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Joan Shack   

Albany, New York


I had an interest in religion from my early years in grade school. Raised Catholic in a small midwestern town, I attended parochial school. 


While completing my Master’s degree at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, I saw an advertisement in a local health coop for a retreat. It was 1977. I attended the retreat led by Swami Pranananda of the Ramakrishna tradition. This introduction to Vedanta marked the beginning of my interest in this philosophy/religion. That interest never waned.


Vedanta attracted me for its practical application of spiritual principles in everyday life as illustrated in the lives of the Holy Trio. I even understood the religion which I was raised in and its role in my life much better in the light of Vedanta.


My first pilgrimage to India was in 1979. I have traveled to India ten times since then visiting places sanctified by the presence of Thakur and Ma. Since 1994, while in India, I stayed at Sri Sarada Math’s Center in Delhi and Sri Sarada Math’s headquarters in Dakshineswar. I was initiated by then revered President Mokshapranaji in June of 1997.     



1979   Moved from Michigan to New York State to take up a teaching position at a community college.

1979-1985    Lived in a Vedanta Ashrama in the Catskills of New York, Vivekananda Vedanta Vihar.  

Late 1980’s   Spent two summer vacations in residence at the Cohasset Vedantre Center in MA.

Late 1992   Co-founded Sri Sarada Society, Inc. in New York State.

1993   The Society sponsored the Pravrajikas of Sri Sarada Math to the 1993 Parliament of the World Religions.

1994-1997   Society worked toward the purchase of Ridgely Manor near Kingston, NY.

1997    Initiated by then President of Sri Sarada Math, Mokshapranaji Mataji.  Ridgely purchased by Belur Math.

2015   Retired from teaching.

2021    Sri Sarada Society dissolved under NY State laws.

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