Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest secular fraternal societies. It is a world-wide organisation based on the principle of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man. It is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. Its members are taught its precepts by series of ritual which follow ancient forms and use stone masons’ customs and tools and allegorical guides. It seeks to make good men better and thereby make the world a better place in which to live. Freemasonry has been in existence in the present form for nearly 280 years in the world and for over 250 years in India. There are more than 150 Grand Lodges functioning all over the world.
Freemasonry traces its origin from King Solomon’s times, but its real origin is lost in antiquity. Freemasonry in its present form originated in England, in 1717. It came to India, at Calcutta in 1729. Freemasonry exists in over 190 countries in the World. There are over 5 million Freemasons in the world; in India we have about 20,000 Freemasons. There are as on date, 360 Lodges in 142 locations all over India, which are the basic units for membership. Prominent Indian Freemasons include Swami Vivekananda, Moti Lal Nehru C. Rajagopalachary, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Fakhrudhin Ali Ahmed, Actor Ashok Kumar, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi etc., as also a wide variety of a cross section of society and professionals, such as Doctors, Engineers, Industrialists, Professors, Teachers Advocates, Chartered Accountants, Business Executives, Judges, Officers of various ranks belonging to Armed Forces, Civil Service Officers etc