AkhandanandaBholanath DidimaGurupriya Didi Paramananda
HaribabaBhaijiGopinath KavirajAtmananda
Swami SwarupanandaSwami ChinmayanandaSwami VirajanandaSwami Vijayananda
Swami BhaskaranandaSwami SivanandaSwami BhajananandaSwami Omkarananda
Br KamalakantaBr YogeshdaBr AtuldaBr Hari HardaSri Abhayda
Br TanmayanandaPanudaSwami Keshavananda

swarup

Swami Swarupananda

(1919-2002)

Born to a very wealthy and respected zamindar family of Bengal in the year 1919 his father used to practice stringent sadhana, while his mother was a very religious lady. Swamiji was spiritually inclined from very childhood.

After the death of his mother Swamiji renounced all the wealth and comfort of his family in quest of spiritual satisfaction.

Being dissatisfied after meeting various sages and saints and experimenting with various paths including Tantra, Swamiji reached Varanasi in the fifties. While at the Sankatmochan temple, Swamiji heard the name of Ma Anandamayee from some Devotees. Although it was late in the evening and the ashram at that time was rather far from the city center, Swamijee was inspired to have Ma’s darshan immediately. He reached the Ashram between 8.45 pm and 9.00 pm, which is traditionally the ‘Maun’ time at all the Ma’s Ashrams. Swamiji along with his very close friend, who later on became Swami Prakashanadajee, had the darshan of Sri Ma only for a few minutes and returned even before the ‘Maun’ was over. Swamijee could immediately fathom that this was the ‘Universal Mother’ and his search was finally over.

The very next morning Swamiji came to Ma and sought her permission to stay in the Ashram. It was within the first few days of his stay that Ma permitted him to take Sanyasa Diksha. This was very rare as normally new entrants have to stay in the ashram for several years before they qualify for sanyas.

Under the instructions of Sri Ma, Swamiji practised stringent sadhana for several years at Uttar Kashi and also on the bank of the holy Narmada. Swamiji was also deputed as the ‘Sadhu-in charge’ of several important ashrams of the Sangha. Ashrams in Delhi, Vrindavan, Agarpara developed tremendously under Swamiji’s magnetic personality and control. He attracted hundreds of devotees everywhere and spread the message of Sri Ma.

Swamiji was selected as the General Secretary of the Shree Shree Anandamayee Sangha, the all- India organisation, in the year 1984 and held this position till the very end.

The ‘Ananda Jyoti Mandir’, the ‘Vidyapeeth’, the ‘Matri Smriti Museum’ and the ‘Sarvadharma Granthagar’ at Kankhal are only some of his many achievements.

Swamiji who had not been keeping good health for some time past was diag­nosed as suffering from an advanced stage of throat cancer. He was admitted to a hospital in Delhi for treatment and attained ‘Mahasamadhi’ on the evening of 14th September 2002. The day happened to be the very auspicious day of ‘Sri Radha Asthami’. It is very significant to note that exactly twenty years ago Sri Ma also attained ‘Mahasamadhi” on the very same day and almost at about the same time.

Although hospitalized and in intense pain, Swamijee appeared to be in a state of constant meditation for a few days before his mahasamadhi. The serenity and the peace on his face was noticed by all the devotees and visitors. Even the doctors, nurses and attendants serving Swamij had become his admirers in a very short time.

His last moments were very peaceful. He was constantly reciting his ‘mantra’, which was perceptible by the frail and regular movement of his lips. He was given Sri Ma’s ‘charanamrit’ and breathed his last during the recitation of ‘Sri Ma, Jai Ma, Jai Jai Ma‘ by the devotees present.

After midnight Swamiji’s body was taken to Hardwar in a special convoy of cars wrapped in saffron clothes and seated in the Padmasan. With Bhasma applied on his forehead, Swamiji looked divine.

At Kankhal, eager and anxious devotees were awaiting the arrival of Swamiji’s holy remains. The convoy arrived just around sunrise at Kankhal ashram where he was received by devotees, sadhus and ashramites.

During the recitation of the Veda mantras, Swamiji was bathed with the holy water of the Ganga and Panchamrit in the presence of Mahants from different ashrams. The whole ceremony was conducted by Mahant Shree Girdhar Narain Puriji Maharaj of the Mahanirvani Akhada as has been the tradition in Ma’s ashram.

After the holy bath Swamiji was wrapped in a new set of saffron robes, worn by Swami Muktananda Girij (Didima), from whom he had received mantra diksha. Swamijee was then seated in front of his room in the main verandah of the ashram. Young boys of the Vidyapeeth were continuously singing ‘Sri Ma Jai Ma Jai Jai Ma‘ while in another corner of the verandah ‘Geeta Path’ was being done by the female ascetics of the ashram. A group of poor people who had been regularly re­ceiving alms from the Sree Annapurna sthal had come of their own and were singing Ram Dhun out of their respect and affection for Swamiji. The long verandah of the ashram was full with devotees, sadhus and mahants from various akhadas . Aroop, a longtime devotee of Ma, rushed all the way from Mumbai to pay his last respects to Swamiji and was just in time.

Around 2 pm Swamiji’s body was placed in a covered truck, left open from the rear for the last glimpse of Swamiji. The procession started from the Kankhal ashram. All the sadhus and devotees accompanied the procession on foot singing Ma Dhun. After about an hour the procession reached Nildhara of the holy river Ganga. A num­ber of devotees had already gathered there to have darshan of Swamiji. Swamiji’s body was then placed on a kushasan inside a wooden box. The ritual arati was performed by Swami Jyotirmayanandji of the ashram. With the sun still shining in the foreground, Swamiji was given Jalsamadhi at about 3 pm.

With the Mahasamadhi of Swami Swarupanandaji Maharaj, a long and eventful chapter in the history of the Sangha has come to an end. He will always be remem­bered with great respect and affection by devotees of Ma as a Karmayogi of high order and a saint full of compassion and love for one and all.

 

Amrita Varta October 2002