Pre-monastic name :
Gopal Chandra Ghosh
Date of Birth : Some day in 1828
Place of Birth : Rajpur (Jagaddal) in 24-Parganas, W.B.
Advaitananda was oldest in age among the disciples of Sri Ramakrishna;
in fact he was older than Sri Ramakrishna himself by eight years.
Hence the Master used to call him Budo-Gopal (Elder Gopal); to all
the others he was Gopal-da.
Gopal-da was an employee of Beni Madhav Pal of Sinthi who was a Brahmo
and also devoted to Sri Ramakrishna. At the age of 55 Gopal-da lost
his wife, and became grief-stricken. A friend took him to Sri
Ramakrishna. After two or three visits he was so much drawn to the
Master that he gave up hearth and home and came to live with him.
Gopal-da was the only male devotee, other than Latu, to whom Holy
Mother Sri Sarada Devi talked directly. He would run errands and do
shopping for her. During Sri Ramakrishnas last illness Gopal-da
served the Master with devoted care.
After the Masters passing, Gopal, Latu and Tarak continued to stay at
Cossipore garden-house for some more time, and they were the first to
join the Baranagar Math. He underwent sannyasa ordination and became
Advaitananda. After a year he went out on pilgrimage to different
places and also did tapasya for several years in Varanasi.
When Belur Math was established he settled himself permanently there,
and did various types of work especially growing vegetables. After a
brief illness he passed away, while remaining fully conscious, on 28