An initiated disciple of Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi, he joined the Order in 1917 and received his sannyasa-diksha from Swami Brahmananda Maharaj in 1922. Besides serving at Mayavati and Bombay ashramas, he served for long periods as Head of Baranagore and Almora ashramas. Passed his last days at the Varanasi Advaita Ashrama and died at the Sevashrama on 3.7.1974 at the age of 78 (Udbodhan, 76. 8. 383-84).
Holy Mother’s love and message
I saw Swami Aparnananda (Satya Maharaj) first at Indore, when I went there to meet Swami Satswarupanandaji. I interacted with him more closely at Delhi in 1968-69, when I was undergoing a training at AIIMS. I used to see him at the hospital whenever he was admitted and also meet him at the Delhi Ashram. When I asked him about his reminiscences of Holy Mother, this is what he said:
“I first went to Belur Math with two of my friends. We crossed the Ganga by boat and reached the Math’s Ghat. We found that bhajans were being sung in the Visitor’s Room (it is done even now). As we were listening standing on the doorstep, a swami came from inside and embraced me. He then asked us to go to the (old) shrine and offer pranams to Thakur. Later we came to know that the swami was Premanandaji (one of the direct disciples of Sri Ramakrishna).
We three then decided to go to Jayrambati and receive mantra-diksha from Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi. We went to Arambag by bus. There was a devotee of Holy Mother at Arambag, who used to provide accommodation to devotees going to Jayrambati and Kamarpukur. We stayed for the night at his house. Early morning, we started on foot for Jayrambati with the determination that we will not eat anything until we have the darshan of Holy Mother.
As we approached Jayrambati around noon, we found three old ladies sitting under a tree on the outskirts of the village. All were wearing white saris. One of us, who had met Holy Mother recognised her from a distance as the lady sitting in the middle. On spotting us, one of the ladies got up and rapidly came towards us and started scolding: “How foolish it was on your part to have undertaken this journey by foot without taking any food. Mother too has not taken anything since morning. She has been telling all along, ‘Three of my sons are coming here. They have not eaten anything, how can I eat?’ Go! First of all, go to the pond, take bath, and then have food. Afterwards, you may offer your pranams to Holy Mother.” We did the same. Holy Mother and the other ladies, and we three took food together. The lady who scolded us was Golap Ma.
On the day of mantra-diksha, we were summoned one by one into the shrine where Mother gave the mantra. I went last. After mantra-diksha I was filled with great joy. Then Holy Mother told me: “Don’t see others’ faults. See your own faults.”
At this point, I told Aparnanandaji that this was Holy Mother’s last message. But, Maharaj replied that this was Holy Mother’s main message and she used to tell this to everyone.
— Swami Brahmeshananda, Ramakrishna Mission Home of Service, Varanasi