There are no specific requirements for visiting and taking part in the various activities of the centres of the Ramakrishna Order. Many people volunteer their time and energy to aid the various service-oriented activities of the organization. The daily evening Aratiand devotional singing is a part of most of the centres. Many centres also have a definite schedule of weekly/monthly discourses, spiritual-meets (Bhakta Sammelan), annual celebrations, seminars, retreats etc. You may seek out the head of the particular centre for spiritual counsel.
If especially interested in volunteering for some of the activities of the Math/Mission, you are encouraged to regularly visit the centre and get to know the monastics and other senior volunteers/devotees.
In this huge world with its large population, every activity is supposed to be done as a Yajnam (sacrifice). As long as it is so, the world and its inhabitants, human or otherwise, live in harmony and satisfaction. Unfortunately, it is not the case with our present world. Hence the conditions in the world are also not Satisfactory and peaceful.
Every individual must think about meeting his own necessities and he/she may even think of the means to fulfil his/her small legitimate desires. But if an individual, all his life, spends his (or her as the case may be) time, energy and money only for his own self interests, he becomes a bane to world and also to himself. All the great personalities in the history about whom we remember, study and revere were those who thought about themselves only minimally and served the world around without reservations with as much time, money, and energy then could gather – personalities like a Buddha, a Christ and a Vivekananda.
The joy in serving others without any selfish motive is infinitely greater than catering to only one’s own desires and needs because the latter can be and is done even by animals. It is a joy to be tasted personally. We invite every one to cultivate this habit of Service.
There are various ways to serve the society. The Ramakrishna Math, Hyderabad, as you can see in this website, serves the society around in various ways. You could join us in one or more of the following ways:
1. You could join Vivekananda Yuva Jagruti Vedika, if you are young (Yuva). Contact the VIHE office at the number given below every page.
2. You could join as a teacher of languages, if you have enough skills and are a teacher, and thus serve many students. See VIOL section and contact VIOL office.
3. You could, if you are a doctor, serve in our Vivekananda Health centre. Contact the VHC office.
4. You could, if you can and are qualified, teach various classes mentioned in the VIHE section. Contact VIHE office.
5. You could, if you are a college/School/Institution, let us open a Vivekananda centre for Human Excellence at your own place. Contact VIHE office.
6. You could, if you have time and temperament, serve as a volunteer in our bookstalls or in the temple occasionally or regularly, depending upon the case, under the guidance of the swamis of the math. Contact office.
7. You could serve in our Annadanam, Bala Narayana Seva, and Sarada Vidya Dana Kendram sections. Contact office.
8. You could help spread Ramakrishna-Vivekananda-Vedanta inspiring literature by helping our Jagruti Vehicles go to your place or yourself going to various places In Andhra Pradesh. Contact Publication office.
9. You could also join our Bhajans everyday evening, especially Saturdays and Sundays and help the environment both external and internal get cleansed and purified. Bhajans are also a major help in a spiritual aspirant’s life and practice.
10. You could also serve in providing technical assistance or by giving suggestions to help improve this website. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
11. You could also serve us by accepting our services in and through these institutes and grow yourselves and later help society in cultivating values and other essentials by leading an ideal life.
12. You could donate money for all these various services conducted by the math. Contact our office or visit the ‘Donate’ section of this website.
One wanting to become a Devotee of the Ramakrishna Math :–
A) General Devotee
1. Must have devotion for the spiritual ideal ( can belong to any religion, language, nationality etc).
2. Must go through the life of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi, Swami Vivekananda, the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna.
3. Regularly visit the Ramakrishna Centre near to your area of residence and keep contact with the monks of the centre and take part in the activities.
4. Must have liking for service ideal if he wants to serve poor and needy through the service activities of the centre.
B) Initiated Devotee
1. Must have devotion for Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekannanda ( can belong to any religion, language, nationality etc).
2. Must go through the life of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi, Swami Vivekananda, the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Karma yoga, Raja yoga, Jnana Yoga and Bhakti Yoga of Swami Vivekananda.
3. Accept all other religions as a path to God realization and all gods and goddesses as true.
4. Must have desire to perform spiritual practices like Japa and Meditation etc.
5. Could approach any monk or Monk in charge of the centre and get the details for initiation. Usually the initiation or Mantra Diksha or Guru Upadesam is given by a few selected very senior monks in the order like Rev. President Maharaj, Rev. Vice-president Maharaj etc. Get the details of initiation and express your willingness and the Monk in charge will help in arranging you to get spiritual initiation in the Sri Ramakrishna Mould of Spiritual practices.
Healthy, unmarried, educated young men (women are addressed in the footnote) with the below requirements can join the Ramakrishna Order to become a monk:
1. 22 years for School Final/Matriculation or its equivalent passed with minimum 60% marks.
2. 25 years for Higher Secondary passed with minimum 50% marks.
3. 28 years for B.A. / B.Sc. / B.Com. / Diploma (2 or 3 years).
4. 30 years for M.A. / M. Sc. / M.Com. / B.E. / B. Tech./ M. Tech. /M.B.B.S. / M.B.A. / P.G. Diploma or its equivalent professional qualification.
5. Age limit for western candidates will be 36 years.
6. who is attracted by the philosophy followed by the Ramakrishna Order, is eligible for admission into the Ramakrishna Order (marks sheets and degree certificates necessary).
7. A thorough reading of Ramakrishna-Vivekananda literature is very necessary. Prior association with any centre of the Ramakrishna Order(Math, Mission, Ashram or Vedanta Society) will give him acquaintance with the associated lifestyle.
8. He should be initiated/arrange to get initiation (Mantra Diksha – मन्त्र दीक्ष) – from the Ramakrishna Order.
9. He must be physically fit and will have to clear medical tests before being accepted into the organization.
10. He must also be free from undischarged family duties that are likely to weigh on his conscience and which may act as a disturbing factor in his proposed monastic way of life.
11. It should be noted that he shall not be any paid any monetary compensation as wages, salary etc., and he shall stay of his own freewill, following the rules and regulations of the Order.
(Foreign nationals are requested to contact the centre closest to them. Passports, visa, travel-permits etc. are to be in order and to be procured by themselves.)
One may join in any of the centres associated with the Ramakrishna Order, in India (If one wishes to join at BELUR MATH, please inquire about the Pre-Probationers Training Centre – PPTC at Belur Math). An aspirant is given a long period of nine years to examine his own fitness for his choice of the monastic way of life within the Order. On completion of nine years as a Brahmacharin, he may be ordained as a monk (Sannyasin) and full membership of the Order.
Entry for women as nuns:
Women may kindly enquire at branches of the Sri Sarada Math and Ramakrishna-Sarada Mission, headquarters at
SRI SARADA MATH, DAKSHINESHWAR, KOLKATA 700 076, or any of the other branch centres of the same.
For Enquirers about Ramakrishna Math And Ramakrishna Mission by Swami Tapasyananda, publ. Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai
The Glory of Monastic Life by Swami Bhajanananda, publ. Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata
SPIRITUAL PRACTICE by Swami Ashokananda, publ. Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata