• It is an embodiment of the synthesis of ancient Indian and modern western cultures.
• Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (1836-86) was the founder of this socio-religious movement.
• Formally, the Mission was founded in May 1897 by Paramahamsa’s disciple, Narendranath Dutta, who was later on known as Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902).
Objectives of the Mission
• To bring into existence a band of monks dedicated to a life of renunciation and practical spirituality, from among whom teachers and workers would be sent out to spread the universal message of Vedanta, as illustrated in the life of Ramakrishna.
• In conjunction with lay disciples, to carry on preaching, philanthropic and charitable works, looking upon all men, women and children, irrespective of caste, creed or colour, as veritable manifestations of the Divine.
• Paramahamsa himself founded the Ramakrishna Math with his young monastic disciples as a nucleus to fulfill the first objective.
• The second objective was taken up by Swami Vivekananda after Ramakrishna’s death. Vivekananda carried the message of Ramakrishna all over India.
• The headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission are at Belur, near Kolkata.
• This centre was established in 1898 by Swami Vivekananda.
• The Math is a religious trust dedicated to the nursing of the inner spiritual life of the members of the monastery.
• The Mission is a charitable society dedicated to the expression of inner spiritual life in outward collective action in the service of men.
• The Belur Math is the headquarters of both the Math and the Mission.
Religious and social reforms
• The Mission has given top priority to the idea of social service, both in terms of philanthropic work and upliftment of religious and spiritual life.
• It has been successful in propagating the universal principle of Vedanta and giving a true picture of India to the western world.
• The Mission has opened many schools and dispensaries, and helped the victims of natural calamities.