His Holiness Atmanivedana Swami born in Uganda Africa, of Gujarati origin. I joined ISKCON in 1979 at the age of 22 years at the Bhaktivedanta Manor in England. I took initiation in 1979 in London England. I was preaching in UK till 1983. I moved to New Vrindaban in 1984 to 1989. I came back to the UK and preached there. I accepted the order of sannyasa from H.H. Bhakti Swarup Damodar Maharaj in 1993. Since then I have been preaching Krishna Consciousness in academic and scientific circles under the care of HH Bhakti Swarup Damodar Swami. Since 1996 onwards I spend my time between UK and India. Also since 2007 I started visiting and preaching in Singapore and Indonesia. I became an initiating Guru in 2013.
HH Badrinarayana Das Goswami has been a member of ISKCON since 1970. He began associating with members of the Hare Krishna movement while still at school and joined the Laguna Beach (California) temple in his eighteenth year after giving his reluctant parents the following choice: either you let me join or I’ll run away to India and join there.A year later, Badrinarayan Dasa took initiation from Srila Prabhupada in Los Angeles. Remembering his early days in Krsna consciousness, Badrinarayan says:
“I had the immeasurable good fortune to hear Srila Prabhupada giving the Sunday feast lecture at the old LA temple. Then we drove from Laguna Beach each week to hear Monday class. This went on for nine months. It was ambrosial and convinced me to become a devotee.“
Again at an early age, Badrinarayan Dasa became a temple president – first at Ann Arbor, Michigan from 1973 to 1977, and then in San Diego from 1978 to 1995.His GBC responsibilities began in 1987 and his zonal assignments have included Southern California, Colorado, Nevada, Utah and Idaho. In addition to his GBC service, he has been sitting on significant committees such as Parallel Lines of Authority, Organizational Development, the North American GBC, and the Executive Committee. He has also served past terms as chair and as executive officer for the North American and the International GBC. His participation is always notable, giving a fresh perspective on most topics. He is a fluent and humorous speaker, well able to link current affairs with spiritual matters.
Badrinarayan Dasa’s commitment to the GBC is lengthy, spanning twenty-four years, and he genuinely appreciates his peers as wonderful, kind, intelligent, powerful and humble members of that body, who take on the weight of service and responsibility for the whole society.
Remarkably, Badrinarayan Dasa has maintained his home base at ISKCON San Diego for the last three decades, which has added to the stability and continuity of the community. This connection with the San Diego temple has allowed him to develop his gardening interests in the form of fragrant flowers, which he grows for the temple worship. He is also a keen chef in his spare time – which is not very often. In fact, Badrinarayan Dasa is trying to make more time in his life to complete several writing projects.
Before he came to Krishna consciousness, he was in the Russian Navy. He was working on testing grounds of nuclear weapons. Due to radiation he was later moved to St. Petersburg Military University as a first commander of the cadets and then as a teacher. Soon radiation effects started to affect his health further. Unfortunately no doctors were able to help him. He thus began to look for some alternative methods of treatment: fasting, vegetarianism and yoga which began to deal with his health problems. Very quickly he began to recover. Soon he found out that in addition to hatha yoga, there are other types of yoga. Bhakti Ananta Krishna Goswami’s interest grew further and he decided to try bhakti-yoga. While he was hankering to know more about bhakti yoga he discovered that two of his juniors in the college were practicing Hare Krishna. They led him to bhakti yoga programs at St. Petersburg. After attending the program he was very inspired, especially by the kirtan. Soon he started to chant on beads and sing the mahamantra the whole day. Once he had a wonderful dream. Suddenly Srila Prabhupada, hugged him. He gave him “Bhagavad-gita ” and said, “Now read it all very carefully.” Thus he received first instructions on the path of Sanatan dharma from Srila Prabhupada. Soon his search for a spiritual master led him to His Holiness Gopal Krishna Goswami. Since he meet his Guru, Maharaj he has been very enthusiastically preaching Krishna consciousness in Russia. He took sannyasa initiations in 2011.
H.H Bhakti Anugraha Janardana Swami is a disciple of Gopal Krishna Goswami and in 2014 he was Awarded sannyasa initiation by Gopal Krishna Goswami. H.H. Gopal Krishna Goswami has recommended making him a member of the Vrindavan Executive Board. H.H Bhakti Anugraha Janardana Swami has also passed the Bhakti Shastri test. He has been preaching in New Delhi, Vrindavan and Philippines.
H.H Bhakti Anugraha Janardana Swami travels with HH Gopal Krishna Maharaja and has been assigned the work of preaching in Philippines. H.H. Gopal Krishna Goswami is H.H Bhakti Anugraha Janardana Swami’s mentor.
I began associating with ISKCON devotees in Prague in the winter of 1991. The next year, when I was 23 years old, I completed my MSC in Chemistry and Electronics from Institute of Chemical Technology in Prague, Czech Republic. Right after that, I traveled to Vrindavan to study Bhakti Sastri with the VIHE along with one other devotee. We travelled over land using trains and buses as a mode of transportation.
First we took a train to Istambul, Turkey. From there we crossed over the Suez-canal to Asia and got a bus to the Iranian border. After crossing by foot we took another bus and train to reach Tehran, the Iranian capital. The train was quite comfortable, unlike the ones to come. Spending 2 days in Tehran was quite an adventure, especially the bed bugs in the hotel! Many of the Muslim people were quite intimidating, but there were a few pleasant ones who helped us to get around the city. From there we took a train to Kerman and Zahedan, where the real pearl awaited us. After waiting for 30 hours in Zahedan we set off on a Pakistani train (just for a comparison – imagine 4th class train in India) and went on a journey through the Balochistan desert in south Pakistan. Even though the ‘windows’were firmly closed there was sand everywhere, under our clothes, inside our bags and even inside out mouths. It was very austere, but remembering that we were going to Vrindavan, we were able to tolerate it. Finally we came to Lahore. From there we crossed the Indian border to Amritsar, took a train to Delhi and at last a bus to Vrindavan.
After the VIHE courses, in October 1992, I proceeded to go on Braja Mandala Parikrama. The other devotee I came with was by this time already sitting in a plane going back to Prague. I realized however, that I did not want to go back to Europe to live a consumer life, but that I wanted to stay in Vrindavan. Afterwards, in November 1992, I took up service in Vrindavan working with Dina Bandhu Prabhu and Daivi Shakti Mataji in the mailout department for a few months.
In April 1993 I went to Mayapur to visit the Gurukula about which I had heard a lot. I had previously met H.H. Bhaktividya Purna Maharaja in 1992 in Hungary, preaching in the ISKCON temples and farms, outside universities, and homes of devotees.
I have also been conducting comprehensive seminars on Srimad Bhagavatam, Upadesamrita, and Mahaprabhu Siksastaka in Mayapur and Baroda (Gujarat) since 2012.
My reasons for taking Sannyasa Considering my involvement in the field for now over 20 years, my desire is to further revive education in ISKCON according to the teachings of His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada. Taking sannyasa will permit me to approach a broader spectrum of the public and will open up further avenues for spreading Krsna consciousness and the Holy Name. In this way I aim to teach and preach Srila Prabhupada’s purports by living example. As a sannyasi, I will also be able to better motivate boys in the Gurukula to take up and maintain brahmacarya more seriously.
His Holiness Bhakti Ashraya Vaishnava Swami, appeared in the year 1961. He came in contact with ISKCON in 1984 and joined as a full time devotee in 1985 in Vrindavan. He received his Harinam initiation from H.H Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaj. In 2013 on the auspicious appearance day of Vairagya Murti Srila Gaurkishor Das babaji he accepted the renounced order of life.
He sings Vaishnav bhajans melodiously and beautifully with explanation of their purports. Maharaj focuses on establishing loving relationships with devotees and everyone else. He is famous for his lectures in various languages especially in Hindi, English, Oriya and well known for his simplicity. He has been recommended to become a member of Vrindavan Regional Council by His Holiness Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaj. Currently he is serving as a Regional Secretary of NCR (Vrindavan, Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh). Maharaj travels all around the world and also visits South Africa every year for the colour festival.
Bhakti Bhusana Swami was born in Germany, but spent part of his childhood in Chile. He met Krishna devotees in 1968 when there was a lone monk visiting Germany. Bhakti Bhusana Swami assisted this monk in reaching out to local people by singing Hare Krishna melodiously in the streets. During Srila Prabhupada’s first visit to Germany Bhakti Bhusana Swami became his initiated disciple.After his time in Germany, Bhakti Bhusana Swami traveled within the (now former) communist countries like Poland and parts of the former Soviet Union. He opened many temples and outreach centers in Germany and the former communist countries where he was stationed. After relocating in 1981 to Argentina, he found himself in another dangerous destination as the country was under military rule. Bhakti Bhusana Swamicontinued to share Krishna consciousness with the local people despite the threat of danger and many obstacles.
In 1982 during a visit to India he was awarded the sannyasa order. Currently Bhakti Bhusana Swami shares Krishna consciousness primarily in South America. He gives discourses in Spanish, German and English languages and is an initiating spiritual master within ISKCON. Bhakti Bhusana Swami joined the GBC in 1987. He is zonal secretary for Paraguay and acts as co-zonal secretary for El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama; Venezuela, Belize, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Colombia.
His Holiness Bhakti Brhat Bhagavata Swami, in his quest for spiritual understanding prior to becoming a full time member of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness joined the Divine Life Society were he studied under Sri Swami Sahajananda. However due to his constant inquest into spiritual understanding Sri Swami Sahajananda told him that he was a missionary and should join the Hare Krishna Movement. He acquired a set of the Srimad Bhagavatam and several other books written by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and was deeply moved by these sublime teachings. This prompted him to become a full time member of The International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Brihat Mridanga Dasa, his former name, was awarded the renounced order of sannyasa by ISKCON guru Giriraja Swami recently, and will henceforth be known as Bhakti Brihat Bhagavata Swami. The initiation ceremony, held on December 24, 2009 at the Sri Sri Radha-Radhanath Temple of Understanding in Durban, South Africa.
1983 – Brhat-mrdanga dasa, a former school-teacher, joined ISKCON in Durban, South Africa. 1985-1988
a) Distributed over 30,000 books (mainly “Science of Self Realizations” and “Bhagavad Gitas” in South Africa.
b) Preached extensively to high school and university students in S.A .
c) Placed full sets of Srila Prabhupada’s books in over 50 libraries, colleges and universities through book sponsorships in South Africa.
d) Sankirtana Leader and Chairman of ISKCON Kwa-Zulu Natal (a province of South Africa) Congregational Council. 1989-1992 – V.-P. of Sri Sri Radha Radhanath Temple, ISKCON Durban. 1990 (July) to 1991(April) – Completed the First (and only) Preacher Trainer’s Course at VIHE, Vrndavana. 1991 – Founded the Bhaktivedanta College of Education and Culture(BCEC) in Durban, South Africa. a) Under his direction(and travelling internationally since 1994), BCEC has expanded to other countries: Hong Kong, Philippines, India, Kenya, Mauritius, England, Ireland, Canada, USA, Trinidad and Guyana. b) BCEC offers bridging courses like ‘Bhakti-Sadacara’, ‘Yoga Ladder’ leading up to Bhakti-sastri/Vaibhava degrees. Certification includes Bhakti-sadacara certificate, Bhakti-gita diploma and Bhakti-sastri/Vaibhava degrees. Courses are also offered for children. Since July 1991, 13,470 students have passed through Bhaktivedanta College of Education and Culture. 1997 -2000 – President of Sri Sri Radha Radhanath Temple, Durban S.A. 2001-2004 – Co-President of Sri Sri Krishna Balarama Mandir, ISKCON Vrndavana. 2004-2006 – Regional Secretary for Gauteng, South Africa.
Currently, H.H. Bhakti Brhat Bhagavata Swami serves as:
* Co-International Director of Bhaktivedanta College of Education & Culture (BCEC)
* Member of the GBC Ministry of Educational Development (MED)
* Member of the GBC Succession Committee
* Chairman of ISKCON Leadership Education And Development System (ISKCON LEADS), A GBC Succession Committee Initiative
Bhakti Bhringa Govinda Swami joined the Krishna consciousness movement in Buffalo, NY in 1971 and received initiation from Srila Prabhupada later that year. He served as cook and pujari in ISKCON centers in Buffalo and Toronto until leaving for Vrindavan in 1977 and from 1979 until 1987 served in ISKCON temples in Greece, Israel, Italy and France. Bhakti Bhringa Govinda Swami returned to Vrindavan In 1987 and while there established the Food For Life program. He has been an initiating spiritual master since 1992 and received sannyasa initiation in 1993.A defining moment in his Krishna consciousness was a conversation he witnessed between Srila Prabhupada and his godbrother Srila Akinchana Krishna Dasa Babaji Maharaja in October 1977. During that exchange Srila Prabhupada repeatedly quoted Srila Narottama Dasa Thakura:
“This is my desire: that birth after birth I may live with those devotees who serve the lotus feet of the six Goswamis.”
Originally from New Zealand, Bhakti Caitanya Swami joined the Hare Krishna movement in London, early in 1973. Almost a year before, as a philosophy student at Auckland University, he had first seen his future spiritual master walking across the campus with his followers. Srila Prabhupada initiated Bhakti Caitanya Swami later in 1973, giving him the name Raghubir Dasa. Eleven years later in Mayapur, the order of sannyasa was awarded to Bhakti Caitanya Swami who is an initiating spiritual master for many devotees around the world.
From 1985 until 1988 Bhakti Caitanya Swami served as regional secretary for South Africa, and he then participated in an outreach project in Johannesburg from 1988 until 1991. From that time until now, Bhakti Caitanya Swami is mostly engaged in traveling and spreading Krsna consciousness in an authoritative and accessible way. His permanent base is Durban, where his gentle and saintly presence provides stability.After joining the GBC in 1998, Bhakti Caitanya Swami’s assignments have included Angola, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Estonia. Furthermore, he acts as co-GBC for Mauritius, Northwest Russia, Eastern Siberia, Western Siberia, Latvia, South Africa, and Lithuania. Bhakti Caitanya Swami has served as chairman of the GBC in 2002-2003 and as vice chairman in 2001-2003 and then again in 2010-2011. Within the strategic planning team effort, Bhakti Caitanya Swami is involved in the team building committee.
Bhakti Charu Swami is from a Bengali family and spent most of his early childhood in urban Kolkata. He met with Srila Prabhupada at the end of 1976 after a long and intense search for a spiritual teacher. This initial meeting resulted in Bhakti Charu Swami being assigned to translate the books of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust into the Bengali language. He was immediately made responsible as the secretary for Indian affairs and within a few months, Srila Prabhupada gave him initiation. Soon thereafter, Srila Prabhupada awarded Bhakti Charu Swami the order of sannyasa. In addition to his official responsibilities, Bhakti Charu Swami continued to translate all of Srila Prabhupada’s works, more than fifty volumes, into Bengali. Bhakti Charu Swami is an initiating spiritual master in ISKCON and has disciples all over the world.
His Holiness Bhakti Dhira Damodar Swami is from West Africa. He is the first Sannyas disciple of His Holiness Bhakti Tirtha Swami. He is known for his years of dedicated services to ISKCON. He is very dear to devotees from Africa. He has been teaching them the priciples of devotional service the way he recieved from His Holiness Bhakti Tirtha Swami & Srila Prabhupada.
HH Bhakti Gaurava Narayana Swami was born near Jagannath Puri Dham in the state of Odisha, India, in the year 1953.
He graduated from SCS College, Puri with Honours and post graduated from Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan, West Bengal, with a gold medal, in the year 1978.
He then joined as a lecturer in SCS College, Puri in 1980.
Desiring to lead a spiritual life, His Holiness resigned from govt.service and joined ISKCON Vrindavan as a full time renounced devotee towards the end of 1981. He travelled and preached throughout UP, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh from 1981 to 1984. He enrolled many Life Patron members, lectured in residential, club and pandal programmes during this period.
He was then transferred to Kolkata in 1984 and served in ISKCON Kolkata temple as life membership director and vice-president until 1989. During his stay in Kolkata, Maharaj started student preaching programme. Many professional-degree students practiced Krishna Consciousness under his guidance.
Since 1987, Maharaj started preaching in Odisha, especially the young, educated people in industrial regions like Talcher Thermal and Angul.
Then in 1990, he shifted to ISKCON Bhubaneswar where he first started youth preaching programme, organised the temple’s first Rathayatra, conducted several public and home programmes, translated TEACHINGS OF LORD KAPILA into odia, and took charge of deity installation for the new temple.
In 1992 he shifted to ISKCON Juhu, Mumbai where he served as Life Patron Director until the end of 1993.
Then he was assigned a great service to develop ISKCON Govardhan project as Manager in 1994. In 1999 he was appointed as President of ISKCON Govardhan and he continued to serve in that capacity until 2004.
Maharaj took Sannyas in 2003 and became an initiating spiritual master in 2007.
Since 2009 till date, His Holiness is engaged in the service of Krishna as a Zonal Secretary for Odisha (Central and South). During this period he also edited Sri Chaitanya Charitamrta, in Hindi, for Bhaktivedanta Book Trust.
Due to his tireless preaching in Angul area of Odisha, an ISKCON centre was established there in the year 2010. A temple project is now taking shape and rapidly developing under his guidance..
His Holiness continues to travel and preach all over India and in foreign countries.
Bhakti Gauravani Goswami born in Germany, in 1951, met devotees in Hamburg in the summer of 1971, while doing mandatory military service. After reading Sri Isopanisadand receiving guidance from Srila Prabhupada’s disciples at ISKCON’s Hamburg temple, he became a vegetarian, shaved his head, and lived (as far as circumstances allowed) a devotional life while still in the army. To help him focus, devotees asked him to translate the Second Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam into German. Shortly after his discharge, he traveled to Paris in June of 1972 to meet Srila Prabhupada who accepted him as his disciple and gave him the spiritual name Vedavyasa Dasa.
For the next eight years, Vedavyasa translated his spiritual master’s books into German and managed the German BBT. After moving to Spain in 1981, he oversaw the printing for the Spanish BBT and assisted in the administration of the Spanish temples. In 1982, he married a Spanish devotee lady with whom he raised four children.
In 1985, he established the European BBT office of the Spanish and organized the translation and printing of Srila Prabhupada’s books in Spanish. During the next ten years the Srimad-Bhagavatam and several other books were published, and the Sri Caitanya-caritamrita was translated and prepared for publication.
For the occasion of Srila Prabhupada’s centennial celebration, Vedavyasa Dasa wrote and published a book called “Srila Prabhupada and His Disciples in Germany,” which narrates the history of ISKCON Germany from 1969 to 1977 and features the memories of Prabhupada’s disciples.
In 2014, after 32 years of marriage, Vedavyasa Dasa entered into the renounced order of life. On the auspicious day of Gaura Purnima, he received sannyasa initiation and his new name Bhakti Gauravani Goswami from His Holiness Prahladananda Swami in Mayapur-dhama.
At present, Bhakti Gauravani Goswami is the president of the New Vrajamandala farm community and the Euro RGB Commissioner for ISKCON’s activities in Spain. He is also serving as an initiating guru in ISKCON, travelling and preaching in Western Europe, South America and India.
Bhakti Madhurya Govinda Swami was initiated by His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in October 1968, about two months before HH Jayapataka Swami, awarding him the name “Makhanlal das”. 65 years old, he is one of the original 100 disciples of Srila Prabhupada. He started one of ISKCON’s first university preaching programs at the University of San Francisco, California, later continuing university preaching at his former university, the University of California, Berkeley. He opened the Berkeley, California temple in 1969. He has been practicing Bhakti Yoga steadily for the past 42 years. He has managed several of the centers in the U.S. He trained and sent in the initiation recommendations for some well know Prabhupada disciples such as Bhima das , president of Juhu temple and director of BBT India, Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami, director of the Mayapur gurukula, and others. For more than five years he served as a legal assistant in the international BB law office. He has taught hundreds of classes on the science of Krishna Consciousness, the ancient Vedic culture, the Bhagavat Purana, Isopanisad, Bhagavad Gita, and other Vedic classics in colleges, universities, and ISKCON centers. He attended the University of California, Berkeley, U.S.A. He has also appeared on a significant number of popular national and international television shows, both in the U.S. and India, such as the popular show “We the people” (MDTV,Delhi). He was awarded the Sannyas order by the GBC in February, 2010. He is currently traveling and teaching throughout India and Asia. His international headquarters is located at the ISKCON Krishna Balaram Mandir in Punjabi Bagh, a suburb of New Delhi.
Bhakti Narasimha Swami (formely Jagat Guru Dasa) was born in 1959. He is the first South African Sannyasi of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness – ISKCON. He Joined ISKCON in 1986. He was involved in the pioneering work of ISKCON Zululand under HG Kamsahanta Prabhu (ACBSP), he later got involved with pioneering preaching in Zimbabwe. He served as a book distributor in the early 90’s in Birmingham,UK. He served in South African Temples including Durban and Cape Town in the mid 90’s and was in East Africa, Kenya and Uganda in the late 90’s till 2003. He became a sannyasa candidate in 2005 and was initiated into the sannyasa ashrama in 2008. He is based in Sao Paulo, Brazil and he travels and preaches in South America, Africa and Russia.
Bhakti Marga Swami was born on October 5, 1952. His first major encounter with devotees was in Toronto, at the college campus where he studied fine arts. He invited them to his apartment for an overnight stay, and without delay he gave up bad habits, went to the temple, and never left. He was initiated by Srila Prabhupadain 1973.
Bhakti Prabhava Swami, born in Belgium, in 1960, met devotees in Ghent in the summer of 1992. From 1992 to 1996 he was active in Nama Hatta preaching in Ghent, and joined the Radhadesh temple in 1996. In 1994 he met His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami who accepted him as his disciple and gave him first initiation on 12 March 1998 and second initiation on 25 August 1999. On the 31st May 2015 he was Awarded sannyas initiation by Bhakti Charu Swami.
Right after his second initiation he became the first secretary for the newly formed European RGB. He organized the first European Leaders Meetings (ELM) and went on several missions for the European RGB. In 2002 His Holiness Bhakti Prabhava Swami was requested to become to Secretary for the Global GBC Body and the Secretary for the GBC Executive Committee. He fulfilled that role until September 2009. From 2011 to 2016 he served as Secretary for the GBC Sannyasa Ministry and helped with the development of the ministry. During that period he attended all GBC meetings and all GBC mid‐year meetings. He organised the first GBC midyear meeting held at Prabhupadesh in Italy in October 6‐9, 2006.
From 1996 to 2007 he engaged in management of the Radhadesh projects, mainly taking care of supervising the administration, tax defence and legal matters. He also served as legal director, trustee, teacher and student in the Bhaktivedanta College. In 2011 he shifted his home base to Leicester (UK) where he introduced the Bhakti Sastri course. Since 2015, Bhakti Prabhava Swami is offering bhakti-sastri and bhaktivaibhava on-line courses.
His Holiness Bhakti Prabhava Swami travels and teaches Srimad Bhagavatam and other bhakti scriptures in ISKCON centres and institutions around Europe since early 2000s, especially in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Ukraine and Bulgaria. He studied Bhaktivaibhava (2001-2005) and Bhaktivedanta (2006-2011) at the VIHE in Vrindavana, earned a PhD in the Study of Religion at the University of Wales (2016) and published a number of academic articles. He currently serves as a member for Sannyasa Ministry and as a member for the ISKCON Board for Examination. Since early 2018 Bhakti Prabhava Swami is serving as Temple President for ISKCON Belfast.
2011 – 2016: PhD Research, Trinity Saint David – University of Wales. Earned a PhD on June 21, 2016.
2008 – 2010: M.A. in the Study of Religion: Indian Religions; Trinity Saint David – University of Wales, Lampeter.
2005 – 2008: B.A. in Theology, University of Wales, Lampeter.
2001 – 2008: Vocational Courses:
– VTE Teacher Training Course, Level I (36 hours).
– VTE Teacher Training Course, Level II (36 hours).
– VTE Bhakti-Shastri Teacher Training Course (24 hours).
– VTE Communications Course (21 hours).
– Counseling and Life Skills Courses, 2 Levels (65 hours)
– Mediation and Conflict Resolution Course level I, II and III (65 hours)
– Congregational Development Course (15 hours)
2005 – present: Bhakti-shastri grader approved by the ISKCON Board of Examinations.
1994 – present: Participation in numerous International Conventions, where seminars on Vaisnava culture are taught, such as ISKCON European Convention in Radhadesh (Belgium) and the Mayapur-Vrindavan Festival in India.
1992 – present: systematic personal study of some of the main Vaisnava texts in the Caitanya Vaisnava tradition, such as Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya Caritamrta, Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu,to quote a few.
2001: Bhakti-Sastri course (6 months) at the MIHE in Mayapura (West-Bengal).
2002 – 2005: Bhaktivaibhava course – study of the first six books of the Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) at the VIHE in Vrindavana (Uttar Pradesh – India).
2006 – 2011: Bhaktivedanta course – study of the last six books of the Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) at VIHE in Vrindavana (Uttar Pradesh – India).
1996 – present: trained as a Vaisnava celibate monk by Vaisnava teachers and mentors.
2001 – 2011: development of seminars on the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana).Some of the seminar titles:
- The Nature of Spiritual Compassion (Bhaktivedanta thesis)
- Six Gates Leading to Bhakti
- Sweet Love of Krishna, The Topmost, from Conditioned to Liberated Consciousness
- Twenty-four Spiritual Masters
- Turning Suffering into Bliss
2014: ISKCON Disiciple Course – student/teacher
Languages: Dutch, French, English, German (basic).
Teaching and Educational experience
2013 – 2017: Tutor for Bhakti-Shastri and Bhaktivaibhava students at the College for Vedic Studies (Leicester/London).
2011: Presentation “Emotion in Religionen. Negative Emotionen” at the University of Heidelberg (Germany).
2004: Presentation on Bhagavad-gita at the University of Montreal (Canada).
2002 – 2008: Tutor for Bhakti-Shastri and Bhaktivaibhava students in the Caitanya Vaisnava community at Radhadesh and the Bhaktivedanta College in Belgium.
1998 – 2004: Part-time pujari priest in the Caitanya Vaisnava community at Radhadesh in Belgium.
2001 – 2015: Presenting discourses on Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam in assistance of Prahladananda Swami in the Balkan States (Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, and Romania) since 2001 during 2 months each year.
1998 – present: Presenting discourses and seminars, mainly on Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam in English, French, and Dutch in Canada, USA, Ukraine, India, Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Spain, Ireland, England, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Russia, Bulgaria, Moldova, etc.
Organizational Education and Experience
1975 – 1977: Socio-economic High school: Sint-Jorisinstituut, Brussels.
1978 – 1981: B.A. in Accountancy and Taxes: Willemsfonds, Brussels.
1982: Specialised study in Taxes: Fiscale Hogeschool, Brussels.
1984 – 1985: Education as Cobol programmer, computer system-analyst.
1998: Inscription as registered chartered bookkeeper – tax expert.
1978 – 1979: Technical inspector at the City of Brussels.
1979 – 1981: Employee at the travel agency L’ Epervier (Europabus) in Brussels.
1982 – 1988: Administrative employee in the accountancy office ‘Algemeen Fiduciair Instituut’ in Ghent.
1988 – 1991: Director of the software company CHIPS CV in Ghent.
1992 – 1997: Employee responsible for internal organization, accountancy and salary administration in the home ‘Rusthuis Toevlucht van Maria’ in Ghent.
1997 – 2008: Self-employed Chartered Accountant and Tax Expert cooperating with BV Adfisco Accountants in Antwerp.
1998 – 2008: Acting as legal advisor, tax expert, and administrator for the ISKCON legal entities in Belgium.
1998 – 2004: Legal director of the SCI Printemps (New Mayapura), Lucay-le-Male, France.
2003 – 2011: Trustee, teacher, and legal advisor for the Bhaktivedanta College in Radhadesh
2004 Co-temple President for ISKCON New Mayapura (France).
1998 – 2004: Secretary for the ISKCON Euro GBC.
2004 – 2009: Training as Mediator (3 level courses)
2004 – 2009: Secretary for the ISKCON GBC Body and the GBC Executive Committee.
2004 – 2008: Opening and running of an ISKCON Centre in Brussels
2004 – Mediator working with ISKCON Resolve
2008 – present: A member of the ISKCON Board of Examinations, and the GBC Finance Committee.
2010 – 2016: Secretary for the ISKCON Sannyasa Ministry
2014 : Secretary for the GBC Executive Committee and the ISKCON GBC Body
2014 : Member of the Standing Committee for the ISKCON Ministry for Education
2014 : Founder member of the ISKCON Leicester for Vaishnava Training and Education (presently: College of Vedic Studies)
2014 – 2015: Member of the ISKCON Law Book Committee
2018: TP for Belfast in Northern Ireland
HH Bhakti Prema Swami, born on 31st December 1967, came in contact with ISKCON in 1994 and joined as a full‐time devotee in 1995 in Mayapur. He received initiation in the family of Jagat Guru Srila Prabhupada from His Holiness Bhakti Caru Swami Maharaj. He came in Krishna Consciousness in 1994. Since 1994 , when he was 27, he is serving in the mission of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. He sings Vaisnav Bhajans melodiously and beautifully explains their purports. He focuses on establishing loving relationship with devotees and everyone else.
His Holiness Bhakti Raghava Swami has been serving with great dedication for many decades. During the early days of Mayapur development, he lost one leg due to an attack with bomb in Mayapur. However, inspite of this handicap, he travels extensively. He has many varnashrama projects. He is the main force behind Global Varnashrama educational, social and cultural organisation. He preaches in India, Nepal & many South East Asian countries like Cambodia & Indonesia.
Bhakti Rakshak Radha Golokananda Swami received Sannyasa on 2nd April 2020 – Ram Navami. He has been preaching in India and Mauritius.
His Holiness Bhakti Rasamrita Swami completed his B.E. from M.S University Baroda, MBA from Bombay University & worked for some time in a multinational Bank. Inspired by the teachings of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder acharya of The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), he decided to dedicate his life for propagating the message of Bhagavad Gita and joined International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). He was initiated by the spiritual name His Grace Devamrita Dasa. Since then he has served in many important projects and has preached the message of Bhagavad gita very widely, especially to the student community. He served as temple president in Mumbai, Belgaum and Vrindavan- which is the spiritual hub of world wide ISKCON temples. He has been preaching in many prestigious educational institutions all over India. Commemorating the hundredth birth anniversary of Srila Prabhupada in the year 1996, he travelled widely and conducted National level theistic debate competitions in various colleges and Universities across India and Nepal, covering 250 cities and over 5000 colleges. During this period, He inspired many people in different parts of India, to practice and preach the message of Srimad Bhagavad gita. In the month of March, 2010, honoring his dedication and devotion, He was awarded the order of Sannyasa (Renunciation) in ISKCON, with the title His Holiness Bhakti Rasamrita Swami. In his more than 23 years of dedicated devotional life in ISKCON, he has rendered several important services, preached in many countries of America, Europe and USSR, and continues to do so. Presently he is temple president of ISKCON Belgaum centre, where He is inspiring thousands of people to seriously practice the sublime teachings of the Bhagavad-gita, and is overseeing the devel
His Holiness Bhaktisiddhanta Swami is a disciple of Jayapataka Swami since 1979. He has preached all over the world. He has been in Mayapur and Vrindavan for the last 10 months. He speaks very nicely about home/private worship (atmavan worship) being expert in the worship of Salagram.
His Holiness Bhakti Sundar Goswami was born in Syria. He joined ISKCON in 1974 in Caracas, Venezuela and was initiated personally by Srila Prabhupada in his visit to South America in Feb 1975. In the 80 he served as temple president in Spain and Venezuela. He has been traveling and preaching for the last 20 years in Latin America, US and Europe. in 2006 he published his book ¨Srila Prabhupada in Venezuela¨ in Spanish and it will be published in English this year if Krishna so desires. At present he serves as an active member of the Latin American RGB as zonal secretary for Central America.
His Holiness Bhakti Vasudeva Swami joined ISKCON, Nigeria, in 1984 as a disciple of His Holiness Bhakti Tirtha Swami. He holds a master’s degree in Philosophy and Education with a major in Critical and Creative Thinking (CACT) from AICCACOI/Montclair State University, New Jersey, USA. He is a scholar of international repute and presents papers at major international conferences across the globe. Some of his publications include Presidency and requital epistemology; Endogenous and exogenous factors affecting probity in governance; Vedantic views on cultural transformation: A stimulus for socio-political stability; Organizational and sociological factors affecting societal norms: Lessons from an oriental culture; Rape: Sonic therapy to the rescue; Panacea for matrimonial failures: A guide for transforming relationships between men and women; Traditional practice affecting the emancipation and empowerment of women in Nigeria. He accepted sannyasa initiation in year 2009 from His Holiness Jayapataka Swami.
Bhakti Vijay Bhagavat Swami received
Sannyasa on 4th April 2020 – Kamada Ekadashi. He received first initiation in 1991, and brahminical initiation in 1992 from His Holiness Jayapataka Swami. He is leading the Mayapura book distribution programme, coordinating courses for the Mayapur Institute and is the head of the school-preaching department.
His Holiness Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami comes from a Jewish American background. He had spent some time in Israel before taking shelter of Srila Prabhupada. He is a person of high integrity who had traveled a long way to find a spiritual framework in which he could live happily. He now prepares courses in religious topics together with philosophy in Mayapur. He is Principal of Sri Rupanuga Paramarthika Vidyapitha,ISKCON Mayapur. He trains gurukul kids to be perfect vaishnavas. He specially trains them in conducting vedic yagyas. He preaches extensively in various parts of the world and has his main base is in Mayapur.
His Holiness Bhakti Vikasa Swami appeared in this world in 1957 in England. He joined the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in London in 1975 and was initiated in that year with the name Ilapati dasa by ISKCON’s founder-acarya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
From 1977 to 1979 His Holiness was based in India, mostly traveling in West Bengal preaching Krishna consciousness and distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books. He then spent the following ten years helping to pioneer ISKCON’s preaching in Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand, and Malaysia. In 1989 he was granted the order of sannyasa, receiving the name Bhakti Vikasa Swami, and again made his base in India.
He has since travelled widely throughout the subcontinent, lecturing in English, Hindi, and Bengali. His Holiness also travels to and preaches Krishna consciousness in other parts of the world. He continues to write books and magazine articles. His books have been translated into more than fifteen languages.
H.H. Bhakti Vyasa Tirtha Swami is 81 year old native of Manipur, India where he resides. He bacame ISKCON life member in 1977. He received 1st and 2nd initiation. In 1982 he received his Sanyas initiation from H.H.Bhakti Swarup Damodar Swami. He is also a member of Manipur ISKCON development council. He meets people and increases awareness on Krishna Consciousness.
I was born on 2nd June, 1969 at Dinajpur district, Bangladesh. Initially I have been spiritually inspired specially by late Sevanidhi Das Brahmachari, one of the prominent preacher in his time in ISKCON Bangladesh and other senior devotees also inspired me for renunciation. I have joined in ISKCON In the year of 1988 at Rupa-Sanatan smriti- tirtha, Ramsara, Abhaynagar, Jessore, Bangladesh. In the year of 1986 I first met the ISKCON devotees. They gave me three books of Srila Prabhupada, namely * The nectar of Krishna Consciousness, * Perfect question perfect answer and * Bhagavat Gita. After reading Srila Prabhupada`s books I have started with the devotees through letters. In 1987 I have gradually started chanting 16 rounds (inspired by the devotees) at home. In one stage of communicating, the devotee asked me to join with them. And then I Joined the ISKCON devotees in their book stall at Kheturi Dham, Rajshahi (the birthplace of Srila Narottam Das Thakur) at the disappearance day of Srila Narottam Das Thakur. In this way I have joined the ISKCON Movement. The year of my first initiation is 1989 at Rup- Sanatan smriti-tirtha, Ramsara, Abhaynagar, Jessore, Bangladesh & the year of my 2nd initiation is 1993 at Katakhali, Keshavapur, Jessore, Bangladesh. Some of my performed services are: a. Namhatta preaching (Rajshahi Division) b. Director of Padayatra c. Temple President: Sri Sri Radha-Gopinath temple, Gareya, Thakurgaon. d. Vice- President of ISKCON National Council, Bangladesh. Now I am generally staying at Sri Sri Radha-Gopinath ISKCON temple, Gareya Gopalpur, Gareya, Thakurgaon, Bangladesh. Now I am serving as vice-president, ISKCON, Bangladesh & temple president, Sri Sri Radha-Gopinath temple, Gareya Gopalpur, Gareya, Thakurgaon, Bangladesh. I feel enthusiastic about congregational preaching, pandal program, temple management, student program etc. To fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya, to spread the movement of Srila Prabhupada and keep myself engage in preaching Krishna Consciousness I intended to accept sannyasa. At the same time this will help me socially to preach Krishna Consciousness strongly. Hare Krishna!
Born in October 1949, Bir Krishna Goswami spent his childhood in Long Island, New York. As an academically gifted student at North Western University, he began reading the Vedic literatures translated by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Impressed by Srila Prabhupada’s scholarship and saintliness, Bir Krishna Goswami became a member of the Krishna conscious community in Gainesville, Florida in 1971. Shortly thereafter, he was initiated as Srila Prabhupada’s disciple.
Bhakti Vighna Vinasa Narasimha Swami Maharaja was initiated by Srila Prabhupada in London in 1971. A year later he received second initiation. He has been preaching for over last twenty five years in Asian countries such as India, Philippines, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand. Through his years of preaching he has given countless souls practical guidance and deep inspiration. Taking sannyasa in Mayapur in 1994 from Tamal Krishna Goswami did not mean much of a change in his lifestyle, since Maharaja has always been strict in his sadhana. Whoever gets to know Maharaja admires and respects his sincere and faithful practice of chanting the Holy Names of the Lord. He truly “walks his talk”. Maharaja has been teaching with the MI since it’s inception.
Born in New Jersey, USA, in 1947, Candramauli Swami came in contact with the International Society for Krishna consciousness (ISKCON) in Denver, Cororado, at the age of twenty-four. In 1973, he began practicing Krishna consciousness in New York City and shortly thereafter began serving at New Vrndavan farm communityin West Virginia. He received initiation in 1973 from His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
In 1986, he accepted the sannyasa order and began preaching in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio. In the early 1990’s he became involved with the ISKCON Prison Ministries in America, and began visiting inmates, holding programs, along with writing letters to inmates and sending in Srila Prabhupada’s books. In 1995 he began serving as the resident sannyasi in Chicago, where he is based today.
At present, Candramauli Swami preaches in America, India, Western Europe, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, and the UK. He is an initiating spiritual master within the ISKCON society.
Chandra Mukha Swami was born in Dracena, Sao Paulo, in 1957. At the young age of twenty, he put aside a promising career as a journalist and took his monastic vows in vaishnava tradition by joining Srila Prabhupada’s movement. In 1986, Chandramukha Swami embraced vows of renunciation (sannyasa) in the holy city of Mayapur, India, when he received the venerable title of Swami and became one of the leaders in Brazil ISKCON. Maharaj helped establish Vrajabhumi Ashram in Teresopolis, RJ. Maharaja is a writer and musician. He has authored over twenty books on yoga philosophy and spirituality. He has released eight CDs of mantras and meditation. Maharaja is famous for his ability to make the Vedic wisdom easily accessible to the lay public.
Danavir Goswami (Dr. Dane Holtzman) was born in Los Angeles in 1949. He studied sociology and economics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). While there he excelled in athletics and was selected the Most Valuable Player of 1970 (indoor volleyball) by the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and won the international 2-man beach volleyball tournament at Santa Cruz. On June 11, 1970, he met His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and received initiation from him in February of 1971. Under the direction of Srila Prabhupada, Danavir Goswamiproceeded to inaugurate Bhakta Programs elsewhere in America, Europe, Africa, India, etc. Presently this comprehensive educational system for new devotees is standard throughout ISKCON. He is the author of many books. He currently serves as inaugural president of Rupanuga Vedic College (RVC)in Kansas City, Missouri.
Formerly known as Abhay Prabhu,
Disciple of HH Radhanatha Swami.
Joined Iskcon in at the age of 31yrs in 1983.
Served in Manchester from 1986 to 2002 (services were door to door book distribution and various temple services).
From 2002 to 2015 he has been based at Bhaktivedanta Manor
From 2005 travelling and preaching in United Kingdom, and Russia including neighbouring countries
Took Sannyasa initiation from HH Radhanath Swami in 2011 on the auspicious appearance day of Sri Ramanujacarya to become the 100th sannyasi in ISKCON.
His Holiness Dayananda Swami is currently giving invaluable help in spreading the Krishna consciousness movementin Eastern Europe and when he visits the UK, he travels to give classes and distribute books in namahatta areas all over the country. Previously he was Brahmachari Leader at Bhaktivedanta Manor and also served in ISKCON Manchester.He is also a dedicated book distributor, experienced in both street and door-to-door book distribution.
His Holiness Devamrita Swami entered this life on October 16, 1950 in New York City, as the firstborn in a family dominated by a very devout and education-motivated Christian mother. Later in life his mother confided to him that during the time of his conception, she was praying to God that He send her a “servant of the Lord.” Observing her infant crawling to bookshelves, trying to grab books, she waited until he reached four years and then personally taught him to read, while ensuring that he immersed himself in church programs for children. At that time, he began to memorize Bible verses, and loved the Bible, hymns, and church life. Attending a Lutheran primary school for the first three years of his primary education, he relished learning in a religious atmosphere. At eight years old, the Lutheran Church offered him a university scholarship if he would promise to be a minister in the future.
Later, because the family, financially overextended, could no longer afford the fees at church schools, he enrolled in public primary and intermediate schools. His mother, observing that the best New York public schools had high Jewish enrollment, deftly maneuvered through school districts, constantly hunting the best public schools and teachers for her children. During these years, her eldest son developed an interest in Judaism and began to wonder about the existence of other spiritual paths.
The mother, a connoisseur of all Protestant faiths, began to attend Presbyterian churches, and there the future swami, at the age of thirteen, delivered his first Sunday sermon. Noting her son’s boredom and lack of challenge at school, his mother pushed for his acquiring a full scholarship plus living expenses to private boarding schools in New Hampshire, where he attended Exeter Academy during the summer and Holderness School for Boys during the regular school year. An abnormality amidst boys from the super rich and famous families of America, he would never forget his experience that wealth and class do not bring happiness.
At fifteen, dazzled by his sophisticated material studies, the spiritual inclinations accompanying him since infancy curdled into agnosticism. A year later, however, the historic recording “A Love Supreme,” by John Coltrane, turned him around. Stirred by the jazz legend’s devotional expression and by his public declaration, on the album cover, that love of God is the ultimate goal of life, the future Devamrita Swami made up his mind to find it pure love of the Supreme. Coltrane’s explorations of the music and philosophy of India–especially his chanting verses from the Bhagavad-gitaperplexed and fascinated the mind of the young student, now bound for university.
In 1968, he received a scholarship to Yale University. Upon his informing his academic advisors that he was searching for the highest knowledge and wanted to study whatever he wanted, irrespective of academic rules for concentration, his overseers gladly agreed, admitting that they, while students, would have loved to have done the same. Plunging into world history, Western philosophy, anthropology, political science, economics, and the history of science, by his fourth year at Yale he gave up no thinkers had impressed him. He had failed to find any conclusive knowledge or any effective socio-political strategies for thoroughly improving humanity. During those years, seeking relief from the university, he would travel by bus to New York City and wander in the East Village and Second Avenue areas, expecting to discover something there that would save his life.
As graduation neared in 1972, he asserted to his dean of studies that he saw no future for himself in materialistic society. Brushing him off, the dean looked him straight in the eyes and pronounced: “You are a Yale man; you will influence the world.”
One month after graduation, he bought on the street a small book by Srila Prabhupada. Life was never the same. Stunned by the contents, he immediately went to a metaphysical bookshop to obtain more literature by Prabhupada.Addicted to Prabhupada’s writings, yet skeptical of the budding Krishna consciousness organization’s ability to solve the world’s problems, he would order books by mail just to avoid personal contact with devotees. Three or more hours daily, for six months straight, he repeatedly read all the available titles by Srila Prabhupada, and then, finally, in December 1972, he decided to visit the New York ISKCON temple, newly located in Brooklyn. Devotees informed him that the Krishna consciousness presence in the West had first begun on Second Avenue during the years he walked that area, as a student desperately searching for hope.
Praying to the temple Deities, Sri Sri Radha Govinda, that They cut the knot of his material entanglements, he became a full-time staff member of the temple in March, 1973. Initiated by Srila Prabhupada in January 1974, Devamrita das spent several years traveling throughout the USA distributing the literature that so transformed his life, and then went to the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust in Los Angeles to assist in Srila Prabhupada’s book production, as a copy editor and later as chief manager. A few months after Srila Prabhupada’s departure from this world in 1977, he embarked upon his international missionary life and in 1982 officially accepted the renounced order of life, as Devamrita Swami.
For over three decades he has traveled extensively on every continent of the world, sometimes enduring the most difficult and trying situations in ISKCON history. Especially harrowing were eight often solitary years spent infiltrating the iron curtain, the former communist bloc of Eastern Europe, for developing underground bhakti cells and clandestine book distribution. His personal motto during those severe years: “I may live or die, but Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-bhagavatam are eternal.”
A member of ISKCON’s Governing Body, he has been chosen by his peers to serve as international vicechairman and then chairman. His extensive current regional responsibilities include “down-under” Australia and New Zealand where he spends five months of the year, as well as northwestern Russia, South Africa, Hawaii, and the Gita-nagari farm project in Pennsylvania. Beyond those areas of spiritual responsibility, he travels far and wide, especially in North America, Europe, and India.
An author published by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, he has, to date, written Searching for Vedic India and Perfect Escape. Among his myriad services to Krishna and Srila Prabhupada, he focuses upon arranging nontraditional settings for Western audiences to approach bhakti; challenging young Indian students and professionals to penetrate the veil of religious belief/religious myth; and advocating spiritually-based economics, sustainability, and environmentalism.
Dhanvantari Swami (Ivan Augusto Ribeiro Lisbon) is a disciple of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and a ISKCON initiating guru. He holds the title of Bhakti Sastri by ISKCON Board of Examinations (India). He founded the Seminary Hare Krishna of Philosophy and Theology (http://www.seminario.iskcon.com.br) in 2000 in Campina Grande (Paraiba, Brazil), and currently is Coordinator and Professor of the Seminary, where he made his residence. He was Professor of the Graduate Religious Sciences, Federal University of Paraiba (UFPB) and a pioneer in education in Brazil ISKCON. He holds a degree in Dentistry, Federal University of Bahia, Postgraduate Surgery Maxillo Facial Hospital Foundation of the Federal District.
Dhanvantari Swami corresponded constantly with Srila Prabhupada was through letters and through it the first devotees came to Brazil to open temples. His first initiation took place in August 1977, two months before Srila Prabhupada left the planet. His second initiation took place on the Appearance of Nityananda in 1978, the Temple of the Savior, given by the Hridayananda Goswami, and was initiated in renounced order of life (sannyasa) in 1985.
Dhirasanta Goswami became a monastic monk in the London Radha Krishna temple and received initiation from Srila Prabhupada in 1972. in 2015, he accepted the sannyas from Bhakti Chaitanya Swami. He has served as a pioneer preacher for Srila Prabhupada and helped develop projects in both India and Europe. He came to India in 1973 serving as one of the first foreign devotees in the temples Mayapur, Delhi and Bombay. He was also instrumental in establishing ISKCON centres in Sweden and Finland from 1977 to 1987. He is also very experienced in giving presentations to children on all aspects of Hinduism, both from a broad perspective and from his own standpoint within the tradition. Having studied in India for three years followed by ten years teaching in schools and colleges in Scandinavia, he now specializes in Hindu Presentations to Schools, Colleges and Universities in the Southwest of England.
His Holiness Giridhari Swami Maharaja found himself at a very young age to be especially inclined to religion and religious activities. Being the deeply spiritual person that he is today, he always tried to see a philosophical or religious aspect to everything; indeed at a very early stage in his life. He was always attracted to reading various types of books and gathering different ideas pertaining to philosophy, religion and spirituality. He remained unsatisfied, being unable to see the practical application of those philosophical ideas.
In the course of his search, he encountered many religious communities, and came in contact with various persons, searching for the same things, trying to apply philosophies matter-of-fact. Striving to understand them, nothing really hit him as being the thing he was looking for. His questions remained unanswered, and the process of application, remained vague.
Giridhari Maharaja would very often and intensely pray to God, asking God to show him the answer, point the way. Shortly after that, in 1974, believing it to be Krishna’s arrangement, he somehow or other went to a second-hand bookstore.
When he moved to Florida, USA. It had been practically a year that he was continuously chanting sixteen rounds, following the principles, reading Srila Prabhupada’s books, listening to his lecture tapes, and training himself to cook and offer his food. He had not yet visited any temple nor met one of the devotees. Svarupa Prabhu then sent him a Back to Godhead magazine with the complete list of ISKCON temples worldwide. Noticing that ISKCON Gainesville, Florida, USA was only about 60 miles from where he was living, he was elated.
Giridhari Maharaja joined the GBC in 1996, as several devotees as well as His Holiness Tamal Krishna Goswami Maharaja felt that it would increase his service in various ways. He became GBC chairman in 2002. He also assisted His Holiness Tamal Krishna Goswami Maharaja in various projects in Texas, where he was assigned GBC.
Giriraj Swami was born Glenn Phillip Teton, the only son of a respected Chicago lawyer who was later appointed judge. In March of 1969, while studying at Brandeis University in Boston, he met His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder-acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), from whom, he felt, he learned more in one brief exchange than he had learned in his many years of academic education. After graduating from Brandeis cum laude, he accepted formal initiation from Srila Prabhupada and received the spiritual name Giriraj das. Giriraj quickly became a leading member of the Boston center, and he was soon given the opportunity to go to India with Srila Prabhupada and helped establish Prabhupada’s mission there.
In 1972 Giriraj was appointed by Prabhupada to be president of ISKCON Bombay and trustee of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. Since then, he has made many significant contributions to Srila Prabhupada’s mission, most notably overseeing all aspects of the development of Hare Krishna Land in Juhu, Bombay. He was instrumental in the acquisition and development of the Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Govardhana and led the development of the Kirtan Ashram for women, the Bhaktivedanta Hospice, and the Vrindavan Institute of Palliative Care, all in Vrindavan.Through his efforts, Giriraj Swami has become renowned for the austerities he has accepted, his loyalty and dedication to Srila Prabhupada’s mission, his ability to raise funds and cultivate important members of society, and his care for devotees around the world.
In the year following Srila Prabhupada’s departure in 1977, Giriraj was awarded the renounced order of life and appointed president of ISKCON’s board of trustees in India. In 1982 he was appointed to ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission, and he went on to oversee the Society’s activities in Bombay, Mauritius, South Africa, Spain, Portugal, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan.
Giriraj Swami has also taught at the Vrindavan Institute for Higher Education and continues to lecture and to give presentations at japa retreats and workshops around the world.
Presently based in Carpinteria, California, Giriraj Swami is now focusing on one of the main personal instructions he received from Srila Prabhupada—to write. He is the author of Watering the Seed and Many Moons and is working on several publications, including Life’s Final Exam: Death and Dying from the Vedic Perspective and books about his search for a spiritual master and his early days in the Boston temple, his travels with Srila Prabhupada in India and Srila Prabhupada’s monumental efforts in Bombay, and Vaishnava holy days.
Hridayananda dasa Goswami (Howard J. Resnick, Ph.D.) is one of the most senior and respected spiritual leaders of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). As the first westerner to translate the sacred Bhāgavata Purāṇa from Sanskrit to English, together with authorized commentaries, as the first senior ISKCON leader to complete a doctorate in Vaiṣṇava studies and to openly promote higher education in ISKCON, as the pioneer of Krishna consciousness in Latin America, as the first senior leader to publicly endorse a campaign to provide greater opportunity for women in ISKCON, and in many other activities, Hridayananda das Goswami has been on the cutting edge of the Hare Krishna movement.
Indradyumna Swami is a disciple of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), a Sannyasi traveling preacher, and a guru or spiritual teacher in the Chaitanya Vaishnava tradition. Each year Indradyumna Swami circles the globe teaching the message of the Bhagavad-gita and introducing people to kirtan chanting of the Hare Krishna maha mantra. His yearly activities culminate in coordinating the annual summer Festival of India tour on the Polish Baltic coast from June to September. He also leads an annual pilgrimage to Krishna’s holy land Vrindavan in North India during the sacred month of Kartika October/November. Indradyumna Swami shares his experiences and realizations as a traveling preacher in a journal The Diary of a Traveling Preacher. Now in its eighth volume the journal is published each year as a book. Chapters from Diary of a Traveling Preacher are available in soft form on the Internet. Lectures and kirtans by Indradyumna Swami are also regularly uploaded on the Internet.
Born in the United Kingdom. His Holiness Janananda Goswami was initiated by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada in 1972. He held various positions in ISKCON and served Srila Prabhupada in various countries notably the United Kingdom, Africa, Malaysia, Europe, Philippines and New Zealand. His Holiness Janananda Maharaj is a very exalted devotee, travelling and preaching all over the world, the main driving force behind the World Holy Name initiative and various other wonderful projects in ISKCON. He is also member of committee for Kirtans Standards. His kirtans, harinam, spontaneous skits, realizations, scholarliness in the shastras, witty nature, humility and many other transcendental qualities attracts even the most demoniac souls to the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada and Lord Krishna.
Jayadvaita Swami is editor, publisher, and teacher. He is a disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
Kadamba Kanana Swami joined ISKCON in 1978 in Amsterdam. Until 1984 he managed projects in Vrindavana. From 1985 through 1990 he coordinated the construction of Srila Prabhupada’s samadhi in Mayapur. Then, for three years, he was the temple president in Vrindavana and later spent two years preaching in Europe. He took sannyasa in 1997 and is now an initiating guru.
Kesava Bharati Das Goswami met his spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in 1972. In 1973 he was formally initiated and received the spiritual name, Kesava Bharati Dasa. On 1st January 1979, he entered the renounced order of life and received the further title Dasa Goswami. Since then, he has dedicated his life to teaching the science of Bhakti-yoga. He presently lives in a monastery in the village of Govardhana , one of the most profound places of pilgrimage in India. He travels twice a year on lecture tours to Europe and the United States.He is an English editor and presently edits the books of the senior Sanskritist of ISKCON, Gopiparanadhana Dasa, and the books of one of the leading authors of the movement, His Holiness Sivarama Swami. Since 1998 Goswami has been involved in the publication of eight authoritative books on the science of Bhakti-yoga, including the first English translation of the Gaudiya Vaisnava classic, Brhad-bhagavatamrta, with the auto commentary by its author Srila Sanatana Goswami.
Krishna Kshetra Swami is, since 1972, a disciple of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. From 1973 to 1975 he distributed Shrila Prabhupada’s books and served as a pujari in Amsterdam and Schloss Rettershof, Germany. Between 1977 and 1979 he traveled and preached with Bhakti Tirtha Swami, Harikesha Swami, Bhakti Sudhir Goswami, Dvarakesha Prabhu and Devamrita Swami throughout eastern Europe. From 1982 to 1985 he oversaw Lord Nrisimhadeva’s worship in Simhacalam, Germany.
In 1987 ISKCON’s GBC body appointed him as an initiating guru. Then, up to 1995, he helped compile and publish Pancaratra-pradipa, ISKCON’s manual for temple worship. He also served ISKCON’s GBC as the minister for Deity worship until 2005.
Amidst these and other services, encouraged by senior ISKCON leaders, in 1995 Krishna Kshetra Swami resumed formal academic study which he had interrupted in 1972, completing a B. A. in Religious Studies (University of California, Santa Barbara), an M.A. in the Study of Religion (Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley), an M.St. (Master of Studies) in the Study of Religion (University of Oxford, U.K.), and a D. Phil. (Ph.D., University of Oxford, U.K.), finishing studies in 2003.
Based on his doctoral dissertation he then published “Attending Krishna’s Image: Chaitanya Vaishnava Murti-seva as Devotional Truth” with Routledge Hindu Studies Series. Krishna Kshetra Swami is now a Research Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. He also acts as the dean of studies at Bhaktivedanta College in Radhadesh, Belgium, where he has been teaching since 2002.
Lokanath Swami born in Aravade, a small village Maharashtra, Indian, he went to Mumbai for studying. In the year 1971, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was touring India with his foreign disciples and had organized a pandal program in Mumbai.Intrigued, maharaj attended the whole Hare Krsna Festival and heard from Srila Prabhupada. Wanting to surrender his life to Lord Krishna, he joined Juhu under the able leadership of Giriraj Swami. As he was coming from a traditional Indian family, there was some initial resistance. However, Maharaj not just made them favorable but transformed his entire village into Krishna consciousnessby opening a fantastic ISKCON temple. He was been conducting Padyatra, Vrindavan parikrama and is in charge of World holy name. He travels and preaches to the remotest village in India to cities and universities in developed countries.
His Holiness Mahavishnu Swami appeared in this world on 10 February 1945, in Birmingham, UK. He entered the Bath Academy of Art at age 19, and graduated with honours in Fine Arts. In 1971 he became a full time temple renunciate and the same year he was initiated by his spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada was on a quest to spread ancient Krishna Conscious teachings to the west, as well as to re-establish faith in the ancient Vedas in India. He requested all his disciples to assist in this mission. In 1976 he first visited India and traveled extensively throughout India with the BBT Library party. In 1977 Maharaja became involved in various projects throughout Nepal and India, and under the guidance of HH Prabhavisnu Swami he also traveled widely in the world to raise funds to build temples in Bangladesh and Nepal, including the beautiful Rupa-Sanatana Temple in Jessore, Swamibagh in Dhaka, and the Sri Radha-Govindahari temple in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Mukunda Goswami is one of the founding members of ISKCON. He has published many articles and lectured worldwide and is the author of Miracle on Second Avenue: Hare Krishna Arrives in New York, San Francisco, and London 1966-1969, Inside the Hare Krishna Movement: An Ancient Eastern Religious Tradition Comes of Age in the Western World, and co-author of several books, including The Higher Taste: A Guide to Gourmet Vegetarian Cooking and a Karma Free Diet, Divine Nature: A Spiritual Perspective on the Environmental Crisis, and Coming Back: The Science of Reincarnation. He now lives and writes in Australia.
Nava Yogendra Swami Naishtik Brahmachari left home at a very young age of 9 years to become Sadhu and lived in jungles. Returned home and again left at the age of 17 years and lived at Shri Vrindavana dham. Became the disciple of His Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in the year 1974. Took Sanyas in the year 1975 at the age of 29. After taking Sanyas maharaj traveled around the world over a dozen times for preaching purposes. He can preach the Vedic Philosophy in several languages such as Dogri, Urdu, Punjabi, English, Bengali, Gujrati and some of the African languages. He was instrumental in developing/establishing/running temples and preaching centers at Africa, England, America, Chandigarh, Vrindavan, Udhampur, Katra, Lucknow, Amritsar, Maharahstra etc. He is very loving and affectionate with people and helps them solve their problems. He has lectured at several universities in India and abroad.
His Holiness Partha Sarathi Das Goswami, was born in Suffolk, England, 19 November 1952. During his studies, Maharaj had been endowed with the mercy of receiving some of Srila Prabhupada’s books. Realizing the fundamental and spiritual significance of these books, Maharaj joined ISKCON, in Bury Place London, 1973. In 1974, by the mercy of the devotees, Maharaj had been invited to South Africa to help propagate the teachings of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Having been inspired by his spiritual master, Maharaj started the legendary tent campaign. Through the years, it has attracted thousands through kirtan, lectures, dramas, and sumptuous prasadam (sanctified food).
After experiencing a spiritual awakening, Prahladananda Swami joined ISKCON in 1968. He was at that time a student at the State University of New York (Buffalo). At the beginning of 1969, he received first and second initiation from Srila Prabhupada. In January 1969, immediately upon moving in to the Buffalo temple, he was made treasurer and head pujari and worshiped Lord Jagannatha, Lord Baladeva, and Srimati Subhadra Devi.
Inspired by Srila Prabhupada’s instructions and the financial needs of the temple, Prahladananda Swami organized daily harinamas and book distribution in Buffalo. Every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the sankirtana party would go out, even during the severe Buffalo winters when temperatures would drop below 20° F (about -7° C).
Following Srila Prabhupada’s instruction, Prahladananda Swami helped open temples in Coconut Grove, Florida, and in Houston, Texas. He was also temple president of two ISKCON temples in Texas, namely Dallas and Austin. In 1975, he joined the Radha-Damodara traveling bus party and distributed books in airports and parking lots throughout the United States. No matter what other services he had, for thirty years he has always continued to distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books — a service he still sometimes performs.
From 1987 until 1997, Prahladananda Swami taught at the Vaishnava Institute for Higher Education (VIHE) in Vrindavana, India. At the VIHE, he taught subjects such as the Krishna Book and Ayurveda, and he still teaches seminars all over the world. Of course, he also regularly studies and teaches from Srila Prabhupada’s books. In 1992, he became the Minister for Sannyasa Services, and he has been the Minister for Health and Welfare since 1994. Over the years, he has also served as the chairman of several GBC committees.
Presently, Prahladananda Swami travels and preaches in Europe, especially in Eastern Europe. He regularly visits the Ukraine, Russia, and India. Once a year, he travels around the world to Peru, USA, Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong.
Purusatraya Swami appeared in this world, in Rio de Janeiro, on September 2, 1945. He joined the Hare Krishna movement in 1976, thirty years old, receiving the two initiations of the founder-acarya Srila Prabhupada. Since then, He has been fully active in the mission of Srila Prabhupada. He spent a short time working in publishing, BBT. After that, He has dealt in the public distribution of literature, particularly the first edition of the “Bhagavad-gita As It Is.” He engaged himself in this very activity, so that in 1977, he was among the top ten distributors of Prabhupada’s books in the world. In February 1978, shortly after the departure of Srila Prabhupada from this world, He had my first opportunity to visit several holy places of pilgrimage in India. From there, Maharaj became engaged in administrative activities of the movement. Purusatraya Swami was responsible for the project in Rio de Janeiro, after the rural community in Nova Gokula Pindamonhangaba (SP), then the temple of St. Paul and also was a pioneer in preaching in Brasilia. He received the initiation of sannyasa, the highest degree of monastic career in 1985, in Mayapur, India. In 1989, ausentei me from Brazil. Maharaj spent half a year in Portugal and in a few months preaching in China. He has been preaching for some time in the Philippines. Maharaj visited also several other Asian countries and then move towards in India. He walked the four corners of this country, but in the end, Maharaj established his base in Vrindavan, the holy land of Krishna. In Vrindavan, Maharaj has a very enriching experience where he remained four months in charge of the premises occupied by Srila Prabhupada in the temple of Radha-Damodara, just before he came to the West disseminate the knowledge of Krishna consciousness. Then Purusatraya Swami lived for some years in Vrindavana Gurukula, the school of academic and spiritual formation. Maharaj participated in the research and development of the translation of a Sanskrit grammar-five hundred years Harinamamrita-Vyakarana of Srila Jiva Goswami. During this period, his study of Vedanta Vaishnava and participated in faculty-VIHE Vrindavan Institute for Higher Education, teaching the theme “The Four sampradayas Vaishnavas.” In this phase of India he began to assume the responsibility to accept disciples in order to continue the disciplic succession of the mission of Srila Prabhupada. At the time of 100th appearance day of Srila Prabhupada in 1996, Maharaj felt an intense desire to return to Brazil seriously and develop a project in the mission of His spiritual master. The project that best fit His desires was the community Vrindavana Gaura Paraty (RJ), of which Maharaj is co-ordinator and spiritual leader.
H.H. Radha Govinda Das Goswami, a direct disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness), lives in Vrindavan, India. He lives in Vrindavan, and travels to present Srimad Bhagavat Saptha in many countries including India.
Radha Raman is a famous for his Vraja parikramas. He is a very good orator and speaks non stop on the pastimes of Lord Sri Krishna. He is very simple and humble. He is brother of His Holiness Radha Govinda Swami.
His Holiness Rama Govinda Swami is a disciple of His Holiness Lokanath Swami. His Holiness is from Tirupati, South India and is very astute in Vedic literature and speaks many languages. He is talented at reciting Ramayana in expert detail. He presents the epic with deep knowledge and colorful charisma. He preaches Krishna consciousness in Botswana, South Africa, Kenya and India.
H.H. Sacinandana Swami left home only 16 years old to meet devotees and to become a disciple of Srila Prabhupada in 1971. Maharaja’s first years in ISKCON were spent by translating Srila Prabhupada’s books from English to German and later he joined the book distribution party in Germany. Desiring to deepen his preaching, Maharaja soon started to visit people, who already got our books to encourage them to actively practice Krsna consciousness at home. This was the beginning of a nama-hatta congregational preaching in Germany and the North European area. Later this developed into a big preaching programs with the Gauranga Bhajan Group and the Nityananda Bhajan Group. Sometimes preaching to thirty thousand people, Sacinandana Swami would say: “My heart dances in joy when I see so many people taking to Krishna Consciousness.” Later Maharaja was instrumental in helping to start different farm communities and projects, like the Goloka Dhama project in Europe.
In the last ten years H.H. Sacinandana Swami dedicated more of his time to inner spiritual life, seeking inspiration and higher guidance on extended pilgrimages and spiritual retreats. He visited Vrindavan many times and organized a number of retreats, devoted to the Holy Name. He also visited many holy places, such as in Himalayas, South India, etc. Always a preacher, Sacinandana Swami shared many of his insights in his books: “Nectarean Ocean of the Holy Name”, “The Gayatri Book” and “The Way of the Great Departure”.Beside teaching in Bhaktivedanta College (Radhadesh, Belgium), Maharaja’s new emphasis lies on a unique preaching concept of presenting the culture of Krishna Consciousness to the people in Veda Academy. It has already been started in eight countries and soon is to be spread to many others.
Satsvarupa Das Goswami is a senior disciple of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), better known in the west as the Hare Krishna movement. Serving as a writer, poet, and artist, Satsvarupa Das Goswami is the author of Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s authorized biography,Srila Prabhupada Lilamrta. After Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s disappearance, Satsvarupa Das Goswami was one of eleven disciples selected to become an initiating guru in ISKCON.Satsvarupa dasa Goswami is one of the first few westerners ordained by Prabhupada in September 1966. He has been since established as a most prolific Vaishnava writer and poet. While traveling, lecturing on Krishna consciousness, and instructing disciples worldwide, he has published over 150 books including poems, memoirs, essays, novels, and studies based on the Vaishnava scriptures. In the recent years, he has created hundreds of paintings, drawings, and sculptures that attempt to capture and express his absorption in the culture of Krishna consciousness.
HH Siddharth Swami is disciple of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. He served as a Head Pujari of Sri Sri Radha Rasbihari Temple, Juhu, Mumbai for a long period. He was a part of Loknath Swami’s Bullock Cart Party. He was given Sannyasa initiation by HH Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaj in 2009. He is serving as Temple President of Sri Sri Radha Rasbihari Mandir, Raipur, Chhattisgarh (also his home town). The new temple construction project of ISKCON Raipur is going rapidly under his expert guidance. Maharaja has successfully engaged big industrialists of Chhattisgarh in service of Guru and Gauranga. Preaching in Raipur is increasing day by day by his efforts. The Temple site could be visited by clicking on the following link : www.iskconraipur.org
Sivarama Swami was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1949. In 1956, during the failed Hungarian revolution, he emigrated with his family to Canada. Sivarama Swami first came in contact with the books of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in 1970, becoming an initiated disciple of Prabhupada in 1973. Six years later he was awarded the order of sannyasa. In Canada and the USA he served ISKCON by distributing books, and opening and managing temples.
Sivarama Swami’s major achievements in Hungary
New Vraja Dham
HH Smita Krishna Swami was born in Sweden in 1952. He joined ISKCON in 1970 in Hamburg, Germany and recieved spiritual initiation from His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in 1971. In 1973 he moved back to the Sweden with the first group of devotees to establish preaching of Krsna consciousness in Sweden. He spent few years as one of Srila Prabhupada´s book distributors. And later switched to the Pujari service, when he took care for seva of Sri Sri Gandharvika Giridhari at Korsnas Gard in Sweden. He accepted the renounced order of life, vaishnava sanyas, in 1986 in Sridham Mayapur and since 1988 is the initiating spiritual master in ISKCON. Maharaj is known among devotees for his kind and meek, simple hearted nature and enlightening lectures based on his many many realizations. He is preaching mostly around Europe (Skandinavia, Baltic states, Balkan states and middle Europe). The field of his interest is mostly to encourage farm comunities and self sufficiency including cow protection in ISCKON. Since 1982 when Sweden farm project (Almviks Gard) was started he made his seat there.
His Holiness Trivikrama Swami, was born in 1941, he was initiated by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in 1969 and given sannyas initiation in 1971. During Srila Prabhupada’s presence on this planet, he was regularly assigned by his spiritual master to preach in various country’s throughout the world, such as Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, and India. He is well known for his full obedience to Srila Prabhupada’s teachings, mood, and instructions. As Srila Prabhupada personally said about him: “He will always go wherever I send him”. He is currently heading up a temple in Orlando, Fl. USA. He is also actively preaching in Poland, and he has been accepting disciples on behalf of his spiritual master and Iskcon since 1987.
Varsana Swami was born in 1950 in Morristown, New Jersey. From his childhood he was strongly drawn to the workings of the natural world. He became a vegetarian of his own accord at the age of seven and was determined to lead a life of compassion. As a young man his search for meaning manifest through studying theology in college, visiting ashrams, and hearing from different gurus. Finally, in 1972 he had the great fortune of meeting his beloved Spiritual Master, Srila Prabhupada. That encounter had such a profound impact that he was inspired to join the Brooklyn temple. Shortly thereafter, he went to New Vrindavan and began what is now nearly 4 decades of devotional service there. Maharaj has performed a variety of seva over the years including: raising and training draft animals for farmwork; pujari service; conservation work; and heading up the excavation department responsible for literally carving out the infrastructure of New Vrindavan. When not serving in New Vrindavan, Varsana Swami travels as an advocate and dedicated supporter of the farm movement within ISKCON.
Vedavyasapriya Swami, born in an Audichya Sahasra Brahmana family on 1st August 1944 in the town of Kadod, Gujarat, India, on Sravan Sud Dwadashi, also celebrated as Pavitra Dwadashi, that follows Pavitraropana Ekadashi. His early life was spent in Gujarat, then his family moved to East Africa in the mid 50s, and afterwards he migrated to USA in September 1971.
Vedavyasapriya Maharaja, himself, recollects that he was always more interested in spiritual matters and welfare of the people than in any business matters. As a young adult he made a daily practice of reading Bhagavad-gita slokas, and also studied the sanskrit language during his High-school years.
Vedavyasapriya Swami worked as a research biochemist first in East Africa and then later when he migrated to USA. Within a week of arrival in the USA, he met the devotees, disciples of His Divine Grace, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Srila Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).
While in USA Vedavyasapriya Swami held various administrative positions like personal secretary to the GBC, President of Queens, New York and Director of Bharatiya Community Services in New Vrindavan, West Virginia.
In 1987 Vedavyasapriya Swami shifted his attention to serving in India following the instruction of Srila Prabhupada that every Indian devotee trained in the West help to serve in India to bring awareness of the bona-fide teachings of the Vedic literatures and worship of Sri Sri Radha Krishna and Sri Sri Gaura Nitai (Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabuu and Sri Nityananda Prabhu, incarnations of Sri Sri Krishna and Balaram).
Since 1991 Vedavyasapriya Swami Maharaja has been based in Vrindavan, India. He has held various administrative positions while continuing to preach and spread the mission of Srila Prabhupada and Lord Chaitanya in India and worldwide and support the Indian communities in many countries around the world. His administrative services in India have included overseeing the functioning of one ashram in Vrindavan and also the Bharatpur Ashram, and wider services as Regional Secretary in Punjab and Haryana, and as Chairman of North Indian Temples Divisional Council for the seven years following its inception.
More recently Vedavyasapriya Swami has served on Regional Governing Body as Zonal secretary for Eastern UP, Bihar and Jharakhand temples for one year.
Since 1998 also Vedavyasapriya Swami has been serving Srila Prabhupada and his movement as a Spiritual Authority in the form of an Initiating Spiritual Master (Diksha Guru), and has been preaching far and wide throughout the world the message of Sri Guru and Sri Krishna.
He is currently free from management duties, making a full commitment to giving spiritual guidance, preaching and teaching. Many devotees around the world know Vedavyasapriya Maharaja’s beloved deities Sri Sri Radha Syamasundara, Who have been traveling world-wide with him for many years.
Yadunandana Swami principal of Bhaktivedanta College, teacher, and spiritual counselor is a sannyasi (monk, religious mendicant) in the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). He is an initiated disciple of His Holiness Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami and a sannyasa disciple of His Holiness Jayadvaita Swami, who are both disciples of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder Acharya of ISKCON.
Yadunandana Swami has been studying and practicing Caitanya Vaishnavism since 1977. Presently, his main services in ISKCON are focused on systematic God-centered education by developing educational initiatives and by teaching courses on Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana), and other subjects. He is convinced that such education is the best way to improve the lives of individuals, develop communities, and, ultimately, better the world.
Apart from his services in education, he is also active in interreligious dialogue and lectures on the philosophy and culture of Krishna consciousness in many countries around the world.