Last updated
Born(1919-05-10)10 May 1919 [1]
Died18 June 2017(2017-06-18) (aged 98)
Religion Hinduism
Known for15th President, Ramakrishna Math and Mission
Religious career
Guru Vijnanananda

Swami Atmasthananda (10 May 1919 – 18 June 2017) was the fifteenth president of the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission. [2]

Ramakrishna Math based on the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna

Ramakrishna Math is a religious monastic order, considered part of the Hindu reform movements. It was set up by sanyasin disciples of Ramakrishna pramhansa headed by Swami Vivekananda at Baranagar Math in Baranagar, a place near Calcutta, in 1886. India. The headquarters of Ramakrishna Math and its twin organisation, Ramakrishna Mission is at Belur Math.

Ramakrishna Mission Indian Organization

Ramakrishna Mission (RKM) is a Hindu religious and spiritual organisation which forms the core of a worldwide spiritual movement known as the Ramakrishna Movement or the Vedanta Movement. The mission is named after and inspired by the Indian saint Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and founded by Ramakrishna's chief disciple Swami Vivekananda on 1 May 1897. The organization mainly propagates the Hindu philosophy of Vedanta–Advaita Vedanta and four yogic ideals–jnana, bhakti, karma, and Raja Yoga.


Early life

He was born 10 May 1919 at Dinajpur, in Bengal Presidency. He received spiritual initiation (mantra diksha) in 1938 from Vijnanananda (a direct monastic disciple of Ramakrishna). He joined the Ramakrishna Order at Belur Math on 3 January 1941 at the age of 22 years. In 1945 the then-President of the Order Swami Virajananda gave him Brahmacharya vows, and in 1949 Sannyasa vows and the name Atmasthananda.

Bengal Presidency administrative unit in British India

The Bengal Presidency (1757–1912), later reorganized as the Bengal Province (1912–1947), was once the largest subdivision (presidency) of British India, with its seat in Calcutta. It was primarily centred in the Bengal region. At its territorial peak in the 19th century, the presidency extended from the present-day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan in the west to Burma, Singapore and Penang in the east. The Governor of Bengal was concurrently the Viceroy of India for many years. Most of the presidency's territories were eventually incorporated into other British Indian provinces and crown colonies. In 1905, Bengal proper was partitioned, with Eastern Bengal and Assam headquartered in Dacca and Shillong. British India was reorganised in 1912 and the presidency was reunited into a single Bengali-speaking province.

Vijnanananda Head of the Ramakrishna Mission

Swami Vijnanananda was born as Hariprasanna Chattopadhyaya in an upper-class family near Dakshineswar. He was a direct disciple of Ramakrishna. He was an engineer and worked as the District Engineer in the erstwhile State of United Provinces, India. He was a great scholar of Sanskrit with expertise in religio-philosophical works, astronomy, civil engineering etc. He spent considerable time in Allahabad (Prayag) centre of Ramakrishna Math. He became the President of Ramakrishna Mission in 1937. It was under his presidency and direct supervision that the Ramakrishna Temple at Belur Math was constructed and consecrated.

Swami Virajananda Indian writer

Swami Virajananda, born Kalikrishna Bose, was an initiated disciple of Sarada Devi and the sixth president of the Ramakrishna Order. Born as the son of Trailokyanath Bose and Nishadkalidevi, Virajananda was the first person to join the Ramakrishna Order after the direct disciples of Ramakrishna. In 1897, he was initiated into sannyasa by Vivekananda. from 1899 onward he served in Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati and became its president in 1906. He is recognised as a monastic disciple of Vivekananda.


After serving the Order at Belur Math and the branches at Deoghar Vidyapith and Mayavati Advaita Ashrama, he was offered the opportunity to serve Virajananda. He spent several years in his company in the solitude of Shyamla Tal in the Himalayas. In 1952, he was posted to Ranchi TB Sanatorium branch as an Assistant Secretary. He worked hard to expand its services in many ways. He was sent to Rangoon (Yangon) Sevashrama as its Secretary in 1958. He developed the Sevashrama hospital and it soon became the best hospital of Burma (Myanmar) at that time. When military rulers took over Rangoon Sevashrama, he returned to India in 1965. He was posted to Rajkot branch as its head in 1966. The temple of Ramakrishna at Rajkot Ashrama was built on his initiative.

He was elected a trustee of the Ramakrishna Math and member of the governing body of the Ramakrishna Mission in 1973. In 1975, he was appointed an Assistant Secretary of the twin organisations. He was also appointed Secretary of the relief operations of the Math and Mission. Under his stewardship, the Math and Mission conducted massive relief and rehabilitation operations in various parts of India, Nepal and Bangladesh. He became the General Secretary of the Math and Mission in 1992 and continued in that post until 1997, when he became a Vice-President of the Order.

As a vice-president of the math and mission, he travelled extensively in various parts of the country and visited many branches of the Order and some unaffiliated centres. In 1998, he visited various places in US, Canada, Japan and Singapore. He also went to Malaysia, Fiji, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at different times. In all those places, he spread the message of Ramakrishna, Sarada Devi, Vivekananda and Vedanta and also gave spiritual initiation (mantra diksha) to many seekers.

Atmasthananda was elected as the 15th President of the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission on 3 December 2007.

Inspired by Swami Vivekananda since his young days, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wanted to join the mission to become a monk. He spent some time in the Rajkot ashram where he closely interacted with Swami Atmasthananda. He told Modi that "sanyas was not for him and his work was among people and not in seclusion." [3]

Swami Vivekananda Indian Hindu monk and philosopher

Swami Vivekananda, born Narendranath Datta, was an Indian Hindu monk, a chief disciple of the 19th-century Indian mystic Ramakrishna. He was a key figure in the introduction of the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world and is credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion during the late 19th century. He was a major force in the revival of Hinduism in India, and contributed to the concept of nationalism in colonial India. Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission. He is perhaps best known for his speech which began with the words - "Sisters and brothers of America ...," in which he introduced Hinduism at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago in 1893.

Narendra Modi Current prime minister of the Republic of India

Narendra Damodardas Modi is an Indian politician serving as the 14th and current Prime Minister of India since 2014. He was the Chief Minister of Gujarat from 2001 to 2014, and is the Member of Parliament for Varanasi. Modi is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu nationalist volunteer organisation.

Personal life

Born Satyakrishna Bhattacharya, he was the eldest of seven brothers and three sisters. His second brother Jyotikrishna also joined the Ramakrishna Order as Juktananda. A sister, Arati, also became a sanyaasini named as Achyutaprana. Two other brothers who took sanyaas are Manindrakrishna and Sourendrakrishna (Gopeshananda).


Atmasthananda died on 18 June 2017. [4] Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolence in a tweet saying: 'The demise of Swami Atmasthananda ji is a personal loss for me. I lived with him during a very important period of my life." [5]

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Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama organization

Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama is a branch of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission involved in providing humanitarian, healthcare, education and relief services to poor and needy through the universal principle of serving "God in man", based on the motto, Atmano Moksartham Jagat Hitaya Cha, which was propounded by Swami Vivekananda.

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Prakashananda(1874–1927) was a direct monastic disciple of Vivekananda and a swami monk of the Ramakrishna Order who played a major role in propagating and promoting the Vedanta philosophy and Vivekananda's message in India and America. He worked closely with Trigunatitananda, a direct disciple of Ramakrishna for Vedanta Society of San Francisco, later renamed as Vedanta Society of Northern California, and later became its president.

Vimalananda (1872–1908) was one of the monastic disciples of Vivekananda and an early monk of the Ramakrishna Order. He was involved in the publication of Prabuddha Bharata. He was actively involved in running day-to-day operations of the Advaita Ashrama at Mayavati during the early days of the Ashrama. He also inaugurated the Ramakrishna Math at Ulsoor in Bangalore in 1906. He died in 1908 at the Mayavati Ashrama.

Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama, Sargachi branch of Ramakrishna Mission

Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama Sargachi is located in Murshidabad district of West Bengal. It was founded by Swami Akhandananda, a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna in August, 1897. It is a spiritual and philanthropic centre under Belur Math, the head quarters of Ramakrishna Order. It started with an orphanage and later undertook many activities in the fields of education, treatment of poor, training and development, agriculture and overall development of a very poor and backward area of West Bengal. All of these activities are undertaken as spiritual practices.

Swami Smaranananda

Swami Smaranananda is a senior monk of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission. He is its 16th president. He joined the organization in 1952, and was elected president on July 17, 2017.


  1. "Swami Atmasthananda (2007–)". Vendata Society of St. Louis. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  2. Ananda (April 2, 2009). "Service in the name of god in every human". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-08-25.
  3. "Know about the monk who put Narendra Modi on path to become PM". Archived from [ the original] Check |url= value (help) on 2017-06-28. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  4. "রামকৃষ্ণলোকে স্বামী আত্মস্থানন্দ". 18 June 2017.
  5. "PM condoles the demise of Swami Atmasthananda ji". Retrieved 18 June 2017.

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