New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a gathering on the occasion of centenary program of Swami Atmasthanand Ji. PM Modi said that whether it is Adi Shankaracharya who was present in his physical form hundreds of years ago or be it Swami Vivekananda in modern times India has always been at the apex ‘Sant Parampara’ (Yogic traditions). The essence of Yogic traditions has always proclaimed the idea of ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshth Baharat’.
Who was Swami Atmasthanandji Maharaj?
Swami Atmasthanandji Maharaj was the president of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission. He died on February 21, 2015 at the age of 98. Swamiji was born in May 1919 at Sabjpur near Dhaka.
Swami Atmasthanandji Maharaj received his “deeksha” from Swami Vivekananda Maharaj (who was the disciple of Sri Ramakrishna) in 1938. He joined the Ramakrishna Order at Belur Math in 1941 at the young age of 22.
His pre-monastic name was Satyakrishna. He completed his schooling from Dinajpur Zilla High School. He graduated from Guwahati Cotton College of Assam. While studying in college he got acquainted with Swami Gadadharananda , who was the disciple of Swami Shivananda.
Satyakrishna was attracted to the teachings of Swami Vivekananda and Sri Ramakrishna. Under the guidance of Swami Gadadharananda, Satyakrishna, who belonged to a Brahmin family, carried a tradition of regular ‘puja’ at home. He was asked to perform regular puja at the Ashram temple eve before he had recieved his spiritual initiation.
Spiritual initiation of Swami Atmasthanandji Maharaj
Satyakrishna received his ‘mantra deeksha’ (spiritual initiation), while he was still a student from Swami Vijnanananda who was a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna in 1938 at Belur Math. He then went on to be known by his spiritual name Swami Atmasthanand Maharaj.
Satyakrishna joined the Ramakrishna Order at Belur Math on January 3, 1941. Receiving his initiation at the young age of 22, he was sent to Deoghar Vidyapeeth following his transfer to the Mayavati Advaita Ashram.
He worked there as the assistant to the Editor of the English journal Prabuddha Bharata. In March 1999, he published his reminiscing experiences about his life at Mayavati Advait Ashram and its spiritual significance.
Elected as Assistant Secretary of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission
He was elected as a trustee of the Ramakrishna Math and also a member of the Governing Body of the Ramakrishna Mission in 1973. He was appointed as the General Secretary of the twin organisation in 1975.
He was the key person to organise the Pallimangal activities in Kamarpukur and Jayrambati. At the instance of Swami Vireshwarananda, the tenth President of the Order, he started surveying and planning the work of Pallimangal. Those who witnessed his devoted labour for realising Swamiji’s dream of upliftment of the poor in the form of Pallimangal and other such activities are inspired by the amount of dedication he exemplified in his own life.
In spite of knowing well the difficulties in doing something for the underprivileged people, he was the impetus behind tribal welfare activities at Narainpur of Bastar district of Chhattisgarh and Youth Training Centre, Samaj Sevak Sikshana Mandir at Saradapitha, Belur.