The Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, Asansol is rooted in the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna (1836-1886) who stressed, among other things, the equal validity of all religions, the potential divinity of man, and service to man as a way of worshipping God. Sri Ramakrishna's chief disciple, Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), carried far and wide these teachings which, really speaking, constitute the core of India's oldest philosophy, Vedanta. Later, in 1897, he founded, in order to propagate these ideas, a non-proselytizing religious organization, the Ramakrishna Mission, which, besides teaching Vedanta, gives concrete service to the community by running schools, colleges, hospitals, orphanages, etc. Ramakrishna Mission's Headquarters is located at Belur Math, West Bengal, India and has more than 203 branches in India and abroad.
One such branch is Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, Asansol in Burdwan, the biggest district of West Bengal, India.
A growing city, Asansol is located at the junction of three states—West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar. The place is famous for coalmines, and industries like IISCO and Chittaranjan Locomotive Works. It is Asansol Railway Division is next to Howrah in importance. A new Airport is coming up at a place named Andal, which is only 25 kms from here. All this speak for the growing importance of this city. Together with Durgapur, Asansol is all set to form one of the future megacities of India
The story has it that on his way to Baidyanathdham at Deoghar, Sri Ramakrishna came by train up to Ranigunj, a coal town only 15 km from Asansol, which was then the last railway station on the route. From there he took to roadways to reach Deoghar.
In 1926 a handful of dedicated devotees, being inspired by Swami Vivekananda's message of "Work is Worship" and "Service of Man is the Worship of God", started a Ramakrishna Ashrama at Asansol.The beginning was very humble and the devotees ran it for thirteen long years as sincerely as they could with the guidance of the monks of the Ramakrishna Mission. Then in 1939 Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math took it over as one of its branches. It has been since named Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, Asansol.
The Early Days: the Campus on the G. T. Road
During the early period, the Ashrama’s activities were on a small scale with only an orphanage and a school for girls. In the later years the girls' school ceased to function and a boys' school was started instead, which was upgraded to a High School in 1944. Gradually a small hostel also was felt necessary for the boys who came from far off areas, which came into being in 1953. The entire campus was located on one side of the ever-busy Grand Trunk Road.
With the passage of time, the number of students in the School and the Hostel increased, in keeping with which new buildings were erected with storeys being added to the existing ones. Still, at one point of time, the campus became too cramped for its 1000-odd students and the adjacent G.T Road seemed more trafficked and noisy everyday.