Ramakrishna Mission (Ceylon Branch)

History of the Movement in Sri Lanka


Inspired by Sri Ramakrishna (1836 – 1886), Swami Vivekananda started the Ramakrishna Mission Association on the 1st May 1897. It was subsequently registered as the present Ramakrishna Mission in 1909. He also started the Ramakrishna Math in 1897 which was registered as a Trust in 1901. The Headquarters of these twin institutions is located at Belur, near Kolkata, India on the banks of the holy Ganga. It has now more than 150 branches throughout the world.



In Sri Lanka

Swami Vivekananda visited Sri Lanka on three occasions. The activity of the Ramakrishna Movement in Sri Lanka started with the Swami’s second visit to the island on the 15th January 1897. Subsequently, on invitation from local devotees, several monks of the Ramakrishna Mission frequently visited the Island and conducted series of spiritual discourses. Regular activities of the Mission started in the Island when the Jaffna Vaideeshwara Vidyalayam was handed over to the Mission in 1917.

First Ashram

The First Ramakrishna Ashrama was opened on the 9th May 1925 at Trincomalee. The Students’ Home started by Swami Vipulananda on the 6th June 1926 in Jaffna was later shifted to Batticaloa on the 26th November 1929. Ramakrishna Mission (Ceylon Branch) was incorporated by a special Act of Parliament i.e. Ordinance No. 8 of 1929 and declared as an APPROVED CHARITY vide the Extra Ordinary Issue No. 10358 of the Ceylon Government Gazette published on the 22nd of February 1952.


Swami Vipulananda - 1947


In Colombo

The Ramakrishna Mission, Colombo Centre was formally inaugurated by Swami Sharvananda on the 22nd October 1930 at a rented house named ‘Kamalyn’ at No. 48, Harmer’s Avenue, Wellawatta. Since then this Ashrama has been functioning as the Headquarters of the Mission Centres in the Island. Later the centre was shifted to a house at No. 49, Sri Wickrama Road (now known as International Buddhist Centre Road), Wellawatta in January 1932.


In February 1935, a piece of land was purchased at 44th Lane (now known as Ramakrishna Road), Wellawatta, to provide a shrine room, office facilities and living quarters for the resident Swamis at Colombo. The foundation stone for the present Headquarters of the Mission was laid by Swami Asangananda on the 6th March 1935 and the construction was completed in 1936.


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