Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math President, Swami Atmasthanandaji Maharaj passed away at a city hospital in Kolkata after a prolonged illness.

The 98-year-old monk had been undergoing treatment for old age related ailment since February, 2015.

A statement released by the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math said:

"Despite the best medical attention, his condition deteriorated over the last few days and he passed away around 5.30PM  at Ramakrishna Mission Seva Pratishthan hospital."

The cremation will take place at Belur Math at about 9.30 pm and the gates of Belur Math will remain open till the last rites are completed, it stated.

Who is Atmasthanandaji Maharaj ?

Source: b'Swami Atmasthanandaji Maharaj passed away at a city hospital |Source: PTI'
Source: b'Narendra Modi meeting\xc2\xa0Swami Atmasthanandaji Maharaj in 2015 |Source: PTI'
Source: b'PM Modi |Source: PTI'

Swami Atmasthanandaji had travelled extensively in various parts of the country as well as the globe and visited many branches of the Order and some unaffiliated centres spreading messages of Ramakrishna, Sarada Devi, Swami Vivekananda and Vedanta besides, giving mantra diksha to many spiritual seekers.

He was one of the key persons to organize Pallimangal (integrated rural development) activities in Kamarpukur and Jayrambati, a youth training centre at Saradapitha (Belur) and many other social service programmes.

Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who paid a visit to the ailing Maharaj , described his passing away as "an irreparable loss to mankind".

"I paid my last visit to him this afternoon. A life of outstanding social & religious service. This is an irreparable loss to mankind," Banerjee said.

(Feature Image Source: PTI )