Swami Akhandananda


Swami Akhandananda

Swami Akhandananda was the direct disciple of Shri Ramakrishna and third president of the Ramakrishna Mission. He was born on 30 September 1864 in Kolkota as "Gangadhar Ghatak". He had childlike simplicity and freely mixed with people. He entered Mahasamadhi (died) on February 7 1937.

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Swami Akhandananda was the first monk of the Ramakrishna order, who gave shape to the cherished desire of Swami Vivekananda to begin rural development work -even before the Mission was established. His experience as a wandering monk, like those of Vivekananda moved him to take steps to remove the distress and misery of the masses.

While in Khetri ,Rajasthan during 1894, he went about from door to door, all alone to bring awareness in the people about the utility of education, and it was because of his efforts that the number of students in the Khetri Rajya English School rose from 80 to 200. Under his inspiration the Maharaja of Khetri arranged for the education of the Golas and also set up a permanent Education Department to open schools in the villages. Akhandananda also arranged for the publication of a newspaper on agriculture in order to educate the farmers of that area. He also contacted renowned landlords in the numerous village of Khetri, inspiring them to take some concrete steps towards removing the miseries of their poor labourers.

Again, it was Swami Akhandananda who started an orphanage in Mahula , West Bengal , in July 1897 and then established the first Rural Branch Centre of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission at Sargachi in 1898. In 1899, he opened a free school there to deal with the problem of illiteracy in the locality. A carpentry and a weaving section also were added to revive those perishing village industries and make the boys self-reliant. Cotton-cultivation too was taught to the village ladiesto enhance their family income.

Literary Works

* In the Lap of the Himalayas
* From holy wanderings to the service of God in man -
* The call of the Spirit: Conversations With Swami Akhandananda - Swami Nirmayananda

Related Links

* RKM: President's site - [http://www.rkmpresident.org/3rd_president.htm Swami Akhandananda]
* [http://www.geocities.com/gokulmuthu/akhand.html A short biography]


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