Swami Prakashananda (1874-1927)
Sushilchandra Chakravarty in pre-monastic life, son of Ashutosh and younger brother of Sudhir (later Swami Shuddhananda), born on 8.7.1874 at ancestral home on Serpentine Lane in Calcutta. Spiritually inclined, acquired like-minded friends, frequented Baranagore Math, sought the company and listened to discourses of M., their teacher at Ripon College, and were greatly helped in their spiritual journey by Ramchandra Datta. Received the grace of Holy Mother at Jayrambati (1891/92) and advised to adopt monastic life. Joined the Alambazar Math (1896) and spent some days in the company of Swami Premananda at Vrindavan and in pilgrimages. Ordained into sannyasa by Swamiji (1897) and gradually turned into the very personification of the ideals his Master stood for. Sent by the latter to Dhaka with Swami Virajananda to spread the message of Sri Ramakrishna. Their efforts acknowledged to have resulted in the founding of the Dhaka centre. In Calcutta worked for the journal Udbodhan. Sent to Mayavati Advaita Ashrama (1902) to assist in editing the Prabuddha Bharata and in the administration.
Arrived at San Francisco (2.8.1906) to assist Swami Trigunatitananda and in charge of Vedanta Society after the latter’s death. Elected a Vice-President of the International Buddhist Congress, part of the Panama Exhibition. The Vedanta Society flourished, its debts paid off. Also took care of the Shanti Ashrama in the St. Antonio Valley, often going there with a few chosen students for spiritual practises. Health failing, visited India with Brahmachari Gurudas (later Swami Atulananda) and some other devotees (end of 1922). Public meeting in Kolkata to acknowledge the success of his American work. Receptions, lectures, etc. gave him no rest. Returned to San Francisco in April 1923 with Swamis Prabhavananda and Raghavananda as assistants. Vedanta Society of Portland founded in October 1925. The constant strain told on his health, died on 13.2.1927. The Prabuddha Bharata wrote, “May rest and eternal peace be the reward of him who on earth worked untiringly, unselfishly …. Our salutation goes to all those God-like men who worked to help humanity.”
Compilations of his lectures: Inner Consciousness and Universality of Vedanta published by the Hindu Temple (Monastic Disciples of Swami Vivekananda, Advaita Ashrama, 2003).