers for their help, dedication and selfless efforts in helping our mission to succeed. We feel blessed to have received this unique opportunity to serve. We pray for the well-being of all.
Trustees and Joint Secretaries,
Mata Sharbani Trust
Akhanda Mahapeeth, Plaza Housing (Jagannathpur)
PO. Ashuti, Shibrampur, 24 Parganas (S)
West Bengal 700141, India