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JSRK!

This question is open to anyone, of course, but specifically to those Ramakrsna bhaktas who were old enough at the time of the issue from 1980 to 1995 wherein the Mission disassociated with Hinduism. As Hindus we are allowed to question and think for ourselves rather than the "believe and obey" Abrahamic traditions. I already found for myself the doubts and inconsistencies of holding to such views, and I have read Ram Swarup's views on the matter as well as others, but I want to know how present day bhaktas square this with themselves currently. I am myself a Ramakrsna and Sri Mā bhakta. I do not oppose Abrahamic traditions outright, but they are very contrary to Sanathan dharm. I do not accept they are equal to Sanathan dharm, and I don't know why the RK Mission invented this view wherein they make them equal. A younger bhakta might not even be aware of this, so this is why I ask for the older bhaktas to speak on the matter.

Jai Sri Mā!

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Did Ramakrishna Math and Mission dissociate from Hinduism?

Ramakrishna Math and Mission never dissociated from Hinduism. What happened during that time is associated with the politics of that time. The Jyoti Basu run Communist government at that time was trying to infiltrate and take over every private organization in West Bengal. Ramakrishna Mission schools and colleges were also targeted by the Communists. You should remember that the Communists considered Ramakrishna as an illiterate epileptic and Vivekananda as a Hindu fanatic. Ramakrishna Math was afraid that the Communists would take over their schools and indoctrinate the students with Marxism and teach them to hate Ramakrishna and his teachings. So they contacted lawyers to take the left government to court. The lawyers told them that the only way to save the organization from Communist takeover was to declare them a non-Hindu organization since only non-Hindu organizations are protected from political interference. The whole thing was a legal maneuver to gain time. The maneuver stalled the Communists for 20 years and by the time Ramkrishna Mission lost the case the Communists were too weak to take over the Ramkrishna Mission organization.

Some people accuse the Ramkrishna Mission of cowardice. All I can say is that they have not lived through the left terror inflicted on West Bengal during that period.

Does the Ramkrishna Mission teach that all religions are same?

I would say no. They do teach that all religions are paths to truth but not the same. I have given below Swami Vivekananda's explanation of their position.

You must remember that humanity travels not from error to truth, but from truth to truth; it may be, if you like it better, from lower truth to higher truth, but never from error to truth. Suppose you start from here and travel towards the sun in a straight line. From here the sun looks only small in size. Suppose you go forwards a million miles, the sun will be much bigger. At every stage the sun will become bigger and bigger. Suppose twenty thousand photographs had been taken of the same sun, from different standpoints; these twenty thousand photographs will certainly differ from one another. But can you deny that each is a photograph of the same sun? So all forms of religion, high or low, are just different stages towards that eternal state of light, which is God Himself. Some embody a lower view, some a higher, and that is all the difference.

The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, IV, Christ the Messenger

It would be impossible for Ramkrishna Mission to say that all religions are equal. Can they agree with the alleged statement of Jesus, 'I am the way, the truth and no one can come to the father except through me' (my paraphrase)? Obviously not. Vivekananda says quite clearly that Vedanta embodies the highest view and other religions lower view. All religions are not the same.

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  • Thank you for your response. There is plenty of information online to view and read. I wanted to get people's individual views who have lives through this specifically. I find some devotees at temple do subscribe to the view that RKM is somehow separate from Hinduism, and that all paths are seamlessly and completely equal.
    – Gadai das
    Jul 15 at 4:12
  • I am not a devotee of line of Gaudiya vaishnavs, but I do highly respect them. The issues that arose at the departure of Srila Prabhupad caused such a riff in that sampraday; and although the RKM issue was some time ago I didn't want to come to find a similar issue occurred with RKM and devotees.
    – Gadai das
    Jul 15 at 4:16
  • BTW I was wondering why they didn't tried relocating to another state? I guess because of large base of people in WB . Jul 15 at 13:47
  • They run many schools in West Bengal. Their head quarters, Belur Math, is near Kolkata. The left government wanted to destroy them so that everybody in West Bengal sing the praise of the left government. They viewed RKM as a barrier to complete control. Relocating was never an option. They had too many things to lose. There is also the ideological factor. RKM considers everything owned by RKM as owned by Ramakrishna. They will not give these up without a fight. Jul 15 at 13:53

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