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 Monasticism?

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.

19 comments on “Become a Monk

  1. rkma
    April 29, 2017

    Dear Tapas,

    About your eligibility: You are still young and can easily complete graduation and become eligible. That should not be a problem. Our scriptures have emphasized that one should fulfill one’s duties towards one’s parents. There is only one exception: If one renounces the world for the sake of God, then he/she is absolved of that responsibility. Rest all depends on one’s mental preparation.

    Regards, Swami Atmapranananda

  2. rkma
    May 1, 2017

    Since you live in Kolkata, please contact Belur Math at the following mail id: mail(at)belurmath(dot)org

    Regards, Swami Atmapranananda

  3. Suvam Banerjee
    June 21, 2017

    Pranam Maharaj,

    Just to give a short introduction about myself before putting across my question. I am Suvam Banerjee, 34 years of age and married. I have done my Masters in Biotechnology and currently based out in Germany in the clinical research field. I have been initiated by Swami GautamanandaJi in 2012 Bangalore Ulsoor math and have been associated with Ramakrishna Vivekananda thoughts and trying my level best to adapt that to my practical life since then.

    Coming to my question, I have visited RKM Kankhal in 2013 and I felt really connected to that place, atmosphere and the Sevashram. Since then I have thought several times to quit my job and be full time associated with math and mission work. I think it has reached a stage now where I want to break the shell and want to integrate myself with RKM movement completely.

    I need your direction and suggestion if there is any possibility for a householder to stay in Ashram premises and be a part of the math/mission activities full time.

    With Love and Regards,
    Suvam Banerjee

    • rkma
      June 27, 2017

      Dear Suvam Banerjee,

      Yes, it is possible for a householder to stay in the Ashrama and serve. He/She will serve as a volunteer with no remuneration or some reasonable honorarium. The decision is made by the head of the institute where s/he wishes to serve. Needless to mention, being a volunteer, s/he will have no claim whatsoever over other benefits like pension, insurance etc. You may contact the Kankhal Sevashrama directly.

      Regards, Swami Atmapranananda

      • Anwesa Chakraborty
        November 20, 2017

        At first take my regards..I am a girl of 23 years age…..I have completed graduation with chemistry honours…..Now I want to be a nun in Ramakrishna Mission…. Kindly tell me what to do????Kind give me the contact no and address of branch to which I can contact voor this reason……

      • rkma
        November 21, 2017

        Namaste. Please go through the below link. It shows the Sharada Math Head Quarters website, you can search for your nearest centres and enquire.


        Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama Fort, Belagavi (Belgaum) – 590016 Karnataka Ph: 0831-2432789, 2430789 Email: belgaum@rkmm.org http://www.rkmissionashrama.org

        On Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 7:15 PM, RAMAKRISHNA MISSION ASHRAMA, BELGAUM wrote:

        > Anwesa Chakraborty commented: “At first take my regards..I am a girl of 23 > years age…..I have completed graduation with chemistry honours…..Now I > want to be a nun in Ramakrishna Mission…. Kindly tell me what to > do????Kind give me the contact no and address of branch to which I ca” >

  4. Harish (@hlharish)
    June 28, 2017

    I am a 32 yr old male living in Bangalore. I am interested in learning more about vedanta philosophy. Could you please suggest the best approach.

  5. Bharath (@BharathJK5)
    July 12, 2017

    Namaste Swamiji,

    I am reading the books of swamy vivekananda,Sri Ramakrushna,Sister Nivedita, Bhagavadgita and upanishads, so i have got inspired to do the social service for full time . Is there any opportunity in the Ramakrushna mission?

  6. amoghavarsharajanna
    July 19, 2017

    Namaste Swamiji,
    I am a 26 year BBM graduate from Mysuru, Karnataka. This is my second query but by far the most important one. I will be completely honest with you, i have a totally sedentary lifestyle without a worry in the world. I have a lot of friends, a loving family and what not. But somehow none of this seems to fit me. I always yearn to know, feel and learn more and even after all the partying and being a social butterfly, i just can’t understand the feeling of emptiness that always lay dormant in me. Thats when swami vivekananda and his ideals came into my life and it has been of immense help. And the scriptures resonate his words that whatever you are looking for is in us and not out there in the world. I think i am quite ready to take up celibacy and become a monk but there in lies the problem. My family will never let me become a sanyasi but i cannot or rather have lost interest in the material things. I do not know how to convience them without breaking their hearts. And there is a second problem, on my quest to find the answers in the world around, abused a few illicit substances and ended up having schizoprenia and psychosis for which i have been under for treatment from the past 5 years. Though the substance abuse was stopped 5 years ago the doctors say that the negative symptoms might manifest again and have furthermore baised me to my spiritual path and want to completely devote my life and surrender to the great lord. And last but not the least, i have my mother’s and sister’s name tattooed on me along with an om in the forearm. With these many conditions am i still able to join you and the fellow sanyasis in the journey of finding the ultimate truth? Eagerly waiting for your reply.
    Thank you.

  7. Kamal Komal
    August 19, 2017

    im 28 and doing phd in nit.i wish to join the mission, but i read that upper age limit is 30, and my research will be over only in 2020. but then i will be over 31.is the age criterion relaxable

  8. S K
    October 14, 2017

    I want to join sannyas… am 32 old from mysore

  9. Ajith K N (@AjithMurthy)
    October 24, 2017

    Dear Swamiji,

    I have two questions?
    1) Why should one renounce family to become a monk? we have examples of so many avadhoot’s who were in family life? (King Janaka was also a family man right?)
    2) Can the state of self realization not happen from dream state as both waking and dream are the same?

    • rkma
      October 25, 2017

      Namaste. Please get in touch with our Haridwar Ashama, the address is : Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama Kankhal – P.O. Haridwar – Dt Uttarakhand – 249 408 Ph: 01334 – 246141 & 244176

      Yours in the Service of the Lord

      Swami Atmapranananda Secreatry

      Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama Fort, Belagavi (Belgaum) – 590016 Karnataka Ph: 0831-2432789, 2430789 Email: belgaum@rkmm.org http://www.rkmissionashrama.org

      On Tue, Oct 24, 2017 at 12:22 AM, RAMAKRISHNA MISSION ASHRAMA, BELGAUM wrote:

      > Ajith K N (@AjithMurthy) commented: “Dear Swamiji, I have two questions? > 1) Why should one renounce family to become a monk? we have examples of so > many avadhoot’s who were in family life? (King Janaka was also a family man > right?) 2) Can the state of self realization not happen from dr” >

  10. Kumar Kavi K
    November 6, 2017


    I have a question,

    If god realization is the only aim of life,

    a) If everyone in this world becomes a monk who in this world will grow food, sell grains ,build houses?

    b) Is it wrong to dedicate 24hours of our time to god?

    c) Why does a monk renounce all these things can he not perform the same being in the world by working?

    d) How to realize god as effectively as a monk being an householder?

  11. pratik deshmukh
    December 7, 2017

    Pranam Maharaj,

    Can you please email me the pdf :’For enquirers about Ramakrishan Math and Ramakrishna Mission’. I wanted to go through the book as I am interested in joining the order.
    my email id: pratik97899@gmail.com

    Yours sincerely,

  12. Odisha Odisha
    December 13, 2017

    Dear swamiji
    Im 31 years old btech graduate. I was working in TCS. I m interested to join ramakrishna mission as a monk. Kindly suggest

    • rkma
      December 24, 2017

      Dear Glad to receive your mail. Hope you are a bachelor and in good health. Since you have just crossed the age limit, please get in touch with our HQ at mail at belurmath dot org. While you write to them, please also write the extent of your exposure to Ramakrishna Vivekananda ideology in general and ideal of monasticism in particular.

      Regards, Swami Atmapranananda

      Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama Fort, Belagavi (Belgaum) – 590016 Karnataka Ph: 0831-2432789, 2430789 Email: belgaum@rkmm.org http://www.rkmissionashrama.org

      On Wed, Dec 13, 2017 at 9:55 AM, RAMAKRISHNA MISSION ASHRAMA, BELGAUM wrote:

      > Odisha Odisha commented: “Dear swamiji Im 31 years old btech graduate. I > was working in TCS. I m interested to join ramakrishna mission as a monk. > Kindly suggest” >

  13. Rudra Nil
    December 26, 2017

    Namaskaar swamiji
    I m 37 year old from Bishnupur, Bankura.,I worked in School as teacher….. i want to join the order as a monk please guide me…

    Log in to Reply

  14. Bhaskar molkire
    December 31, 2017

    Pranam Swamiji ,

    pranam to ramkrishna paramhamsa , swami vivekananda and to Adi shankara.

    I wanted to give you a brief about me before starting with the doubts.

    i am 26 year old from pune maharashtra , working in the IT industry from last five years.

    After engineering when i was 22 year old , i did a 10 days vipassana course and after that my view or perception towards life gets changed completely. Along with vipassana , I am also following the vedanta philosophy and trying to live the life as directed by Vivekananda. I have understood the goal of this life and wanted to devote it for GOD Realization. I completely understand that the Vedanta , Vipassana are nothing but the different ways to identify the Bramhan.

    in last few years i got trapped into worldly things and barely stick with my practice. I have restarted my practice now and wanted to live monastic life.

    I have following questions –

    1. I have no interest in worldly things and wanted to renunciate as soon as possible but not able to do since i am the only son to my parents and they are dependent on me ,sometimes i think to live with my parents as a brahmachari and perform by duties but this is confusing me , please help me solve this dilemma.

    2. since i am following vipassana meditation technique presently , will i be able to join the Ramakrishna mission.

    3. if yes , will i be able to continue with the technique being part of the Ramakrishna mission and order , is it advisable to change the meditation techniques and methods.

    I am very sorry for being to verbose.

    Awaiting your reply .


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