Swami Paramananda (1884-1940) was born Suresh Chandra Guha Thakurta in the village of Banaripara in what was then East Bengal (and now Bangla Desh). He founded the Ramakrishna Order’s Vedanta work in Boston in 1909. He was author, poet and inspired teacher of international renown.

Initiated into Sannyas in 1902 at the age of 17—he was the youngest monastic disciple of Swami Vivekananda—he received rigorous training under the guidance of Swami Ramakrishnananda in Chennai in Southern India. In December 1906 he arrived in New York to assist Swami Abhedananda and, three years later, in 1909 moved to Boston to initiate the Vedanta work here with the help of Swami Vivekananda’s disciple Mrs. Ole Bull, who lived on Brattle Street in Cambridge.

The work began modestly in a small studio apartment on St Botolph Street and his first public lecture was given in a hall on Huntington Avenue. The early months were challenging, but it didn’t take long for people to realize what a powerful teacher they had in their midst and soon the work gathered momentum.

Not limiting his efforts to Boston alone, Paramananda traveled hundreds of thousands of miles around US teaching and lecturing, as well as establishing Vedanta groups in fifteen states. He also lectured in Europe, forming groups in Germany, Switzerland and Italy.

By the time of his passing in 1940, he had established Vedanta on a firm foundation in New England and beyond.

For more information, see A Bridge of Dreams by Sara Ann Levinsky

Books by Swami Paramananda

Books of Daily Thoughts and Prayers

Silence as Yoga