1886 October Calcutta, then capital of British India. A group of young men came together in a dilapidated house in Baranagar, northern Calcutta. Molded by ideas and ideals of their spiritual master Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa.
Sri Ramakrishna had passed away a few months ago, but before that he has instilled in them love for god, the spirit of renunciation and brotherly hood. One day in Cossipore garden house Sri Ramakrishna himself distributed them ochre robe and send them out to beg food in this way he himself initiated them into life of renunciation and thus laid foundation of new monastic order.
Few months later, on Christmas Eve in Antpur their resolve to form a brotherhood was further strengthen. Dilapidated house of Baranagar thus became 1st address of the monastery. Under the able leadership of Swami Vivekananda, 16 young men formed a new monastic order in name of their master, these 16 young men were first monks of the order, later to be known as direct disciples.
In year 1892, math was shifted to nearby Alambazar and later to Nilamber Mukherjee’s garden house to the south of present Belur Math in year 1898 & finally in January of 1899 to newly acquired plot of land in Belur, which thereafter became heart of Ramakrishna Movement worldwide and head quarter to twin organization.
On May 1st 1897, after returning from his 1st historic visit to west Swami Vivekananda founded Ramakrishna Math & Ramakrishna Mission (the twin organization) giving it motto “आत्मनो मोक्षार्थम् जगद्धिताय च” For one’s own liberation and for the welfare of the world”.
The twin organization thou separate legal and financial entities work parallel under same motto. The atmamoksha aspect resulted in the establishment of the Ramakrishna Math, an organization predominantly accommodating to the spiritual needs of the monks of the order as also its votaries. The jagaddhita aspect on the other hand, gave rise to another sister organization, concentrating solely on public service activities.