What are the ideals of the Ramakrishna mission

German-Indian Friendship Bielefeld e.V.

The Ramakrishna Mission

First something about the cultural background

Rama and Krishna are two famous kings of ancient India. They were probably historical personalities, but the historians would probably not pin down exactly. In any case, they probably lived before Buddha (around 500 BC).

Rama is considered to be the ideal king who always put his personal desires aside before the well-being of his subjects and the upholding of the truth. His fate is marked by his exile in the jungle and the kidnapping of his wife Sita by the king of Sri Lanka. Traditionally, Rama is shown together with the monkey general Hanuman, with whose help he conquered Lanka and freed his wife.

Krishna lived at a later time. He was born as heir to the throne, but to avoid an attack on his life by his tyrannical uncle, he spent his childhood unrecognized by cowherd as a cow boy. This episode of his life is particularly popular in India; he is depicted as a young shepherd, playing the bamboo flute and with a peacock feather in his hair.
Eventually, however, he overpowered his uncle and became king. His fame is mainly based on his lived wisdom, which is a practical synthesis of religion, philosophy and yoga practice. His words, transmitted in 700 verses in the Bhagavad-Gita, are among the most translated books in the world.

Since these kings are very popular in India, their names are often used as proper names to this day.


Ramakrishna and the Ramakrishna Mission


In 1836 Ramakrishna Chattopadhyaya was born in Bengal, later known as Sri Ramakrishna. (In Bengal, first names are more important than surnames.) Having grown up in a rural idyll, he finally had to accept the priesthood of a temple in Calcutta due to the family's financial difficulties. This activity aroused in him the burning question of whether the worshiped deity really existed or was just the creation of poetry. This began a decades-long mystical dispute that led him through the various paths of Hinduism as well as the mysticism of Islam and Christianity.

Ramakrishna reports from personal experience that all religions lead to the same God, albeit in different ways.

When he died in 1886, he left a group of followers. The younger among them, mostly college students, soon tried to live in a small community according to the ideal of their master and used traditional monk names. Its leader, Swami Vivekananda, appeared as a representative of Hinduism at the first parliament of religions in Chicago in 1893, was celebrated there by the newspapers and thus initiated an unexpected renaissance of Hinduism.

On his return he founded the Ramakrishna Mission, which has since made a name for itself in building schools and hospitals and in disaster relief. She is also a respected partner in the interreligious dialogue between Hinduism, Islam and Christianity.


Swami Bhavyananda (Ramakrishna Mission) and John Paul II

The Ramakrishna Mission is regarded by international partners as one of the most reliable Indian organizations. The German World Hunger Aid also works with you.

Members of the German-Indian friendship, whether they are native Westphalia or Indian, also report good experiences with the Ramakrishna mission.