KOLKATA, INDIA, July 20, 2013, A few relics of Sarada Devi have been stolen from the Belur Math, headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, raising security concerns. Some of the objects were nearly 100 years old. The theft was described as traumatic by senior monks of the Order and is likely to lead to increased vigilance at the sprawling grounds, which is visited by thousands of tourists and devotees. The items stolen include hair, a tooth, a rudraksha rosary and a cast of the feet of the Holy Mother, as her devotees referred to her. They were in exhibits at a museum within the Math premises. The theft was noticed on Tuesday night and reported immediately to the police, a spokesperson of the Math said. Nishad Pervez DC (Headquarters), Howrah Police Commissionerate, said the Criminal Investigation Department's help was taken to probe the incident. "A team comprising fingerprint experts have also visited the spot. Investigations are on," he said.
The museum was inaugurated in May 2001 and objects used by Sri Ramakrishna, and Sarada Devi were collected painstakingly from all over the country to recreate their times , their lifestyles and their teachings. Swami Vivekananda who founded the Ramakrishna Order in 1897 naturally had a place of pride in the museum. Monks are pained by the incident but they are not willing to cordon off Belur Math from the public.
The museum, which tells the story of the Ramakrishna movement, is structured like lotus petals. The first floor is the upper petal of the lotus, encapsulating the sacred mementoes. The stolen relics of Sarada Devi, who lived between 1853 and 1920, were housed here.