Religious Importance: Spiritual Organization
The Ramakrishna Math is an organization dedicated to the spiritual revival of the mind and the soul. This spiritual movement was established by Sri Ramkrishna Paramahansa (1836 – 1886), a great saint of Bengal. Today the twin organizations, Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission located in Belur in the Howrah district of West Bengal in India has branches all over India and the world. The Ramakrishna Math has two branches in Bangalore, located in Ulsoor and Bull Temple Road. Both these Maths were established in Bangalore at the beginning of the 20th century and have completed an existence of more than a century.
Ramakrishna Math, Bangalore – An overview
Ramakrishna Math is a universal spiritual movement that aims at the harmony among people of all religions, attainment of peace of mind and spiritual development of the human race. The movement believes in the social equality of all human beings and discourages any discrimination based on caste, creed, nationality or race. Both the Maths in Bangalore has been silently working towards the fulfillment of these goals since the last hundred years.
All Ramakrishna Maths follow the basic principle of the movement – “Liberation of Oneself and Service to Mankind.” Hence, the Maths in Bangalore are involved in numerous philanthropic activities inspired by the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda. They are also involved in youth awareness programs.
The Maths in Bangalore are surrounded by greenery. The gardens and lawns are kept in good shape. The simple but elegant structures of the Maths offer a peaceful ambiance. In each of the Maths the images or statues of Ramakrishna, Sarada Devi and Vivekananda is worshipped through prayers and hymns sung every day. Devotees gather at a fixed hour to take part in the aratis undertaken in the Maths on each and every day of the year. Each Ramakrishna Math has a large prayer hall where devotees gather in large number.
The Bull Temple branch of the Math has several memorials and halls dedicated to various causes like prayers and gatherings of the visitors and followers.
The Maths celebrate several festivals throughout the year, such as Durga Puja, Kali Puja, Maha Shivaratri, Hanuman Jayanti, Sri Sarada Devi Jayanti, Swami Vivekananda Jayanti, Guru Purnima, Christmas Eve, Ramanavami, Buddha Purnima, Vinayaka Chaturthi, Krishna Janmastami and Kalpataru Day.
Facilities at Ramakrishna Math, Bangalore
Maths of this spiritual movement has several common features in terms of facilities offered to the followers.
- A large prayer hall meant for devotees and followers to gather for worship and prayers
- Well-stocked libraries having books on philosophy, ethics and the lives of great men in English, Kannada and Sanskrit are available at both the Maths located at Bangalore.
- A book store where books, CDs, articles and photos related to the teachings and leaders of the movement are available.
- The Math at Bull Temple Road has an auditorium with a capacity to accommodate 600 people. It also has an open-air auditorium with a capacity of accommodating 1600 people.
- There is also a separate building to accommodate monastic members of other centers at the Math situated at the Bull Temple Road.
- A hostel for volunteers and college boys exist within the premises of the Math located at the Bull Temple Road.
Social Initiatives of Ramakrishna Math, Bangalore
Ramakrishna Maths work extensively towards the welfare of the people, especially the weaker section of the society. To achieve this objective the Maths in Bangalore have undertaken several initiatives.
- Imparting character-building education to young boys
- Running schools to educate the children belonging to poor section of the society
- Establishing a dispensary where medicine is distributed to the poor rural population.
- Establishing and supporting self-help groups for rural welfare
Prayer timings at Ramakrishna Math, Bangalore
Discourses and daily prayers are an integral part of every Ramakrishna Math. The Maths in Bangalore also have a daily routine of ritualistic worship, singing of devotional hymns and Vedic Chanting.
Prayer timing at the Math in Ulsoor
- Mangalarati & Ushakirtana (Waving of lights & singing of devotional hymns) at 05.00 A.M
- Vedic Chanting & Gita Chanting at 07.00 A.M
- Morning Puja (RitualisticWorship) at 08.15 A.M
- Lalita / Vishnu Sahasranam Chanting at 06.00 P.M
- Evening Arati with Prayer & Bhajans at 06.45 P.M
Discourse timing at the Math in Ulsoor
- Every Saturday discourses in Kannada on Bhagavad Gita at 05.45 P.M – 06:30 P.M
- Every Sunday discourses in English on Srimad Bhagavatam at 05.45 P.M – 06:30 P.M
- Guided Meditation Class at 4.30 P.M – 5.30 P.M
- Balaka Sangha Class for Children aged between 10 to 13 years at 8.30 A.M. – 11.30 A.M.
- Taruna Sangha Class for Children aged between 14 to 18 years at 8.30 A.M. – 11.30 A.M.
- Yuvaka Sangha Class for Youths aged between 19 to 35 years at 3.15 P.M. – 5.15 P.M.
Prayer timing at the Math at Bull Temple Road
- Daily prayers held from Monday to Saturday at 7:00 P.M – 7:45 P.M
- On Sunday the prayers are held at 7:00 P.M – 8:00 P.M
- On Ekadashi days prayers are offered at 6:45 P.M – 8:15 P.M
Discourse timing at the Math at Bull Temple Road
- Discourses on Thursday and Saturday is in Kannada at 5:45 P.M – 6:45 P.M
- Discourse on Sunday is in English at 5:45 P.M – 6:45 P.M
How to reach
Bangalore is well connected through air, road and rail networks. The Bangalore International Airport at Bangalore has flights connecting it to all major towns and cities in India and several countries of the world. The Bangalore railway Station has regular train services that connect it to all parts of the country. There are several luxury air-conditioned and normal buses that ply in and around the city of Bangalore.