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|Born|| 10 May 1919 |
|Died||18 June 2017 98)(aged|
|Known for||15th President, Ramakrishna Math and Mission|
Swami Atmasthananda (10 May 1919 – 18 June 2017) was the fifteenth president of the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission.
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 (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.
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.
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.
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, 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."
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 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.
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.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."
Brahmananda, born Rakhal Chandra Ghosh, was one of the direct disciples of Ramakrishna and the first president of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission. He was born in Sikra Kulingram near Basirhat, Kolkata. Ramakrishna recognised him as his 'spiritual son'. He became the first president of the mission. Known as "Raja Maharaj", he was largely responsible for the initial development of the mission, which was remiss due to the death of Vivekananda.
Swami Yatiswarananda (1889-1966) was a vice-president of Ramakrishna Order whose headquarter is in Belur Math. He was a disciple of Swami Brahmananda, a brother disciple of Swami Vivekananda and a direct disciple and spiritual son of Ramakrishna. He served in Philadelphia propagating the message of Vedanta. He was the president of Bangalore centre of Ramakrishna Math. He founded an ashrama in Switzerland.
Shuddhananda who was the fifth president of the Ramakrishna Order, was a direct monastic disciple of Vivekananda. He joined the Ramakrishna Math in 1897. He became a trustee of Ramakrishna Math and a member of the governing body of Ramakrishna Mission in May 1903. He also took up the editorship of the Bengali magazine called Udbodhan for sometime. He was appointed as the secretary of the math and the mission in 1927 and as the vice president in 1937. In 1938 he became the president of the order. His tenure was short, as he died in 1938. He is renowned in the literary circles to have translated most of Vivekananda's original works from English to Bengali.
Swami Gahanananda, the 14th President of the Ramakrishna Order, was born in the village of Paharpur in Sylhet District in October 1916. Known as Naresh Ranjan Roy Choudhury in his pre-monastic days, he joined the Ramakrishna Order at its centre in Bhubaneswar in January 1939 at the age of 22. He received initiation in 1939, brahmacharya in 1944 with the name 'Amrita-chaitanya' and Sannyasa from Swami Virajananda Maharaj, the then-President of the Order. He was greatly influenced by the dedicated lives of some of the monks of Ramakrishna Order, especially Swami Prabhananda, who was his cousin in his pre-monastic life. He had also once met Swami Abhedananda, a direct disciple of Ramakrishna. He served at the Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata, from 1942 to 1952 and at Shillong centre from 1953 to 1958.
Swami Adidevananda was a monk of the Ramakrishna Mission.
Ramakrishna Mission Home of Service is an Indian non-governmental organisation (NGO) located in Varanasi, established in 1900, and a branch of Ramakrishna Mission since 1902. It manages an education program on essential health issues in schools, slums and villages of Uttar Pradesh (India) thanks to auto-produced multimedia educational movies. It also gives health care and supplies free medicines to penniless people at its charitable hospital and two hospices.
Swami Prameyananda was a vice-president of the Ramakrishna Order. He was born Ramgopal Bhattacharya in the village of Kani-shail in the Sylhet district of what is today Bangladesh, into an orthodox brahmin family. He joined the Ramakrishna Order in 1951 at its Karimganj center. In 1957 he received mantra and Brahmacharya diksha from Swami Shankarananda, receiving the name Premesha Chaitanya, and in 1961 he received Sannyasa and the name Swami Prameyananda from his guru. In 1966 he became secretary to Swami Vireshwarananda, the tenth president of the Order, and served him until the latter's death in 1985. Thereafter he became the editor of the Bengali-language monthly Udbodhan from November 1985 to September 1987. In April 1987 he was made a trustee of the Ramakrishna Math, and in September came to Belur Math to become the manager. He held that post until he was made a vice president on February 27, 2009. During his tenure as vice president, he granted mantra diksha to 13,066 spiritual seekers.
Nirmalananda, born as Tulasi Charan Dutta in Calcutta, a direct disciple of Ramakrishna, the 19th century mystic and Hindu saint from India, and took Sanyasa from Vivekananda along with Brahmananda and others. He was initiated by SriRamakrishna, on which fact a few latter day antagonists tried to cast doubt in the Bangalore Court but into which question the Court refused to get into. Nirmalananda played a key role in establishing Ramakrishna Math and Mission chiefly in South India, in Kerala and Bangalore and Tamil Nadu and also in USA, Burma and Bangladesh
Kalyanananda (1874–1937) was a direct monastic disciple of Vivekananda, who had set up the Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama at Kankhal, near Haridwar. As a monk of the Ramakrishna Order he took up service to the humanity as the most important philosophy in his life and practiced it for the benefit of the local population and the pilgrims. He spent thirty six years in Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama Kankhal to serve the poor and afflicted. He was one of the pioneers to set up a hospital in a remote location for the poor, needy and the itinerant monks who did not have access to healthcare.
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.
Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama, Kankhal (RKMS) is in its present form is a 150-bed multi-specialty charitable hospital in Kankhal, Haridwar in Uttarakhand. It is a branch of Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama, and was established in 1901 by Swami Kalyanananda, one of the direct monastic disciples of Swami Vivekananda. The hospital serves the treatment needs of poor patients in and around Uttarakhand. Since its inception it has treated more than 10 million patients. From a modest beginning in a rented two room dilapidated building it has grown to be a multi-speciality hospital for treatment of impoverished and needy people, under the supervision of the monks of Ramakrishna Order. The hospital is located in an 18 acres campus, and houses Gynecology and Obstetrics, Pediatrics, Intensive Care Units, Pathological laboratory, Blood bank, Operation Theatres etc. in addition to dairy and agricultural land whose products are used for the consumption of poor in patients.
Nischayananda was a direct monastic disciple of Vivekananda. He, together with Kalyanananda was responsible for setting up and running the Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama, Kankhal. He was inspired by Vivekananda's philosophy of serving man as God and dedicated his life to serve poor and downtrodden in the remote areas where no healthcare facility existed. He worked in military service before joining the Ramakrishna Order as a direct monastic disciple of Vivekananda. He met Vivekananda in Madras and decided to become his disciple. After Vivekananda's death, he went for pilgrimage and by chance came to Haridwar where he met his brother disciple Kalyanananda and joined him in carrying out the works of Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama Kankhal.
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 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 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.
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Biographical Information on Atmasthananda can be found here: