and Ramakrishna Mission are worldwide, non-political,
non-sectarian spiritual organizations which have been engaged in
various forms of humanitarian, social service activities for more
than a century.
Inspired by the ideals of renunciation and service, the
monks and lay devotees of the Math and Mission serve millions of men,
women and children, without any distinction of caste, religion or race,
because they see the living God in them.
The organizations were brought into existence by
(1836-1886), the great 19th century saint from Bengal who is regarded as
the Prophet of the Modern Age, and Sri Ramakrishna's chief disciple,
(1863-1902), one of the foremost thinkers and religious leaders of the
present age, who is regarded as 'one of the main moulders of the modern
world', in the words of an eminent Western scholar A.L. Basham.
Although Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission are
legally and financially separate, they are closely inter-related in
several ways and are regarded as twin organizations.
These twin organizations have set in motion a non-sectarian,
universal spiritual movement which has been silently working for
more than a hundred years to catalyze the spiritual regeneration of
The chief catalyst in this ongoing transformation is
India's ancient religious philosophy known as Vedanta. Although
several other systems of philosophy arose in India at different
times, they were confined to small groups. Vedanta alone has
remained the dominant philosophy of India's religious tradition from
Vedic times to the present day. In modern times this ancient system
of thought has been purified, unified and energized by Sri
Ramakrishna, and expounded in the modern idiom by Swami Vivekananda
and thus made available to all people all over the world without any
distinctions of caste, creed or race.
The Ramakrishna Order does not believe in conversion, nor does it
indulge in the occult or the sensational. The Order places utmost
importance on personal spiritual unfoldment and selfless service.
Inspired by the idea of the harmony of all faiths, its centers
encourage adherents of different faiths to meet in a spirit of
friendship and mutual appreciation, and to learn from one another
without having to give up one's own faith. In the words of Sri
Ramakrishna: "God has made different religions to suit different
aspirants, lives and countries ... all doctrines are only so many
paths; but a path is by no means God Himself. Indeed one can reach
God if one follows any of the paths with whole-hearted devotion."
The motto of the twin organizations is Atmano mokshartham jagad hitaya
cha, For ones own salvation and for the welfare of the world. It
was formulated by Swami Vivekananda.
Work as worship, potential divinity of the soul, and harmony of religions
are three of the noteworthy ideals on which these two organizations are
based. It is this ideal of service to man as service to God that sustains
the large number of hospitals, dispensaries, mobile medical units,
schools, colleges, rural development centres and many other social service
institutions run the twin organizations.
The headquarters of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission are situated
at an area named Belur in the district of Howrah, West Bengal, India. The
entire campus of the headquarters is popularly known as Belur Math.
Sprawling over forty acres of land on the western bank of the river
Hooghly (Ganga), the place is an hours drive from Kolkata.
The Math and Mission have 181 centres all over the world: 136 in India, 13 in USA, 13 in Bangladesh, 2 in Russia, and one each in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Fiji, France, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nepal, Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, and UK. Besides, there are 33 sub-centres attached to some of these centres.
these branch centres, there are about one thousand unaffiliated centres
(popularly called private centres) all over the world started by the
devotees and followers of Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda.
The Math and Mission run
748 educational institutions (including 12 colleges, 22 higher secondary
schools, 41 secondary schools, 135 schools of other grades, 4
polytechnics, 48 vocational training centres, 118 hostels, 7 orphanages,
etc) with a total student population of more than 200,000.
The twin organizations run 15 hospitals (with 2182 beds), 125
dispensaries, and 48 mobile medical units which treat about 8,000,000
patients every year. Besides these, a considerable number of medical camps
are organized, mostly in rural areas, where thousands of patients are
treated and more than 3000 operated on for cataract free of cost every
year. The Math and Mission run a medical research institute and 5 nurses'
Work in Rural and
For rural and tribal people, the Math and Mission run 3
institutes of agriculture and 4 rural development training institutes.
Besides, farmers are taught improved methods of cultivation and also
provided with agricultural inputs and financial help. Projects such as
construction of pucca houses, wasteland development, planting of fruit and
forest trees, etc are undertaken. Drinking water is provided by digging
bore wells and tube wells.
During natural or man-made disasters, the Missions work
includes primary relief with food, clothes, medicine and permanent relief
activities like construction of new full-fledged townships, bridges, and
roads, sometimes a project going over Rs. 150 million.
The Missions publication centres produce some of the best
publications on religion, philosophy, and spiritual culture. The total
turnover in 2004-05 was Rs. 86 million.
Spreading Religion and Culture: The Math and Mission spread the spiritual teachings and
cultural ideals through a large number of public libraries, lectures,
discourses and seminars, audio-visual units, exhibitions, museums,
retreats and publishing books, journals, etc. Books on Vedanta, the
message of Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda,
spirituality and world religions in almost all the major languages of
India and in some of the important languages of other countries are
published form the 21 publication centres of the Math and Mission.
For more details see page
Activities of Math and Mission
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