Departed Sannyasis

Departed Sannyasis List

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.

He became a member of the GBC in 1987 and served a term as chairman from 1989-1990. Bhakti Charu Swami’s GBC zonal assignments include Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, India and is co-zonal secretary for Calcutta and Mayapur, West Bengal, and North Orissa and Puri.Besides the significant energy Bhakti Charu Swami has spent on the development of the Mayapur project, the Hare Krishna movement’s world headquarters, he has headed the establishment and the continuing development of a large temple project in Ujjain, Gujarat, where he spends significant amounts of time. Under his direction, more than 20,000 school children in Ujjain receive a daily meal and the program is expected to expand further. Another major accomplishment of Bhakti Charu Swami is the production of an epic biographical video series, Abhay Charan. Over 100 episodes illustrate the life of Srila Prabhupada and have been televised in India and other parts of the world.
ISKCON members are known to appreciate Bhakti Charu Swami’s gentle ways and sweet singing of devotional songs and mantras. He assisted many devotees in understanding the etiquette of Gaudiya Vaishnavism as one of the original teachers at the Vrindavan Institute for Higher Education (VIHE) and continues to educate ISKCON’s members.

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.

From the very beginning of Maharaja’s spiritual life in ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada chose to show him special attention and favor. Seeing Maharaja’s dual qualifications as a Vaishnava scientist and a Manipuri Vaishnava, Srila Prabhupada personally trained him in spiritual science and gave great importance to his scientific work, and also instructed him to strengthen Krishna consciousness in Manipur. He was dear to the devotees for his saintly qualities and his powerful sankirtana, and for his disciples he served as their spiritual father and eternal friend. Srila Prabhupada gave special attention to Sripada Maharaja, even up to his last days in Vrindavana in November of 1977. He would sometimes refer to Sripada Maharaja affectionately as, “Our Dr. Svarupa Damodara” and “our scientist, Svarupa Damaodara”, and there were hours of conversations between Prabhupada and Sripada Maharaja. Sri Srimad Bhakti Svarupa Damodara Maharaja dedicated his life to fulfilling Srila Prabhupada’s order to spread Krishna consciousness throughout the world especially through the medium of the Bhaktivedanta Institute. Maharaja tirelessly worked to publish literature, develop relationships with leading scientists and organize elaborate conferences that brought the scientific community together to hear the message of Krishna Consciousness in a language they could appreciate. While doing that, he simultaneously established Krishna Consciousness in his native State of Manipur. Even at his advanced age, he was traveling the globe attending conferences, meeting top scientists, preaching at ISKCON temples and programs. He left this mortal world in 2006 in Calcutta, Srila Prabhupada’s place of birth.

Bhakti-Tirtha Swami was born John E. Favors in a pious, God-fearing family. As a child evangelist he appeared regularly on television. As a young man he was a leader in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s civil rights movement. At Princeton University he became president of the student council and also served as the chairman of the Third World Coalition. Although his main degree is in psychology, he has received accolades in many other fields, including politics, African studies, and international law.Bhakti-Tirtha Swami directly oversees projects in the United States as a senior member of ISKCON’s Governing Body Commision particularly Washington D.C., Potomac, Maryland, Detroit, Pennsylvania, West Virginia), West Africa, South Africa, Croatia and Bosnia. He also serves as the director of the American Federation of Vaisnava Colleges and Schools.A specialist in international relations and conflict resolution, Bhakti-Tirtha Swami constantly travels around the world and has become a spiritual consultant to may high-ranking members of the United Nations, to various celebrities and to Several chiefs, kings and high court justices. HH Bhakti-Tirtha Swami left this world on June 27th, 2005. He was suffering from advanced melanoma cancer.

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Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja was born in the village of Jagannatha-pura in Orissa, India as Braja-bandhu. By the age of eight, Braja-bandhu had read the entire Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-bhagavatam and Sri Caitanya-caritamrta and could also explain their meanings. On April 8th, 1974, at the age of 45 he left home and relatives in a quest of spiritual perfection. Carrying only a Bhagavad-gita and a begging bowl he wandered around India for one year and visited many sacred places along the river Ganges. He was searching for that person who could help him develop a true understanding of the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra. In 1975, at the opening of ISKCON's Krishna-Balaram Temple in Vrindavana, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami accepted him as a disciple, gave him the name Gour Govinda and awarded him the sannyasa order, thus the name Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja. He is a saint within ISKCON and a true Vaisnava Sadhu. During his life, Gour Govinda Swami preached primarily in Bhubaneswar, Orissa, and he also travelled extensively around the world preaching the glories of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's Sankirtan Movement. He worked to establish an ISKCON temple in Bhubaneswar, as he was instructed to do so by Srila Prabhupada in 1977. He is an author of many research papers and translated his Srila Prabhupada's books into the Oriya language. He left his body spontaneously in 1996 while in Mayapur, during a discussion about topics on Lord Jagannath, during which he was greatly ecstatic. He is remembered in annual ISKCON festivals and is celebrated on the Vaisnava calendar.

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.

In Sridhar Swami`s life, Srila Prabhupada`s sparked a thirty-five-year spiritual journey that began far from its ending point in holy India. Sridhar Swami described himself as a shy person before coming to Krsna consciousness. Born John Colcleugh in 1948 in Vancouver, Canada, his quest for spiritual understanding led him, in 1969, from engineering school to a Sunday feast at the Frederick Street San Francisco Krsna temple. The first person he met at the door was a kind and energetic devotee named Jayananda Dasa. Since it was early in the day, Jayananda invited his young guest to vacuum the rug and help in the kitchen. By the end of the evening, John was ready for more. He moved in to the San Francisco ashram to begin his study of Srila Prabhupada`s Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Later, he transferred to the fledgling Krsna center in his native Vancouver. In 1970 he returned to San Francisco for the Rathayatra festival and met Srila Prabhupada for the first time. John was deeply impressed and, having completed the required training, was initiated by Srila Prabhupada as Sridhar Das Brahmacari. His Holiness Sridhar Swami left this world on March 14, 2004, it was on his terms–in holy Mayapur, surrounded by loving Vaisnavas, and just after he’d helped install Sri Panca-tattva with his dearest Godbrothers and friends

Tamal Krishna Goswami began his association with the Krishna Consciousness movement in 1968 where he was soon accepted as a disciple by A C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. From 1975 until 1979, Tamal Krishna Goswami headed the “Radha-Damodara Party”, a fleet of buses carrying disciples of Swami Prabhupada, who traveled around America distributing his books.

Srila Prabhupada, created the GBC in 1972 and since that time it has met on an annual basis. Tamal Krishna Goswami was a member of this body since its beginnings. Tamal Krishna Goswami has served on ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission since its inception in 1970. In January 1972, he accepted the renounced order of life (sannyasa) from his spiritual master, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in Jaipur, India. He served as ISKCON’s first GBC Secretary for India from 1970 – 1974 and was appointed trustee of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, responsible for U.S. sales. In 1977, he served as Srila Prabhupada’s last personal secretary. Since that time, he has served as the GBC Secretary for Texas and a large number of countries in the Orient

Tamal Krishna Goswami is the author of several books on various religious subjects, including two classical dramas. His publications include: Reason and Belief: Problem solving in the Philosophy of Religion (Pundits Press, 1997); Yoga for the 21st Century (1991); Prabhupada Antya-lila: The final Pastimes of Srila Prabhupada (Washington, D.C.: Institute for Vaishnava Studies, 1988); Jagannatha Priya Natakam: The Drama of Lord Jagannatha (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Bhaktivedanta Institute of Religion and Culture, 1985); and Servant of the Servant (Hong Kong: BBT, 1984). He was also doctoral student at the University of Cambridge, under Dr. Julius J Lipner. His thesis was on the theology of ISKCON’s founder, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. At the time of his death, he had completed all but the conclusion. Dr. Lipner’s intention is to publish this dissertation in Tamala Krishna Goswami’s name. He also studied at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and received a bachelor’s degree in religious studies

According to the coroner’s report, Tamal Krishna Goswami passed away shortly prior to a vehicular accident in March 2002, at Phulgya within the Holy Dham, in West Bengal. He had been attending the Gaur Purnima festival/GBC meetings after not attending for a few years. His samadhi is placed beside Srila Prabhupada’s in ISKCON Sri Mayapur Dhama.


His Divine Grace

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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