RKM gets its 16th head

Swami Smaranananda has been elected the 16th president of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission.

By Our Special Correspondent
  • Published 18.07.17
  •  
Swami Smaranananda

July 17: Swami Smaranananda has been elected the 16th president of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission.

The board of trustees of the Ramakrishna Math and the governing body of the Ramakrishna Mission met today at Belur Math and unanimously elected Swami Smaranananda as head of the order.

"Swamiji is the senior-most monk of the order. He was general secretary for over a decade and a vice-president for almost the same period," said Swami Suvirananda, the general secretary of the Math and Mission.

Swami Smaranananda, 88, had been officiating as president since the 15th head, Swami Atmasthananda, passed away on June 18.

With Swami Smaranananda taking over as president, the board of trustees and the governing body selected Swami Shivamayananda as a vice-president. The order has four more vice-presidents.

Swami Smaranananda was born at Andami village in Tamil Nadu's Thanjavur district in 1929. He came in contact with the Mumbai branch of the order when he was 20.

Inspired by the ideals of Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda, he joined the Mumbai centre in 1952 at the age of 22. Swami Shankarananda, the seventh president of the order, gave him mantra diksha (spiritual initiation) the same year. He received from Swami Shankarananda the brahmacharya vows in 1956 and sannyasa in 1960.

Swami Smaranananda served at the Mayavati and Calcutta centres of Adwaita Ashrama for 18 years. For a few years he was assistant editor of Prabuddha Bharata, the English journal of the order.

Swami Smaranananda was appointed a trustee of the Ramakrishna Math and a member of the governing body of the Ramakrishna Mission in 1983.

The swami took over as general secretary - chief executive - of the order in 1997 and became vice-president in 2007.

"Pranam and heartfelt wishes to Swami Smaranananda ji Maharaj for being selected for the post of President of Ramakrishna Math and Mission," Mamata Banerjee tweeted this evening.