In 1967 a group of sincere admirers of the Vedanta philosophy from Vancouver, British Columbia, began visiting the Ramakrishna Vedanta Centre (now known as the Vedanta Society of Western Washington) in Seattle. The Head of the Centre at that time, Swami Vividishananda, inspired these devotees to form a group in Vancouver dedicated to the study and practice of Vedanta. Scriptural reading, meditation and devotional singing began taking place every week in devotees’ houses in Vancouver. Swami Vividishananda visited the city five times and his visits attracted more people to the Vedanta philosophy.
Swami Vividishananda’s last visit to Vancouver was in 1972. Shortly thereafter he became ill. From 1975 onwards, his assistant (now the President of the Vedanta Society of Western Washington) Swami Bhaskarananda, had been visiting the Vancouver group on a regular basis. Under his spiritual guidance and encouragement the Vivekananda Vedanta Society of British Columbia (VVSBC) was officially registered on May 12, 1978 with Dr. Anadi Jiban Das as its first president. The first public lecture sponsored by the VVSBC was delivered by Swami Bhaskarananda at the West Burnaby United Church in 1978.
More than forty swamis (monks) of the Ramakrishna Order and two pravrajikas (nuns) from India, the United Kingdom, the U.S.A., and Toronto have visited the VVSBC, delivering inspiring and uplifting talks. Among them were Swami Ranganathanandaji, Swami Gahananandaji, Swami Atmasthanandaji and Swami Smarananandaji (current president of the Ramakrishna Order).
In response to the repeated requests from the management of Vivekananda Vedanta Society of British Columbia, the Board of Trustees of Ramakrishna Math in its meeting held on 26 March 2019 decided to affiliate the Society with Ramakrishna Math, Belur. In the same meeting Swami Vimohananda was appointed the first minister-in-charge of the Vedanta Society. The Society was formally affiliated to the Ramarkrishna Math, Belur, with the arrival of Swami Vimohananda in Vancouver on 13 December 2019.
The Society’s present location, purchased in 1998, is one of the six units in a townhouse complex. The unit has three floors with three bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, a kitchen and a fairly large living room which serves as the Society’s shrine.