HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR SERVICES / ACTIVITIES
"It's enough to believe that all is possible in God's creation. Never allow the thought to cross your mind that your ideas are the only true ones, and that those of others are false." -Sri Ramakrishna to his devotees
The Parliament of Religions in Chicago, USA, 1893, "has proved to the world that holiness, purity and charity are not the exclusive possessions of any church in the world, and that every system has produced men and women of the most exalted character. In the face of this evidence, if anybody dreams of the exclusive survival of his own religion and the destruction of the others, I pity him from the bottom of my heart, and point out to him that upon the banner of every religion will soon be written in spite of resistance: 'Help and not fight', 'Assimilation and not Destruction', 'Harmony and Peace and not Dissension'."-Swami Vivekananda
01. The spiritual activities of the centres in Bindweide, Mühlheim (Main), and Berlin are guided by resident monks who are well qualified and trained under the Ramakrishna Order in India. These monks have completed more than thirty years of practical training in spiritual life and philosophies.
02. The Ramakrishna Order, a Hindu religious Order, was started by Swami Vivekananda. Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi was the first virtual head of this men’s Order. There exists a parallel organization for women named after her as Sri Sarada Math. Even though the nuns of Sri Sarada Math belong to the same Ramakrishna Faith, they run their own affairs by themselves, fully independent from the monks' Order.
03. Sri Ramakrishna worshipped God as Divine Mother. So the monks of the Order look upon women as manifestation of Divine Mother in human form. Vedanta discovered that the Reality is not gender-specific. Brahman or the Reality is in neuter gender. So God is as much a mother as father.
04. The supervision and management of the centres in Germany are done by both monks and lay people. There are two men and two ladies on the management board. Moreover, many lay devotees help the Gesellschaft with their time and munificence to support the great cause benefitting the whole of humanity. They are great for their benevolent commitment.
05. Sri Ramakrishna and, for that matter, Hinduism teaches that God dwells in human form. Hence he said, “Service to humanity is service to God." The same divine Atman (soul) dwells in different physical bodies. As Atman we are all equal and no one is more than equal.
06. The monks of the Ramakrishna Order are trained to serve people in varieties of human suffering — physical, psychological, and spiritual. They look upon service to human beings as service to God. There are diffrent types of need at different places. In Germany we concentrate on addressing the specific need of the people here; practise and preach universal brotherhood; and promote inter-faith understanding.
07. Sri Ramakrishna taught us to accept and respect all religions to be true. The concept of Harmony of Religions is his special contribution for the present age. Hence people belonging to any religion are welcome to participate in the activities of the centres. In fact, people belonging to different religions do actively take part in retreats, celebrations, etc at three of the centres. The sermons or lectures or temple services are interspersed with respectful references from all religions. We do not preach hatred towards other religions. Ramakrishna Order publishes books on different religions. It does not do religious conversion. It's encouraging that many large-hearted and sensible people all over the world are coming forward to support such outlook and practical ventures. Otherwise, we have no answer to the worldwide unrest that we are facing now due to the practice of dogmatism, blind faiths, exclusive attitudes, and their horrible descendant fanaticism.
08. There are regular morning and evening prayers and meditations in the shrines at Mühlheim (Main) and Berlin.
09. Berlin centre offers special practical instructions and training on Yoga-Vedanta Meditation on some Wednesdays and Saturdays. One may avail this opportunity on prior appointment. There is no specific cost for this service; but donations are welcome for maintaining the facilities.
10. We offer spiritual counseling and interviews. All sincere seekers in need of help may seek prior appointment.
11. With limited accommodation facilities, the centres at Mühlheim (Main) and Berlin offer scope for those who want to spend some quiet time living in the ashramas practising spiritual life, removed from the turmoil of activities. The monks also guide such guests in case of need and when requested for. The guests are to take part in the daily routine for helping community living.