In Memoriam: Swami Varadananda

January 7, 2023

Image Source: Vivekananda Vedanta Society, Chicago

The Parliament of the World’s Religions is saddened to report the passing of Swami Varadananda, who according to the Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chicago left his body at on Friday, December 30th at the age of 78.

Swami Varadananda was born in Keokuk, Iowa in November 1945 as Charles D. Streeter II. He graduated from Mount St. Mary’s University in 1967 and in the same year enrolled in the U.S. Army where he was first introduced to the Patanjali Yoga-Sutras and spurred his interest in the Vedanta as interpreted by Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda. In 1973 he joined the Ramakrishna Order at the Vivekananda Society of Chicago, which has its headquarters at Belur Math in India and was ordained in 1982, serving as the center’s manager.

Swami Varadananda was one of the founding members of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, then known as the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, and served as a trustee for a number of terms between 1993 and 2018. A committed interfaith leader, he also represented Hinduism on the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago for decades until his passing. Swami Varadananda is remembered for his passion for the interfaith movement and his commitment to the Ramakrishna Order.

We join his family, the Vedanta Society of Chicago, the Chicago community, interfaith partners, and his global community in mourning. May he rest in peace.

The Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chicago will host a Memorial Service in April, additional information will be shared as it is made available.


Land Acknowledgment

The Parliament of the World's Religions acknowledges it is situated on the traditional homelands of the Bodéwadmik (Potawatomi), Hoocąk (Winnebago/Ho’Chunk), Jiwere (Otoe), Nutachi (Missouria), and Baxoje (Iowas); Kiash Matchitiwuk (Menominee); Meshkwahkîha (Meskwaki); Asâkîwaki (Sauk); Myaamiaki (Miami), Waayaahtanwaki (Wea), and Peeyankihšiaki (Piankashaw); Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo); Inoka (Illini Confederacy); Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe), and Odawak (Odawa).

PoWR recognizes the region we now call Chicago remains home to a diversity of Indigenous peoples today and this land upon which we walk, live, and play continues to be Indigenous land.


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