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The President of Ramakrishna Order

 

Although known simply as the President, he is in fact the President General of the whole Ramakrishna Math and Mission, and is respectfully referred to as President Maharaj by the monks and devotees.  He functions chiefly as the spiritual head of the Order.

One of the unique features of Ramakrishna Order, known as Ramakrishna Math, is that it traces its origin and source to the Avatar of the present age, Sri Ramakrishna.  As a matter of fact, this monastic order serves as the main channel for the dissemination of the Avatar’s shakti and kripa, Power and Grace, for the welfare of humanity.  The flow of Divine Power and Grace is maintained by an unbroken lineage of Gurus, the guru-parampara.  It is this unbroken spiritual tradition that is behind the succession of the Presidents of Ramakrishna Sangha.

President Maharaj maintains this spiritual tradition through the process of mantra-diksha or Initiation.  Through Initiation the original spiritual Power and Grace of the Avatar flows into the hearts of aspirants and awakens the dormant spiritual potential in them. At present the Vice-Presidents are also empowered to give spiritual initiation in India and outside India. In countries outside India some of the heads of the centres in those countries have been empowered to give spiritual initiation.

 

All authority in Ramakrishna Math is vested in a Board of Trustees.  It is by virtue of being the President of this Board of Trustees that President Maharaj becomes the head of the whole Ramakrishna Math.  Since the members of the Board of Trustees also constitute the Governing Body of Ramakrishna Mission, President Maharaj is also the President of Ramakrishna Mission.  Thus President Maharaj is the Head of both Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission with all their branch centres and their headquarters at Belur Math.

The present President is Swami Atmasthanandaji Maharaj.

 

Brief Profile of Swami Atmasthanandaji,  President

 

 

Swami Atmasthanandaji, the new President of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, was born in 1919 at Sabajpur, near Dhaka. He received mantra diksha (spiritual initiation) from Swami Vijnananandaji (a monastic disciple of Sri Ramakrishna) in 1938 and joined the Ramakrishna Order at Belur Math on 3 January 1941 at the age of 22 years. In 1945, Swami Virajanandaji, the then President of the Order, gave him Brahmacharya vows, and in 1949 Sannyasa vows and the name Atmasthananda.

After serving the Order at Belur Math and the branches at Deoghar Vidyapith and Mayavati Advaita Ashrama, he got the opportunity to serve Swami Virajanandaji, the then President of the Order, for a long time. He spent several years in his holy company in the solitude of Shyamla Tal in the Himalayas. In 1952, he was posted to Ranchi TB Sanatorium branch as an Assistant Secretary. He worked hard to expand its services in many ways. He was sent to Rangoon (Yangon) Sevashrama as its Secretary in 1958. He developed the Sevashrama hospital and it soon became the best hospital of Burma (Myanmar) at that time. When military rulers took over Rangoon Sevashrama, he returned to India in 1965. He was posted to Rajkot branch as its head in 1966. The beautiful temple of Sri Ramakrishna at Rajkot Ashrama was built on his initiative.

He was elected a Trustee of the Ramakrishna Math and Member of the Governing Body of the Ramakrishna Mission in 1973. In 1975, he was appointed an Assistant Secretary of the twin organizations. He was also appointed Secretary of the relief operations of the Math and Mission. Under his stewardship, the Math and Mission conducted massive relief and rehabilitation operations in various parts of India, Nepal and Bangladesh. He became the General Secretary of the Math and Mission in 1992 and continued to be in that post for five years till 1997 when he became a Vice-President of the Order.

As a Vice-President of the Math and Mission, he travelled extensively in various parts of the country and visited many branches of the Order and some unaffiliated centres. In 1998, he visited various places in US, Canada, Japan and Singapore. He also went to Malaysia, Fiji, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at different times. In all those places, he spread the message of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi, Swami Vivekananda and Vedanta and also gave mantra diksha (spiritual initiation) to many seekers.

Swami Atmasthanandaji was elected President of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission on 3 December 2007. He is the 15th President of the Order.
 

Tentative programme of the President

 

Contact address :

The President
Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission
P.O. Belur Math Dist. Howrah, West Bengal 711 202, India
Phones PBX:(91) 33 - 2654 1144 / 1180 / 9581 / 9681
Fax : (91) 33 - 2654 4346
E-mail: president@rkmpresident.org

Past Presidents of Ramakrishna Order

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna Online

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