The Vedanta Society of San Diego is a monastery that is a branch center of the Vedanta Society of Southern California which is under the spiritual guidance of the Ramakrishna Order of India. All centers of the centers are independent and self supporting units. The monks responsible for these units belong to the twin organizations of the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission.

Ramakrishna Math is a monastic organization for men brought into existence by Sri Ramakrishna (1836-1886), the great 19th century saint of Bengal who is regarded as the Prophet of the Modern Age. It became a registered institution on January 30, 1901.

Ramakrishna Mission is a registered society in which monks of Ramakrishna Math and lay devotees cooperate in conducting various types of social service mainly in India. It was founded by Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), the Chief disciple of Sri Ramakrishna and one of the foremost thinkers and religious leaders of the present age. Unlike the Ramakrishna Math which is purely monastic institution, the Ramakrishna Mission is a public Association or Society open to monks as well as lay people. Any person who has faith in Sri Ramakrishna and his message and is in sympathy with the ideals and activities of the Ramakrishna Mission is eligible for its membership. Lay people help monks in running educational, medical and other types of institutions. The Ramakrishna Mission was registered as a Society on May 4, 1909.

The headquarters of these twin organizations are in Blur Math, situated on the Western bank of the Hooghly (Ganga) river in Howrah district, an hour’s drive from Kolkata, India. All branch centers of Ramakrishna Math come under the administrative control of the Board of Trustees, whereas all branch centers of Ramakrishna Mission come under the administrative control of the Governing Body of Ramakrishna Mission.

The Math and the Mission together have 171 branch centers in India and in different parts of the world.

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