About Us

About Us

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. Three monks: Swamis Atma­jna­na­nanda, Brahma­rupa­nanda, Chid­brah­manand and Brah­macharya Kumar are in res­i­dence.