Swami Vimalananda (1872-1908)
Disciple of Holy Mother and monastic disciple of Swamiji, Khagendranath Chattopadhyay in pre-monastic life, son of Benimadhab. Born at Baganda in Hooghly district. Cousin and classmate of Haripada, later Swami Bodhananda. Swamis Virajananda and Atmananda also his classmates in pre-monastic life. Passed Entrance examination (1890) from Ripon Collegiate School with scholarship. While studying F.A. led a young group seeking to realize God. Before graduation gave up studies on health grounds. Began frequenting Yogodyan at Kankurgachhi and later Baranagore Math upon the advice of Mahendranath Gupta (M.), professor at Ripon College. One of the enthusiasts who drew Swamiji’s carriage at Sealdah (February 1897). Khagen’s group comprised Kalikrishna (Swami Virajananda), Sudhir (Swami Shuddhananda), Sushil (Swami Prakashananda) and Haripada (Swami Bodhananda). Khagen’s strong character, love for religion, his sweet behaviour and organizing capacity were the main inspiration behind the formation of this group. Association with the monks at Baranagore fired him with the urge to renounce the world and after meeting Swamiji, took refuge at his feet. Served at Mayavati Advaita Ashrama (1899) at first, then its Manager and Assistant-Editor of the Prabuddha Bharata. On account of declining health sent to Waltair for rest and recovery. Visiting the Madras Math, Bangalore Ashrama and Belur Math, returned to Mayavati where he died of tuberculosis on 24.7.1908. An eloquent speaker, his articles in the Prabuddha Bharata drew everybody’s attention. Disturbed by the ritualistic worship of the Master being discontinued at Mayavati, had written to Holy Mother seeking her guidance and was comforted by Mother’s assurance in a letter now considered the final verdict on the ideology of the Order. His life, modelled on that of his guru, was an ideal combination of knowledge, devotion and action. Was a trustee of Mayavati Ashrama.