Ramakrishna Vedanta Society in Boston is a branch of the Ramakrishna Order founded by Swami Vivekananda. Headquartered at Belur Math on the bank of the sacred Ganges in India, the Ramakrishna Order has branches all over the world. The Boston branch was started in 1909 after the ones in New York (1894) and San Francisco (1900).
New England's Vedanta roots go back to 1893 when Swami Vivekananda came to Boston and taught Vedanta even before he became a renowned religious figure at the World Parliament of Religions held in Chicago that year.
After the Parliament, Vivekananda stayed for extended periods in various parts of New England, including Boston. Later, two other disciples of Ramakrishna, Swamis Saradananda and Abhedananda, visited Boston and gave classes on Vedanta.
In 1909 Swami Paramananda built the first permanent Vedanta center in Boston, and in 1941 Swami Akhilananda moved it to its present location at 58 Deerfield Street. After Akhilananda’s passing in 1962, Swami Sarvagatananda led the Vedanta Society for forty years until his formal retirement in 2002. Swami Tyagananda is currently the head of the Vedanta work in Boston.
In addition to Sunday services, weekday scripture classes, and bi-weekly meditations, the Society continues to provide spiritual guidance and help to whoever seeks it. Besides Harvard and MIT, where the Vedanta swamis have been chaplains for decades, the Society is also a resource to students on campuses throughout Massachusetts.