Swami Ranganathananda

Average: 3 (12 votes)
Fast Facts
Other Names and Nicknames: 
Shankaran Kutty
Main Countries of Activity: 
India; US, UK, JAPAN
Date of Birth: 
December 15, 1908
Place of Birth: 
Trikkur, Thrissur, Kerala
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
Date Left His/Her Body: 
April 25, 2005, Kolkata)


In 1926 he joined the Mysore branch of Ramakrishna Math. He obtained his final vows of monasticism from Swami Shivananda (also known as Mahapurush Maharaj) in 1933. He spent the first 12 years of monasticism in Mysore and Bangalore branches. He served there as the cook, personal attendant to Swami Siddheswaranandaji. He is said to have rendered remarkable service as the secretary and librarian at the Rangoon branch of Ramakrishna Mission from 1939 to 1942. He then served as the president of the Karachi centre of math from 1942 to 1948 until the partition of India.

From 1949 to 1962, he served as a secretary at the Delhi centre. Then from 1962 to 1967, he served as the Secretary of the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Kolkata, director of School of Humanistic & Cultural studies, editor of mission's monthly. Then he served as the president of the Hyderabad branch for a long period. He was elected to the post of vice-president of Ramakrishna Math and Mission in 1989 and then as the president in 1998.

A man with a great insight into the problems of India and the world, Raganathananda was a great orator and scholar. He undertook extensive lecture tours from 1946 to 1972 covering over 50 countries in North and South America, Asia, Africa and Europe, including Russia, Poland and Czechoslovakia. From 1973 to 1986 he annually visited Australia, USA and Europe, spreading the message of Vedanta. Thus he served as a cultural and spiritual ambassador of India,

He declined the Padma Vibhushan as it was conferred on him in his individual capacity but accepted the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration in 1987 and the Gandhi Peace Prize in February 1999 as both were conferred on the Ramakrishna Mission.

Raganathananda lived the last days of his life in the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission at Belur in West Bengal.

He attained Mahasamadhi at Woodlands Medical Centre, Kolkata, at 3:51 p.m. on Monday, 25 April, 2005, owing to cardiac arrest. He was 96. His mortal remains were kept for darshan at Belur Math (near Kolkata) on that day, and were consigned to flames at 12.30 p.m. on 26 April, 2005.



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Pro Opinions

Swami Ranganathananda

ammassridhar's picture

His Holiness did his best before leaving his body.