Swami Bhakti Vedanta Muni Maharaj was born in 1973, in the month of kartik in a Gaudiya Vaisnava family in Orissa, India. His parents were high-class Vaisnavas who desired to have a qualified vaisnava son. They prayed to advanced sadhu’s and received their mercy. So Swami Bhakti Vedanta Muni Maharaj was born. His parents named him Krushna Prasad in Odiya. Affectionally he is called Prasad as nickname, which means mercy. From the beginning of the life of Krushna Prasad, his samskaras (impressions) of Krishna Consciousness was deepened, because his parent’s home was actually a math (temple) where aratikas (worship of Sri Krishna) and kirtans (devotional songs) were performed and the Puranas such as the Srimad-Bhagavatam were recited. Many high-class Vaisnavas joined those programs regularly even without a formal invitation and throughout the whole year the programs were organized and hosted by Krushna Prasad‘s parents. Therefore, from his early childhood, Krushna Prasad was able to hear harikatha and also received chances to serve the Vaisnavas.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is
At the age of twelve, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s –Bhagavad-gita As It Is-, attracted Krushna Prasad towards the worldwide preaching movement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The edition he was reading was translated into Oriya by Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja. Although the elder brother of Krushna Prasad was already an associated member of ISKCON and Krushna Prasad had been practicing bhakti-yoga since the age of five, he joined ISKCON not before 1986, at the age of thirteen. His elder brother instructed him to strictly chant a minimum of sixteen rounds daily and observe Ekadasi regularly. He followed this advice vigilantly with strong determination.
As a pupil in school and also later on in college, despite being a student of excellent degree, he never neglected his spiritual practices. Even in times of difficult exams, he was never without his bead bag, realizing that only this will save his life and can give real happiness. At the same time he was taking care of one ISKCON Namahatta Center with his brothers in his village.
Meeting Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja
After five years of progressing his college education and at the same time deepening his spiritual practice, Krushna Prasad renounced his study in 1991, at the age of eighteen. He revealed his wish to his father that he would like to take shelter at the lotus feet of Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja, who was known as a siddha-vaisnava among the Gaudiya Vaisnavas in Orissa. His father said that serving your Guru is more than serving thousands of your fathers. The very next day, Krushna Prasad left his home without even taking a thread with him. Mercifully Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja accepted him as his own by giving Krushna Prasad Harinam initiation and he did not change his name. Now he became known as Krishna Prasad Das. His mother felt so much pain of separation. She came to the math many times to see him, rolling on the ground and crying bitterly. But he was determined to stay with his Gurudeva.
As a full-time devotee residing in Sri Sri Krishna-Balaram Temple of ISKCON, under the guidance of Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja, he became part of the traveling sankirtana movement and distributed thousands of Srila Prabhupada’s books. He also joined the padayatra and Nama programs and travelled all over Orissa at that time.
Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja was very affectionate to Krishna Prasad Das. He showered his mercy by giving Krishna Prasad Das personal services and instructions. One of those instructions was to preach Sriman Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission in Orissa and also in English-speaking countries. He gave the same instruction three times to him during his manifest pastimes. On another occasion he instructed him to perform and preach vaisnava bhajans. Because Krishna Prasad Das had full trust in his Gurudeva and was saranagat (fully surrendered), he could learn difficult Orissan classical bhajans and even play instruments without learning at a music school or by the help of a teacher. In the instruction of a siddha-vaisnava the ability to follow this instruction is inherent and a fully surrendered disciple will get direct realization of this fact.
In 1995 Krishna Prasad Das was put in charge of a department named ISKCON Educational Services. The purpose of this program was to provide spiritual education to schools, colleges and universities. Many of the participants, who were misdirected by a materialistic and atheistic lifestyle, became enlightened to spiritual life and voluntarily sacrificed their life in the line of the Gaudiya Vaisnava movement. Now they got inspired to spread Krishna consciousness throughout the society. Several teachers, leaders, and administers appreciated this preaching program, and in this way it became a popular and valuable service to the population. Another service of Krishna Prasad Das was to distribute large quantities of prasadam (preparations offerd to Krishna) to poor and neglected children. He delivered the prasadam in the streets, throughout the villages and in schools. This also became an extremely successful program by the mercy of his Gurudeva, and many leaders in the society appreciated and contributed to this prasadam distribution program.
His Siksa & Sannyasa Guru — Srila BV Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
In 1996 Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja entered nitya-lila (Sri Krishnas eternal pastimes). Because of Krishna Prasad Das’s sincere practice and desire, some senior disciples of Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja, directed him, by the mercy of his Gurudeva, to take the divine association of the illustrious Brajarasika Rupanuga Vaisnavacharya, His Divine Grace Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja. Krishna Prasad Das recognized the flow of pure bhakti and joined Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, who was one of the most prominent vaisnava acharya among Gaudiya Vaisnavas.
Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja (affectionately called “Srila Gurudeva”) gave mercifully diksa (the second Initiation) to Krishna Prasad Das.
In the year 2004 in Govardhan, Srila Gurudeva bestowed upon Krishna Prasad Das the holy order of sannyasa, the sannyas name Bhakti Vedanta Muni and gave him the instruction to preach all over the world. Swami Bhakti Vedanta Muni Maharaj gave emphasis of establishing a small group of qualified devotees, spending a lot of time and energy to uplift large congregations of new people.
Bringing the Message of Gaura to Orissa, Bengal, and outside of India
Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja was very fond of Bhakti Vedanta Muni Maharaj‘s kirtana and he requested him often to perform bhajans. His devotion and understanding of the deep meaning of the bhajans touches even someone who has not heard about Krishna yet. Everyone feels the special atmosphere that is created by Swami Bhakti Vedanta Muni Maharaj’s devotion. He injects his own unique and creative inspiration into his kirtana albums. Till now he has produced fourteen devotional albums in Oriya, Bengali, Sanskrit and Hindi, which are giving inspiration to countless devotees around the world. He firmly believes his aforesaid talent has been gifted by Sri Guru and Sri Krsna.
Presently he is preaching the message of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam by order and mercy of his Gurus worldwide. Although Swami Bhakti Vedanta Muni Maharaj is very merciful and extremely tolerant in regard of shortcomings and faults due to our conditioned nature, he never compromises in his preaching of suddha bhakti (pure devotion). His main interest is to help those, who have a desire to develop their Krishna consciousness. Due to his vast knowledge of sastra, Swami Bhakti Vedanta Muni Maharaj is able to resolve one`s doubts by sastrical evidence, and because of his unwavering shraddha (faith/trust) in, and selfless service to his Gurus he is able to reconcile seemingly contradictories, by his realization. Also he has translated and published a number of devotional books in the regional language, Oriya.
By the mercy and order of Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, Srimad Bhakti Vedanta Muni Maharaj took for twelve years care of Sri Gour Govinda Goudiya Ashram at Bhubaneshwar, and preached his message all over Orissa and abroad.
Due to his separation mood, after Srila Gurudeva Bhaktivedanta Narayan Gosvami Maharaja had entered nitya-lila in December 2010, it became very difficult for Swami Bhakti Vedanta Muni Maharaj to maintain the ashram, and most of the time he stayed in Sri Vrindavan Dham. Therefore he decided to reside in Vraja Mandal in early 2012.
He constructed an ashram called “Radha Govinda Asram” at Radha-Kunda, the holiest pilgrimage place in the world. In early 2017, he established Radhakunda Amnaya Vani Foundation to fulfill the order and mission of his spiritual masters.
Swami Bhakti Vedanta Muni Maharaj provides intensive training to bramacharis, to improve their sadhana with the aim and object to attain bhava and ultimately serve the eternal divine couple Sri Sri Radha-Krsna. An increasing number of devotees from around the globe come to him for guidance. Upon invitations, he travels within India and abroad to spread the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
He continues inspiring people with his preaching activities and his deep soul-touching devotional songs that have become his trademark for the pleasure of Sri Sri Radha-Krishna and his Guru-Varga.
To find out more on Swami B V Muni Maharaj’s devotional music, please refer to www.PremaDhvani.org