The Vivekananda Vedanta Society of British Columbia is a spiritual and non-profit organization dedicated to the Vedanta philosophy. The Society’s spiritual adviser is Swami Bhaskarananda of the Vedanta Society of Western Washington in Seattle.
History of the Vedanta Society
In 1967 a group of sincere admirers of the Vedanta philosophy from Vancouver, British Columbia, began visiting the Ramakrishna Vedanta Centre (now known as the Vedanta Society of Western Washington) in Seattle. The Head of the Centre at that time, Swami Vividishananda, inspired these devotees to form a group in Vancouver dedicated to the study and practice of Vedanta. Scriptural reading, meditation and devotional singing began taking place every week in devotees’ houses in Vancouver. Swami Vividishananda visited the city five times and his visits attracted more people to the Vedanta philosophy.
Swami Vividishananda’s last visit to Vancouver was in 1972. Shortly thereafter he became ill. From 1975 onwards, his assistant (now the President of the Vedanta Society of Western Washington) Swami Bhaskarananda, has been visiting the Vancouver group on a regular basis. Under his spiritual guidance and encouragement the Vivekananda Vedanta Society of British Columbia (VVSBC) was officially registered on May 12, 1978 with Dr. Anadi Jiban Das as its first president. The first public lecture sponsored by the VVSBC was delivered by Swami Bhaskarananda at the West Burnaby United Church in 1978.
More than forty swamis (monks) of the Ramakrishna Order and two pravrajikas (nuns) from India, the United Kingdom, the U.S.A., and Toronto have visited the VVSBC, delivering inspiring and uplifting talks. Among them were Swami Ranganathanandaji (past president of the Ramakrishna Order), Swami Gahananandaji (past president of the Ramakrishna Order), Swami Atmasthanandaji (current president of the Ramakrishna Order), Swami Smarananandaji (current vice-president of the Ramakrishna Order).
The Society’s present location, purchased in 1998, is one of the six units in a townhouse complex. The unit has three floors with three bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, a kitchen and a fairly large living room which serves as the Society’s shrine. The devotees conduct other spiritual activities there also.