“ A Garland of Forest Flowers "
Swami Nirmalananda, born as Tulasi, learnt Sanskrit. And later he taught the Upanishads, Brahmasutras and Gita to the Brahmacharins at Belur, and he was also able to converse fluently in Sanskrit with the scholars who visited South India. Tulasi also visited Trailinga Swami in Benaras. He also engaged himself in physical training and became an able gymnast and athlete and also trained other young men in physical exercises. He passed the Entrance examination in 1883 and got a certificate of appreciation and a medal from Raja of Talcher.
He first met Sri Ramakrishna in the house of Balaram Bose, a lay disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, who was also his neighbour, in 1882, when he was eighteen years of age. He visited Dakshineswar temple to meet Sri Ramakrishna, first with his friend Harinath and later alone. In the second visit he met Sri Ramakrishna. Tulasi used to meet Sri Ramakrishna occasionally in the house of Balaram Bose and got his initiation from him.
He taught Yoga classes in New York, and started a Vedanta centre at Brooklyn. He also gave lectures and taught Sanskrit and the Upanishads. He stayed in America for two and half years, then returned to India, when Swami Brahmananda called him for 'the regeneration of the Motherland'.Swami Nirmalananda helped in developing and establishing the Ramakrishna Mission centres in Bangalore and Kerala. Swami Nirmalananda established strict observance of the end of all caste-based discrimination, usual in Kerala at the time, in this Ashrama.
In March 1924 the main building of the ashrama in Trivandrum was completed. He established the Ramakrishna Sarada Math at Baghbazar and became its first president. The corresponding philanthropic mission was named Vivekananda Mission.
He performed many of the household chores in the monasteries and also taught Sanskrit grammar and other scriptures to the new members in the Math. He nursed sick patients, including those suffering from contagious diseases. When the new Math was established in Belur, Tulasi Maharaj worked in gardens and fields together with the new inmates, helped in training them in physical exercises, taught them scriptures and used to play with them. He played musical instruments and would often accompany Swami Vivekananda's singing on percussion instruments.