Atmasthananda

Atmasthananda
Personal
Born (1919-05-10)10 May 1919 [1]
Died 18 June 2017(2017-06-18) (aged 98)
Religion Hinduism
Known for 15th 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]

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.

Career

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]

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).

Death

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]

References

  1. ^ "Swami Atmasthananda (2007–)". vedantastl.org/. 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 [economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/59220256.cms 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". www.narendramodi.in. Retrieved 18 June 2017.

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