Mission (Ceylon Branch)
The concept of a Ramakrishna movement in Sri Lanka started with the arrival of Swami Vivekananda in January 1897 on his way back to India after his historic address in the parliament of Religions at Chicago. At the request of devotees he sent one of his brother disciples in July 1897 to Colombo to spread the message of Sri Ramakrishna. This was done with great fervour for about 8 months after which he returned to India. Thereafter other direct disciples and Swamis arrived and carried on their activities in other parts of Ceylon on Jaffna, Batticaloa, Trincomalie, Matala. The Ramakrishna mission (Ceylon Branch) was the incorporated by ordinance on 17th July 1929.
The mission started its activities in the Island in 1924 with the management of a few schools. The Ramakrishna mission (Ceylon Branch) was incorporated by Ordinance No.8 of 1929 Legislative Enactments. The main center is in Colombo and is presently housed in its own spacious buildings in Ramakrishna Road, Wellawatte, Colombo.
The Ashrama building has a shrine, meditation and prayer hall, an administration section and book-sales department. The shrine room is a hexagonal shaped construction where in the 'Sanctum Sanctorium' is enshrined a portion of the sacred Holy Ashes of Bhagavan Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. His picture along with those of Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi and Srimat Swami Vivekananda are placed on the central altar. A Rig Veda dictum "Ekam Sat Vipra Bahudha Vathanthi" in Sanskrit with an English translation "Truth is one, Sages call it by various Names" are inscribed on the wall above the altar.
In the shrine is also a Siva Linga and Abishekam and Puja are
done daily. Also the four Veda scripts - Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva
Veda are kept in the shrine. The pictures of main spiritual stalwarts: Lord Buddha,
Jesus Christ, Mahavir and Zoroaster are also installed on the walls of the shrine room.
The shrine radiates a peaceful atmosphere conducive to meditation.
A separate building houses the library , reading room and a lecture cum
prayer hall. The library and reading room is opened daily between 15.00 and 19.30 hours
and has about 6000 books on religion and philosophy. There are also a few original rare
collection of books. Daily newspapers and periodicals are also available.
The books available for sale are in the Ashram building. Among others are publications from the Ramakrishna Math, Madras and Advaitashrama. About 2000 books in English, Tamil, Sinhala or Sanskrit are available.
The auditorium named Swami Vivekananda Centenary Memorial Hall has 1200 seats with a balcony.It is also rented out for the holding of lectures, seminars, religious and cultural functions.
There are 30 rooms of which 15 with attached bath rooms are on the first floor and 15 with common bath rooms are on the second floor. In the ground floor are 2 halls which are made available on rent for the holding of religious, cultural programs and seminars.
There is a playground for children and a garden. The entire complex is ideally situated and overlooks the Indian Ocean.