Ramakrishna Math & Ramakrishna mission
“The wavy waters in the picture are symbolic of Karma, the lotus of Bhakti, and the rising sun, of Jnana. The encircling serpent is indicative of Yoga and the awakened Kundalini Shakti, while the swan in the picture stands for the Paramatman (Supreme Self). Therefore the idea of the picture is that by the union of Karma, Jnana, Bhakti, and Yoga, the vision of the Paramatman is obtained.”
– Swami Vivekananda
“तन्नो हंस: प्रचोदयात” – “May the supreme soul inspire and guide our intellect, so that we may realize:Jivatman and Paramatman are but one.“
RAMAKRISHNA MATH & RAMAKRISHNA MISSION
Shortly after the passing away of Sri Ramakrishna (1836-1886) a few of his young disciples, under the leadership of Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), laid the foundation of a monastic order at Baranagore, Kolkata in 1886. This was called the “Ramakrishna Math” in memory of their beloved master, and later, in 1899 was moved to Belur on the west bank of the Ganges near Kolkata where it stands to this day. The Ramakrishna Math was registered on February 7, 1901 vide Registration No. 348 of 1901, Howrah, West Bengal. The Ramakrishna Mission was founded in 1897 and registered on May 4, 1909 under Act XXI of 1860, Registration No. 1917/3 for 1909-10; revised according to West Bengal Act XXVI of 1961.
Of the twin organisations, the Ramakrishna Math is meant for the training of monastic workers and for disseminating spiritual teachings. The Ramakrishna Mission is meant for social welfare activities. Though they are two different channels, the same stream of spiritual energy as directed by Swami Vivekananda flows through them. Social welfare activities of Ramakrishna Mission have been spiritualised by bringing down the Advaitic realisation to the field of empirical consciousness. Man is to be served not because he is a fellow man, but because he is the manifestation of Divinity. This is the outlook which imbues all activities of the organisation, secular or spiritual.
IDEAL: “आत्मनोमोक्षार्थं जगद्धिताय च” – For one’s own salvation and for the welfare of the world.
AIM: – Practice and preaching of Sanatana Dharma, the eternal religion, as embodied in the lives and teachings of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda.
MOTTO :– Renunciation and Service; Harmony of Religions.
METHOD:- Work and Worship.
- Monastic training of young men who have decided to join the Ramakrishna Order and dedicate themselves to Self-realisation and propagation of the universal principles of Vedanta.
- Service to mankind according to the needs of the society in conjunction with lay disciples and workers. The service activities include religious preaching; worship; cultural activities; running of Educational institutions & Hostels, Publications, Libraries, Hospitals, Dispensaries, Mobile Medical Units, Old Age Homes, and Orphanages; Mass contact; Rural Development; Relief & Rehabilitation.
The Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission have 221 branch centres all over the world : 167 in India, 15 in Bangladesh, 14 in USA, 2 each in Brazil, Canada, Russia and South Africa, and one each in Argentina, Australia, Fiji, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nepal, Netherlands, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, UK and Zambia. Further, there are 44 sub-centres (21 within India, 23 outside India) under different centres.