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|Born||Nirmal Chandra Basu
15 December 1888
Baganchra, Bengal Presidency, British India
|Died||6 October 1965
Belur Math, West Bengal, India
Swami Madhavananda, the ninth President of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, was born on Saturday, 15 December 1888 at Baghanchra in Nadia district of West Bengal. His pre-monastic name was Nirmal Chandra Basu. His father was Hariprasad Basu. He graduated from the University of Calcutta with distinction. During his student life he read the works of Vivekananda and was inspired by the ideals and message of Ramakrishna and Vivekananda. He was initiated by the Holy Mother at Jayrambati in March 1909. He joined the monastery at Chennai in January 1910. He was initiated into sannyasa by Brahmananda in January 1916. Later, his younger brother Vimal also joined the Order and came to be known as Swami Dayananda. He founded Ramakrishna Mission Seva Pratishthan in Kolkata in 1932.
Swami Madhavananda spent a few years at the Udbodhan office assisting in the publication of the journal. He was later sent to Mayavati as the head of the Advaita Ashrama. He made several improvements there and started a Hindi-language organ of the Order called Samanvaya, with the assistance of the renowned Hindi poet, Suryakant Tripathi 'Nirala'. He was instrumental in spreading the ideals of Ramakrishna and Vivekananda in Gujarat and also in the founding of the Rajkot Centre. He was sent to the United States to preach at the San Francisco monastery.
Madhavananda became a Trustee of the Ramakrishna Math and a member of the Governing Body of the Ramakrishna Mission in 1922. He was called back to India in 1929, to serve as a Joint Secretary of the Order. He took the charge of the General Secretary in May 1938 and continued working in that capacity till he was made a Vice President in March 1962. His tenure as the General Secretary was a record 24 years. After the demise of Vishuddhananda, he became the President of the Order on 4 August 1962. As the President of the Order, Madhavananda presided over the Birth Centenary Celebrations of Vivekananda, in 1963.
Madhavananda was austere and used to practise japa and meditation for hours despite his work schedule. He was versed in scriptures and translated many scriptures, like the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, Brahma Sutras, Bhasha Paricchheda, etc.
Madhavananda died on Wednesday, 6 October 1965 at the age of 76 years 10 months.
- Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Gol Park, Presidents of the Ramakrishna Order - Swami Madhavananda
- Six Lighted Windows - Swami Yogeshananda ISBN 0-87481-410-3
- Madhavananda, Swami. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad with the Commentary of Shankaracharya. Kolkata: Advaita Ashrama. p. 696. ISBN 81-7505-102-7.
- Madhavananda, Swami (1996). Minor Upanishads. Kolkata: Advaita Ashrama. p. 96. ISBN 81-7505-104-3.
- Madhavananda, Swami (2003). Vivekacudamani of Sri Sankaracarya: Text, With English Translation, Notes & Index. Kolkata: Advaita Ashrama. p. 240. ISBN 81-7505-106-X.
- Madhavananda, Swami. Bhasha Pariccheda of Vishwanath Nyayapanchanan. Kolkata: Advaita Ashrama. p. 308. ISBN 81-7505-112-4.
- Madhavananda, Swami. Vedanta-Paribhasa of Dharmaraja Adhvarindra. Kolkata: Advaita Ashrama. p. 364. ISBN 81-7505-113-2.
- Madhavananda, Swami. Mimamsa Paribhasha of Krishna Yajvan. Kolkata: Advaita Ashrama. p. 364. ISBN 81-7505-113-2.
- Madhavananda, Swami (1997). Uddhava Gita - The Last Message of Shri Krishna. Kolkata: Advaita Ashrama. p. 384. ISBN 81-7505-115-9.
- Madhavananda, Swami. Vairagya-Satakam of Bhartrihari. Kolkata: Advaita Ashrama. p. 60. ISBN 81-85301-94-8.
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