By Swami Harshananda
Svāmi Nirañjanānanda lived in A. D. 1904. Nityanirañjan Ghosh, more commonly known as Nirañjan, was probably born in the village Rajarhat-Viṣṇupur, but lived in Calcutta with his uncle. Physically well-built and majestic in appearance, he had somehow become associated with a group of spiritualists who had found in him a very good medium.
Having heard about the great spiritual power of Rāmakṛṣṇa, Nirañjan came to Dakṣiṇeśvar one day. During this very first visit, the great Master told him,
‘My boy! If you think of ghosts and spooks, ghost and spook will you become! But if you think of God, divine will be your life. Which do you prefer?’ And this converted him from spiritualism to spiritual life.
Though frank and openhearted, he was subject to losing temper and consequently all sense of proportion. Rāmakṛṣṇa took special care to help him overcome this weakness. Nirañjan was one of the few who served the Master day and night during his last illness. After his demise he took sanyāsa along with others and became ‘Svāmi Nirañjanānanda.’
He was mainly instrumental in the monastic disciples getting the major portion of the ashes of Rāmakṛṣṇa, to be later interred at the new Maṭh built by Svāmi Vivekānanda. He had a deep devotion for the Holy Mother. Though tender at heart, he could be fiercely stern in the face of hypocrisy. He breathed his last on the 9th May 1904.
- It is in Bengal.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore