Pravrajika Muktiprana was the first General Secretary of Sri Sarada Math and the Ramakrishna Sarada Mission. Her parents were disciples of Swami Shivananda (Mahapurush Maharaj), the second president of the Ramakrishna Order. Asha (Muktiprana’s pre-monastic name) studied at a Christian Missionary School where she achieved the highest marks in every subject in each examination. When she was only sixteen years old, inspired by reading ‘Talks with Swami Vivekananda’ she cherished the dream of joining a women’s Math. She asked Swami Nirvanananda if the women’s Math mentioned by Swami Vivekananda existed. Since it had not yet been established, in 1941 she started a women’s ashram of her own. Her charming and spirited personality attracted a group of young students who lived there with her.
In 1946 Asha began to seek the company and advice of Swami Madhavananda who was the General Secretary of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, discussing with him the possibility of starting the women’s Math of the Ramakrishna Order.
Swami Virajananda, the sixth President of the Ramakrishna Math also blessed her desire and in 1950 the Sister Nivedita Girls’ School, then affiliated with the Ramakrishna Mission became the venue of the joining of the group of dedicated women workers of the School with Asha’s Sarada Ashrama.
During Holy Mother’s Centenary celebrations in 1953-54, Asha’s abilities for management led to the success of the international Women’s Convention in which the talents of the dedicated young women workers became known to the public.
When Sri Sarada Math was established in 1954, Muktiprana was appointed as the General Secretary. She held the post for forty years, setting a unique example of dedication and selfless service. She kept contact with innumerable devotees and friends in India and abroad. She was an extraordinary administrator.
She authored many articles and a few books in Bengali and English, including a chronicle of Sri Sarada Math’s history, published serially in Bengali. She saw to it that the Math would start a journal in English and one in Bengali. Her authoritative and well-researched biography of Sister Nivedita in Bengali was a pioneering work of literary acclaim.
In the daily work of the Math, and on special occasions alike, she would involve herself in every detail. She had genuine affection, sympathy and patience for everyone in the Order: junior or senior. She had the quality of untying the knots in a personality and kept a watchful eye on each member so they felt she knew them better than they knew themselves. Her life was dedicated to being free and making others free.