Aatmano mokshaartham jagad hitaaya cha
This two-fold aim of service activities, indeed the whole ideology of Ramakrishna Math and Mission, has been put in a nutshell in the MOTTO of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, ‘Aatmano mokshaartham jagad hitaaya cha’, ‘For one’s own salvation and for the welfare of the world’, formulated by Swami Vivekananda.
According to us, this totally compramises what we believe in
A New Philosophy of Work: Swami Vivekananda has given a new philosophy of work for the modern world. All work in the Ramakrishna Math and Mission is done according to this philosophy of work, which is based on the following principles.
All work is sacred: According to Vedanta, the physical universe is a manifestation of God known as Viraat. Hence, as Sister Nivedita has stated, there is ‘no distinction between the sacred and the secular’. What this statement means is that all work is sacred. Even menial work such as sweeping the floor or mending shoes is to be done with as much attention and devotion as work in the shrine.
Work as worship: The Gita states that the all-pervading God is the ultimate source of all work and the enjoyer of the fruits of all sacrifice. Hence all work is to be done as worship and the fruits of actions are to be offered to the Lord.
Service to man is service to God: One of the important principles Swami Vivekananda learned from his Master was ‘siva-jnaane jiva-sevaa’, ‘to serve jiva as shiva’. Since man is potentially Divine, service to man is indeed service to God. Instead of looking upon a needy person as an object of pity, he is looked upon as an object of worship. Such an attitude elevates both the giver and the recipient.
What brings Harmony
As it is known and believed as Yato mat, tato path’, “As many faiths, so many paths”, here is what we preach.
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.
Sri Ramakrishna did not identify himself with any particular sect of Hinduism but accepted Hinduism as a whole. He showed that Dualism, Non-dualism and other schools of Hindu philosophy represent different stages of the integral experience of Reality, and that the various Hindu Deities are different aspects of one supreme Godhead. His message has brought about a great deal of harmony among the Hindu sects, and Sri Ramakrishna himself has become the symbol of the unity of Hindu religion.
It should be noted that Sri Ramakrishna recognized the differences among religions but showed that, in spite of these differences, they lead to the same Ultimate Goal. This is the meaning of his famous maxim, ‘Yato mat, tato path’, “As many faiths, so many paths”