In a bid to improve quality of leadership and services, the Ramakrishna Mission is sending a monk to the Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Swami Chidekananda and Swami Harinamananda had earlier been sent to the school. Swami Sarvapriyananda, head of the Vedanta Centre, New York also went to the school.
Harvard Divinity School is one of the finest centres in the United States. It has the best faculty which teaches theology, religion, management of the institution, non-sectarian religion among others. Swami Chidekananda is associated with the Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata.
He has bagged a full scholarship. Swami Bodhsarananda, one of the assistant general secretaries of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, said, “We have to be modern in our thoughts and approach.
The centres are now being flooded with people and a proper man management is required to provide better service to the people.” The RKM is constructing a guest house in addition to the existing one at Belur Math to accommodate visitors particularly those who come from other states.
“When tourists come even when the Math is closed during the daily stipulated hours, the side gates are kept open to the visitors so that they can use the washrooms and they can take a shower or take a stroll on the premises. Later, they can visit the temples when the gates open,” Swami Bodhsaranandaji said. Math has set up a toilet complex which can be used by more than 200 people at a time.
The bathrooms have 24 hour running hot and cold water. Two young monks of the order, swamis Sarvapriyanandaji and Medhanandaji have been very popular in the United States and people, particularly the younger generation, are willing to hear Swami Sarvapriyanandaji.
His lectures on integrated Vedanta and Raj Yoga have become very popular in the West. Swami Vivekananda’s Vedantic Cosmopolitanism by Swami Medhananda has become a popular book among university students and teachers.
It may be mentioned that Swami Vivekananda, in one of his letters, wrote, “Our guru was original and we should be either original or nothing.” From the United States he wrote several letters between 1904- 96 to his brother monks in Kolkata where he stated that he should teach them about organization.
He advised his brother monks to boil water daily and proposed to start a trilingual daily newspaper