Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai, is a spiritual centre of distinction, having been blessed by the visit of Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi, the divine consort of Sri Ramakrishna. Swami Ramakrishnananda, one of the eminent spiritual luminaries and a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, founded this Math.
About Ramakrishna Math :
The Ramakrishna Math is administered by a Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees has an elected President, one or more Vice-Presidents, a General Secretary, one or more Assistant Secretaries and a Treasurer. The Ramakrishna Mission is administered by a Governing Body, which is composed of the Trustees of Ramakrishna Math. The headquarters of Ramakrishna Math at Belur (popularly known as Belur Math) itself serves as the headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission. All letters regarding administrative matters of the Math or Mission are to be addressed to the General Secretary, who functions as the chief executive. A branch centre of Ramakrishna Math has as its head a Adhyaksha appointed by the Trustees. A branch centre of Ramakrishna Mission is governed by a Managing Committee appointed by the Governing Body of Ramakrishna Mission. The Secretary of this Committee functions as the head of that branch.
Attractions Of Ramakrishna Math In Chennai :
The Universal Temple of Sri Ramakrishna located within the premises of the Ramakrishna Mutt in Mylapore is a standing monument dedicated to Sri Ramakrishna, a symbol of Universal Religion. The temple’s architecture blends with the traditional South Indian Temple architecture.
At the centre of the shrine is a 7 feet tall statue of Sri Ramakrishna. Carved out of pure marble, it depicts the image of Sri Ramakrishna, seated on a marble lotus. It also houses shrines for Sri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda. The main entrance presents a magnificent view with its structure built on traditional Dravidian architecture.
This temple is not set aside for people of any religion or creed. It seeks to serve as a spot where a person can meditate in solitude or seek ‘knowledge of self’. The Universal Temple of Sri Ramakrishna is a beautiful monument, combining traditional South Indian architecture into its style.
History Ramakrishna Math In Chennai :
A great history of devotion and service landed on Madras in 1897 when Shashi Maharaj (Swami Ramakrishnananda), on the direction of his brother disciple and prophet Swami Vivekananda, came to this city of orthodox and ancient culture. Shashi Maharaj, a sthitha-prajna, while carrying on the entrusted Spiritual ministration work in Chennai faced extreme odds. But he faced them squarely with his devotion to his Guru, Sri Ramakrishna, and Swamiji and sowed the seeds of education of children of very poor sections, spread the message of Vedanta, and of Bhagavan Sri Ramakrishna and Swamiji, in this far off South. The Swami`s life last 14 years between 1987 and 1911 was spent entirely in South India.
The present scenario of several established institutions of primary and higher education from the Ramakrishna Mission – schools and colleges as well as the Ramakrishna Mission Students Home for the poor and orphaned children speak volumes of his dedication service and vision.
Activities Ramakrishna Math In Chennai :
Celebrations : The Birthdays (according to tithi) of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi, Swami Vivekananda and Swami Ramakrishnananda are celebrated in a grand manner every year. The Birthdays of Gautama Buddha, Jesus Christ, Sri Sankara, Sri Ramanuja and Sri Chaitanya are also celebrated every year. The birthday celebrations are marked with special Puja, Homa, Chanting, Bhajans, Musical programmes and Lectures. Special puja is also performed on Guru Purnima, Rama Navami, Ganesh Puja, Shivratri, Krishna Janmashtami, Navaratri, Kali Puja, Durga Puja, Lakshmi Puja, Saraswati Puja and other auspicious days.
Publication : The Madras Math is today the largest publication house of the Ramakrishna Order. The Math currently publishes 292 titles in English, 333 in Tamil and 17 in Sanskrit/English
The Math published its first major book – Swami Vivekananda’s Inspired Talks, in 1908. In the same year was published Swami Ramakrishnananda’s Universe and Man. In 1909 came his next book Krishna: Pastoral and King-maker followed by The Soul of Man in 1910.
In 1912 was published a translation of the first volume of the Bengali Sri Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita under the title The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. About a decade later Swami Ashokananda translated the second volume. Swami Sharvananda translated eight principal Upanishads and the series become most popular. In 1920 he translated the first part of Swami Saradananda’s Sri Sri Ramakrishna Leeelaprasanga. Its English title was Sri Ramakrishna the Great Master
The complete text of the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, translated by Swami Nikhilananda was published in 1944 and of Sri Ramakrishna the Great Master, translated by Swami Jagadananda in 1952. Swami Tapasyananda translated into English a great many Sanskrit texts, including Srimad Bhagavata published in 4 volumes in the year 1980. Another of his books, The Bhakti Schools of Vedanta (1990), has been much acclaimed by scholars.