Swami Sarvadevananda, the minister and spiritual leader of the Vedanta Society of Southern California, is a monk of the Ramakrishna Order of India. He lived near Belur Math from 1960 onward, and thus got the opportunity to come into contact with many monks who were initiated by Holy Mother, Swami Brahmananda, Swami Shivananda, and other direct disciples of Ramakrishna.
Swami was initiated by Swami Shankarananda, the 7th President of the Order, in 1961, and joined the monastery at Belur Math, near Kolkata, in 1965. For the next two decades, he served at Saradapitha, a major educational and technical training institution next to Belur Math, managing and imparting spiritual values to the students of the teachers’ training institute, the Vidyamandir college, and the technical training schools. During this time, he also had the privilege to serve at a camp for refugees affected by the Bangladesh war in 1971.
Swami became the head of the Ramakrishna Mission, Sikra, the birthplace of Swami Brahmananda, in 1988. While there, he initiated literacy and health programs for hundreds of underprivileged villagers and performed relief and rehabilitation work for the homeless.
In 1993, Swami Sarvadevananda was posted to the Vedanta Society of Southern California to serve as assistant minister, under Swami Swahananda. He was appointed the minister and spiritual leader of the Vedanta Society in 2012.
In addition to regular lectures and classes, Swami Sarvadevananda addresses schools, colleges, and religious groups throughout Southern California and other parts of the United States whenever called upon. He represented the Vedanta Society as a delegate on the Interreligious Council of Southern California and the Hindu-Catholic and Hindu-Episcopal Dialogue of Los Angeles, serves as one of the directors of the Hindu Students’ Organization at USC, and sits on the Advisory Council of the Guibord Center. Swami frequently visits Vedanta centers throughout the United States.