A short profile of Swami Sharvananda
Fast forward seventeen years! It was 1902. In Benaras, Swami Shivananda introduced the teenager Bhupendranath
to Swami Vivekananda, the hero of new India. The country, the world was awakening from its slumber; a new approach
had to be taken to move forward in the spirit outlined and highlighted by Sri Ramakrishna. Swamiji, seeing this extremely
intelligent, well-built, extremly handsome lad standing in front of him, declared outright: “If I only had a dozen of
dedicated souls like you, I could turn this world upside down many times over.”>|
Swamiji invited Bhupendranath to share his vision: Service and celebration of humanity through elevation and empowerment of Woman. Sri Ramakrishna, using his very life as a new exemplar for the society, showed how to celebrate woman through respect and veneration, how to treat them as ones coequal, as one’s comrade and partner in one’s quest for life in understanding. Is young Bhupendra ready to take up this mission?
After successful completion of his postgraduate degree in philosophy, Bhupendranath joined Ramakrishna Mission as a formal adept under the mentorship of two spiritual giants of the mission: Brahmananda Maharaj and Sashi Maharaj (Swami Ramakrishnananda). His youthful radiant spirit, his extraordinary enthusiasm and his infectious dynamic personality earned him his acolyte name "Tejanarayan" from Swami Brahmananda. Bhupendranath received his formal initiation and sannyas from Brahmananda Maharaj; he was ordained as Swami Sharvananda, Sharva being another name of Lord Shiva.
Soon after passing of Sri Ramakrishnananda, he was sent to Chennai as the head of then Madras campus of
Ramakrishna Mission by Belur Math, the HQ; he was about 26 by then. Before he went to Madras, he went to
Jayrambati to seek blessings from the Mother who was very fond of young Tejanarayan. He could recall how once
when his right palm was injured from a minor cut, the Mother would fed him his meal in her own hand as though
she was feeding her own toddler. Seeing that her Tejanarayan was about to leave for South India, she blessed
him with all her affection and love: “My child, just as Sashi conquered South India through his service and
loving devotion, I too want you to be equally praised and admired for your service in zeal and devotion.”
Mother’s blessing, indeed, came out to be true as the subsequent history amply suggests.
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