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  The Order that came into being after Sri Ramakrishna's passing away to keep alive his ideal has now 137 branches in and outside India, with its Headquarters at Belur Math. From the legal point of view, the Organization has two distinct wings the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission.
But this distinction is tenuous, often overlaps, and therefore, more theoretical than real. The Math and the Mission are closely related: the Governing Body of the Mission is made up of the Trustees of the Math and the administrative work of the Mission is fully in the hands of the monks of the Math.
Though the origin of both the Math and Mission can be traced back to the days of the Baranagar Monastery, the Math was registered as a Trust only in 1901, and the Mission, a registered society, in 1909, twelve years after it had been started by Swami Vivekananda on 1 May 1897. People, however, loosely use the name "Ramakrishna Mission" to mean both the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission. Though, both the Math and the Mission take up charitable and philanthropic activities, the former lays emphasis on spiritual development of people and the latter gives priority to welfare work. The motto that the twin organizations follow is the same, one that Swami Vivekananda put before them, "Atmano mokshartham jagaddhitaya cha" - doing good to the world with a spirit of worship and thus paving paths for one's own salvation. An activity the Math and Mission follows to carry out the ideal of Swami Vivekananda into practice:
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