Ramakrishna Mission

The Ramakrishna Mission was established in 1887 by Swami Vivekananda, the chief disciple of Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. The first Math was established at Baranagar. In 1899, another ‘math’ was started at Belur, which became the central ‘math’. It looks after the organization and working of all ‘maths’ spread all over India and even outside it. It is also the educational centre of the saints of the Ramakrishna Mission.

The Mission has drawn all into ideals and principles from the life and teachings of Sri Ramakrishna. Born in a poor Brahmin family, the childhood name of Ramakrishna was Gadadhar Chattopadhyay. He is regarded as one of the greatest spiritual leaders of India. He was the devotee of Goddess Kali, and lived and worshipped at the Dakshineswar temple.

His disciple Vivekananda {born Narendranath Datta} represented the very soul of Hinduism and spiritualism. His message of spiritualism contributed remarkably towards strengthening not only Hindu religion and society but also Indian nationalism. He regarded religion as the manifestation of the divinity that is already in man. He once said, ‘Religion is neither in books, nor in intellectual consent, nor in reason. Reason, theories doctrines, books, religious ceremonies are all helps to religion, religion consists in realization.’ He believed in the fundamental unity of all religions.

Contributions of Ramakrishna Mission

Thoughts of Swami Vivekananda and his contribution are as follows:

  • The mission worked to help the poor, improve the conditions of women, and fight against untouchability and superstition and to overhaul the education system.
  • He stressed the supremacy of the Hindu religion and culture.
  • He anticipated that Hinduism was based on spiritual values while the western culture and civilization was materialistic.
  • He believed in the unity and equality of all religions.
  • Economically, he was in favour of agrobased small-scale industries.
  • Humanism was the soul of his religious, spiritual and social ideas.
  • He gave social relevance to monasticism and spiritual relevance to the life of the normal householder.
  • He was the first to ask the priests to make it their mission to alleviate the sufferings of human beings.
  • He believed that Indian Nationalism can be based on four pillars viz. Consciousness and pride in the ancient glory of India; Awakening of the country men; Development of moral and physical strength and Unity based on common spiritual ideas
  • He wanted that the Indian youth should rise, awake and work to eradicate hunger and ignorance among the masses.