Swami Sarvagatananda (1912–2009) became a monk when he was 23, joining the Ramakrishna Order in 1934 at the monastery in Hardwar in northern India. He received meditation instruction (mantra-dīkṣā) from Sri Ramakrishna’s disciple Swami Akhandananda in 1936 and the final vows (sannyāsa) from Swami Virajananda in 1944.

He participated in the Order’s massive Bengal Famine relief work in 1943, after which he was sent to Karachi (now in Pakistan) (1943–48) and then appointed head of the monastery in Visakhapatnam (1948–54).

Swami Sarvagatananda came to US in 1954 to assist Swami Akhilananda. He was appointed head of the Vedanta centers in Providence and Boston in 1962 after Akhilananda’s passing. He took over from Akhilananda the duties as Hindu chaplain at MIT and later was invited to be Hindu chaplain at Harvard as well. He relinquished both the roles in 1999 and formally retired from active work in 2001 (Providence) and 2002 (Boston).

Swami Sarvagatananda guided innumerable people on the spiritual path, counseled them and supported them in times of distress and calamity. Even after his retirement, he continued to meet with devotees and to guide them. His untiring service to the Vedanta work, his unbounded love for people and, above all, his sterling spiritual life continue to be a source of inspiration to all.

Books by Swami Sarvagatananda

  • Sri Krishna Yoga

  • Meditation as Spiritual Culmination: Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali