“The Man who works for others, without any selfish motive, really does good to himself.”
These are the words of Swami Vivekanand, which he actually made true through his mission the Ramakrishna Mission, which he founded in 1897, for one’s salvation and for the welfare of the world.
His organization was inspired by his spiritual Guru, Ramakrishna Paramhamsa & the organizations core philosophy is based upon Vedanta (it’s a Sanskrit word, meaning “end of knowledge”, the philosophy taught by ancient Indian scriptures whose basic teaching is underlying, reality exists in every living being i.e. the supreme lord & search that almighty by self-knowledge/realization) & Yogic principals. The organizations headquarter is based in Belur Math, West Bengal (India).
By following the footprint of 19th centuries acclaimed saint Ramakrishna Paramhamsa, his disciple Swami Vivekananda, who got recognition at the 1893 parliament of the world’s religion at Chicago, where he delivered his historic speech on the Vedas & Indian philosophy of spiritualism, where he addressed a huge gathering started with “sisters & brother’s of America” & got a standing ovation with a huge round of applause, was the founder of Ramakrishna Math & Mission.
He taught his followers to respect all religions, as the organization’s goal is to serve humanity irrespective of religion, faith, cast and any other boundary to attain the ultimate truth through self-realization. There are examples where Ramakrishna Paramhamsa told his followers that, one can be born in a church but should not die in the church, as one should realize the spiritual truth by themselves rather than blindly following any religious doctrine.
Swami Vivekananda’s message is “Jive prem kore jaijon, seijon sevichey Ishwar”, i.e. those who love human being is serving God. Along with numerous awards & recognitions, Ramakrishna Mission also got selected for an honorary mention of the UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Prize for promotion of tolerance & non-violence in 2002.
Serving mankind is serving God, this is the core principal of this organization & keeping the same in mind, Ramakrishna Mission is running several social welfare programs such as, rural development, education, health and medical programs, self-employment, women empowerment, disaster relief programs in large scale.
- Ramakrishna Mission is running 7 colleges, 500 schools including polytechnics, vocational training centers, junior technical & industrial schools, where students belong to poor families & socially deprived sections not only get free education but also accommodation from this organization.
- The organization runs 2 institutes of agriculture & rural development and training institutes in the rural & tribal areas.
- It also trains farmers to improved methods of cultivation & also provides agricultural inputs & financial help to them.
- The organization provides scholarships & stipends to a large number of potential students belongs to poor families.
- Ramakrishna Mission runs schools of nursing, self-help groups & vocational training centers for women resides in rural areas. They also provide a monthly allowance to widows from rural areas.
- The organization has 14 hospitals, 50 mobile & 100 outdoor dispensaries along with a large number of regular medical camps where a huge number of patients belong to poor families, rural & tribal areas get free medical treatment free of cost.
- Ramakrishna Mission also runs orphanage & old age homes.
- Their active participation in disaster relief programs is also very appreciated. Either its cyclone, earthquake, flood or any other natural calamities, the volunteers of Ramakrishna Mission are always ready with food, clothes, medicine, etc. to help the victims.
Be it India or any other part of the world, there are no changes in the organization’s philosophy & ideology. They have a global presence with 214 centers worldwide & have a strong presence in western countries like USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, Russia, etc. The Saint’s volunteers of Ramakrishna Mission are serving the society without any greed of money, reward, promotion, incentive, social recognition, or media coverage following the organization’s philosophy of serving humans is serving God. As the organization spreads religious harmony, inter-faith communication & religious tolerance, it observes Christmas & Buddha Jayanti (birthday of Lord Buddha) along with the birthday of Lord Rama & Lord Krishna in all its centers worldwide, where people belong to different religion and faith participate in a large number. The organization believes that liberty is the first condition of growth. Freedom from religious intolerance, racial & social prejudices, as they believe that all human beings are the children of the same divine parents hence must get treated equally.
The ideology of Ramakrishna Mission is based upon the core principals of Vedanta, which is universal and not limited to any particular faith process & meant for the entire humanity, it is practical in sense & applicable in our day-to-day life to solve the problems of life.
The organization’s spiritual goal is to attain the ultimate truth, the ultimate reality (i.e. God) through self-realization. They believe that ignorance is the cause of all evil & suffering in the world, when the ignorance is removed from the mind, the soul manifests itself more & more. It also believes that through Yoga and meditation, an individual can remove ignorance from his or her mind & thus the soul gets unified to God. The organization strongly believes in the rule of “Karma” where the human being must consider work as worship & fruits of the actions are to be offered to the supreme Lord.
Ramakrishna Mission is putting its all efforts to make an ideal society based on the philosophy of Karma & Bhagawat Gita, to attain the “One Reality”, which are known by many names, religion, faith process, practices, etc. which ultimately lead towards the unification of the soul to the almighty. As Ramakrishna Paramhamsa told his followers “Yoto math, tato path” i.e. as many options, that many paths (to reach God), Swami Vivekananda also stated that the world is an expressions of one eternal universal religion. As per Swami Vivekanda, since Vedanta, contains all the basic principles & laws of the spiritual world hence Vedanta can serve as the common ground for all religions.
Ramakrishna Mission gives a social message to entire humanity for religious harmony & service of humans is service of God hence it’s not merely a philosophy of an organization or belief system of a section of a religion or faith but a way of life.
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