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"Ranganathananda kept alive spirit of Vivekananda's legacy"

Staff Reporter

"Swamiji was a great citizen of the world" "The Swami was a spiritual colossus and a great citizen of the world"



IN REMEMBRANCE: Devotees pay floral tributes to Swami Ranganathananda, former president of the Ramakrishna Mission, in Chennai on Sunday. — Photo: S. R. Raghunathan

CHENNAI: The Chennai kendra of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan on Sunday celebrated the life of Swami Ranganathananda, a "spiritual colossus who effortlessly walked into eternity leaving behind indelible footprints in the sands of history." Swami Ranganathananda, former president of the Ramakrishna Mission, died on April 25 at the age of 97.

Describing him as a "scholar-saint," the co-chairman of the Bhavan's International and the former High Commissioner of India in the United Kingdom, L.M. Singhvi, said Ranganathananda kept alive the spirit of Swami Vivekananda's legacy through his writings and discourses. The Bhavan's has published 29 of the over 50 books authored by him.

Recalling his long association with Swami Ranganathananda, Mr. Singhvi said he enlivened the Indian ethos by achieving a sense of confluence of rationality, humanity and spirituality. He said Swami Vivekananda's torch was carried forward by the Paramacharya of the Kanchi Mutt, Swami Chinmayananda and Swami Ranganathananda "in our own times."

The Prince of Arcot, Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali, said god-men should refrain from involving themselves in political and commercial affairs, and should confine themselves only to religious and spiritual activities. He said no religion in the world preached its followers to go and demolish a place of worship of another religion.

Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu N. Ram recalled the relief work carried out by the Mission in times of major challenges, including the tsunami, and described Swami Ranganathananda as a great citizen of the world. Referring to the Swami's "remarkable journey" through the Bengal famine, civil strife in Bengal and Bihar and cholera in Kerala among others, Mr. Ram said Swami Ranganathananda declined to accept the Padma Vibhushan award in 2000, as it was presented to him in his individual capacity and not for the Mission.

The president of the Ramakrishna Math here, Swami Gauthamananda, who joined the mission under the guidance of Swami Ranganathananda in 1956, said his mentor was harsh on himself and soft on others. He also chose the toughest path, Swami Gauthamananda said.

Industrialist N. Mahalingam said the Swami spread the message of peace, philosophy and religion throughout his life.

E.P.G. Nambiar said the late saint was a great integrator and an institution-builder.

The former Director-General of Police, S. Sripal, said he continued the task left unfinished by Swami Vivekananda.

The Bhavan'sChennai kendra chairman, Justice K.S. Bakthavatsalam, held the meeting.

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