Healer at the helm

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 3.04.09

Pravrajika Bhaktiprana Mataji took over as the fourth president of Sri Sarada Math and Ramakrishna Sarada Mission, Dakshineswar, on Thursday.

The 89-year-old nun succeeds Pravrajika Shraddhaprana, who passed away in February.

“Thakur (Sri Ramakrishna) has brought me here. I was in charge of Matri Bhavan and tried to carry out my responsibilities to the best of my abilities. With Ma’s (Sri Sarada Devi) blessings, I will try and give my best to the mission,” Pravrajika Bhaktiprana said.

“All my life, I have tried to live for others. That’s what Ma would’ve wanted me to do... Without Ma’s blessings, we are nothing.”

The nun was born in October 1920 and did her schooling at Gouri Ma’s Saradeswari Ashram. She was drawn towards spiritualism in her childhood when she came in touch with the monks at Belur Math, the headquarters of Ramakrishna Math and Mission.

She received diksha (spiritual initiation) from Swami Vijnananandaji, a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna and the fourth president of Ramakrishna Math and Mission, and vows of brahmacharya in 1953.

The Mataji received sannyas in 1959 from Swami Shankaranandaji, the then president of Ramakrishna Math and Mission.

A trained nurse, the pravrajika joined Matri Bhavan, a hospital run by Ramakrishna Sarada Mission in Tollygunge, in 1950. The pravrajika became a trustee of Sri Sarada Math when it was given the independent status in August 1959 and has been a member of the governing body of Ramakrishna Sarada Mission since its inception in 1960.

When Matri Bhavan was transferred from Ramakrishna Mission to Ramakrishna Sarada Mission in 1961, the pravrajika became its secretary. Under her leadership, Matri Bhavan transformed from a 10-bed maternity care centre to a 100-bed state-of-the-art hospital.

She was elected vice-president of Sri Sarada Math and Ramakrishna Sarada Mission in December 1998.