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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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.