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Gitananda passes away

Swami Gitananda, one of the three vice-presidents of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, passed away at the Ramakrishna Mission Seva Pratishthan on Friday. He was 90.

The monk had been suffering from age-related ailments for the past few years. On February 8, he was admitted to Seva Pratishthan with fever and chest infection, which was later diagnosed as pneumonia. He was kept in ICU.

On February 16, his condition became critical.

The body will be kept at the Cultural Hall (Sanskriti Bhavan) of Belur Math till 10am on Saturday before being shifted to the Math courtyard for about two hours. The cremation will be held around 12.15pm in the Math compound.

Swami Gitananda was born at Arial village of Dhaka district on April 17, 1924. An initiated disciple of Swami Virajananda, he joined the order at the Chennai math in 1946 and took sannyasa from Swami Shankarananda in 1956. Swami Gitananda also served at the headquarters and at the Kanpur centre as an assistant and at the Ranchi Sanatorium, Varanasi Home of Service and Kankurgachhi centres as head.

In April 1973, he was appointed a trustee of the Ramakrishna Math and a member of the governing body of the Ramakrishna Mission. In June 1974, he was elected assistant secretary of the twin organisations.

Swami Gitananda was elected vice-president of the Ramakrishna order in April 2003. During his spiritual ministry, he blessed many devotees with mantra diksha across the country. He wrote two books Sri Ramer Anudhyan and Bhagavat Katha.