Ramakrishna Vedanta Centre in Auckland on Monday, May 7, donated 886 pieces of Winter Polar Fleece garments for children to the Starship Foundation.

Ramakrishna Vedanta Centre of New Zealand, a charitable organisation that hosts devotional sessions for the community all 365 days of the year and also conducts several community fundraising events to support charitable initiatives.

“Since winter has already popped in, it was time to make a contribution towards a good cause; we do not want any child to feel impoverished or left in cold this season,” a spokesperson for Ramkrishna Vedanta Centre said.

The Auckland centre of Ramakrishna Mission has consistently worked towards its target of a full affiliation to the Ramakrishna Mission headquarters in Belur Math, India, and the appointment of a resident Swamiji in NZ.

With the arrival of migrants from Fiji and India in the mid-1980s, devotees of Ramakrishna Mission settled in NZ started meeting informally for Satsangs from time to time. These were initially held at the homes of devotees and later in hired community halls. Swami Damodrananda from the Fiji Centre regularly visited NZ to meet with these devotees and inspire them to study the teachings of Vedanta and the lives and messages of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda.

Amritlal Jogia Amit Sengupta and the President of Ramakrishna Vedanta Centre Harish Sunderji at Starship Godown

The centre has adopted a set of regular activities which includes daily evening Vesper (Aarti) service at 7 p.m., and Satsangs every second and last Sundays at 11.00 a.m. These Satsangs are attended by about 50 devotees of all ages.

The programs include readings from the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, the life of Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi, complete works of Swami Vivekananda, lives of direct disciples of Sri Ramakrishna, Ramayan and Bhagwad Gita in addition to Kirtans and chanting of holy texts.

In addition, the centre in New Lynn celebrates special occasions such as birth anniversaries of the holy trio- Kalpataru Day, Shiva Ratri, Buddha Purnima, Guru Purnima, Durga Puja, and Christmas Eve, etc.