Swami Tyagananda

Swami Tyagananda

Hindu (Vedanta Society)
Swami Tyagananda

E-mail:  swami_tyagananda@harvard.edu
Telephone:  (617) 536-5320
Address:  Vedanta Society, 58 Deerfield Street, Boston, MA  02215
Special areas of interest:  Interfaith understanding, meditation practices, museums and art galleries

Swami Tyagananda is a Hindu monk (sannyasi) of the Ramakrishna Order and presently head of the Order's branch in Boston.  He became a monk in 1976, soon after graduating from the University of Bombay, India.  He was assigned to the Vedanta Society in Boston in 1998.

Not surprisingly, most people in the West find his name unusual, unintelligible, and difficult to pronounce.  This is how he explains what his name means: “'Swami' is the epithet used for Hindu monks and the word means 'master.'  It points to the ideal of being a master of oneself or being in control of oneself.  The second part of my name is my actual name, given to me when I received my final monastic vows.  Tyagananda is a combination of two words, tyâga and ânanda: tyâga means detachment or letting go; ânanda means joy.  Taken together, the word means 'the joy of detachment.'  It points to the ideal of letting go of all the nonessentials in order to focus on and hold on to the essentials.  My name, thus, serves me as a reminder of two ideals, self-mastery and letting go."
Swami believes that both of these ideals—self-mastery and letting go—are essential not only for inner peace and joy but also for a sane way of life leading to fulfillment.  He shares the insights of his tradition on the campus, collaborating with the Hindu Student Association, “Dharma."  The weekly meetings consist of prayer, guided meditation, study of spiritual texts, and informal discussions.  Swami makes himself available for personal interviews, meditation instruction, and spiritual guidance, and can be reached via e-mail or phone.