History: On the 148th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, Vedanta Kendra, Kathmandu kick started its campaign to spread Vedanta amongst the masses in Nepal. In April 2012, this branch centre became established. At present Swami Ekarthananda is its Adhyaksha & Spiritual Head since December 2018. Previously it was headed by Swami Nityajnananda.
The ideology consists of the eternal principles of Vedanta as lived and experienced by Sri Ramakrishna and expounded by Swami Vivekananda. This ideology has three characteristics: it is modern in the sense that the ancient principles of Vedanta have been expressed in the modern idiom; it is universal, that is, it is meant for the whole humanity; it is practical in the sense that its principles can be applied in day-to-day life to solve the problems of life. The basic principles of this ideology are given below:
- God realization is the ultimate goal of Life:
- Every Soul is potentially Divine.
- Synthesis of the Yogas: The removal of ignorance and manifestation of inner divinity leading to God realization are achieved through Yoga.
- Morality based on strength: According to Swami Vivekananda, weakness is the main cause of immortality, evil and suffering in life, and the cause of weakness is ignorance about one’s true nature as the Atman. Knowledge of the Atman gives us tremendous strength to overcome our weakness and lead a virtuous life.
- Harmony of Religions: Although the idea that ‘one Reality is known by different names'(Vedas) and the idea that ‘different spiritual paths lead to the same goal'(Gita) are found in the Hindu scriptures and in the teachings of several Hindu saints, Sri Ramakrishna was the first person in history to show through direct experience the transcendental unity of all religions. His message implies two kinds of religious harmony: Harmony within Hinduism and Harmony among world religions.
- Avatarahood of Sri Ramakrishna: According to the Hindu religious tradition, God incarnates himself as Avatara in every Age in order to give a new message to humanity suited to the needs of each Age. In the Ramakrishna Movement, Sri Ramakrishna is adored as the Avatara of the Modern Age. What this means is that his life and teachings have opened a new way of salvation for humanity.
- A New Philosophy of Work: Swami Vivekananda has given a new philosophy of work for the modern world. That is – All work is sacred. Work is Worship. Service to man is service to God. Focus on service to the poor and the downtrodden. Work is a spiritual discipline.
This two-fold aim of service activities, indeed the whole ideology of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, has been put in a nutshell in the Motto of the twin organizations, Atmano mokshartham jagad hitaya cha, ‘For one’s own salvation and for the welfare of the world’, formulated by Swami Vivekananda.