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Akhandananda Saraswati (अखण्डानन्द सरस्वती called Maharajshri by his followers) (1911–1987) was an exponent of Bhagavata Purana and a scholar of diverse spiritual traditions including Vedanta, Bhakti, and associated Shastras (scriptures).

Early life[edit]

He was born on 25 July 1911 in Pushya Nakshatra.(Shravana Amavasya v.s. 1968 per Vikram Calendar) in the village of Maharai in the district of Varanasi. His Saryupareen Brahmin family named him Shantanu Behari, after the god of the same name.[citation needed]

He was aged 10 when his grandfather made him read the original Bhagwat in Sanskrit.[citation needed]

Prior to his sannyasa, from 1934 to 1942, He was a member of the editorial board of Kalyan at the Gita Press and published a number of books and articles. He translated Bhagavata Purana in Hindi for them.[citation needed]

Ascetic life[edit]

In his youth, Akhandanand went to Jhusii, to meet Brahmachari Prabhudatta, a saint. There, he met Udiya Baba, and had discussed Vedanta. He was captivated by Udiya Baba's conviction in the principle of non-dual reality. He received initiation for Sanyas (monkhood) from the Shankaracharya of Jyotishpeethadhishver, Brahmanand Saraswati in February 1942, following which his name was changed from Shantanu-vihari Dwivedi to Akhandananda Saraswati.[citation needed]

During the 1960s, he was elected President of the Bharat Sadhu Samaj, an Indian organisation of monks. He mentored many monks including past and present Shankaracharyas.[citation needed]

He was an honorary board member of the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, a global organization founded in 1938 to preserve and promote Indian culture.[1]

He authored over 200 books which covered topics including Bhagavata Purana, Bhagavat Geeta, Ram Charitra Manas, and Upnishads of the Vedanta.

He established Anand Vrindavan Ashram near Moti Jheel in Vrindavan, a town in the Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh, India. He was instrumental in inculating immense cultural and ascetic life in his sanyasi disciples. Prominent Sanyaasi disciples names are- Swami Prabhuddhanand Saraswati ji, Swami Vimalanand Saraswati ji, Swami Mahsehanand Saraswati ji, Swami Govindanand saraswati Ji and Swami Omkaranand saraswati ji. His disciple Swami Omkaranand Saraswati guided Anand Vrindavan Ashram and associated charitable trusts, from 1987 to 2008. All Sanyasi disciple contributed immensely towards deelopment of Ashram in its presnet status. At present, Swami Sachchidananda is President ( Mahant) of Anand Vrindavan ashram. His Sanyasi disciple Shri Swami Maheshanand Saraswati has been very socally active and has founded many social organisation for the development of Vrindavan dham. He also heads KALYANAM KAROTI ( an NGO working for Divyaang Children). [2]


He attained Mahasamadhi on 19 November 1987.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Honorary Board Members List on the Bhavan's website, Office Bearers Page.
  2. ^ "Anand-Vrindavan - Home of Anantshri Swami Akhandanand-ji Saraswati Maharaj". anandvrindavan.org.

External links[edit]