Paramahansha, Nigamananda

Nigamananda Paramahansha

Paramahansha, Nigamananda (1880-1935) ascetic, born in Meherpur, in kushtia district. His original name was Nalinikanta Chattopadhyay. After his ordination as a sannyasi, he came to be known as Swami Nigamananda Saraswati Paramahansha.

Nalinikanta was appointed as overseer at the Dinajpur District Board, but he was saddened at the sudden death of his wife, Sudhangshubala. Following the instruction of his guru, he became an ascetic. Nigamananda wrote several books on ascetic philosophy and tantricism, among them, Brhmacharyasadhan, Tantrikguru, Jvaniguru, Yogiguru, and Premikguru. He also published a religious monthly, Aryadurpun. However, his greatest achievement was the establishment of the Assam-Bengal Saraswata Math (centre for learning) at Kokilamukh, Assam and of five ashrams for sannyasis: Dhaka Madhya Bangla Saraswata Ashram, Bogra Uttar Bangla Saraswata Ashram, Mainamati Purba Bangla Saraswata Ashram, Halishahar Dakshin Bangla Saraswata Ashram and Kharkunama Pashchim Bangla Ashram. He also established 'Rsi Vidyalay', a school for ascetics, and a charitable hospital.

Nigamananda died on 13 Agrahyan 1342 BS (November 1935) and was laid to rest at Halishahar Dakshin Bangla Saraswata Ashram. The ashram has now turned into a place of pilgrimage. [Nandadulal Banik]