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Anantshri Swami Akhandanandji Saraswati (also spelled as Akhandananda Saraswati, he was known as "Maharajshri" to many of his followers) (1911-1987), was an exponent of Bhagavata Purana and a scholar of diverse spiritual traditions including Vedanta, Bhakti, and associated Shastras(scriptures). He was born on Friday, July 26, 1911 in Pushya Nakshatra (Shravana Amavasya v.s. 1968 per Vikram Calendar) in the village of Maharai in the district of Varanasi. His Saryupaarine Brahmin family named him "Shantanu-vihari", since he was born by the grace of the Lord Shantanuvihari [1] Following a path of spirituality since early age, Maharajshri was associated with many Saints and Mahatmas in early twentieth century, including Udiya Baba, Hari Baba, and Anandmayi Ma. He was initiated for Sanyas (monkhood), by H.H. Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, the Shankaracharya of the Jyotishpeethadhishver in February 1942, following which his name was changed from Pandit Shantanu-vihari Dwivedi to Swami Akhandananda Saraswati.

Prior to his Sanyas, from 1934 to 1942, Swami Akhandanandaji was a member of the editorial board of "Kalyan" at the Gita Press and published a number of books and articles. He translated Bhagavata Purana in Hindi for the Gita Press. During 1960s, Swami Akhandanand Saraswati was elected President of the Bharat Sadhu Samaj, an Indian organization of monks.

Swami Akhandananda Saraswati was an honorary board member of the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan [2] - an honor he shared with many world leaders including Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, Prince Charles; Presidents and Prime Ministers of India, including Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Pandit Nehru, Sardar Patel; and other Indian spiritual leaders of the twentieth century: Swami Gangeshwarananda and Swami Chinmayananda. Swami Akhandananda Saraswati was regularly invited for delivering lectures at Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan's Headquarters in Mumbai, as well as by other organizations around the country, including Prem Puri Adhyatma Bhavan (Mumbai), Birla House (Kolkata), Birla Temples (Delhi and other cities) and J.K. Temple (Kanpur).

Maharajshri has mentored past and present generations of Grihasthas, Sanyasi Mahatmas and Shankaracharyas. Maharajshri's insighful discourses on Bhagavata Purana were delivered in 4-6 hour sessions each day for over 7–30 days. These discourses were only for the serious students as a Parayana or Gyan Yagna. His discourses were hosted by well-known Grihastha families like Birla, Singhania, Hindujas, Khatau; and Mahatmas such as Bhikshu Shankrananda, Udiya Baba, Hari Baba, Anandmayi Ma, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, etc... He authored over 180 books which covered topics including Bhagavata Purana, Bhagavat Geeta, Ram Charitra Manas, and Upnishads of the Vedanta.

He died in the evening of November 17, 1987, in Vrindavan.


Over 180 books and audio/video recordings of Swami Akhandanand Saraswatiji's discourses (pravachan) are available on the web and in traditional media formats.


  1. ^ Justice Bipin Chandra Mishra, Glimpses of Life Divine, Page 8, Sat Sahitya Prakashan Trust, 1968.
  2. ^ Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Honorary Board Members List on the Bhavan's website, Office Bearers Page.

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