Belur Math, 9 December 1898 • Sri Ramakrishna said to me [at Cossipore], “Wherever you will take me on your shoulders, there I will go and stay, be it under a tree or in a hut.” It is therefore that I am myself carrying him [his remains] on my shoulders to the new Math [monastery] grounds. Know it for certain that Sri Ramakrishna will keep his seat fixed there, for the welfare of many, for a long time to come. . . .
Each devotee colors Sri Ramakrishna in the light of his own understanding and each forms his own idea of him from his peculiar standpoint. He was, as it were, a great sun, and each one of us is eyeing him, as it were, through a different kind of colored glass and coming to look upon that one sun as particolored. . . .
This Math that we are building will harmonize all creeds, all standpoints. Just as Sri Ramakrishna held highly liberal views, this Math, will be a center for propagating similar ideas. The blazing light of universal harmony that will emanate from here will flood the whole world.
Through the will of Sri Ramakrishna, his Dharmakshetra, sanctified spot, has been established today. . . . Do you know what I am thinking of at this moment? This Math will be a center of learning and spiritual discipline. Householders of a virtuous turn like yourselves will build houses on the surrounding land and live there, and sannyasins, men of renunciation, will live in the center, while on that plot of land on the south of the Math, buildings will be erected for English and American disciples to live in. . . .
Everything will come about in time. I am but laying the foundation. There will be lots of further development in future. Some portion of it I shall live to work out.