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The disciples

the disciples who were swamis and presidents of the order

S. BrahmanandaS.ShivanandaS. Akhandananda S.Vijnanananda  RAKHAL – SWAMI BRAHMANANDA (1863 - 1922). When Swami Vivekananda founded what was going to become the Ramakrishna Order and Mission, he immediately entrusted the responsibility for it on Swami Brahmananda, who was thus the first President of the Order from 1899 to 1922. A collection entitled The Eternal Companion brings together the memories of those who knew him.

TARAK – SWAMI SHIVANANDA  (1854 – 1934). President of the Order from 1922 to 1934. He was 26 years of age when he met Ramakrishna.

GANGADHAR – SWAMI AKHANDANANDA (1866 – 1937). He met Ramakrishna in 1994. In 1897 he led the Mission’s first social and humanitarian project. He was President of the Order from 1934 to 1936.

HARI PRASANA – SWAMI VIJNANANANDA (1868 – 1938). President of the Order from 1936 to 1938. He was the last direct disciple of Ramakrishna to  exercise this function.

the disciples who were swamis

S.Adbhutananda S.Subhodananda S.Trigunatitananda S.Turiyananda S.Ramakrishnananda S.AbhedanandaS.AdvaïtanandaS.YoganandaS.PremanandaS.Saradananda

LATU – SWAMI ADBHUTANANDA (? – 1920). Coming from a very poor family, an orphan at an early age, illiterate, he drew from his simplicity a wisdom that enlightened everyone. He served Ramakrishna, but always refused, although he was a monk and recognised by his fellow monks for his wisdom, to join the Order or its Management Board. He spent the last eight years of his life in Benares-Varanasi.

SWAMI SUBHODANANDA (1867 – 1932). He met Ramakrishna in 1884, and was loved by all for his child-like character.

SWAMI TRIGUNATITANANDA (1865 – 1915). Born in an aristocratic family, he was a spoiled child, a good student (one of the best in M’s class).  At the feet of Ramakrishna he learned the blessings of service and simplicity. At Swami Vivekananda’s request he looked after the magazine Udbodhan, was then sent to San Francisco, where he spent the last twelve years of his life. He established a temple there, The Universal Temple, which has today become an historical monument.

HARI – SWAMI TURIYANANDA (1863 – 1922). Born in a Brahmin family, educated in accordance with his caste ideals, he was thirteen or fourteen years of age when he met Ramakrishna. He was the founder of an ashram in San Francisco.

SASHI – SWAMI RAMAKRISHNANANDA (1863 – 1911). He met Ramakrishnananda in 1883 and stayed with him. Sent to Madras by Swami Vivekananda in 1897, he established and orphanage there, in which any child was received irrespective of caste or race (this orphanage still exists today and cares for more than 500 orphans). He spent the last years of his life in Kolkata.

KALI – SWAMI ABHEDANANDA  (1866 – 1939). Erudite, a regular visitor of Ramakrishna, he accompanied Swami Vivekananda to England and stayed in the United States (in New York) from 1897 to 1921. He was the last of the direct disciples.


SWAMI YOGANANDA (1862 – 1898). A direct disciple of Ramakrishna, he was however initiated by Sarada Devi.

BABURAM – SWAMI PREMANANDA (1861 – 1918). He left the memory of a man who knew how to love his brothers like a mother loves her children.

SARAT – SWAMI SARADANANDA (1865 – 1927). Born in a well-to-do orthodox Brahmin family, he met Ramakrishna in 1883. Swami Vivekananda sent him to the United States in 1896 before recalling him two and a half years later to take on the responsibility of the General Secretariat of the Order and Mission. He visited England, France and Italy. During a stay in Rome, he had an experience during which he felt that he could have known the disciples of Jesus. He is the author of a biography of Ramakrishna, Sri Ramakrishna, the Great Master (Lila Prasanga being the original title in Bengali), since translated a little while ago into French.

S.YatiswaranandaSWAMI YATISWARANANDA  (1889 – 1966). Initiated by Swami Brahmananda, Swami Yatiswarananda is not a direct disciple, but he is so closely connected with the history of the Ramakrishna Mission in France and in Europe that we must mention him. When invited by some European spiritual aspirants, he first went to Wiesbaden and Geneva, then to France, Italy and Holland.

the lay disciples

M.Girish Gosh

M. – MAHENDRANATH GUPTA (1854 – 1932). He met Ramakrishna in 1882 when he was thinking of putting an end to his life as he was in such despair. He is the author of the book Sri Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita (translated into French under the title Les entretiens de Ramakrishna), which is the long transcription of the notes taken on the spot during dialogues between Ramakrishna and his visitors: daily conversations and rare moments, laughter and songs, walks and ecstasies, alternate in grace and are always the pretext for spiritual teachings often transmitted in the form of stories or images.

GIRISH CHANDRA GHOSH (1844 – 1912). A celebrated and renowned dramatist (father of the modern Bengali theatre) for whom Ramakrishna showed a lot of affection. Although married and a family man, he was considered by the other disciples of Ramakrishna as a sannyasin, that is to say a renouncer.

MATHUR BABU. The son-in-law of Rani Rasmani, the donor of the Kali temple in Dakshineswar, he was, in his capacity of temple manager, the first witness of Ramakrishna’s religious and spiritual experiences, and he was his protector.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 August 2015