His Holiness hails from an aristocratic Bengali family where he spent most of his early childhood in urban Kolkata. He went on to study at university in Germany, where he came across the vedic scriptures. This spurned in him the desire to explore and understand the spiritual reality. After completing his studies, he spent a number of years searching for a Guru to guide him on the spiritual path. His search came to an end when he came across Srila Prabhupada’s teachings in the form of one of his books – The Nectar of Devotion. As His Holiness was reading this book, he became more and more convinced that Srila Prabhupada was the person who could properly guide him on the spiritual path. Thus he accepted him as his spiritual master.
His Holiness left home and joined ISKCON in Sridham Mayapur in late 1976. His first meeting with Srila Prabhupada took place in January 1977, where he was instructed to translate all of his books into Bengali. Joining Srila Prabhupada’s entourage from this time onwards, Maharaja was soon made ISKCON’s secretary for Indian affairs. He was then given first and second initiation in Mayapur during the Gaura Purnima festival of 1977. Soon thereafter, during the Snana Yatra festival in Vrindavan, Srila Prabhupada gave Maharaj sannyasa.
His Holiness has been travelling and preaching now for over 35 years, with disciples all over the world. He continued to translate Srila Prabhupada’s books to its completion in 1996 (Srila Prabhupada’s centennial anniversary). Since then Maharaja was involved in creating, writing, producing and directing the epic biographical video series – Abhay Charan. With over 100 episodes broadcast on Indian National television, the series chronicled Srila Prabhupada’s life and achievements. Maharaja then went on to develop a project in Ujjain, where under his leadership, an extraordinary marble temple was built there in under 10 months. As a GBC of this area, Maharaja continues to oversee the development of the Ujjain temple. Under his direction, more than 20,000 school children in Ujjain receive a daily meal and the program is expected to expand further. Maharaja has also set up an altar making department in Ujjain which is producing exquisitely designed altars for devotees and ISKCON temples all over the world.
Although His Holiness attends to so many different projects and responsibilities, he continues to guide and inspire devotees all over the world with his profound sastric knowledge, his sweet singing of devotional bhajans and his unalloyed devotion to Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON.
To read more about Bhakti Charu Swami please go to www.bcswami.com.