Hridayananda das Goswami grew up in Los Angeles, California and began his studies at the University of California, Berkeley where he participated in the political and cultural movements of the late sixties. In 1969, after attending a lecture delivered by Srila Prabhupada, he began visiting the Berkeley ISKCON temple where he would later enroll as a full-time ashram student. Hridayananda das Goswami was formally initiated by Srila Prabhupada in 1970.
In 1972 he accepted the sannyas ashram (renounced order ) and spent the following 20 years establishing over 40 ISKCON centers and supervising the translation, publication, and distribution of Srila Prabhupada’s books throughout Central and South America, Italy and Greece. During this time, he earned the distinction as the first westerner in history to translate and comment upon the canonical Bhagavata-purana from within the tradition.
Hridayananda das Goswami returned to the University of California in 1991 as a student of World Religions. After graduating, he continued his studies at Harvard University, where he received his Ph.D. in Sanskrit & Indian Studies in 1996. While completing his Harvard education, he set historical precedence with a perfect mark on the Sanskrit comprehensive exam.
Since 2000, he has traveled the world lecturing at prominent universities and speaking with various social, religious, and political leaders, eager to deepen their understanding of Srila Prabhupada’s teachings. Having published articles with Harvard University Press, University of California Press, and Columbia University Press, he has also held visiting professorships at the Graduate Theological Union, UCLA, and the University of Florida.
Hridayananda das Goswami, who is fluent in seven languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, German, and Sanskrit), has recently completed the translation of the Bhagavad-gita and published two new books: A Comprehensive Guide to Bhagavad-gita with Literal Translation, and Quest for Justice, Select Tales with Modern Illuminations from the Mahabharata. Both books were widely praised by both the Vaishnava and Academic communities. He is now working on a three-part historical novel based on the great Indian epic, the Mahabharata. Having completed over 30 years of research for the project, he hopes to render the narrative of the Mahabharata in a style both appealing and intelligible to a modern audience.