Swami Niramayananda (12.3.1911 – 26.11.1984): Born Bibhutibhushan Banerjee at Nilphamary in Rangpur district. Renounced the world before completing M.Sc. studies. Initiated by Swami Akhandananda at Sargachhi (1935), followed by service of his Guru. Joined the Order at Deoghar Vidyapith (1938). Brahmacharya vows received from Swami Virajananda (1942) and ordained into sannyasa by him (1946). Served as Head successively at Manasadwip, Cherrapunji, Asansol, Kankurgachhi Yogodyan and Bombay centres. Two stints as Editor of the Udbodhan (Magh 1363 to Poush 1371, Shravan 1388 to Agrahayan 1391, according to Bengali calendar). Head of the Baghbazar Math (1969-73 and 1981-84). President of Calcutta Vivekananda Society. Died at Nanavati Hospital in Bombay (Udbodhan, 86.11.782-83). Author/Editor of Sri Sri Ma (1359, according to Bengali calendar), Chhotoder Vivekananda, Swami Akhandananda Smritisanchay (1383, according to Bengali calendar), Sagardwipe Chhilum (1986), Swami Vivekanander Vani O Rachana (10 vols., Poush 1369, according to Bengali calendar) and Swami Shuddhananda: Jibani O Rachana.
Lessons from Swami Niramayananda
Receive more without asking
Swami Akhandanandaji was ill at Sargachhi. Swami Niramayanandaji his disciple was his Secretary. A young man from Varanasi, a student of science at Benaras Hindu University, had volunteered to serve Swami Akhandanandaji during vacation. His name was Golwalkar, later the Sarsangchalak of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). His devotion and efficiency in serving his guru astonished everyone in the Sargachhi Ashrama. No one knew when this volunteer would take his bath and food, because he was found always near his guru, ready to serve him. One day, standing outside the door of Akhandanandaji’s room, Niramayanandaji (Vibhuti Maharaj) saw young Golwalkar kneeling before his guru and seeking Brahmajnana, or God-realisation. He also heard Akhandanandaji blessing him, “Yes, you will get it. Tera Brahmajnan ho jayega.” Niramayanandaji thought within himself, “I should also ask for a blessing like that.” When Golwalkar left, Akhandanandaji got up and coming outside paused before Niramayanandaji. Then looking at Niramayanandaji he simply said, “Vibhuti, those who ask will get. Those who do not ask anything will get more.” The meaning was clear. If you don’t ask for Brahmajnana, you will get Brahmajnana certainly and along with that, the great enjoyment of serving God in man through the Mission’s welfare activities here and now.
— Swami Gautamananda
Where does God live?
Swami Niramayanandaji’s Sunday classes were very interesting. The various examples and anecdotes which he used to narrate from his observations of day to day life, especially of Bombay people, were very apt and lively and they used to drive home the point he intended. Sometimes his talks were also replete with a tinge of humour and sarcasm.
In one of the classes, he was trying to explain how life should be God-centered. For this he said, you should make the interior physical features of your home also God-centered. That is why in earlier days God’s shrine, where all the family members worshipped everyday, occupied the central best location in the house. As it was considered a dwelling place of God in the house it was beautifully designed to look like a mini temple. Then Maharaj said with a smile, “Nowadays in Bombay, even in luxurious apartments, do you know what is the most luxurious and highly sophisticated section of the home? – It is the toilets. It is the type of luxurious toilet that determines the status of the home and not the shrine. A wall-hung cupboard tucked in the corner of a kitchen or dining hall is assigned as the place for God.” This is how he sarcastically used to explain the typical lifestyle in the present-day homes. If life is not centered in God, and our homes are not God-centered then how can we develop devotion and receive the grace of God? His lectures were very inspiring, realistic, full of intuitive flashes, and wit.
— Swami Muktidananda