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 banks 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 Indias unique spiritual
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
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
persons 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
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.