Sri Kaliprasad Chandra was born 2 October 1866 was Rasiklal Chandra, and his mother was Nayantara Devi in Kolkatta. Later he is famously known by name Swami Abhedananda.
His childhood education was at the Oriental Seminary, Kolkatta. He believed that through yoga one can realise God and therefore his search for an ideal spiritual guru as well as intense urge to learn yoga. During that education period, that divine timing his desires were fulfilled; blessing him a spiritual guru. In 1884, at a temple garden at Dakshineswar, he happened to meet the great guru, Yogi, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, who agreed to teach him practical methods of 'Yoga Philosophy.' Since then he dedicated his life in the activities and preachings of his Guru - a true disciple.
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa told Swamy Abhedananda at the time of initiation into concentration and meditation that, he, ie. Swamy Abhedananda was a great yogi in his previous incarnation. Among the many disciples of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swamy Abhedanada was fond of Sri Vivekananda and his intelligence. He used to discuss with Swamy Vivekananda on various esoteric philosophical subjects. He left home and stayed with his Guru Paramahamsa's during his final days. After the demise of his guru, he along with few other fellow brothers and Vivekananda took to a sanyasi and travelled throughout the country barefoot. He met several great sages as well as meditated in the Himalayas. After the passing of his revered guru, Swamy Abhedananda confined himself to deep meditation at Baranagar Math. His practices were intense that fellow brothers called him “Kali Tapaswi.”
Later in 1897, as per the advice of Swami Vivekananda, he went to the west; head the Vedanta Society of New York to spread the message of Vedanta. Since then, he travelled extensively in the United States, Canada, in between came to India and preached in India and Ceylon-Srilanka topic being different at different places. He delivered the teachings of the spiritual Guru’s; Sri Krishna, Buddha, Christ’s, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, etc.. In his first lecture in the West, he spoke about the Advaita philosophy of Panchadasi at Christo-Theosophical Society in London. He met philologist Prof.Max Muller, and philosophy Prof Paul Deussen during his visit. In 1897, he took charge of the Vedanta Society as per the request of Swami Vivekananda.
In 1921, as an Indian delegate attended Pan–Pacific educational conference at Honolulu. Later was invited to Kuala Lumpur where he delivered a speech on Vedanta and Comparative Religion. His twenty-five years of stay at America came to an end on his return to the motherland and later in 1922 travelled to Tibet. Orator, writer Swamy Abhedananda got the publishing of his book in Bengali – Kasmeroe O Tibbate based on the manuscript found regarding the not known much to any about the life of Christ when in India. He authored numerous books on varied spiritual and religious topics. A few of them which are valuable insights are:-
• Stotra Ratnakara
• How to be a yogi
• Doctrine of Karma
• Yoga psychology
• Vedanta Philosophy
• Gospel of Ramakrishna
• Lectures on Bhagavadgeeta
• Human affection and divine love
He founded the Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Vedanta Math in 1923 in Kolkotta and 1924 Ramakrishna Vedanta Ashram at Darjeeling. A Bengali monthly publications namely Vishvavani was started to promote his missionary activities. Swamy Abhedananda dedicated all his life in the service of humankind for their spiritual benefits. His qualities of dedication to serving the people and reverence to his Guru Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa are admirable and ideal for us to follow. He was a living example of his Guru’s message. He emphasised about Guru Ramakrishna’s Mission saying, ” All religions were like different paths to the same goal., where Realizing God is the highest ideal.” It was in 1936, during the birth anniversary of his beloved guru Sir Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, loyal disciple, Swamy Abhedananda spoke at the Parliament of Religions at the Town Hall, Calcutta which was his last public speech.
His soul rested on 8 September 1939 at Ramakrishna Vedanta Math. A spiritual guru whose nishkamakarma-selfless service is a virtue to be imbibed.