In Memoriam: Brother Bhavananda (1932-2010)
Brother (Swami) Bhavananda, a much-loved and respected monk of Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, September 29, 2010.
Brother Bhavananda served Paramahansa Yogananda’s work in India and America for more than 50 years. Many of those years were spent in India, where (known as Swami Bhavananda Giri) he carried much organizational and spiritual responsibility in our Guru’s ashrams and in serving Yogoda Satsanga members throughout the country.
With joy, humility, and utmost dedication, this pure-hearted monk inspired countless souls with his deep spirituality and compassionate caring for all who came to him. He entered the SRF ashram as a monk in 1957, and during his early years he lived and served at the Mother Center and spoke at SRF temples and centers in the United States and Latin America. He was first sent to India by Sri Daya Mata in the mid-1960s, and again in 1974.
For the next 30 years he lived at the ashram founded by Paramahansa Yogananda in Ranchi, and devoted himself in heart and soul to Paramahansaji’s work in India. He served as a member of the YSS Board of Directors and traveled all over India giving Kriya Yoga initiations, classes, and personal counseling on Paramahansaji’s teachings — earning the deep love and esteem of the thousands whose lives he touched. He spent the closing years of his life in SRF ashrams in California.
A memorial service was conducted by Brother Achalananda and Brother Vishwananda at the SRF Mother Center on October 11. A special message of blessing and appreciation from Sri Daya Mata included these words: “Our dear Brother Bhavananda will be much missed in Guruji’s ashram family, and among the many here and in India who knew and loved him. Yet we are also happy for him that his soul has been released from the limitations of the body to experience again its native joy and freedom. He is now in the loving care of God and Guru, reaping the blessings that come to those who love God wholeheartedly and use their lives to give His love to others.”
* * *
Never was the spirit born; the spirit shall cease to be never;
Never was time it was not; End and beginning are dreams!
Birthless and deathless and changeless remaineth the spirit forever.
Death hath not touched it at all, dead though the house of it seems.
—Bhagavad Gita II:20 (Arnold’s Translation)