|Swami Brahmananda- 'spiritual son' of Sri Ramakrishna |
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.
During his High School days at Calcutta he came into contact with Narendranath (Swami Vivekananda) which developed into an intimate life long friendship and, under his influence, joined the Brahmo Samaj.
Even from his childhood days he was given to devotional moods bordering on mysticism.He was one of the six disciples of Sri Ramakrishna whom the Master regarded as ishvarakotis. 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 was a wandering monk for some time. 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.Thus when Ramakrishna Mission was formed, he was the first president.He spent most of his time at Puri and Bhubaneswar. He set up a math at Puri.
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.
Question: Maharaj, I am practicing Japam and meditation, but I have not yet acquired any taste for these. Somehow or other I am struggling on. What must I do?
Swami Brahmananda: Is it possible to have that taste in the beginning? No. Struggle hard to attain it. Concentrate all your energies on its achievement,and never for a moment pay heed to other matters. Apply yourself whole-heartedly to it and to it alone. Onward, onward! Never be satisfied with your present state of mind. Try to create within yourself a burning dissatisfaction. Say to yourself What progress am I making? Not a bit. Sri Ramakrishna used to say to the Divine Mother "Mother, another day is gone and I have not seen Thee!"
Swami Brahmananda temple built on the spot where his body was cremated