When he was thirty years old Hrdaya Caitanya Dasa, a disciple of Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami, left his teaching job in 1980 in order to become a full time member of the Hare Krishna community in Amsterdam. He returned to his native Belgium where in 1986 he took up the post of temple president at the devotee community known as Radhadesh, one of ISKCON’s most significant European establishments.
To best understand Hrdaya Caitanya Dasa and his contributions to ISKCON we need to understand Radhadesh, the Belgium community in Europe’s Ardennes that he has led for the past 26 years. Under his steady guidance, Radhadesh has grown into a thriving community that draws thousands of visitors a year.
The facility is a credit to the vision and management of Hrdaya Caitanya Dasa. At Radhadesh one can find a traditional bakery, an Indian boutique, a cafeteria, a vegetarian restaurant, Gopinatha’s Garden, and as of July 2002, a guest house. Tours allow guests into the splendorous castle and offers them many comforts. Radhadesh also hosts the Bhaktivedanta College, a fully accredited ISKCON school that awards bachelors degrees to those seeking a spiritual slant to their careers. In this way, Radhadesh offers something to everyone.
Recognition for his leadership abilities led the European ISKCON leaders to appoint him to the GBC in 2002 as representative for Benelux. He is also the current Chairman of the International GBC and as a member of the Executive Committee. In 2008 he began coordinating a task force for the ISKCON Dole project in France.
Hrdaya Caitanya’s zonal assignments are Andorra, France, Gibraltar, Portugal, and Spain; and is co-zonal secretary with Madhu Sevita Dasa for Paris, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands; and is GBC for New Mayapur.
He is married to Vinode Manjari Devi Dasi and they reside at Radhadesh. They have raised their two children there; Lalita, who completed her studies at the Bhaktivedanta College, and Visvambhara.