A bronze statue of Late Bhagabati Charan Ghosh was installed at the headquarters (at Garden Reach, Kolkata) of the S.E. S.E.C & E.Co Railways Employees Co-operative Credit Society on Monday, to commemorate his contributions as founder of the Society. Ghosh had served in a senior position in the Bengal-Nagpur Railway (now South Eastern Railway).
The Society, then known as Calcutta Urban Bank was founded by Sri Ghosh in 1909. The Bank was dedicated to the welfare of the common railway employees. It started with a meagre working capital and flourished into a major Cooperative Society of the Railways, with working capital of ? 1,757 crores.
The Society had invited Sri Somnath Ghosh, the great-grandson of Sri Bhagabati Charan Ghosh to unveil the Bronze statue of his eminent great-grandfather. Sri Somnath Ghosh was accompanied by his wife Smt. Sarita Ghosh.
Sri Bhagabati Charan Ghosh also happened to be the father of world-renowned yogi Paramahansa Yogananda who founded Yogoda Satsanga Society in India (YSS) in 1917 to disseminate universal scientific teachings of Yoga-meditation.
As the Chief Guest at the function, Swami Achyutanananda Giri of YSS, felicitated the Society for acknowledging the humanitarian contribution of Sri Bhagabati Charan Ghosh, in founding the Bank. He said, “This wonderful recognition of Sri Bhagabati Charan Ghosh’s greatness is quite befitting to the humility that he exemplified in his personality during his lifetime.”
Swami Achyutananda alluded to Sri Bhagabati Charan Ghosh’s selfless attitude even in founding this bank – which Paramahansa Yogananda refers to in his spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi: “after he had organized the Calcutta Urban bank, he refused to benefit himself by holding any of its shares. He had simply wished to perform a civic duty in his spare time.”Swami Achyutananda also drew a parallel with the service rendered by the two Societies, one founded by the father and the other by his son, by saying, “We notice a great similarity between the growth of the Railways Employees Cooperative Credit Society from humble beginnings and the growth of Yogoda Satsanga Society of India founded by his son Paramahansa Yogananda, both of which continue to render outstanding service to the society”.
In his speech, Somnath Ghosh spoke of the saintly and selfless nature of Bhagabati Charan Ghosh and how he had also financed Paramahansa Yogananda’s trip to America for spreading the teachings of Kriya Yoga.
Later, Bhagabati Charan Ghosh also extended financial help to Yoganandaji towards purchasing the property at Ranchi where Yoganandaji ran a school as a part of YSS work.
Paramahansa Yogananda had also founded the Self-Realization Fellowship in the United States in 1920 which is currently celebrating its centennial.