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Rare Spiritual Bank of The World – Ram Ramapati Bank

The name of the Lord is said to bring salvation. This unusual concept of a spiritual bank tells us how people all over India seek salvation. The best time to witness this is during the festival of Ram Navami which falls this year on April 11.

Ram Ramapati Bank was established in 1826 in Varanasi. Its founder Manager was Late Das C. Lal and the present Manager is Das Basudev Prasad who is presently serving this bank with his grandchildren. The bank has an Accountant, it has safe deposits and meticulously maintained accounts of the bank’s holdings. However, the bank is not controlled by the Reserve Bank of India but its account holders comprise non resident Indians and local people running into several lakhs. On the last day of the festival of Ramnavami, the closing account of the bank was 16 crore 84 lakh. Well, we are not talking about currency deposits but taking a close look at India’s unique spiritual bank.

In this bank ‘account holders’ are worshipers of Ram and they write Ram-Ram with auspicious red ink running into 1025 lakh in number and deposit it in this unique bank. The interest they earn is solace and emancipation from the sorrows of life. The concept of this bank was conceived by Sri Baba Santram Das who was a disciple of Swami Nathji. Shri C. Lal met, while bathing at Prayag, Baba Santram and, on his advice, this ‘bank’ was opened 72 years ago and it is still thriving with around one lakh disciples from all over the world. Present Manager Das Basudev Prasad explained that “this unique institution was christened ‘Bank’ because in those days banks were in vogue and people considered banks were in vogue and people considered banks their treasure houses and hence this bank came into being with spiritual connotation. But we do not advertise, we do not have any name plate and I am serving with my sons and grandsons with the mission of service and so our name is prefixed with ‘Das’ or servant of god.”

The bank is open daily from 12 noon to 4 pm and people from all walks of life come and pay tribute to Ram. In Indian tradition celestial names are no mere pronouns but a linkage between celestial power and ordinary man. It is believed that if you utter ‘Ram’ you will realize that the omnipotent sacred sound om is hidden within it: Raum. When the disciple pronounces it a celestial sound within the body and mind revolves and purifies a person’s endeavour. Similarly, when a person writes this name with red ink one is besmeared with the celestial name which purifies the soul and gives respite from pain and sorrow.

People from all walks of life cutting across caste, creed and religious barriers can become its member. For the poor the paper on which to write Ram-Ram is made available by the Trust free of cost. Das Vasudev Prasad said that “thousands of people have experienced the miracle of this Ram naam (name) and got solace.” Moreover, the present Manager is a renowned astrologer.

It is gathered that in several other small towns people have opened such banks and claim to be a branch of Ram Ramapati Bank. However this bank declares that it has no branch and operates only from Varanasi.

One can become a member of the bank by paying just one rupee or four rupees by post. A code of conduct for ‘emancipation’ is prescribed. Every account holder has to write Ram-Ram totaling 1,25,000 times to cover the first phase. During this time one is not allowed to consume alcohol or meat. The member has to write Ram-Ram 250 time for 500 days. Thereafter one has to chant Ram-Ram twice daily, morning and evening. Its frequency gradually rises to 19 times in the morning and 19 times in the evening and then, in the third year, it becomes 27 times. The whole process is completed in 21 months. A booklet is then given which defines dharma, artha, kama and moksha. One has to recite it every morning. Apart from this the bank has a wide range of rules enforced by the present manager.

On Ram Navami day piles of paper with Ram-Ram written in different scripts are placed in the temple premises and disciples do parikram (circumambulate around it.

There also exists a ‘Gayatri’ bank in Hardwar, another sacred city of India where one writes the Gayatri mantra. India is a land of sacred names and though methodology may differ from place to place the goal remains the same – to achieve baikuntha (heaven) and experience spiritual bliss in our mortal life too.