About His Holiness Bhaktividya Purna Swami Maharaja


(Based on: http://forum.waisznawa.pl/viewtopic.php?t=314)

(Edited by HG Naresvara Prabhu (ACBSP) in consultation with Maharaja himself)

His Holiness A.V. Bhaktividya Purna Maharaja appeared in 1955 in Santa Monica, California, USA. When he was only three years old he lost his mother in a car accident while driving in a Car Rally in which she was participating with her husband, and came under the care of his grandfather at his farm in Ashland, Oregon, with whom he stayed until 5 years of age.

His father remarried and the family moved to Eugene, Oregon. When he was 12, his father moved to Los Angeles, while he continued his education in Oregon until the age of 18.

He was always dissatisfied with materialistic education, and was attracted by the higher paths of life. After leaving school in 1973 he met HH Hridayananda Goswami who was preaching at the University of Oregon, and being impressed by the devotees – Hridayananda Maharaja’s presentation of Srila Prabhupada’s philosophy, Bir Krishna Maharaja’s halva, and Deena Bhandu prabhus kirtan – he joined their travelling party.

From Eugene they traveled to Portland, to Denver and on to St. Louis where he stayed at that temple for 9 months. His service was book distribution.

He was initiated by Srila Prabhupada in January 1974 on the appearance of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur and given the name Anirdesya Vapu das. In March of the same year he visited Sridham Mayapur for the first time to celebrate the appearance day of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Then he went to Vrindavan and later to Bombay, where he became part of the Indian Yatra assisting Giriraja Maharaja with Life Membership preaching. He also had the opportunity to serve Srila Prabhupada by assisting Madri dd in the kitchen.

With the blessings of Srila Prabhupada, Panchadravida and Akshayananda Maharajas began the first BBT travelling sankirtan party and he traveled with them as a brahmacari assistant based out of the Hyderabad temple. From there they went out to Bangalore and Madras organising preaching programs and making the first Life Members there. During Janmastami in Hyderabad he received second initiation at a ceremony presided over by Achyutananda Swami.

In November of that year he went to Bangkok with Pancadravida Maharaja in order to create a preaching centre there. After 3 months Srila Prabhupada was to visit Hong Kong so Trivikrama Maharaja asked them to come to Hong Kong to help him. At that time Anirdesya Vapu was distributing books in Chinese.

In 1975 he once again came to the festival in Mayapur, and then returned to Hong Kong continuing the service of book distribution and assisting Pancadravida Maharaja in making Life Members. After several months he was transferred to Calcutta becoming a member of the temple and serving as a pujari as well as assisting in the making of Life Members.

He continued this service until Ratha Yatra in 1976 after which he transferred to Mayapur by the arrangement of Bhavananda Maharaja. He engaged in serving sannyasis, pujari work, and travelling sankirtan with Jayapataka Maharaja including the Nitai Pada Kamala boat preaching party. Later he spent 9 months in Assam with Bhavabhuti prabhu’s travelling sankirtan party, and then travelled to South India with the Mayapur travelling sankirtan party.
In Oct of 1977 he traveled with the Mayapur devotees to Vrindavana to serve Srila Prabhupada. He worked with Bhakti Charu Swami as his kitchen assistant cooking for Srila Prabhupada, and also acted as a servant of the sannyasis who were Srila Prabhupada servants.

In 1978 he became part of the Vrindavana yatra, where he was pujari and sannyasi servant.

In 1980 he returned to Calcutta, where he became the temple commander and also assisted in Life Membership making.

In 1982 the Mayapur authorities informed him that he was the new principle of the Mayapur Gurukula and he restructured the school with the help of Naresvara dasa introducing a more traditional Vedic style of education renaming it The Bhaktivedanta Village Gurukula. In 1984 Atmatattva prabhu joined the team and at that time they formed the Bhaktivedanta Academy with the desire to formally establish the Gurukula as a Vedic ashram and educational institution, where the boys could be trained in philosophy and brahmacarya. The aim was to have a curriculum including Vedic mantras, Deity Worship, Yajna, Vedic Math, Astronomy, music, philosophy, vaisnava etiquette and Puranaic studies.

In 1987, on the occasion of the appearance of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura he accepted the renounced order of life (sannyasa) from Srila Jayapataka Svami Maharaja. HG Anirdesya Vapu Brahmacari became HH A.V. Bhaktividya Purna Swami. In 1988, with the blessing of the Mayapur leaders he began to accept disciples.

Maharaja continued his devotional service to expand Bhaktivedanta Gurukula joined by Suhotra Swami and Krsna Ksetra prabhu.

In November 1991 due to upheavals in the running of the school Bhakti Charu Maharaja assumed the leadership of the school, and BVPS, urged by his God brothers, focused exclusively on Brahminical Vedic education. Maharaja therefore began to concentrate on preparing philosophical courses and studying literature of Gaudiya Acaryas and developing the Bhaktivedanta Academy as a traditional gurukula.

In 1992, Maharaja participated in preaching tours of Europe with Indradyumna Maharaja’s Polish preaching tour, Suhotra Maharaja’s Eastern Europe tour, and Sivarama Maharaja’s Hungarian tour. He continues to visit Europe annually, giving seminars on the topics of Deity worship, varnasrama, vaisnava etiquette and so on.

He is currently focused on teaching the Bhaktivedanta Academy’s 12 year Philosophical Course.


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Śrīla Bhaktividyā Pūrṇa Svāmī Vaikuṇṭha Vāṇī श्रील भक्तिविद्या पूर्ण स्वामी वैकुण्ठ वाणी