Arise, Awake! Dedicated to “One’s own liberation and the welfare of the world,” the Vedanta Center of Greater Washington, DC is a branch of the Ramakrishna Order of India. Though founded in 1997, its roots draw from Swami Vivekananda’s visits to the USA in the 1890s, and from the immemorial wisdom of the Upanishadic sages.
The Center was established in April 1997 as an extension of the Vedanta Society of Southern California under the leadership of Swami Swahananda and spiritual guidance of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, with headquarters at Belur Math, Howrah, West Bengal, India. The Center is located on a 2.5 acre plot surrounded by woods. A modest brick house, which came with the property, served as the main center up until June of 2000, when the first stage of construction, consisting of a worship hall and residential section, was completed . The final stage of construction, consisting of the new temple adorned with a marble image of Sri Ramakrishna, was consecrated in April 2013. The prayer hall has the seating capacity of 164. The Center’s activities include Sunday lectures, weeknight classes, worship and meditation, karma yoga sessions, and social service programms. The temple opens for morning meditation at 5 am and remains open throughout the day until the close of evening meditation at 8 pm. Daily Puja is done at 7:45 am and evening Arati is at 6:30 pm.
The Center welcomes all sincere seekers of truth who want to deepen their spiritual lives through the study of Vedanta and the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi, and Swami Vivekananda. It is our hope that many friends and devotees will benefit from the holy atmosphere of the Center through participating in our various programs.
Our minister, the head of the Center, is Swami Sarvadevananda. Swami Swahananda was the founding minister of the Center, and was its head from 1997 to 2012. His passing has left a great void. Two monks are in residence: Swamis Atmajnanananda, and Brahmarupananda.