Activities of the Mahamandal Units
Mahamandal centers are places in towns and villages (there are now about two hundred fifty centers in different States) – any room or shed or the shade of a tree or a playground, where the youths meet. They take exercise to keep the body strong and healthy; study and discuss to sharpen their intellect, and gather knowledge through the study of the life and teachings of Swami Vivekananda of an oceanic heart. By actually applying his teachings on serving humanity they make efforts to expand their hearts. How practical this is none will believe unless one has gone through the process and has been astonished to mark his own heart expanding.
Similar but simpler exercises for children are also provided at Vivek Vahini, the children's wing of the Mahamandal.
To worship the inner divinity of man, the centers often run charitable dispensaries, free coaching classes, adult education centers, schools for children, students’ homes, feeding schemes, libraries, etc.; undertake village work and relief to victims of natural calamities, help farmers, poor students, and other people in need, and the like. They often donate blood for needy patients and occasionally organize blood donation camps.
They do all that would strengthen their brawn, sharpen their brain, and broaden their heart. To help them understand the whole scheme, details of the methods of self-improvement and character-building, and the underlying principles, youth training camps are often held at various levels from local to All-India. Specific methods are suggested and interested young men are guided and advised to keep record of their progress. Follow-up studies point to very encouraging results of improvement in character-qualities of individuals. Group activity, living together, and mixing with youths from different parts of the country at these camps give them toleration, cooperative spirit, sense of identity with all and of national integrity. Everything together make them better citizens – dutiful, patriotic, unselfish, sacrificing – with a humanistic disposition, spirit of service, and a broader outlook.