Átmano mokshártham jagad hitáya cha, 'For one's own salvation and for the welfare of the world'

Become A Monk



Frequently Asked Questions

Many youngsters when they come across the inspiring life and teachings of Swami Vivekananda, feel an urge to embrace monastic life in the Ramakrishna Order. For others, the urge to renounce the world may come as a result of their watching/listening to inspiring talks on Spiritual aspects of Hinduism. Disillusionment with worldly attainments and relationships also drive quite a few to the doors of a monastery. Then there are “Be good and Do Good” youth who are impressed by the work of the Ramakrishna Mission and want to dedicate themselves to its service activities. Whatever may be the immediate inspiration, they need to carefully consider quite a few factors before joining the Ramakrishna Order. To help such would-be monks to arrive at the right decision, here is a set of Frequently asked Questions and Answers.

What Does It Mean To “Join The Ramakrishna Order”?

It means to leave behind one’s family and friends, profession and attainments, all worldly interests, pleasures and concerns, and embrace the monastic life. The person will henceforth live in a monastery of the Ramakrishna Order, usually known as Math or Ashrama, devoting his life exclusively to spiritual pursuits and selfless service. In course of his monastic life he has to take up vows of Brahmacharya (celibacy) and Sannyasa (monkhood) which will be the cornerstone of his monastic life. The Ramakrishna Order is a well-defined body of monks which owes its origin to Sri Ramakrishna and his eminent disciples headed by Swami Vivekananda.

What Are The Essential Conditions For Becoming A Monk In The Ramakrishna Order?

What Are The Options For Young Women Who Are Interested In Embracing Monastic Life?

I’m Married. Can I Join The Ramakrishna Order?

I’m A College/University Student. Can I Join The Order Now?

Why Is Academic Qualification Insisted Upon For A Man Who Wants To Renounce Everything?

I’ve Some Health Issue. Will That Be An Obstacle To My Joining The Order?

Can I Pursue My College Or Higher Studies After Joining The Order?

I’ve Not Read Books On Sri Ramakrishna Or Swami Vivekananda. Can I Join The Order?

I’m Not A Hindu By Birth. Can I Join The Order?

I’m A Devotee Of Krishna (Or Shiva, Kali, Christ Or Any Other Deity). Can I Join The Order?

I Want To Serve My Country, Especially The Poor And The Helpless. Can I Join The Order?

I’ve Led Rather A Morally Impure Life. Am I Eligible To Join The Order?

I Want To Become A Monk. But My Parents Are Against It. What Should I Do? (OR) I Am The Only Son Of My Parents. Who Will Look After Them If I Become A Monk?

I’ve Some Property In My Name. What Will Happen To It If I Join?

Can I Remain In Touch With My Parents And Relatives After Joining?

Will I Be Paid Salary In The Order?

If I Join The Order, Who Will Take Care Of My Personal Needs? Who Will Look After Me When I Become Old?

How Should I Dress After Joining The Order?

If I Join Tomorrow, How Long Will It Take To Become A Monk In The Full Sense Of The Term?

What Am I Expected To Do After Joining The Order?

Are There Any Spiritual Teachers (Gurus) Who Can Help Me?

I’m Interested In Pranayama Or Raja Yoga. Can I Learn And Practise Them In The Order?

I’m Interested In Studying Vedanta In Depth. Can I Do That After Joining The Order?

Can I Join At Any Branch Of The Order?

Can I Join At Belur Math?

There Is A Ramakrishna Ashrama In My Neighbourhood. Can I Join There?

I Like One Particular Branch Of Yours. Can I Spend The Rest Of My Life There As A Monk?

Will I Be Posted In Foreign Countries?

Suppose I’m Unable To Continue In The Order, Can I Quit?

Fine. My Questions Are All Answered. But I’m Still Not Sure Whether To Join The Order Or Get Married. Can You Help Me?


Healthy, unmarried, educated young men (women are addressed in the footnote) with the below requirements can join the Ramakrishna Order to become a monk:


1. 22 years for School Final/Matriculation or its equivalent passed with minimum 60% marks.

2. 25 years for Higher Secondary passed with minimum 50% marks.

3. 28 years for B.A. / B.Sc. / B.Com. / Diploma (2 or 3 years).

4. 30 years for M.A. / M. Sc. / M.Com. / B.E. / B. Tech./ M. Tech. /M.B.B.S. / M.B.A. / P.G. Diploma or its equivalent professional qualification.

5. Age limit for western candidates will be 36 years.

6. who is attracted by the philosophy followed by the Ramakrishna Order, is eligible for admission into the Ramakrishna Order (marks sheets and degree certificates necessary).

7. A thorough reading of Ramakrishna-Vivekananda literature is very necessary. Prior association with any centre of the Ramakrishna Order(Math, Mission, Ashram or Vedanta Society) will give him acquaintance with the associated lifestyle.

8. He should be initiated/arrange to get initiation (Mantra Diksha – मन्त्र दीक्ष) – from the Ramakrishna Order.

9. He must be physically fit and will have to clear medical tests before being accepted into the organization.

10. He must also be free from undischarged family duties that are likely to weigh on his conscience and which may act as a disturbing factor in his proposed monastic way of life.

11. It should be noted that he shall not be any paid any monetary compensation as wages, salary etc., and he shall stay of his own freewill, following the rules and regulations of the Order.

(Foreign nationals are requested to contact the centre closest to them. Passports, visa, travel-permits etc. are to be in order and to be procured by themselves.)

One may join in any of the centres associated with the Ramakrishna Order, in India (If one wishes to join at BELUR MATH, please inquire about the Pre-Probationers Training Centre – PPTC at Belur Math). An aspirant is given a long period of nine years to examine his own fitness for his choice of the monastic way of life within the Order. On completion of nine years as a Brahmacharin, he may be ordained as a monk (Sannyasin) and full membership of the Order.

Entry for women as nuns:
Women may kindly enquire at branches of the Sri Sarada Math and Ramakrishna-Sarada Mission, headquarters at
SRI SARADA MATH, DAKSHINESHWAR, KOLKATA 700 076, or any of the other branch centres of the same.

Further reading:
For Enquirers about Ramakrishna Math And Ramakrishna Mission by Swami Tapasyananda, published by Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai
The Glory of Monastic Life by Swami Bhajanananda, published by Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata
SPIRITUAL PRACTICE by Swami Ashokananda, published by Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata