Sri Padmanabhan came to the abode of Sri Gurudev sometime in. the mid forties when he was a Brahmachari of very young age. Active in temperament, adventurous in spirit, and curious about knowing almost everything which he regarded as helpful for furthering the Mission of Sri Gurudev, Padmanabhan worked hard in the development of the photo-studio in the Ashram with such rapidity and success that he quickly earned a name in the locality as a photographer and artist endowed with a novel ingenuity. The various photoprints of Sri Gurudev that are available at present and the photographs of the Ashram are all the work of his pioneering effort. Padmanabhan accompanied Sri Gurudev during his All-India-Ceylon Tour and did an extraordinary job of making still and Moviefilms of the entire tour. His skill is something superb. Sri Gurudev ordained him into the order of Sannyasa on Mahasivaratri, the 3rd of March, 1951, and gave him the name of Swami Sharadananda. After that he worked more vigorously and produced some movie-films of 8 mm and 16 mm size, one of which was a sound-film executed with great labour.
Swami Sharadananda, at the same time, was of an intensely studious type and was vigorously devoted to the study of such scriptures as the Srimad-Bhagavata and the Mahabharata. Later on, in the year 1957, he was inspired by a desire to go into seclusion and settled himself for a short time at Uttarkashi and then permanently in Gangottari, the snow-capped heights in the Himalayas. It was there that he took to a serious study of the Bhagavadgita with the famous commentary of Shankarananda and betook himself to intense forms of Tapas in many ways. His fame, as an austere Sannyasin, spread so wide that he spontaneously endeared himself to everyone in the Garhwal regions around Gangottari and among the Sadhus and Sadhakas living there.