RAMAKRISHNA MISSION (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – History)

News-CRUX-10     28th March 2024        

Context: Ramakrishna Mission president Swami Smaranananda passed away due to old age ailments at the age of 95.

Ramakrishna Mission

  • Founded in: 1897.
  • Founded by: Swami Vivekananda.
  • Headquarter: Belur near Calcutta.
  • Objectives: Twofold:

oTo spread the teachings of Vedanta as embodied in the life of the Hindu saint Ramakrishna (1836–86) and 

oTo improve the social conditions of the Indian people.

  • Philosophy: At its core, the mission promotes Advaita Vedanta, a profound Hindu philosophy emphasizing the unity of the individual soul (Atman) with the universal soul (Brahman).
  • Philosophical Focus: The mission primarily promotes Advaita Vedanta, a Hindu philosophy emphasizing non-duality.

oIt also advocates four yogic ideals: Jnana (knowledge), Bhakti (devotion), Karma (action), and Raja (royal) yoga.

  • Role in the Ramakrishna Movement: Central to the Vedanta Movement, the Ramakrishna Mission serves as a vital hub for individuals seeking spiritual growth, enlightenment, and service to humanity.

Swami Vivekananda

  • Born: He was born in 1863 as Narendranath in a Bengali family.
  • Spiritual Journey: He became a monk and was the chief disciple of the Indian mystic Ramakrishna.
  • Representation at World Stage: In 1893, Vivekananda represented India and Hinduism in The Parliament of the World's Religion in Chicago.
  • Establishment of Vedanta Society: In 1894, he founded the Vedanta Society in New York to study, practice, and propagate the principles of Vedanta.

Ramakrishna Mission Features

  • Improvement of Women's Situation: The mission aimed to improve the situation of women, promoting their empowerment and education.
  • Combatting Untouchability and Superstition: Another objective of the mission was to combat untouchability and superstition, striving for a more inclusive society.
  • Educational System: The Ramakrishna Mission sought to overhaul the educational system, emphasizing holistic and value-based education.
  • Emphasis on Hindu Religion and Culture: Swami Vivekananda emphasized the primacy of Hindu religion and culture, advocating for its revival and preservation.
  • Spiritual Ideals vs. Materialism: Vivekananda proposed that Hinduism be centered on spiritual ideals, contrasting it with the materialism of Western culture.

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