Swami Brahmananda, the `Spiritual Son' of Sri Ramakrishna was the first president of the Ramakrishna Order. Known as Rakhal Chandra Ghosh in his premonastic days, he was born at Sikra, a village near Calcutta, on the 21st January 1863, of aristocratic parents. During the High School days of Calcutta he came into contact with Narendranath ( Swami Vivekananda ) which developed into an intimate lifelong friendship.Even from his child hood days he was given to devotional moods bordering on mysticism, which naturally led to indifference to studies. His father got him married at an early age to ward off the religious pursuits from his mind and fix him up in the world. Strange to say, this very tie of marriage brought him to Sri Ramakrishna who at once recognized in him his `spiritual Son' as per the vision vouchsafed to him by the Divine Mother. Thus started a course of spiritual intimacy and intensive training under the loving care of the Guru, which resulted in several exalted mystic moods and spiritual experiences. After the passing away of Sri Ramakrishna, Rakhal , along with Narendra and other brother-disciples, embraced monastic life under the name `Swami Brahmananda.' He spent several years as a wandering monk, visiting places of pilgrimage and practicing severe austerities. A little before the return of Swami Vivekananda from the West, he came back to the Baranagore Math and started living there. After his return and establishing the Ramakrishna Mission, Swami Vivekananda made over the responsibility of running the organization, to him remembering that Sri Ramakrishna had once remarked that Rakhal had the capacity to rule a kingdom. His uncanny sense in solving even knotty problem and spiritual eminence of Himalayan heights took the organization to new levels of glory and development. It was a long stewardship marked by work and worship remarkably blended together. During his tenure as the Head, he also guided many earnest spiritual seekers by taking them under his protection, thus fulfilling Swami Vivekananda's prophetic remark that Swami Brahmananda was veritably a spiritual dynamo. He passed away on 10th April 1922.
Brief Life of Swami Brahmananda
- Initiation into a mantra helps concentration of mind; otherwise your mind will change and fluctuate.
- The mind is susceptible to suggestions. It learns whatever you teach it. If through discrimination you can impress upon it the joy and fullness of life in the spirit and the folly of worldly attachments, then your mind will devote itself more and more to God.
- The way of steadying and purifying the mind is to retire into solitude, control all cravings and engage yourself in contemplation and meditation.
- Work and worship must go hand in hand... Why are you afraid of work? Work for Him. You can overcome all disinclination for work if you consider it as dedication to God.