History of Ramakrishna Math
History says that two months after the death of the great Ramakrishna, in the year 1886, Swami Vivekananda had established the Math. He had started the monastery or the Math in Baranagore, a place near Kolkata. 7th of May, 1887 was considered an auspicious day as it was the birth anniversary of Gautam Buddha and during this day all including Narendranath took the vows of celibacy and non-possession and Narendranath’s name was changed to Swami Vivekananda. Thus, began the Math where all the members were expected to perform austere sanyas and dedicate their lives towards the welfare of mankind.
Administration of Ramakrishna Math
The administration of the Ramakrishna Math is carried out by a Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees includes an elected President, sometimes more than one Vice President. The organisation also consists of a General Secretary who is further assisted by a number of Assistant Secretaries and a Treasurer who looks after the finance of the organisation. The Trustees who form the core administrative body of the Math are both nominated and elected and they are generally the senior monks of the order. The Board of Trustees handles all the important issues pertaining to the Math. It is they who take decisions regarding the policies of the organisation. Even issues related to legal transactions and ownership of property are handled by the Trustee members. The Ramakrishna Math has several branches and the branches are headed by an Adhyaksha, who is generally appointed by the members of the Board of the Trustees.
Headquarters of Ramakrishna Math
The Math has its headquarters at Belur Math. One of the primary reasons for declaring Belur Math the headquarter was the fact that Swami Vivekananda had placed the remains of the great Ramakrishna Pramhansa here and had established a temple there which comprises beautiful architectural skills. Belur Math today serves as the site of international pilgrimage where a number of people visit everyday in order to pay homage to both Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda. At the same time people throng the place to gather knowledge about the two legendary spiritual figures.
Apart from the headquarters the Ramakrishna Math has several branches both inside and outside India. All the branches of the organisation try to bestow the philosophy of harmony in the society. Some of the branches of the Math are Udbodhan which is popularly known as Mayer Bari or the Mother’s House. The main function of Udbodhan is to spread the philosophies of Ramakrishna and Vivekananda through its literary publication. Similarly Yogadyan located in Kankurgachi of Kolkata is a serene place and is well known as a place to practice Yog or it can be called an appropriate place to realise ones spiritual goals.
Activities of Ramakrishna Math
The activities of the Math are multi faceted. It looks after almost all the sections of the society. To start with it can be said that the Math provides improved medical care to all the sections of the society. They provide care through various dispensaries, hospitals, health care centres and sometimes even through temporary camps established by the members of the organisation. They provide treatment for diseases like leprosy, tuberculosis. Sometimes they even provide maternity care to women. Throughout the country and even outside they have been providing medical care to people year after year.
With regard to education the activities of the Math have been far reaching. It has been witnessed for long that the students of this organisation have performed excellent academically. Interestingly the organisation not only focuses on the academic achievement of its students but also on the all round development of them. Their educational activities cater to all the sections of the society. For instance, they have ample number of institutes which looks after the education of orphan children.
Uplifting the living conditions of the rural people with regard to medical facilities, education, housing and all other modern and basic amenities the monks of the Math put in relentless efforts throughout their lives. Helping the distressed is also part of their curriculum. In order to help the distressed the organisation sets up various rehabilitation centres. In case of natural calamity or in case of an epidemic the Math carries out relief programmes for the masses. The organisation realizes the importance of women and youth in the society. As a result they carry on various conditions which look after the well being of women and practice a number of activities which encourage the proper development of the youth force of the society. They try to uplift the condition of women by initiating various educational as well as training programmes for them.
Apart from working selflessly for the society the Ramakrishna Math also tries to propagate the various cultural and spiritual philosophies of Ramakrishna and Vivekananda. The monks of the organisation try to establish close contact with the common mass. As they relate to the people they try to inculcate the teachings of the two great spiritual leaders.
When it comes to the celebrations in the Math, the birth and the death anniversaries of Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, Sarada Devi and all the other eminent monks of the organisation are celebrated with élan.
The philosophy of Ramakrishna Math, thus, revolves around humanity and spiritual accomplishments of an individual. It tries to emancipate human minds from all kinds of negative feelings. They believe that actions work more than mere preaching and that is the reason the monks of the Math carry on activities which contribute to the well being of human beings. The members are dedicated towards the cause of humanity and they strictly try to adhere to the path laid down by Ramakrishna Paramahansa as well as Swami Vivekananda.