RAMAKRISHNA MISSION ASHRAMA, BELGAUM

Activities of the Ashrama along the lines laid down by Swami Vivekananda – "Atmano Mokshartham Jagadhitaya cha" or "for the liberation of self & welfare of the world."

Become a Monk

What is Monasticm?

Monasticism is living life in preparation for or under religious vows. The goal of life in the view of Vedanta is to realize our true nature as one with God. Each person must decide what lifestyle will best enable him or her to work efficiently and sincerely toward this goal. The path of the lay person usually involves married life. The individuals within the family strive to serve God in each other. Lay people serve society by raising children with sound values and by contributing through their work life. They must juggle the priorities of job, family, and spiritual life and incorporate their spiritual practice into their jobs and family lives.The path of the monastic involves renouncing the pleasures of family life and adopting vows of celibacy.
In order to be able to give more focus directly to spiritual practices. Many spiritual traditions have monastics, including Hindu, Buddhist, and Christian. In the tradition of the Ramakrishna Order the purpose of monastic life is to work out one’s own liberation and to train oneself to do good to the world, along the lines laid down by Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda.

Requisites for joining the Ramakrishna Order

One aspiring to be a formal member of the Ramakrishna Order of Monks must be a male under 30 years of age, have at least a degree, be reasonably healthy and pass a physical exam. Absolute celibacy, burning renunciation, obedience to seniors and readiness to practise all the 4 yogas as depicted by Swami Vivekananda either singly or totally according to the circumstances he is placed in, are required. Those who are desirous of joining may contact any of the Ramakrishna Centres either in India or abroad.

Only bachelors are eligible. The married can associate as part-time/full time volunteers. One can find a list of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission Centres here. Women may please contact Sri Sarada Math.

Life in the Ramakrishna Order

To satisfy that curiosity, the following passages, with some minor modifications, are quoted from a booklet (For Enquirers About Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission. Second revised edition, pp. 46-50. Publishers: Sri Ramakrishna Math, Madras, India) by Swami Tapasyananda, one of the Ramakrishna Orders past Vice-Presidents.

In monastic life, as in community life, the individual is participating in the general group consciousness and is therefore propped up or pulled down by that consciousness as the case may be, according to the standard of excellence prevailing in the group. The new self-consciousness of being the member of a group of elite, together with a host of inhibitions like vows, traditions, dress, association and so on, raises a solid barrier of protection behind which even one comparatively weak can operate with sure chances of success, provided one is sincere.

Bhakti-yoga, Jnana-yoga, Raja-yoga and Karma-yoga (in other words, the path of devotion, the path of philosophical inquiry, the path of meditation, and the path of right action), all form the recognized Sadhanas of the Order. But work has special importance, because according to the rules laid down by Swami Vivekananda, every member, whatever his predilections, must do some work in the service of Sri Ramakrishna. Work cannot therefore be avoided in the name of a pseudo-spirituality, and those who are of that mentality will find themselves misfits in the Order.

An organization, like a State, however, requires not only geniuses but also ordinary folks, not only leaders but also followers. In the Order of Sri Ramakrishna all are therefore welcome, talented and highly qualified persons as also those who are not extraordinary, provided that they are attracted by the idea of living a life of renunciation and service. Renunciation implies the eschewal of personal ambitions, family relations, possessions, luxury and sex. An individual can practice renunciation only if the urges mentioned before find fulfillment in the higher satisfaction which devotional life offers.

Service implies the dedication of one’s energies and capacities to the works of the Order conceiving it as a symbol of Sri Ramakrishna. Spiritual talents are therefore more important than worldly abilities, but by the very nature and object of the Order a harmonious combination of both is the ideal.

Monastic life, therefore, offers to persons having the required temperament, the best opportunity of developing their capacities and of living their lives in a way that will be of maximum benefit to themselves and the world at large. The conditions of life in the Order are such that any one with the right temperament can easily adjust himself to them.

In the matter of food, clothing and housing, no doubt, simplicity is the rule, but conditions are not prohibitively austere. Middle class standards obtaining in the country are generally observed in these matters in the Math (monastery). Though the monks have no salaries or any other kind of personal income, all their legitimate needs are met by the institution (Order). The monastic vow of poverty therefore does not mean penury and indigence. So also obedience and discipline, while being fundamental in the monastic code of conduct, are not allowed to degenerate into servility and abjectness. While personal ambition has no place, scope for great achievements is open to persons of ability and courage.

Swami Vivekananda lived and preached at a time when India was yet in political bondage. Young men were, therefore, naturally engaged in the struggle for political freedom in the belief that it would solve all our problems. After political independence was attained, we have now come to understand that it has no meaning without economic independence, and the country is, therefore, struggling for that through planning and industrialization. But sooner or later it will be realized that without moral, religious and spiritual freedom—freedom from the animal in man—even economic freedom can offer no solace to the people. It is desirable that at least the more thoughtful sections in the country are prepared to face this disillusionment sufficiently early.

For the attainment of this spiritual freedom the country requires a huge army of workers cast in the mold that Swami Vivekananda has prepared through the harmonious combination of Jnana-yoga, Bhakti-yoga, Raja-yoga, and Karma-yoga. The monastic Order is the great legacy he has left to posterity for accomplishing this purpose. Now that the country is independent, there are no patriotic inhibitions standing in the way of the youth taking to a life of spiritual life and service. It is up to them to respond to the call of Swami Vivekananda, join the Order in large numbers and get their lives molded for special service in India and abroad.

25 comments on “Become a Monk

  1. Partha Sarathi Banerjee
    June 16, 2013

    Pronam Maharaj Ji,
    Pronam…

    I am an engineer & 30 years old. I got my initiation from President Maharaj at Mayer Bari on 1998. I want to join Ramakrishna Order to serve People & work for Thakur. I do not have any interest in Yoga because I do not have any interest in ‘Mukti’. I want my next birth also to serve people. I only have fath on Thakur & want blessings from Maa to help People.

    Will you pls help me…
    Joy Thakur.

    Regards,
    Partha Sarathi Banerjee
    9163845956

  2. rahul (@rahulkt7)
    June 19, 2013

    Respected Swamiji,

    iam rahul from kochin,kerala.for the last 2 years iam working in the middle east now icame back, sixty percent of my income i spent for the aged people .Now i wish to join the ashram ,it will helps to improve my service to the more people.Please give your advice.

    regards,
    Rahul

  3. papai4
    August 13, 2013

    Pranam Maharaj,
    I’m 26 yr.When i hear abuot Spiritualism i realise it’s the Real peace….but when i get out, i get distracted….i’m also sorry to say i have only heard abuot Spirilualism from different persons but not read so deeply. Shall i be able to forget the so called Out world and my past faults and get Peace by being Monk and serving???……..

  4. gsathya
    August 27, 2013

    NAMASTAE SWAMIJI,
    I ‘M 26 YR. I DONT WANT TO MARRY, BUT MY PARENTS STILL FORCE ME TO GET MARRY.I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT MYSELF AND MINGLE WITH PRAMATHMA. AND NOW I AM DOING SOME SATHANAS FOR ACHIEVING THIS GOAL. I WANT TO MAKE ALL MY EFFORTS TOWARDS THIS ONLY.PLEASE HELP ME HOW TO JOIN SHRI RAMAKRISHNA MATH.

    MY EMAIL ID IS NEELANSHIVAM1@GMAIL.COM
    REPLY PLEASE..

  5. naikraju19
    November 7, 2013

    Guruji,
    I am male 24 year. right from the age of 19.i am inclined spiritiualy & after putting myself through many tests,i have decided that i want to join sri ramkrishna order as a monk. please guide me.
    Rajendra N

  6. i am follower of trinity right from childhood under swami Harshanandajee president RKMath bangalore when he was in mysore, as per my fathers friend who is 86 to day i went to ayodhya and after bathing in the holy sarayu river shaved my head and after removing my white dress i wore ochre robes and chanted gayathri,vishnu sahasranama and geeta and practicing sacred holy sanyasa dharma but people say i should get inititation by guru and perform virja homa kinldy guide
    god bless you
    swami krishnananda
    29, 11 th main, raghavendra block, bangalore

  7. Good Samaritan
    December 18, 2013

    Sri Ramkrishna Paramhansa Deba Sahai….

    Gurudev I want solace in your feet.
    I have been a follower of Paramhansa jee for more than 2 decades,wherever I travelled RAMKRISHNA-KATHAMRITA travelled with Me…

    I have worked for several years, I have a Masters Degree too.
    and after all these years in this society driven by greed,lust,pride,jealousy, I feel that I am losing the goodness inside Me.
    I want to preserve it and maintain the rest of my life in the service of holy soul of human,
    can I get blessing of Paramhansa jee and Become a Monk?
    I am 32 Years of Age and want to dedicate rest of my life in the service of mankind till I breath my last….
    as Swami Vivekanda told, JIBE PREM KORE JEI JON ,SEI JON SEBICHE ISWAR…one who loves any living entity,is loving God.
    Want to put his idealogy in the path….and take forward.
    at 32 can I get a second chance of life ?

    Regards,
    Abhimanyu Singha
    + 8978942307
    Hyderabad

    • rkma
      December 19, 2013

      Dear Abhimanyu,

      Glad to receive your mail.

      As per the guidelines of Ramakrishna Order to join, even with a master’s degree, you are overaged. But there is no age limit to lead a life dedicated to self realization and service.

      Since you are in Hyderabad, please get in touch with the Adhyaksha Swamiji of Ramakrishna Math, Hyderabad. In such cases, personal guidance is of great help. Since you stay in Hyderabad and have this opportunity, please avail it.

      Regards, Swami Atmapranananda __________________________________________ Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama Fort, Belgaum – 590016 Ph: (0831) 2432789/2430789 Email: rkmissionashrama@gmail.com Web: http://www.rkmissionashrama.org

  8. kumarahishek911
    January 11, 2014

    Pranam,

    I am a bachelor of science and have done my masters in business administration, my age is 27. I have worked in many parts of India in various domains just to find a good living for myself. During my travel through the country i witnessed many incidents which changed my thought process. My motive in life started to change and i started visiting Ram krishna mutt in Pune. I really want to contribute to the society and earn peace.

    Kindly guide me how can i join this revolution and serve humanity till i last.

    Awaiting reply.

    Thanks,
    Abhishek Kumar
    kumarabhishek911@hotmail.com
    +919608402960

    • kumarahishek911
      January 24, 2014

      Namaste swamiji,

      I am very delighted to receive a reply to my comment. I am instructed to contact RKM mutt at pune but i have relocated to my hometown, Ranchi. Kindly guide me that what should i do in this case.

      Awaiting early reply.

      Thanks,
      Abhishek Kumar,
      +919608402960
      kumarabhishek911@hotmail.com

  9. Respected Swamiji,
    I am a senior officer in IAS. I am 59 years of age. An ex-student of narendrapur rkmission school and college.My son and daughter well established.I have been initiated by Swami Smarananandaji maharaj.Always remained in touch with swamijis I met in ashram and tried to help ashram in any possible manner. Swami Lokeswaranandaji and Swami Prabhanadaji, my headmaster liked me very much.But still I feel alone and missing the charm of life. I want to meditate but fail to concentrate deeply. I feel like bonded in worldly affairs. I also feel that I have not much time to enjoy and explore the blissful state Thakur told his disciples. Pl advise.

    My pranam,

    Somes Bhattacharya

    • rkma
      February 4, 2014

      Dear Somesh Ji

      You are fortunate to have had association with Swamijis and having been initiated.

      Sadhu Sanga is one of the effective means to help us lead Godward. I would suggest you to be in touch with sadhus – preferably by visiting nearby ashrama.

      You can also read books – Gospel, Lives of Thakur’s disciples, Complete works of Swamiji etc.

      If you cannot medidate, you can do japa and prayer as much as possible. Listening to and singing Bhajans is another helpful spiritual practice.

      It is only when the mind dwells on the Lord through these practices that it’s blind entanglement with the world is weaned and one can meditate.

      So far as time is concerned, no one is sure about how long one will live. So do not bother about it. Try to make best use of time available.

      I pray to the Holy Trio to lead you towards them.

      Regards, Swami Atmapranananda __________________________________________ Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama Fort, Belgaum – 590016 Ph: (0831) 2432789/2430789 Email: rkmissionashrama@gmail.com Web: http://www.rkmissionashrama.org

  10. aradhna sinha
    February 1, 2014

    please do not misguide whatever has been taught by sri ramakrishna . you people are ignorant. the requisite to become a monk given by your site is <30 years age and male is false. you all are fake and misleading the youth. how can the practice of devotion and realization can be bounded by such discrimination?…..sad to see your website.

    • Rupak Kumar Jha
      February 26, 2014

      Dear Aradhana,
      No one is discriminating on any basis. Nature has also no discrimination on any basis ,but nature has differentiated and why we don’t know. Its Divine Play. There is no question of WHY ,but only HOW in nature. Yes there is difference in the very nature of male and female ,created by GOD or NATURE or whatever you call,doesn’t matter.That difference we have to accept ,how you accept depends on us (as strength or weakness) .Ramkrishna Order is not discriminating on any basis. It is a platform for training beginners in Sannyas. It is not the peak of Monkhood but the beginning.So pls understand that it is a school of training. Note Swami Vivekanand himself used to abstain from women in his earlier days but once he was at his peak of self realization he mingled with them as all women had started manifesting the very holy Mother herself to him. But this is not the case with new comers. That is why male and female are separated in this Order. However I think you have not read completely this website,for female it has mentioned they can join Sharda Devi Math. Pls don’t conclude about Monks so early and tell them they are fake.They are following what Swami Vevekanand had prescribed.
      I hope I have cleared your doubts.

      Rupak Kumar Jha
      Sr. Engineer,Elect.

      My e-mail : rupakazad@gmail.com

  11. Murali B
    February 2, 2014

    Om Namah Sivayah
    Respected swamiji , I am 35 years old unmarried , and committee to a harsh decision , but instead of taking harsh step, i thought i could devote my life to spread Dharma throughout the world, instead of reaching Himalayas , i better be with society and spread Dharma, Kindly respond to my request if any possibility of becoming a saint , mail me, murali_ballavarapu@yahoo.com

  12. Henry Jose
    February 5, 2014

    Respected swamiji
    i’m 21 years old from chennai with deep interest in spirituality, i lost all my interest and admiration for the world when i was 18 years old while reading the bible followed by gospel of Ramakrishna and completed works of Swami Vivekananda, i feel no longer fit to continue my worldly duties, my parents are trying their best to change my mind but i am determined, swamiji pls accept me in your monastery as a sannyasi, there is now only 2 options left for me, either to give up this futile life or to become a monk and become the light of the world. my mail id is henryjosex@gmail.com
    Jai Paramahamsaji

  13. silentmonk25
    February 16, 2014

    Hi,
    I am 25yrs old, I want to live my rest of my life as a monk, i dont want to live any more in this worldly pleasures, activities and attachments I want to spend my whole life in doing meditation, following dharma along with that serving if needed.. I want to Awaken..

    Thanks,
    spiritual being,
    silentmonk25@gmail.com,
    08121416433,.

  14. K.SAI PRATHAP REDDY
    February 23, 2014

    respected Swamiji,
    I am 20 years old, i am not able to control my mind with goodness. when i prepare to practice meditation, i thinking of something am not able to concentrate on meditation. i read Yoga sutra and Pathanjali books, but still am not able to control my self. please help me to get out of this. i want to enjoy the god with meditation. please suggest me.

    Thank you,

    Sai prathap reddy,
    sai.990880@gmail.com

    • rkma
      February 23, 2014

      Dear Sai
      Glad to receive your mail.
      Prepartion for meditation is to happen through out the day, then only one can meditate during the time of meditation. Evey input, mainly audio-visual, has to be pure. Simultaneously, we should watch what our minds think when we are not meditating – e.g. when working. We should try to focus the mind at all times. Only through such long and continuous practice, it is possible to attain conecentration during the time of meditation.
      For those who believe in personal God, devotion to personal God and prayer to Him also help in developing concentration.
      Please go through the book ‘Mind and its control’ by Swami Budhanandaji published by Ramakrishna Math. If you cannot get it, please send us your postal address. We will send you the book.
      Regards
      Swami Atmapranananda

  15. I am 16 years old studying 12th . I’m very interested in taking celibacy and sanyasa.I’m not interested in worldly affairs and i’m keen in realising god. After reading books of swami vivekananda im truly motivated to become a monk. Parents are not allowing me and I want to live rest of my life meditating and serving people. Please guide me .My email ID is srikarakondapalli@gmail.com. Ph. No. +918143747553

    • rkma
      March 15, 2014

      Dear
      Though having a degree is not a pre-requisite to becoming a monk in general, each monastic organisation has its own set of rules. And we prefer to have aspirants with a degree. That way they would have been mature enough to take such an important decision in life. Also with a degree, they would be better equiped to serve society.
      It is indeed rare that one decides to become a monk at such an early age. Your task now would be to keep up this noblest of intentions by reading good books, living a pure life and availing holy company.
      Your love for your ideal and your pure, unselfish life itself will change the attitude of your parents.
      Please be in touch with any of the centers of Ramakrishna Order near you. Or else, be in touch with us over email. If there is no center near you, you may visit us for 2-3 days when you have holidays.
      Regards
      Swami Atmapranananda

  16. Ashok Wadhera
    April 12, 2014

    Hon’ble Swami Ji, I am a retired person of 65 years. During my life, I have experienced so many good and bad things. At this stage, I have joined as a member of Soka Gakkai International (BSK), based on Nichiren Buddhism, at the instance of my daughter. I have attended the meetings and studied the literature of SGI. But, finally I feel that even family members aspire me to change> I have changed, but how to get them believed in it. Small things in day-to-day cause confrontation in the family, even if I always to try to avoid confrontation, which is considered my weakness and cause them believe that I am wrong. I wish to join your organization, as a volunteer, due to my age factor. I do not have any financial liabilities and have given whatever material, to my wife, though she is financially sound enough. Pl. advise, as I do not want to remain in my family, and wish to work for the mission of Buddhism. I am otherwise hale and hearty, without any bad habit and very active physically. With regards. “akwadhera0133@rediffmail.com”

    • rkma
      April 15, 2014

      Dear Shri Ashok,

      Not clear in what capacity you want to associate with Ramakrishna Mission. Please find a list of centers of Ramakrishna Order here – http://belurmath.org/centres/branchcentres.htm. You may please contact any of the centers near you and discuss with any of the Swamijis there.

      If you have any other questions, please ask at our blog.

      Regards Swami Atmapranananda __________________________________________ Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama Fort, Belgaum – 590016 Ph: (0831) 2432789/2430789 Email: rkmissionashrama@gmail.com Web: http://www.rkmissionashrama.org

  17. Arun Dixit
    April 14, 2014

    poojya swami ji
    sadar charan sparsh
    mai swami vivekanand ji ka ananya bhakt hoon aur aapke mission se jurna chata hoon kripya margadarshan kare !!!!!

    • rkma
      April 16, 2014

      Dear Arun,

      We are not clear in what capacity you want to associate with Ramakrishna Mission. Please find a list of centers of Ramakrishna Order here – http://belurmath.org/centres/branchcentres.htm.

      You may contact any of the centers near you and discuss with any of the Swamijis there.

      If you have any other questions, please ask at our blog.

      Regards Swami Atmapranananda __________________________________________ Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama Fort, Belgaum – 590016 Ph: (0831) 2432789/2430789 Email: rkmissionashrama@gmail.com Web: http://www.rkmissionashrama.org

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