C Times, 19 June 2017, Agartala
Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission fifteenth president Swami Atmasthananda Ji Maharaj passed away on Sunday after a prolonged illness in a Kolkata hospital, who passed away at the age of 98.
|Narendra Modi @narendramodi
The demise of Swami Atmasthananda ji is a personal loss for me. I lived with him during a very important period of my life.
Swami Atmasthananda was the fifteen president of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission. He was elected president of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission in 2007. He was born 10th May 1919 at Sabaipur, Dhaka.
He received spiritual initiation in 1938 from Vijnanananda and joined the Ramakrishna order at Belur Math in January 1941 at the age of 22. In 1945 the then President of the Order Swami Virajananda Ji gave him Brahmacharya vows, and in 1949 Sannyasa vows and the name Atmasthananda.
In 1952, he was posted to Ranchi TB Sanatorium branch as an Asst. 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 temple of Ramakrishna at Rajkot Ashrama was built on his initiative.
“Despite the best medical attention, his condition deteriorated over the last few days and he passed away around 5.30 PM Sunday at Ramakrishna Mission Seva Pratishthan hospital”, a statement released by Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math, said.
In the youth of Indian PM Narendra Modi, he wanted to become a monk. However, his request was turned down and said that Atmasthananda advised him otherwise and declined his proposal. Thus Modi entered politics.