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Devamrita Swami

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-gita perplexed 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.

Dhanesvara Prabhu

Dhanesvara Prabhu first became acquainted with Bhagavad Gita as it is he was finishing his Master's degree in engineering in 1972 & tow year latter took initiation from Srila Prabhupada. From the very beginning he realised that the recommendations of Bhagavad Gita stood in sharp contrast to the modern western society and he wanted to understand how to bridge the gap so that humaniy at large might easily live in a way that was elevating. Retired from family responsiblities, he now lives, writes and teaches in Ukraine. He is the founder of Abhideya Cultural Academy, co founder of the Gitagrad community & orgniser of partners-of-life.

Dhirasanta Goswami

Dhirasanta Das became a monastic monk in the London Radha Krishna temple and received initiation from Srila Prabhupada in 1972. 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.

On 21st February 2015 Ananda Caitanya Prabhu received sanyas from HH Bhakti Caitanya Swami and is now HH Dhirasanta Swami.

Ekalavya Das Brahmacari

Eklavya Das was born in New York City, USA in 1965. By the time he entered the Berklee College of Music in Boston, in 1982 at the age of 19, he had already learned sixteen different instruments and played in orchestras, jazz big bands, brass quartets and rock bands in prestigious venues like New York Carnegie Hall and the Cool Jazz Festival. In 1987, Eklavya received his degree from Berklee College of Music in Recording Engineering and Production. Eklavya Das joined ISKCON at the age of 26 in Ireland, Europe. At 27, during a meeting in Spain with his spiritual master, His Holiness Lokanath Swami Maharaja, he received the instruction to go to India where he remains based today, in Sri Pandharpur Dhama. This year, he was appointed, by ISKCON's highest managerial body, the GBC, to join a team of HH Lokanath Swami Maharaja and HH Janananda Goswami Maharaja in promoting World Holy Name Day all over the world. Eklavya is a well known traveling preacher in the world of international ISKCON visiting USA, France, England, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Guyana, Trinidad, Russia, Dubai, Oman, Kuwait, Abu Dabi and Sharjah.

Gaur Gopal Prabhu

His Grace Gaur Gopal Prabhu is inspiring disciple of Radhanath Swami. He is a Bramachari at Radha Gopinath Mandir, ISKCON Mumbai.He did his Graduation In Becholer of Engineering in Electronics from Pune's well known Institute Goverment college of Engeering(COEP).

Gaur Gopal Prabhu podróżujący nauczyciel z ISKCON Chowpatty (Bombaj), uczeń Radhanatha Maharaja. Podczas seminariów dawanych na całym świecie - w świątyniach, ośrodkach nama-hatta, uczelniach i centrach biznesowych - Prabhu naucza świadomego życia, opartego na duchowych i moralnych wartościach. Jego wykłady poświęcone filozoficznym tematom przesycone są humorem i zawierają wiele praktycznych wskazówek jak praktykować życie duchowe, aby osiągnąć sukces.

Gauranga Prabhu

Gauranga Prabhu, disciple of H.H.Radhanath Swami Maharaja Graduated from IIT Bombay in 1993, his interest in Krishna Consciousness dawned during his college days. He moved in as a full time preacher at ISKCON Chowpatty. Besides conducting Bhagvad Gita seminars in all prominent Engineering colleges, medical colleges and management institutes, he also counsels on stress management in several co-operative organizations for senior level managers. Featuring on the popular "Atma", a daily spiritual discourse on the Star TV, he airs the timeless message of Gita to millions in India and U.K.

Giriraj Swami

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.

Gopi Vallabha Prabhu

Gopi Vallabha prabhu - redaktor pism naukowych, członek Bhaktivedanta Institute.

Gour Govinda Swami

His Divine Grace Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaj appeared on the 2nd of September in the Gaurabda year 443 (1929 A.D.) in Orissa, India. Both his parents were devotees of Krishna and Jagannath, as were their ancestors up to the time of Sri Syamananda Prabhu. His mother's family were the famous kirtaniyas of Gadai Giri. Thus most of His Divine Grace's child- and boyhood was spent in Gadai Giri, in the company of his uncles and maternal grandfather, having kirtan and worshiping their ancient family deity, Sri Gopal Jiu. He was never attached to play, but rather spent his time reading Srimad Bhagavatam and Sri Chaitanya Charitamrta and singing Hare Krishna.

In April 1974, on Ramnavami, the day of the holy appearance of Lord Ramachandra, His Divine Grace left his family to search for Sri Guru. He was now 45 years old but had since childhood had the desire to accept the renounced order of life, sannyasa, and preach the message of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He was already acquainted with many sadhus in Orissa and throughout the rest of India, but was not satisfied by them. He travelled on foot and by train around northern India for about 5 months, stopping at every temple, monastery and institution where there might be a sadhu. Arriving at last in Sri Vrindavan Dham, he met His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada on the 15th of September 1974. Among the first things Srila Prabhupada asked him was whether or not he had taken sannyasa. Srila Prabhupada said: "I will give you sannyasa!". Within a short time Srila Prabhupada initiated him giving him Harinam and Diksa and the name Sri Gour Govinda Das and sent him to preach in Orissa. On Ramnavami 1975, during the opening of the Sri Sri Krishna Balaram Mandir in Vrindavan, one year after he had left home, Sri Gour Govinda Das was given sannyas by Srila Prabhupada.

Thus Srila Gour Govinda Swami came back to Orissa and gradually, after much hardships, opened the temple that Srila Prabhupada had envisioned in Bhubaneswar. He also translated Srila Prabhupada's books into the Oriyan language. From 1985 through 1996 His Divine Grace Srila Gour Govinda Swami preached throughout the world and accepted disciples. Thus he executed the three instructions Srila Prabhupada gave him.

Though he had problems walking after an operation, His Divine Grace Srila Gour Govinda Swami travelled extensively and preached energetically. He spoke with the force and firmness of a bullet, yet was soft at heart. He stressed the value of purity and simplicity, emphasizing the importance of pure chanting and encouraging everyone to yearn for sadhu-sanga, the association of pure devotees. He warned against duplicity and the pollution that Kali has infiltrated into the minds of people in this age. He always made it a point to support everything he said with reference from shastra and present that everything is in Srila Prabhupada's books, you only have to extract it.

The centennial of Srila Prabhupada's divine appearance was celebrated 1996. In the evening of the appearance day of His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, on february 9th, two senior devotees asked Srila Gour Govinda Swami why xcMahaprabhu stayed in Jagannath Puri. While narrating the pastime of Lord Krishna coming back to Vrindavan after a long separation and how He appeared in the form of Lord Jagannath, His Divine Grace Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaj departed from this world and entered into the Divine Lilas of Sri Krishna.

Guru Gauranga Prabhu

Uczeń Prabhupada z Montrealu.

Założył świątynię w Zurychu, Szwajcarii.