Swami Premananda (1861-1918)

      The name `Swami Premananda' given to Baburam by Swami Vivekananda at the time of accepting the monastic orders, was a true reflection of his basic trait universal love. Born to affluent parents on December 10, 1861, Baburam completed his early schooling in his village of Antpur (Bengal), came to Calcutta for higher education and joined the Metropolitan Institution. There he had the privilege of having Sri `M' ( Mahendranath Gupta ), the celebrated author of The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna as his Headmaster and Rakhal ( Swami Brahmananda) as his class-mate. It was the latter who was instrumental in taking Baburam to Sri Ramakrishna.

      Sri Ramakrishna examined Baburam's features in his own, rather queer, way and was satisfied about his high spiritual potentialities. Increased contacts with Sri Ramakrishna intensified Baburam's inherent spiritual thirst which had been manifesting itself even from his childhood. After the passing away of Sri Ramakrishna, Baburam, along with his brother-disciples like Narendranath ( Swami Vivekananda ) and Rakhal embrace the monastic life, becoming `Swami Premananda.' He spent most of his life in the monasteries at Baranagore, Alambazar and Belur taking care of worship, internal management and training of the new monastic recruits. His innate motherly love endeared him to one and all. Many a young man was reformed by his golden touch. During his later sojourn in several parts of Bengal, especially in East Bengal ( present Bangladesh ), he inspired the youth to be useful to the society by voluntary service. Though a man of high spiritual attainments, he was wont to hiding them and very reticent in giving expression to them. The deadly disease of Kala Azar took him on the 30th July 1918.

    To follow the Master means to practise what he taught; otherwise nobody can advance by just offering to him a few flowers or through some momentary sentimental outbursts.

   Can one become a great devotee of God simply by dancing and jumping or by quoting plentifully from the scriptures? What is wanted is freedom from selfishness - freedom from egotism... Mere talk will not do, this is an age of action.

   Not mere theory; actualize it - there has been enough talk and writing. Put the books aside and let your actions speak. This is what the lives of the Master and Swamiji stand for.

    The poor, the weak, the fallen, the ignorant - all these you have to make your own. And yet I warn you, that in loving one section of society you must not become hateful of the other, the rich.

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