By Swami Harshananda
Svāmi Subodhānanda lived in A. D. 1867-1932. At the behest of Svāmi Vivekānanda, but most reluctantly, Svāmi Subodhānanda rose to speak before a gathering of monks and novices of the Maṭh. His speech was like an earth-quake!
Whether the speech was ‘earth-shaking’ or not, the Svāmi could certainly help even the lowest spirits, to shake off his dejection. He was a wonderful combination of compassion, love, childlike simplicity and profound spiritual wisdom. His pre-monastic name was Subodh Candra Ghosh. He was born in Calcutta on the 8th November 1867. His parents were deeply religious by nature which automatically left its influence on the son also.
On knowing about Rāmakṛṣṇa through a Bengali book of his teachings, Subodh met the Saint of Dakṣiṇeśvar as soon as possible. Even during the first two visits, Rāmakṛṣṇa guaged the spiritual potential of the boy and put him into a deep meditation by mystic methods.
Subodh joined the Barānagore monastery along with the other disciples of the Master and got the name ‘Svāmi Subodhānanda’ after ordination. Because of his simple and childlike nature, he was endearingly called as ‘Khoka Mahārāj’ by his monastic brothers. After much austerities and itinerant life, the Svāmi settled down to the life of service for humanitarian causes. He was very actively associated with many relief works of the Ramakrishna Mission. He was extremely liberal in the matter of initiation also, especially towards the weaker sections of the society, whom he tried to help in all the possible ways. The Svāmi passed away on the 2nd December 1932.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore