Vivekananda Medal awarded to Prof. Brij Nath Kaul

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Vivekananda Medal 2009 awarded to Prof. Brij Nath Kaul
Kolkata (India) November 18, 2009
he Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture presented the “Vivekananda Medal 2009” to Prof. Brij Nath Kaul of Srinagar, Kashmir, in recognition and appreciation of his valuable contribution and utmost dedication to the uplift of the common people of Srinagar, Kashmir, irrespective of caste, creed and religion, drawing inspiration from the ideas and ideals of Swami Vivekananda. This prestigeos award was presented by the Hon’ble Governor of West Bengal, Shri Gopal Krishna Gandhi

Prof. Kaul (Date of Birth 17th March, 1942) was one of the prominent youths of a group of young men who were inspired and influenced by Ramakrishna – Vivekananda ideology. They established in 1955 a small centre under the name ‘Ramakrishna Ashrama’ in the city of Srinagar to spread the universal message of Ramakrishna and Vivekananda in Kashmir. Prof. Kaul served as a Professor of Physics at the Kashmir University from 1964 to 1992 from which post he resigned and dedicated himself to fully serve the cause of the Ashrama with utmost devotion and created a spiritual atmosphere. Prof. Kaul nurtured the Ashrama under all circumstances, especially during the period of militancy in Kashmir. He continued to serve the cause of the Ashrama by staying on the campus all alone, even ready to sacrifice his life and encountered all odd situations when the terrorism was at its peak at which time majority of the Hindus left the Valley for a safe place. When the Indian army wanted to give him and the Ashrama protection from the militants, he refused. The militants could not but pay homage to him. For his long dedicated service for the common people of Srinagar, he is held in high esteem by both the Hindus as well as the Muslims. To serve the poor, particularly rural people of Kashmir, he has been running a charitable dispensary and free medical check-up facility at the Ashrama. His spirit of service, a sense of commitment and devotion to the ideals of Ramakrishna-Vivekananda are rarely seen now-a-days.

As a result of his dedication and sacrifice, the Ashrama has become a branch centre of the Ramakrishna Order today and the Headquarters at Belur Math has made him the President of the local Managing Committee. Many boys of Kashmir who came in contact with this Ashrama through Prof. Kaul, were greatly inspired by the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda ideology. Some of them even joined the Ramakrishna order and became monks.

The citation presented hoped that Prof. Kaul will maintain his devotion and dedication with his selfless service and help the common and poor people of Srinagar to reach the goal visualized by Swami Vivekananda.

Welcome address by Swami Sarvabhutanandaji Maharaj, Secretary, Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture:

Namah shri yathirajaya vivekananda suraye; sat-chit-sukha svarupaya svamine tapa harine.

Most Revered Srimat Swami Prabhanandaji Maharaj, Sri Gopal Krishna Gandhi, honourable Governor of West Bengal, other respected senior swamis, brother monks, respected nuns, members of the managing committee, and devotees of Sri Ramakrishna,

I heartily welcome you all on behalf of the institute and on my behalf. Today, we have assembled here on the very special occasion when the prestigious award of this institute namely, Vivekananda Medal, will be awarded to Prof. Brij Nath Kaul of Srinagar, Kashmir by Sri Gopal Krishna Gandhi, honourable Governor of West Bengal.

This award was instituted by Nivedita Brati Sangha, an eminent women organization. The main object of the organization is to fulfill the noble mission of Sister Nivedita by way of serving humanity on the enduring values of our national culture. The organization received inspiration from several senior swamis of our Order, particularly from Revered Swami Ranganathanandaji Maharaj, past president, Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission.

In 1985, Nivedita Brati Sangha made this corpus donation with the stipulation that out of the income of the endowment, a gold medal named ‘Vivekananda Medal’ would be awarded to a person or an institution for outstanding work for the dissemination of the ideas of Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda for uplifting the condition of rural and tribal people. The recipients are of the Vivekananda Medal in earlier years were as follows:
  1. In 1999, Sri Shivshankar Chakraborty, representing the northeastern region of India.
  1. In 2000, Sri Subimal Chatterjee, representing the central region of India.
  1. In 2004, Dr S Sudarshan, representing the southern region of India.
  1. In 2007, SEWA-RURAL, Gujarat representing the western region of India.
This year we have selected Prof. Brij Nath Kaul of Srinagar, Kashmir, for the Vivekananda Medal meant for the northern region of the country. Prof. Kaul, as a prominent youth of a group of young men, established, way back in 1955, a small centre under the name Ramakrishna Ashram at Srinagar. Against all the odds and spate of militancy in Kashmir, he nurtured the ashram, even risking his life. Resigning from the post of professor of physics in Kashmir University, he dedicated himself fully to the cause of serving the poor and rural people irrespective of caste, creed, and religion, for which he is held in high esteem by the common people of Srinagar, both Hindus and Muslims. Due to his devotion and sacrifice, the ashram has become a branch centre of the Ramakrishna Order and the headquarters of the Belur Math has made him the president of the local managing committee. I am happy to congratulate Prof. Brij Nath Kaul, the fifth recipient of the Vivekananda Medal. He has been instrumental in establishing the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda ideology firmly in Kashmir and inspires many youth with his devotion and spirit of service towards poor and rural people. Some of them have even joined the Order and become monks. In appreciation of his outstanding contribution and services, the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture has great pleasure in presenting Prof. Brij Nath Kaul, a gold medal of 7.290 grams of 22 carats which will be conferred on him by shortly Sri Gopal Krishna Gandhi, honourable Governor of West Bengal. I once again welcome you all. Thank you. Namaskar.
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