History of Swamibag Ashram
Around at the end of the 12th Century, in the province of India, Kanyakunjya, there was a Vaisnava scholar and devoted Brahmana named Jibeseshwar Tewari. Once, on the occasion of Kalpavasa, an auspicious bathing ceremony (Snana Yatra), he came to Prayag Triveni with his pregnant wife Srimati Harapayi Devi. There, he met a great saintly personality whom he knew from previously. He previously wanted to give him some donation, but the saintly person agreed to take it at the right moment.
In the Bengali year of 1179, on the auspicious day of Sri Sri Rama Navami, Harapayi Devi gave birth to a divinely effulgent son with great bodily luster. Having son in the holy place of Prayag, the Vaisnava scholar named his son Prayag Narayana and his mother would call him as Venimadhava having the son in the pilgrimage of Triveni.
A few days after his sacred thread ceremony, Venimadhava was requested to be taken from his parents by that saintly personality. Jiveshwar Tewari and Harapayi despite having acute pain in their hearts, they handed over him to protect their promise. After this incident, Venimadhava began to lead a wonderful life with the saintly personality. A few years later, he was returned to his home and was ordered to be a householder by that saintly person. He also was told to be taken again by that saintly personality.
After a year, being ordered by that saintly person, Venimadhava’s father arranged the marriage of Venimadhava with an eleven-year-old girl named Srimati Ganga Devi. Once, Venimadhava had a dream and was adorably told by a saintly person as “Dear son, have you not satisfied yet with material enjoyment, do you want to be more entangled with the affection of son, come very soon, don’t waste time”. Thus, Venimadhava gave up family affection and joined the saintly person for an extensive pilgrimage.
While traveling in a place called Bithor, on the bank of Ganges, the saintly person before giving up his body, advised Venimadhava,” you will meet a great soul in Rameshwar, then fortunately you will meet a great devotee in the Himalayan province whose auspicious instructions will bring about a great change in your life”. After six months, Venimadhava met Tailanga Swami in Rameshwar who subsequently initiated him with the name Tripurlinga Swami. Tripurlinga Swami then traveled to Bangladesh and visited the Adinath temple located near Cox Bazar and Chandranath in Sitakunda. Finally, he came to Dhaka, and in a secluded place of Kurmitola, he took shelter in the Dargah of an Islamist fakir named Khanjan Khan. Khanjan Khan Fakir used to worship there Allah Almighty, Tripurlinga Swami worshiped Lord Shiva in the same place. Thereafter, he came to Shahbag (Dhaka) and many of his devotees used to come there to visit him. A renowned Zamindar (wealthy person) of Dhaka city, Gopendra Mohan Basak desired to donate about 1.21 acres of land at Karatipara in the old Dhaka city to Tripurlinga Swami. In 1899, Gopendra Mohan Basak built a temple on that very land and offered the registered property to Tripurlinga Swami. This property, is still well-known as Swamibag Ashram.
In the Swamibag Ashram, Tripurlinga Swami established deities of Lord Sri Sri Bhim Shankar Shivalinga and Sri Sri Mangala Chandikeswari Kalimata. These deities are still being worshiped today at Swamibag. Tripurlinga Swami before giving up his body at the age of 150 years, in 1329 on the auspicious day of Rama Navami, this land was handed over to the deity of Sri Sri Bhim Shankar and enrolled his disciple son named Nareshananda as priest. Leter, Swamiji was buried in this Ashram after his departure.
After his departure, the Swamibag Ashram was attacked by different schemers in order to destroy its tradition. Being concerned, the latest priest Yashoda Nandana Acharya requested ISKCON to protect and maintain this auspicious property around the year 2000. ISKCON accepted this service and put huge effort and revolute to bring back the tradition of devotion and purity. Now, more than one hundred fifty Bramhachari devotees are residing in this Ashram, by following the footsteps of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Prabhupada, are preaching Krishna consciousness all over Bangladesh. Thus, Swamibag Ashram has become a divine place for practicing the bhakti. Eventually, people from all classes are being provided various social and spiritual educational programs and are being inspired to practice the bhakti cult. Consequently, ISKCON Swamibag directs various programs such as Jagrata Chatra Samaj (JCS), ISKCON Youth Forum (IYF), Bhaktivedanta Gita Academy, Mayapur Institute (MI), Namhatta, Bhakti Vriksa, Bhagavatam class etc. Being the member of ‘Nitya seva’ and ‘Life Member’, one has the opportunity to be the part of congregational Sankirtan movement and be the part of world brotherhood. In addition, Swamibag Ashram conducts a Food for Life program and serves food, clothes, and medical services to all classes of people. Moreover, by publishing the monthly newspaper ‘Hare Krishna Samachar’, quarterly magazine ‘Amriter Sandhane’, ISKCON Swamibag are informing about various principles, information, and events throughout the world. Govinda’s Restaurant, supplying varieties of delicious Krishna prasadam, is attracting more and more people. Basically, all departments mentioned above has one ambition of preaching the Lord’s Chaitanya’s teaching of “Prithivite ache jata nagar adi gram/ Sarvatra prochar haive more ei nam//- In all villages and towns, Lord Krishna’s teaching will be propagated” and consequently reviving the re-establishment the eternal Sanatana dharma.
Updated on 24th November, 2021