Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission are the two wings of a religious organization formed by Swami Vivekananda, a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna. The main reason behind the formation of this organization is to serve the poor and destitute people as well as to provide a comfort to the nervous ones. The headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission are at Ramakrishna Ashram at Belur in Howrah district of West Bengal.
"Atmano mokshartham jagad hitaya cha." It means, 'for one's own liberation, and for the welfare of the world'. The math as well as the mission has been founded to help people in attaining salvation themselves as well as in serving others.
Ramakrishna Mission is based on the philosophy of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa. As per this philosophy, the main aim in the life of an individual is the upliftment of himself as well as others. Each human being is gifted with enormous moral and spiritual potential. The only thing he has to do is work towards the discovery and development of that potential. The mission does not believe in the superiority of a particular religion, nor does it prescribe the necessity of shastras (religious texts) and anushthana (rites and rituals).
Sri Ramakrishna was born on 18 February 1836 in the Kamarpukur village, near Kolkata. He never gave public discourses or wrote his teachings. He believed that the goal of life is the attainment of the Ultimate Reality, for which an individual must have purity of mind. He preached that God is present in every individual and therefore, serving needy people is like serving God Himself.
Swami Vivekananda was born on 12th January 1863, as Narendra Nath Datta, in Kolkata. A disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, he formed the Ramakrishna Mission on 1 May 1897, to promote the teachings of his Guru throughout the world. The Belur Math was also founded by Swami Vivekananda.
Rama Krishna Mission has expanded to approximately 162 centers throughout India. A number of centers have been opened abroad also, in Argentina, Bangladesh, Canada, Fiji, France, Japan, Mauritius, the Netherlands, Russia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
The headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math, Belur Math is the place where Swami Vivekananda spent the last days of his life. The Math complex consists of temples dedicated to Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda, containing their relics. It also houses the main monastery of the Ramakrishna Order and a museum.
The math and mission provide the following types of facilities to the poor and the needy
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport
Nearest Railway stations are Belur (Suburban) & Howrah (Main Junction) while the nearest Metro Station is Dum Dum.
You can reach Belur by buses, mini buses and taxis that are available from various parts of Kolkata.