The Story of Ramakrishna Mission: Swami Vivekananda's Vision and Fulfilment

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Item Code: IDK772
Publisher: Ramakrishna Mission
Edition: 2006
ISBN: 9788175052857
Pages: 1218 (Illustrated)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.7" X 6.3"
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Shipped to 153 countries
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Book Description
Publisher's Note

Ramakrishna Mission completed one hundred years of its service to humanity in May 1997. To celebrate the event in a fitting manner a Centenary Celebration Committee was formed at Belur Math under the chairmanship of the General Secretary of Ramakrishna Mission. The Committee took the decision to publish a commemorative volume as a part of the Year-long (May 1997 – May 1998) celebration of the Centenary. Accordingly an Editorial Board was formed with the following members:

Swami Lokeswarananda (Chairman)

Swami Prabhananda

Swami Bhajanananda

Swami Purnatmananda

Dr. Nirod Chakrabarty

Dr. M Sivaramkrishna

For various reasons, however, the publication of the volume got delayed. It is now being brought out as an independent volume under the title The Story of Ramakrishna Mission: Swami Vivekananda's Vision and Fulfilment.

Although, legally and financially, Ramakrishna Mission and Ramakrishna Math are independent institutions, they are inseparably related to each other ideologically and administratively. Moreover, there are several Ramakrishna Math centres which do the work of Ramakrishna Mission such as running hospitals, schools, dispensaries, rural development centres, etc. This means discussions on Ramakrishna Mission have necessarily to include Ramakrishna Math also. Therefore, in the present book the Mission and Math are taken together in all the discussions.

Apart from the Introduction, the book has four parts. The Introduction shows briefly how all the activities of the Math and Mission are based on Swamiji's understanding of the historical and global significance of Sri Ramakrishna's life and message, and indicates how far the twin institutions have fulfilled Swamiji's three-fold vision. The first part of the book is devoted to the lives and contributions of Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother, Swami Vivekananda, and the other disciples of Sri Ramakrishna. The second part gives brief accounts of the main events in the history of Ramakrishna Mission and Math. The third part gives information on the main contributions made by the Mission and Math to human welfare and progress by their services in education, public health, rural development and other fields of social life. The fourth part consists of discussions on various aspects of the Math and Mission's ideology and its practical implications. The book concludes with an Epilogue which brings together the views of eminent people on Ramakrishna Mission.

Most of the contributors to this volume are senior monks of Ramakrishna Order or devotees or supporters of Ramakrishna Movement. It is a matter of deep regret that some of these contributors are no longer with us on the physical plane. We particularly miss Revered Swami Bhuteshanandaji and Revered Swami Ranganathanandaji, both past Presidents of Ramakrishna Math and Mission; and Swami Lokeswaranandaji, whose unexpected passing away deprived us of much support.

Several people have worked hard in bringing this book to the present shape. Among them special mention should be made of Cecile Guenther (now Pravarajika Shuddhatmaprana of Vedanta Society, Hollywood) who did the copyediting and proof-reading of most of the articles.

Scholars may find this book a useful reference book, but it is primarily meant for common people. This book is meant for all those who want to know---

· how a humble man living a simple life in a temple garden originated, by the power of Truth reading from him, a worldwide spiritual movement known as 'Ramakrishna Movement' consisting of people belonging to different religions, sets, castes, races and nationalities, whose lives are governed by noble principles such as morality, seeking God, service as worship and harmony of religions;

· how a handful of educated young men, fired by the ideals of renunciation, service, and devotion to Ramakrishna, started in a dilapidated old building a small monastic brotherhood which later developed into the huge twin institutions known as 'Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission' which together have 163 branches in most parts of India and in some other parts of the world;

· how Ramakrishna Math and Mission have been contributing to the welfare and progress of humanity by serving the poor, the sick and the downtrodden, by running schools, colleges, orphanages, dispensaries, hospitals, rural development centres, etc--- for more than a hundred years;

· how the eternal, universal principles of the ancient Indian philosophy known as Vedanta can be applied in practical life to solve the problems of life at individual and social levels;

· how, in a world torn by religious, sectarian and ethnic conflicts, Ramakrishna Mission centres remains as oases of peace, harmony and spiritual light.

From the Jacket

This is the story of Ramakrishna Mission. At the dawn of the third Millennium, Ramakrishna Mission reviews the story of its 109 years of loving service to humanity or, in the words of Swami Vivekananda, service to that God who by the ignorant is called man.

The book is divided into her parts under the titles: Sources of Inspiration, Historical Perspectives, Contributions of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, and Ideological Perspectives. As an epilogue is added the last article, World Thinkers on Ramakrishna Movement.


This is the story of Ramakrishna Mission. At the dawn of the third millennium, Ramakrishna Mission reviews the story of its 109 years of loving service to humanity or, in the words of Swami Vivekananda, service 'to that God who by ignorant is called man'.

Since the Ramakrishna Mission is inseparably linked to Ramakrishna Math, this is also the story of Ramakrishna Math. And, since the message of Sri Ramakrishna has been spreading in ever-widening circles through and beyond the two institutions mentioned above, this is the story of Ramakrishna Movement as well.

This story of Ramakrishna Mission, Math and Movement is not to be taken as mere history. History deals with the outer happening of men and institutions, whereas 'story' deals with the inner dynamics of movement. It is the unfolding of a Truth, a Power, through men and institutions.

Swami Vivekananda has started that at the interval of every five hundred years a new set of universal ideas appear in some part of the globe. These ideas manifest themselves through an extraordinary person known as the Prophet or Avatar. Speaking about the function of a Prophet, Swamiji says; 'He focuses in his own mind the though of the age in which he is living and gives it back to mankind in concrete from.'

This was what Sri Ramakrishna, who is regarded as the Avatar of the present age by millions of people, did. He come with a message, a new set of ideas suited to the needs of the present age. He first applied it in his own life and changed it with power. He trained a group of young disciple to be the torchbearers of his message, and through them laid the foundation of a new monastic Order, which came to be known later as the Ramakrishna Math. As in a hydroelectric project electricity is first generated by giant turbines and is then transmitted to different places through high-tension power mains, so also the spiritual power generated by Sri Ramakrishna through his unprecedented sadhanas and prayers got transmitted to different parts of India and the world through his direct disciples. Subsequently, through the disciples of those direct disciples and through successive generations of disciples, the message and power of Sri Ramakrishna have been spreading in ever-widening circles to form what may be termed the Ramakrishna Movement.

The story of Ramakrishna Math began when Sri Ramakrishna climbed to the terrace of the house in Dakshineswar and called out: 'O my children, wherever you are, come to me. My heart yearns to see you.' This happened after he had competed the practice of various spiritual disciplines and people had started coming to see him. In response to that mystic call, young spiritual seekers, most of whom were studying in school or college, began to gather around him. Under his guidance they practiced intense spiritual disciples. During Sri Ramakrishna's last illness, these young men nursed him bay and night. He instilled in their minds the spirit of monastic renunciation and also brotherly love for one another. Among them the Master earmarked Narendra (who later became the world famous Swami Vivekananda) to be the leader of the group.

After the Master's passing in August 1886, these young disciples started living in a dilapidated house at Baranagore in north Calcutta. A few months later, they took the formal vows of sannyasa, assumed new names, and thus formed a new monastic Order which came to be known later as Ramakrishna Math. The monastery was moved six years later to another place in Alambazar, and from there it was finally moved to its own permanent premises at Belur in Howrah District in 1898. It was registered as a Trust in 1899, and since then it is being administered by a Board of Trustees consisting of senior monks of Ramakrishna Order.

Unlike the Ramakrishna Math which is a purely monastic Order, the Ramakrishna Mission is a social service society in which the monks of Ramakrishna Math and lay supporters cooperate in conducting different forms of social service such as running schools, hospitals, rural development, etc. It was founded by Swami Vivekananda on 1 May 1897, soon after his return from the West. The original idea probably was that the Mission would be managed by lay devotee. But since this did not materialize, owing to the unfavourable so socio-economical condition of the society, the monks of Ramakrishna Order took over the administration of the Mission also. The Ramakrishna Mission was registered as a charitable Society in 1909.


*List of Illustrationsxv
Part I
Sources of Inspiration
*Sri Ramakrishna – The Prophet of the New Age
Swami Bhuteshananda25
*Sri Sarada Devi – The Embodiment of Universal Motherhood
Swami Atmasthananda38
*Swami Vivekananda – The Architect of Global Unity
Swami Ranganathananda61
*Swamis Brahmananda, Premananda, Turiyananda, and Saradananda – Breaking New Ground
Swami Purnatmananda91
*The Other Apostles of Sri Ramakrishna
Swami Gahanananda131
*The Lay Devotees of Sri Ramakrishna
Swaraj Majumdar 162
*Echoes of the Past – Prophetic Utterances of Sri Ramakrishna and His Apostles
Swami Chetanananda192
Part II
Historical Perspectives
*The Genesis of Ramakrishna Mission
Swami Mumukshananda209
*The First Phase of Ramakrishna Movement (1872-1905): Laying the Foundation
Swami Prabhananda233
*The Second Phase of Ramakrishna Movement (1906-1936): Consolidation of the Work
Swami Vimalatmananda263
*The Third Phase of Ramakrishna Movement (1936-1950): Period of Growth of the Movement
Swami Balabhadrananda279
*The Fourth Phase of Ramakrishna Movement: Expansion after Independence
Amitabha Mukherjee297
*Ramakrishna Movement in America: The Early Phase (1893-1920)
Swami Vedananda323
*Ramakrishna movement in America: The Middle Phase (1920-1970)
Pravrajika Brahmaprana352
*Ramakrishna Movement in America: An Overview of the Years from 1970
Swami Atmarupananda381
*Ramakrishna Movement in South America -- Argentina
Swami Pareshananda405
*Ramakrishna Movement in South America -- Brazil
Part I: Luiz Antonio Souto Monteiro and Swami Bhaskarananda417
Part II: Swami Sunirmalananda426
*Ramakrishna Movement in Europe: England, France, Switzerland, Holland, Poland, Bulgaria, and Greece
Archie and Eleanor Stark431
*Ramakrishna Movement in Europe: Germany
Kurt Friedrichs447
*Ramakrishna Movement in South Africa455
*Ramakrishna Movement in Russia
Part: I Swami Tathagatananda460
Part: II E. P. Chelishev469
*Ramakrishna Movement in Sri Lanka
Swami Shuddhidananda472
*Ramakrishna Movement in Malaysia
Swami Muktirupananda487
*Ramakrishna Movement in Singapore, Mauritius, Fiji, and Japan
Swami Medhasananda492
*Ramakrishna Movement in Australia and New Zealand
Swami Sridharananda521
*A New Monastic Tradition for Women: Sarada Math and Ramakrishna Sarada Mission
Pravrajika Atmaprana530
Part III
Contributions of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission
*Ramakrishna Mission – An Overview
Swami Lokeswarananda559
*Ramakrishna Mission's Pioneering Role as a Voluntary Organization: Introductory Remarks on Ramakrishna Mission's Contributions
C.S. Ramakrishnan564
*Ramakrishna Mission and the Uplift of Indian Masses
Shiv Shankar Chakraborty572
*Ramakrishna Mission's Work for the Tribal People
Swami Gautamananda593
*Ramakrishna Mission in the Field of Education
Swami Atmapriyananda605
*Ramakrishna Mission in the Field of Medical Service
Swami Brahmeshananda643
*Ramakrishna Mission's Relief and Rehabilitation Services
Swami Muktinathananda653
*Ramakrishna Mission and the Advancement of Indian Women
Dr. Sumita Roy686
*Sri Ramakrishna and the Spiritualization of Householder's Life
Aasha Reddy695
*Ramakrishna Movement and a New Orientation to Family Life
Susan Walters703
*Monasticism of the Ramakrishna Order – A New Orientation to Monastic Life
Swami Sunirmalananda711
*The Unique Balance Struck by the Math and the Mission – A Model for an Integral Society
Amalendu Das Gupta736
*Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Literature – A Survey
Swami Nikhileswarananda741
*Journals of the Ramakrishna Order – The Early Years
Sankari Prasad Basu 798
*Brahmavadin – Its Role in Documenting the Earliest Philanthropic Activities of Ramakrishna Mission
Sunilbihari Ghosh823
*Role of Non-Affiliated Centres in Ramakrishna Movement
Swami Shivamayananda and Swami Bhajanananda832
*Ramakrishna Mission and the Total Uplift of Humanity – An Overview of Ramakrishna Mission's Contributions
Satchidananda Dhar855
Part IV
Ideological Perspectives
*Vedanta – The Philosophical Basis of the Ramakrishna Movement
Swami Bhajanananda869
*Advaita Vedanta as Philosophy and as Religion
J.N. Mohanty894
Some Observations on Vedanta
Pandit Sri Srimohan Bhattacharya 902
*Ramakrishna Mission – A Spiritual Organization
Swami Tyagananda910
*The Motto of the Ramakrishna Mission – Atmano moksartham Jagat hitaya ca
Swami Smaranananda917
*Ramakrishna Mission – Its Gospel of Service
Swami Adiswarananda922
*Practical Vedanta
Swami Atmajnanananda930
*Creativity in Work and Contemplation
Pravrajika Prabuddhaprana937
*Worship in the Ramakrishna Tradition
Pravrajika Shuddhatmaprana945
*The Four Yogas and their Synthesis
Nirod Baran Chakraborty 965
*Seeing God in a World of Many Religious – Swami Brahmananda's Teachings on the Chosen Diety
Francis X. Clooney, S.J.977
*The Place of Scripture in the Ramakrishna Movement
Swami Harshananda990
*Vedanta and Science
Swami Jitatmananda995
*The Ramakrishna Movement and Christian Thought
Dr. K.P. Aleaz1014
*Vivekananda and Western Philosophy
Jean Raoul Sansen1028
*Socio-political Concepts of Swami Vivekananda
Santwana Dasgupta1035
*The Educational Vision of Swami Vivekananda
Swami Hiranmayananda1048
*Swami Vivekananda's Message to the West
Dorothy Madison1070
*Ramakrishna Vedanta in the West – New Interface and Challenge
Prof. M. Sivaramkrishna1077
*World Thinkers on Ramakrishna Movement
Pravrajika Vrajaprana1097
*Our Contributors1144
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