The Ramakrishna Mission was founded on 1 May 1897 by the monk Vivekananda in Kolkata. Later it was organizationally divided into, Ramakrishna Order ' (Sri Ramakrishna Math) as a monastic order and, Ramakrishna Mission ' as a service organization for the population.

The aim of the organization is not only to spread the teachings of the Master, but also by the cultural construction of schools, hospitals, orphanages, clubs and libraries, and primarily to make social work. Differences in caste, religion or nationality are not within the Order still among the staff or assisted a role, because every human being is regarded as a manifestation of the divine.

This mission includes numerous lay and staff, but the management is in the hands of Swamis ( monks ) of the Ramakrishna Order. Today there are more than 110 centers across India. Special emphasis is placed in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. It is missions, monasteries ( Math), ashrams, hospitals and schools. The head of the mission is Belur Math in Howrah, near Dakshineshwar, where Ramakrishna lived and died.

The Ramakrishna Mission is willing to distribute the first Indian religious organization the Vedanta also outside India. Today she has more than 40 ( smaller and larger ) centers abroad. The center in England was founded in 1948, which in France., The German center was founded in 1933 and closed in 1938 1935. A new program has been established in 1996. Other religions are considered by the Ramakrishna Mission as also valid paths to the divine truth. The Advaita Vedanta (pure monism ) is preferred as a spiritual basis of explanation. In India, the Ramakrishna Mission for the renewal of Hinduism uses, including through the publication of journals.

However, the social work had for Swami Vivekandanda precedence over the religious agitation, since it does not make sense in his view, to teach people about religion, until its poverty and their sufferings are resolved. The attitude that any religion can be a precursor to the acquisition of the highest truth which is founded the tolerance of the Ramakrishna Mission against Christianity and Islam.

In 1997, the organization was awarded the Gandhi Peace Prize, Government of India.