Founded: 1st May 1897
Headquarters' location: Belur Math, Howrah
Location: 200 Branch Centres
Purposes: Education, Philanthropy, Religious studies, Spirituality
The Math and the Mission are the two key organisations that direct the work of the socio-religious Ramakrishna movement influenced by 19th-century saint Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and founded by his chief disciple Vivekananda. Also referred to as the Ramakrishna Order, the Math is the movement's monastic organisation. Founded by Sri Ramakrishna in 1886, the Math primarily focuses on spiritual training and the propagation of the movement's teachings.
The Mission, founded by Vivekananda in 1897 is a humanitarian organisation which carries out medical, relief and educational programs. Both the organisations have headquarters at the Belur Math. The Mission acquired a legal status when it was registered in 1909 under Act XXI of 1860. Its management is vested in a Governing Body. Though the Mission with its branches is a distinct legal entity, it is closely related to the Math. The elected trustees of the Math also serve as Mission's Governing Body. Vedanta Societies comprise the American and Europian arm of the Movement and work more in purely spiritual field rather than social welfare.
Ramakrishna Mission named after Ramakrishna Paramhamsa is an Indian socio-religious organisation which forms the core of a worldwide spiritual movement known as the Ramakrishna Movement or the Vedanta Movement.The mission is named after and inspired by the Indian saint Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and founded by Ramakrishna's chief disciple Swami Vivekananda on 1st May 1897. The mission, which is headquartered near Kolkata at Belur Math in Howrah, West Bengal, subscribes to the ancient Hindu philosophy & of Vedanta. It aims at the harmony of religions and promoting peace and equality for all humanity.
The ideology of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission is based upon the universal religious spirit of Vedanta. Ramakrishna Himself was a living epitome of Vedanta and perfectly displayed its eternal principles in his life & teachings. It was under his influence that Swami Vivekananda expounded Vedanta all over the world. This ideology holds a triple significance; it learnt and realized the principles of Vedanta in his own life and then is modern in the sense that the ancient principles of Vedanta have been expressed in ;the modern idiom. It is universal, that is, it meant for the whole humanity. It is practical because its principles can be applied in day-to-day life to solve the problems of mankind. The basic principles of this ideology are-
1. God realization is the ultimate Goal of human life;
2. Potential divinity of the Soul;
3. Synthesis of four Yogas; Bhakti, Jnana, Karma and
4. Morality based on strength;
5. Harmony of Religions;
6. Avatarhood of Sri Ramakrishna;
7. A New Philosophy of Work (Work as Worship & Service to man is Service to God).
The motto of Ramakrishna Math & Ramakrishna Mission as formulated by Swami Vivekananda is “Atmano Mokshartham Jagaddhitaya Cha”, which enjoins on one to work for one’s own salvation and for the welfare of the world.