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 within certain age which depends on one’s educational qualification, maximum age being 30.  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.

33 comments on “Become a Monk

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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,.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Sarthak (@SGTweetz)
    May 3, 2014

    Respected Swamiji,

    I am 30 years old and I have a masters degree. Can I be considered eligible for being a monk. I have studied Sri Ramakrishna’s and Swami Vivekananda’s work and they have been my inspiration in life. I am deeply motivated to live a spiritual life. Kindly consider blessing me.

    Regards

    • rkma
      May 3, 2014

      Dear Sarthak,

      Glad to receive your mail.

      Since you are 30, it is advisable that you contact the Head Quarters on mail@belurmath.org

      With prayers to Sri Ramakrishna to guide and bless you,

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

  10. Shekhar Ramesh
    May 13, 2014

    Poojyaniya Swami Ji
    Sadar Pranam
    Iam 29 years old mba qualified with 5 years of work experience i hve no interest in personal life as iam much more interested in dharma rakshana serving dharma and in spiritual things i want to give up everything and become a monk iam still bachelor and i hve no interest in marriage am i the right person for ur math ? can i join ur math if it is so than iam ready to give up everything my family job friends my special interests being a youngster ! i just want to be the celebate and my main concern is dharma rakshana ! kindly reply and clear my queries

    Regards
    Raaj

  11. Vinay Kr
    May 15, 2014

    Pranam swamiji,
    I am 22 years old and I was pursuing an engineering degree in bangalore. I have completed 6 semesters and I dropped it and decided to dedicate my life to studying the vedanta. I have given all my time to reading Swami Vivekananda’s works, learning sanskrit grammar and also studying the Gita and The Upanishads. What really surprised me here is the prerequisite of having “at least” a degree. I have been educated in the best school and also one of asia’s best pre-university college. My decision to drop my degree course was out of complete lack of interest in worldly knowledge and disdain for the applied sciences. I shifted my pattern of education to what I consider “real education”. Now when ramakrishna mission states that we should have “at least” a degree to become a monk, it really pains me to see this. I am educated enough and capable of earning a very comfortable living also even without this degree, do I really need it to become a monk and study spirituality? Now that my life’s decision has been made, should I go back to my college and finish my degree so that I can be allowed to become a monk? I am very perplexed. Please reply to me, I am eagerly waiting.

    Dhanyawaad Swamiji.

    • rkma
      May 18, 2014

      Dear Vinay Kumar,

      You need not be perplexed. Very technically speaking, there are different age limits for different educational qualifications. Cases like yours i.e. drop outs by choice, are rare. Generally most of them are on account of lack of application or capabilities. If such persons approach us, we advise them to complete the degree. Anyways, it has been taken off from out blog, thanks to you, since, as mentioned earlier, officially, there are different age limits for different qualifications.

      Regards, Swami Atmapranananda (Secretary)

  12. Moumita Chatterjee
    May 16, 2014

    I m a graduate and a vocalist. I want to join Ramakrishna Order to serve People & work for Thakur. I only have faith on god & want blessings from Maa to help People.I feel i can only reach god by helping people in need.

    Will you pls help me…inform me in bubanmoumita@gmail.com

  13. Amit Raghuwanshi
    May 20, 2014

    Pujniy Swamiji, i am 25 year old graduate i dont have any interest in marrige and all about the material stuff have a verry painful divotional relation with god while meditation i felt cry i dont know what is hapening with me want to know about this situation please give me some advice and take my pain away from me i want to see the supream personality and have no goal in life i dont want to be engaged in material world please take me out of it please reply fast.

  14. Amit Raghuwanshi
    May 20, 2014

    Swamiji i am not getting any help from anywhere want to know address or contact the Head Quarters. If possible please share Akola or Washim Math address.

  15. lokeshreddy1427
    May 22, 2014

    Respected Swamiji,

    I fed up with married life as not in good path and we my wife daily fight. It’s been more than 4 years I am bearing. I lost my patience to continue with the problems and decided to go some where else without touch to anybody as I don’t have dare to die. While searching for ashramam’s I found this interesting post. I stay in Chennai. Kindly guide me how and whom to approach to be part of mission. I am 29.6 yrs old working in a private company. Please respond to my post or contact me @9884903119

    • rkma
      May 23, 2014

      Dear Lokesh Reddy,

      You need to talk to some monk. I would advise you to talk to Swami Paramasukhanandaji of Ramakrishna Math, Chennai. It is in Mylapore. I do not have his cell no. You may call the land line and find your way to him.

      Ramakrishna Math, Chennai land line numbers are : 044-2462-1110 (4 lines)

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

      • Respected Swamiji
        I am Uday sankar Das age 33, mother langauge Bengali ,from WestBengal(India) and married ,Educational qulification 10+2,
        I want a job any catagory , in any Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama would you help me.
        and …inform me in my e-mail: das.uday.sankar@gmail.com

      • rkma
        May 29, 2014

        Dear Uday,

        We do not have any job opportunities. We advise you to contact Ramakrishna Mission centers that are near to where you live.

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

  16. Pranam Maharaj ,
    I am Nilanjan, Presently living in Mumbai for job . I am 30 years old . I am single . Is it possible for me to join RKM order . I work to earn , But I am really fed-up with the lie & Politics day in and day out . Please reply .

    • rkma
      May 29, 2014

      Dear Nilanjan,

      One need not become a monk for being fed up with life and politics. To become a monk, one should have a positive goal. Please read life and teaching of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda. These readings will guide you as to what is the highest goal of life and how to attain it. So far as joining Ramakrishna Mission is concerned, since you are nearing the limit for the age criterion, please contact our Head Quarters at mail@belurmath.org

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

      • Pranam Maharaj ,
        Please suggest some bengali book , which I can read & come to know the highest goal of Life .

      • rkma
        May 30, 2014

        Dear Nilanjan,

        As suggested in earlier mail, suggested books for reading (with some additions): 1. Life and teachings of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda 2. Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna 3. Letters of Swami Vivekananda 4. Lectures from Colombo to Almora

        Please check with Udbodhan Office, Kolkata for Bengali versions of these books. They are the publishers of Bengali Books. Ramakrishna Math, 1 Udbodhan Lane, Baghbazar, Kolkata, West Bengal 700003 Phone : 033-2533 9292, 2554 2248, 033-2554 2403 & 2554 1986 Email : ashrama@udbodhan.org; info@udbodhan.org Website: http://www.udbodhan.org

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

  17. experiencedharma
    June 15, 2014

    sir i want to become a monk and want to come out of the mundane of day to day life and experience self realization and serve people through dharma. im 28 years old i want to join in a year i read the above mentioned conditions. im an engineering graduate and quite good at academics

    • rkma
      June 16, 2014

      Please write about your association with the centres of Ramakrishna Math/Mission if any, whether you have read any books of Swami Vivekananda as also where you are from.

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

  18. Harish Singh
    June 26, 2014

    pranam swamiji ,

    my name is harish, i am an engineering graduate and 30 years old. All is i do in this world does not give happiness i am searching for inner happiness so that i can understand the true meaning of life. All is see is sorrow everywhere i want to learn and understand life so that this sorrow can be minimized and can particiapte to make this world a happy place. Family life does not attract me. please help me ion this regard. i want to be a monk

  19. Shanmukha Viswanath
    July 20, 2014

    pranams swamiji, i am viswanath 21yrs old completed my graduation in B.sc(agriculture)with firstclass grade from rajahmundry(A.P).During this period of 4yrs i used to visit rkmath and read books related to swamivivekanandas life and teachings.i am introvert by nature and doesnt like much contacts and i possess just 2or 3 bestfriends in general.i was greatly inspired by swamis teachings and i used to get inner joy by thinking on swamis life and particularly on renunciation(monkhood)and i dreamt myself on ocrerobes during those days and clearly understood the aim of real life. though lust is very troublesome and rooted in me i can discriminate the spiritual joy and sensual joy.atlast i found that with holycompany and renunciation alone one can get real happiness.i also read vairagya and brahmacharya book written by swami sivananda and got inspired on renunciation.now i want to join in rkmath and told about this to my parents and they were shocked on hearing this and throwing tantrums against me and negatively speaking that i am spoiling my life by will and no one can help me and everyone will laugh at me by this decision and on my career like this way.Acc to me my parents were financially good and my elder brother was trying for a job and he is talented in one or other field,so iam safe to take this decision.But now i am in great turmoil swami and my parents are telling that life at math is not easy and making fun and i dont want to lead my life like them getting involved in earning money so on..whether i was thinking right or not i dont know swami and they are telling that i am a coward & running away from this world.so please swami i request u to tell me how to approach rkmath and is it feasible for me for spiritual development and am i fit to join in math swami …….
    thanking you and my pranams to you swamiji

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