A short biography of HH Bhaktividya Purna Swami
Short Biography of His Holiness Bhaktividyā Pūrṇa Svāmī Mahārāja

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

(Edited by HG Nareśvara Prabhu (ACBSP) in consultation with Mahārāja himself)

His Holiness A.V. Bhaktividyā Pūrṇa Mahārāja 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 to 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 Hṛdayānanda Gosvāmī who was preaching at the University of Oregon, and being impressed by the devotees - Hridayānanda Mahārāja’s presentation of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s philosophy, Bīr Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja’s halava, and Dīna Bandhu Prabhu's kirtan - he joined their travelling party.

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

He was initiated by Śrīla Prabhupada in January 1974 on the appearance of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvati Ṭhākura and given the name Anirdeśya Vapu Dāsa. In March of the same year he visited Śrīdhāma Māyāpura for the first time to celebrate the appearance day of Śrī Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Then he went to Vṛndāvana and later to Bombay, where he became part of the Indian Yatra assisting Girirāja Mahārāja with Life Membership preaching. He also had the opportunity to serve Śrīla Prabhupāda by assisting Madri dd in the kitchen.

With the blessings of Śrīla Prabhupāda, Pañcadravida and Akṣayānanda Mahārājas began the first BBT travelling sankirtan party, and he traveled with them as a brahmacārī 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 Janmāṣṭamī in Hyderabad he received second initiation at a ceremony presided over by Acyutānanda Svāmī.

In November of that year he went to Bangkok with Pañcadravida Mahārāja in order to create a preaching centre there. After 3 months Śrīla Prabhupāda was to visit Hong Kong, so Trivikrama Maharaja asked them to come to Hong Kong to help him. At that time Anirdeśya Vapu was distributing books in Chinese.

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

He continued this service until Ratha-yātrā in 1976, after which he was transferred to Mayapur by the arrangement of Bhavānanda Mahārāja. He engaged in serving sannyāsīs, pūjārī work, and travelling sankīrtana with Jayapatāka Mahārāja, including the Nitāi Pada Kamala boat preaching party. Later he spent 9 months in Assam with Bhāvabhūti Prabhu’s travelling sankīrtana party, and then travelled to South India with the Māyāpura travelling sankirtan party.

In Oct of 1977 he traveled with the Māyāpura devotees to Vṛndāvana to serve Śrīla Prabhupāda. He worked with Bhakti Cāru Svāmī as his kitchen assistant cooking for Śrīla Prabhupāda, and also acted as a servant of the sannyāsīs who were Śrīla Prabhupāda's servants.

In 1978 he became part of the Vṛndāvana yatra, where he was a pūjārī and a sannyāsī servant.

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

In 1982 the Māyāpura authorities informed him that he was the new principal of the Māyāpura Gurukula. He restructured the school with the help of Nareśvara Prabhu, introducing a more traditional Vedic style of education, renaming it The Bhaktivedānta Village Gurukula. In 1984 Ātmatattva Prabhu joined the team, and at that time they formed the Bhaktivedānta Academy with the desire to formally establish the Gurukula as a Vedic āśrama 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, Yajña, Vedic Math, Astronomy, Music, Philosophy, Vaiṣṇava etiquette and Purāṇic studies.

In 1987, on the occasion of the appearance of Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura he accepted the renounced order of life (sannyāsa) from Śrīla Jayapatāka Svāmī Mahārāja. H.G. Anirdeśya Vapu Brahmacārī became H.H. A.V. Bhaktividyā Pūrṇa Svāmī. In 1988, with the blessing of the Māyāpura leaders he began to accept disciples.

Mahārāja continued his devotional service to expand Bhaktivedānta Gurukula, joined by Suhotra Svāmī and Kṛṣṇa Kṣetra Prabhu.

In November 1991 due to upheavals in the running of the school Bhakti Cāru Mahārāja assumed the leadership of the school, and Bhaktividyā Pūrṇa Svāmī, urged by his Godbrothers, focused exclusively on Brāhminical Vedic education. Mahārāja therefore began to concentrate on preparing philosophical courses and studying literature of Gaudīya Ācāryas and developing the Bhaktivedānta Academy as a traditional Gurukula.

In 1992, Maharaja participated in preaching tours of Europe with Indradyumna Mahārāja’s Polish preaching tour, Suhotra Mahārāja’s Eastern Europe tour, and Śivarāma Mahārāja’s Hungarian tour. Ever since, he has continued to visit Europe annually, giving seminars on the topics of Deity worship, Varnāśrama, Vaiṣṇava etiquette and so on.

He has recently completed teaching the Bhaktivedānta Academy’s 12 year philosophy course, the Bhaktivedanta Theological Seminary.