Srimat Swami Gitanandaji Maharaj, a Vice-president of Ramakrishna Math and Mission, passed away on 14th March 2014.
A brief life-sketch:
Srimat Swami Gitanandaji Maharaj, was the senior most Vice-president of Ramakrishna Math and Mission. He was born in Arial village of Dhaka district (now in Bangladesh) on 17th April 1924.
His pre-monastic name was Vasudev Mukhopadhaya. He was an initiated disciple of Swami Virajanandaji Maharaj, the 6th President of the Ramakrishna Order and a direct disciple of Sri Sri Maa.
He joined the Order at Chennai Math in 1946 under Swami Kailashanandaji Maharaj, a direct disciple of Swami Shivanandaji Maharaj. He had his Brahmacharya diksha from Swami Shankaranandaji on 19th January 1952 and had his name ‘Ameyachaitanya’. On 14th March 1956 He had his Sanyasa from Swami Shankaranandaji Maharaj, the 7th President of the Ramakrishna Order.
Besides his joining centre, He served at the Headquarters and Kanpur centre as an assistant and Ranchi Sanatorium, Varanasi Home of Service and Ramakrishna Math (Yogodyan) Kankurgachi centres as Head. He also served Swami Virajanandaji Maharaj as a personal attendant, and was a Secretary to Revered Shankaranandaji Maharaj for some time.
In April 1973, He was appointed a Trustee of Ramakrishna Math and Mission and a Member of the Governing Body of Ramakrishna Mission. In June 1974, He was elected Treasurer of the Math and Mission. In 1985, He was re-elected an Assistant Secretary in which capacity he served for a decade. He was elected a Vice-President of the Ramakrishna Order in April 2003, which He held till His last.
Revered Maharaj stayed at ‘Udbodhan – Mayer Bari’ from 22nd April 2003 till 29th May 2005. Revered Maharaj started gracing devotees by giving initiation on 5th May 2003 (Holy Akshaya Trithiya Day) at Jayrambati Matri Mandir. During His spiritual ministry, He blessed 45,488 devotees with holy mantra diksha or spiritual initiation in different parts if the country.
He has two Bengali books to his credit: Bhagavat Katha published from Udbodhan Kariyalaya in the year 1998 on 29th May, the day of Holy Mother’s first visit into the Mother’s House and Sri Ramer Anudhyan published from Udbodhan Kariyalaya in the year 2002 on 26th December, the day of Holy Mother’s tithi puja. Apart from these twin books, He wrote several other articles on Sri Sri Thakur, Maa and on other religious topics published in different books and magazines among which ‘Sri Ramakrishna: Ishwarkoti Sannyasi Sishya Bhaktoder Drishtite’ published in the Bengali book ‘Bishwachetonaya Sri Ramakrishna’ from Udbodhan Kariyalaya in the year 1987 to mark Sri Sri Thakur’s 150th Birth Centenary and ‘Sri Maa Sarada Devi: Ek Aloukik Bhektitto’ published in the Bengali book ‘Satorupe Sarada’ in the year 1985 from Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Golpark, deserves a special mention and had been much appraised.
Revered Maharaj moved to Kankurgachi Ramakrishna Math Yogodyan on 30th May 2005 and stayed there till his last. He held the office of ‘Adhyakshya’ at Yogodyan till 30th August 2009 and for this period played the dual role of the Centre head and the Vice-President of the order successfully.
Swami Gitanandaji blessed the devotees by initiating them for the last time on 20th February 2010 at Yogodyan Math. Revered Maharaj had been suffering from old-age-related ailments for the past few years. He was 90. On 8th February 2014 He was admitted to Ramakrishna Mission Seva Pratisthan (Sishu Mangal Hospital) with fever and chest infection which was diagnosed as pneumonia. He was kept in ICU under expert medical care. On 16th February, his condition became critical and despite best available medical treatment, his life could not be saved.
Despite all possible measures, on 14th March, 2014, Friday at about 9.10 in the morning most Revered Maharaja’s divine soul merged into the lotus feet of Bhagwan Sri Ramakrishna.
Source: Swami Gitananda facebook page