His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami is a disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, the founder acharya of ISKCON. His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami, ISKCON Guru and a member of GBC, was born in Bengal in 1945. His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami spent most of his early life in the city of Calcutta. In 1970, he left India to study in Germany. Coming across Vedic literatures while in Germany, he discovered the richness of India’s spiritual heritage. In 1975 he returned to India to wholeheartedly pursue the spiritual path.
After thoroughly studying the Vedic scriptures, His Holiness became aware of the need to find a spiritual master who could lead him on a sound spiritual course. After searching for one year without coming across a spiritual master to whom he could fully surrender, he felt despondent and disappointed. When he almost gave up his hope to find his spiritual master, he came across a book called The Nectar of Devotion by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Becoming engrossed in the depths of that literature, he realized that he had found his spiritual master and the path for which he was searching. As he continued to read Srila Prabhupada’s works, his conviction grew stronger, as did his desire to meet Srila Prabhupada. At that time, Srila Prabhupada was in America. His Holiness joined the temple in Mayapur and became more involved in devotional service to the Lord, all the while awaiting Srila Prabhupada’s return to India.
When Srila Prabhupada returned to India at the end of 1976, the meeting between His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami and Srila Prabhupada finally took place. From their very first meeting, Srila Prabhupada gave His Holiness the assignment of translating his books into Bengali and made him his Secretary for Indian Affairs. Within only a few months, Srila Prabhupada gave him initiation into the disciplic succession and soon thereafter, awarded him the order of Sannyasa in 1977.
Along side his official responsibilities, His Holiness translated all of Srila Prabhupada’s works on major Vedic literatures, consisting of more than fifty volumes of books, into Bengali, as Srila Prabhupada had instructed in their very first meeting. Subsequently, he became a member of the Governing Body Commission of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and served as the Chairman of the Governing Body in 1989. Since then he is serving ISKCON as a Governing Body Commissioner and an initiating Guru.
In 1996, His Holiness took on the mammoth task of making a biographical video epic on the life of his spiritual master, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada. This video series, entitled Abhay Charan has been seen all over the world, as well as on Indian National Television. His Holiness is also developing projects in Ujjain, India. In February 2006, His Holiness constructed a beautiful temple in Ujjain. This is a very beautiful marble temple which is built in less than 10 months! The temple has three huge alters for the worship of Sri Sri Madan Mohan, Sri Sri Krishna Balaram and Sri Sri Gaura Nitai. This temple also have an Iternational Guest House, Govinda's Restaurant, Gift and Srila Prabhupada book shops, a Prashadam shop and a separate Jagannath temple where a Mid-day Meal praject is functioning. This project in conjugation with M.P. Government and ISKCON Ujjain feads more than 30,000 students. ISKCON Ujjain is also running various other departments such as Deity dress manufacturing, temple altars construction, Murti project which make deities of Srila Prabhupada and Guru Parampara. A primary school had already started to built up in ujjain and also multistory apartments are also going to be ready for the devotees all over the world to stay.
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To read about vaishnava etiquette as inspired by Srila Bhakti Caru Swami Maharaja
H.H. Bhakti Charu Swami is a disciple of Srila Prabhupada. He recently headed the manifestation of an ISKCON community in Ujjain India, the home of Sandipani Muni's ashram. It is centered on beautiful Krishna Balaram Mandir which was build in a record time. It facilitates not only the congregation but also the preparation and distribution of countless meals to the local school children. Maharaj is known internationally for his expertise in vaisnava behavior, his vast knowledge and his dedication to Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON.
All glories to Bhakti Charu swami and his service to Srila Prabhupada's movement.
FROM THE GBC WEBSITE :
- Bhakti Charu Swami is from an aristocratic 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.
- To read more about Bhakti Charu Swami please go to www.bcswami.com.
Braja-Raja-Suta Das and Krishna Priya Devi Dasi
Dear Guru Maharaja,
Please accept my most humble obeisances at your lotus feet.
Although in my own small head I tend to think I am some advanced devotee, in fact the reverse is true. In reality I am practically averse to devotional service, only caring for my somewhat troublesome body and its temporary needs. Yet out of your kindness I have been allowed to participate in this Hare Krishna movement, whose essence is service.
On this day, September 17th 2010, here in Nashville we middle Tennessee ISKCON devotees are holding our normal Friday night Gita class at our house in honor of your Vyasa Puja celebration. It is all of ours hope that we can unitedly do some service in spreading (and maintaining) Krishna Consciousness here or where ever we may be; praying for a humble
service attitude and the mercy of Guru and Krishna.
As this day also marks Krishna Priya and my wedding anniversary (eleven years!) and the fact that my parents have never met the main group of devotees from this area, I have invited them to join us for prasadam. They are now eighty-seven and eighty-six years in age and I feel they could leave at any time. So we are thankful they will also be celebrating your Vyasa
Puja in this way.
This past week-end we celebrated our thirteenth or fourteenth (I'm not sure) annual twenty-four hour kirtan and interfaith dialogue. The interfaith dialogue is moderated by His Holiness Hanumat Preshaka Swami and was very enlivening. The topic for discussion amongst the representatives from various faiths this year was marriage. It was one of the best topics yet. Marriage is actually a big part of our devotional service. Helping each other, raising kids, working together through the thick and the thin, keeping Krishna as the goal.
Radhika Ramana Prabhu (Dr. Ravi Gupta) and our GBC representative, who is very expert in such issues, His Grace Tamohara Prabhu, as well as the other members of the panel, provided very nice discussion on this important topic.
Although life in general and married life within ISKCON in particular can seem impossibly difficult at times, it appears that if we follow the process we can one day achieve our goal.
Since in a large way I came to you as my initiating spiritual master through marriage (i.e. although I had a bhajans cassette of yours, I had never heard you talk prior to meeting my wife) I am very appreciative of the fact that Srila Prabhupada immediately recognized your purity, spiritual strength and peaceful nature and hence instructed you to avoid this whole marriage thing from the outset. Srila Prabhupada surely did this so as to provide us, who are
mostly grihasthas, with the leadership we need. And you freely chose to do this.
At this time I want to also thank you for the wonderful time we had this year at the Vraj/New York retreat. Your association and the association we received from all the wonderful
devotees is still acting in a powerful way. We are very grateful for this.
Thank you Guru Maharaj.
Braja-Raja-Suta Das and Krishna Priya Devi Dasi
Dearest Guru Maharaj,
Please accept my prostrated obeisances at Your divine Lotus Feet
All glories to Srila Prabhupada
All glories to Your Divine Grace
This has to be the most ecstatic time in my life... absorbing in the Nectarean Ocean of Your classes, being drowned in the love of Your disciples and about to take the most important step in my life so far. By the time Guru Maharaj has this offering and by Your unlimited mercy I will be Your initiated disciple.
Even typing that out, I feel completely unqualified... many devotees feel unqualified due to their advancement but I know what a rascal I am, how many devotees I have hurt and how complacent I am about devotional service. Guru Maharaj, I have no words to describe how overwhelmed and greatful I am that You have ALWAYS given me Your shelter. Guru Maharaj, what ever the situation... I always feel shelter in Your teachings, Your example and Your most merciful glance.
Guru Maharaj, even a few minutes with You sorts out months of discomfort... You are a real Prabhupadanuga and give all seemingly complicated issues the simplest spiritualized solutions. In this mornings class, You spoke about Saranagati and how taking shelter means surrender. You are so mercifully giving Your shelter even though I am no way near surrendered... please show me how to surrender as I am letting my mind and my ego convince me otherwise.
Guru Maharaj, Your energy and enthusiasm to expand ISKCON is beyond imagination. Constantly travelling the world preaching, personally attending to thousands of disciples, ISKCON GBC management, advising various temples how to manage their affairs and maintaining this wonderful temple You have built in Ujjain are just a fraction of Your engagements.
Srila Prabhupada is Your life and soul, Your commitment and love for Him melts my heart. Guru Maharaj, every time I have heard You give initiations You make it so clear to all of Your disciples that we have to give our lives to ISKCON. Guru Maharaj I beg at Your Lotus Feet to bless me that the rest of my time in this body is a whole hearted commitment to spreading the glories of Lord Caitanya, Srila Prabhupada and His beloved ISKCON.
Your unworthy servant,
All glories to our savior Srila Prabhupada, all glories to His body ISKCON and all glories to His pure devotees. All glories to all the devotees.
Please accept my dandavats obeisances at your lotus feet on this day of your vyasa puja. May I always take shelter and guidance from you?
I’ve been meditating on the contents of my offering to You this year and feel that my words can never express my true feelings that fill my heart and mind. In my inept way I will try to reveal my heart to you, today I wish to glorify you for who you are to me. You are my Hero, a father I can look up to and be proud of. You have dedicated your life to serving Srila Prabhupada and Krishna. You teach by example how to love, how to be kind and compassionate, You are an expert in the art of Bhakti, diplomacy, construction, engineering, film making, cooking, singing, poetry, playing musical instruments, translating Srila Prabhupadas books, managing temples.
Not only the buildings but more importantly the people who make up these temples, feeding schemes, science, geography, cultures and languages. These skills I have personally observed You display. What’s most important is that You have done all this in the service of Srila Prabhupada and You have done this with the utmost humility. You are expert in serving the Supreme Lord and have built Him a beautiful temple. The temple is not constructed merely of concrete and clad in marble; it is a manifestation of your love. A true hero is one who puts Krishna first, one who takes risks for Krishna and who always helps others.
I cannot emulate you nor can I ever imitate you but I am inspired by you. I will aspire to follow your instruction of chanting a minimum of sixteen round of the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra every day, follow the four regulative principals, observe Ekadasi fast, honor prasadam, worship the lord at our home alter and Place Krishna at the centre of our home. I can sincerely state that I am trying and I will not leave the shelter of ISKCON.
I only ask for your blessings and guidance.
You are as kind and caring as a father should be.
Thank you so much.
your humble servent,
Kalika devi dasi
Your humble servent,
While lying down on a bed of Arrows, Bhismadev gave many instructions to
Maharaj Yudhistri. As he talked he noticed Drupadi smiling. HE inquired from
her as to way she is smiling.
Drupadi asked him where your wisdom was? When the Kauravas was disrobing her
in the royal assembly. Where was his knowledge when she was been humiliated
in the presence of all the great warriors.
Bhismadev replied that because he eaten grains in the house of those that
where envious then his blood had been contaminated by their consciousness. But
know that he lay on a blood of arrows all that contaminated blood has been
removed from his body and his consciousness has been restored.
*Purport by His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja.*
From this we learn that we should be very careful who’s food we eat.. if we
eat the food of wicked people our consciousness will become wicked. Even
Bhismadev’s consciousness became affected, eating the food of the Kauravas.
The other lesson is that one matter how wise we maybe if our consciousness
is contaminate then we will not be able to act properly.
Therefore Bhismadev blood had to be drained out, then only he was situated
in proper consciousness.
ISKCON Desire Tree is doing a great service to the humanity. Please donate.. A humble request.
ALL GLORIES TO HH BHAKTI CHARU SWAMI MAHARAJ.