Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati, a branch of the Ramakrishna Math, founded on March 19, 1899, later published many of Swami Vivekananda’s work, now publishes Prabuddha Bharata journal
On 1 May 1897 at Calcutta, Vivekananda founded the “Ramakrishna Math”—the organ for propagating religion and “Ramakrishna Mission”—the organ for social service. This was the beginning of an organized socio-religious movement to help the masses through educational, cultural, medical and relief work. The ideals of the Ramakrishna Mission are based on Karma Yoga. Two monasteries were founded by him, one at Belur, near Calcutta, which became the Headquarters of Ramakrishna Math and Mission and the other at Mayavati on the Himalayas, near Almora called the Advaita Ashrama and later a third monastery was established at Madras. Two journals were started, Prabuddha Bharata in English and Udbhodan in Bengali. The same year, the famine relief work was started by Swami Akhandananda at Murshidabad district.
Vivekananda had inspired Sir Jamshetji Tata to set up a research and educational institution when they had travelled together from Yokohama to Chicago on the Swami’s first visit to the West in 1893. About this time the Swami received a letter from Tata, requesting him to head the Research Institute of Science that Tata had set up. But Vivekananda declined the offer saying that it conflicted with his spiritual interests.
He later visited Punjab, in Pakistan with the mission of establishing harmony between the Arya Samaj which stood for reinterpreted Hinduism and the Sanatanaists who stood for orthodox Hinduism. At Rawalpindi, he suggested methods for rooting out antagonism between Arya Samajists and Muslims. His visit to Lahore is memorable for his famous speeches and his inspiring association with Tirtha Ram Goswami, then a brilliant professor of Mathematics, who later graced monasticism as Swami Rama Tirtha and preached Vedanta in India and America. He also visited other places, including Delhi and Khetri and returned to Calcutta in January 1896. He spent the next few months consolidating the work of the Math and training the disciples. During this period he composed the famous arati song, Khandana Bhava Bandhana during the event of consecration of Ramakrishna’s temple at a devotees’ house.
Khandana bhava-bhandhana jaga-vandana
Niranjana nara-rupa-dhara nirguna
1. We adore Thee, O snapper of worldly
bondages! O honoured of all mankind!
Thou art at once the trancendent attributeless
Being and the Divine Person
with attributes, O sinless one embodied
Mocana agha-dusana jaga-bhusana
viksane moha jay.
2. O redeemer of all sins! O adornment for
all the worlds! O pure consciousness
Thy eyes, sanctified with the collyrium
of Jnana, shatter the delusion of
ignorance by their very look.
Bhasvara bhava-sagara cira-unmada
3. Thou art verily an ocean of luminous
and lofty spiritual sentiments, ever
lashed into waves of inebriating love.
Thy holy feet, devotion’s reward, form
a veritable boat for crossing the
ocean of Samsara.
Jrmbhita yuga-isvara jagad-isvara
nirakhi tava krpay.
4. Thou art the Lord of the universe, manifested
as the incarnation for the
modern age, for helping mankind in
its spiritual endeavour.
By Thy grace I clearly see this, O Thou
whose mind is ever established in
Bhanjana duhkha-ganjana karunaghana
Pran’ arpana jagata-tarana
5. O shatterer of the mass of mankind’s
sorrows! O mercy conensed! O
Thy life is an offering of love for the
redemption of mankind, and a power
that shatters the bondage of the
dark age of Kali.
Vancana kama-kancana ati-nindita
Tyagisvara he nara-vara
deha pade anurag.
6. Thou art the conqueror of lust and
greed, and the spurner of all enticements
of sensuous attractions.
Bestow on us unflinching love for Thy
blessed feet, O Lord of all renouncers
and the noblest of mankind!
Nirbhaya gata-samsaya drdha-niscaya
7. Thy mind is above all fears, devoid of
all doubts, and firm in its resolves.
Innocent of pride of birth and race, Thy
universal love offers shelter to all
devotees who seek it.
Sampada tava sripada bhava gospadavari
jaga-jana duhkha jay.
8. O offerings of love! O paragon of
same-sightedness! To those who
treasure Thy holy feet in their hearts,
the ocean of Samsara is but a puddle
formed by the hoof-mark of a calf!
Their sorrows take to wings!
Namo namo prabhu vakya-mana-ti
Jyotira-jyoti ujala hrdi-kandara
tumi tama bhanjana har;
Prabhu tumi tama bhanjana har.
9. Repeated salutations to Thee, O Lord
who art beyond the reach of speech
and mind, but yet the common Basis
of them both.
Light of all lights, ever resplendent in
the cavity of the heart! Destroy
the darkness of ignorance therein, O
Lord! Destroy the darkness!
Dhe dhe dhe langa ranga bhanga
baje anga sanga mrdanga
Gayiche chanda bhakata-vrnda
Jaya jaya arati tomar!
Hara hara arati tomar!
Siva Siva arati tomar!
10. To the accompaniment of Mrdanga
with its sweet sounds of “Dhe, Dhe,
Dhe, Langa, Ranga, Bhanga”, Thy
devotees are singing songs at Arati
Jaya, Jaya, Arati Thine!
Hara, Hara, Arati Thine!
Siva, Siva, Arati Thine!
Khandana bhava-bandhana jagavandana
11. We adore Thee, O snapper of worldly
bondages! O honoured of all mankind!
Jai Sri Guru maharaj ji ki jai!
Victory to the Great Guru!
Source : .Aratrika Hymns and Ramanam.
Translated by Swami Tapasyananda