Swami Swahananda

swami-swahanandaSwami Swahananda was the minister and spiritual leader of the Vedanta Society of Southern California from 1976 to 2012.

He was born in a village near Habiganj in what is now Bangladesh, and was initiated in 1937 by Swami Vijnanananda, one of Sri Ramakrishna’s direct disciples.

He received his undergraduate degree from Murari Chand College in Sylhet, India and earned an M.A.in English Literature and Language from the University of Calcutta. He joined the Ramakrishna Order in 1947 and received sannyasa, final vows, in 1956.

After joining the Order, he served in the Madras Math and, later, as editor of the Order’s scholarly publication, the “Vedanta Kesari”. He came to the United States in 1968 as the Assistant Minister of the San Francisco Vedanta Society and was later appointed head of the Vedanta Society of Berkeley, California. Immediately prior to coming to this country, Swami was head of the Delhi Center, the premier center of the Ramakrishna Order in the capital of India.

In December of 1976 he was transferred to Hollywood, the headquarters of the Vedanta Society of Southern California.

In the late 1980s Swami Swahananda was invited to lecture in Moscow and provide spiritual guidance. The swami gave lectures regularly at the Vedanta branch centers in Southern California. He also lectured in many places throughout North America.

Swami Swahananda authored many books and articles on religious life and spirituality including: Meditation and Other Spiritual Disciplines; Hindu Symbology and Other Essays, and Service and Spirituality.

While in America, Swami established seventeen centers and subcenters throughout the country. He was a true ambassador for Vedanta. His clear and profound teachings, exemplary life, and stainless character will continue to be an inspiration to all.