Swami Swahananda (1921 – 2012)
Swami Swahananda, founder and head of the Vedanta Center of Greater Washington DC—and also head of the Vedanta Society of Southern California, Hollywood, and Vivekananda Retreat, Ridgely—was a very senior monk of the Ramakrishna Order. Born in 1921 in Habiganj in what is now Bangladesh, he received initiation from Swami Vijnanananda, a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna. He joined the Order in 1947 and was ordained a sannyasin in 1956. He came to the United States in 1968, and was head of the Hollywood center from 1976 to 2012. He left his body on October 19, 2012.